Vice President Dick Cheney (centre) accepts an antique rifle from National Rifle Association President Kayne Robinson (right) and NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre after his keynote address to the 133rd annual NRA convention in Pittsburgh

US Vice-President Dick Cheney (above, centre) accidentally shot and wounded a prominent Austin, Texas, lawyer while the two men were quail hunting in South Texas, firing a shotgun at the man while trying to aim for a bird, a member of the hunting party said. Cheney, a practised hunter, shot the lawyer, Harry Whittington, on an outing at the Armstrong Ranch in South Texas. Whittington, 78, was taken by helicopter to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital where he was listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit, according to Michele Trevino, a hospital spokeswoman. White House officials did not release details of the accident. But Katharine Armstrong, a member of the hunting party, said Cheney, 65, fired his shotgun without realising Whittington had approached the group from behind.

1798 French forces take Rome.

1888 King Lobengula of the Matabele, Rhodesia, accepts British protection.

1922 United States and Japan sign naval agreement.

1929 Italy signs the Lateran Treaty, establishing an independent Vatican City.

1945 US President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin sign the Yalta Agreement during the Second World War.

1956 Referendum in Malta favours integration with Britain.

1968 Communist troops execute 300 civilians in South Vietnam and bury them in a mass grave during fighting for city of Hue.

1973 The National Inventors Hall of Fame is founded in US

1975 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female head of the British Conservative Party.

1979 Followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seize power in Iran.

1986 Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky walks through to freedom, ending nearly nine years of captivity.

1989 Shaikh Shakbout Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former ruler of Abu Dhabi, passes away.

1990 Nelson Mandela is released after 27 years in South African prisons.

1994 A Nato-enforced cease-fire takes hold in Sarajevo.

1996 Two car bombs rip through the Algerian capital, killing at least 18 people in conflict between security forces and fundamentalists.

2002 UN bans child soldiers.

2006 Adventurer Steve Fossett completes the longest non-stop flight in aviation history after flying around the globe in 80 hours.

2007 Turkmenistan holds a tightly controlled presidential election, the first ever with more than one candidate.

2008 Rebel soldiers shoot and critically wound East Timor’s President Jose Ramos-Horta in a failed coup attempt.

2009 Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

2011 Hosni Mubarak steps down as the President of Egypt after 30 years in power.

2012 American singer Whitney Houston dies at Beverly Hilton Hotel in California at the age of 48.

2013 Pope Benedict delivers a letter to Cardinals announcing his resignation on February 28 due to ill health.

2014 A military aircraft C-130 Hercules, carrying 103 people crashes in the Oum Al Bouaghi region, Algeria, with a sole survivor.