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Philippines President Ferdinand E. Marcos, on national television with his weeping wife Imelda by his side, on Saturday signed documents declaring an end to eight years of martial law. “I pray now, as I prayed eight years ago, that I am doing the right thing by our people, for the end of martial law does not mean the end to all needed reforms,” he said from his Malacanang Palace as hundreds of foreign diplomats and Government officials looked on. Under Marcos’ declaration, he will retain nearly all his powers and most of his martial law decrees since 1972 will remain in effect until elections, scheduled for 1984. He said the lifting of martial law “has been an emotional and intellectual experience for me.” First Lady Imelda Marcos wept as he made the statement. Marcos declared success in fighting anti-government forces and in putting down terrorism and other crimes during the 100 months of martial rule.

Other important events:

1718 - Avalanche destroys every building in Leukerbad, Switzerland, killing 53.

1759 - Holy Roman Empire declares war on Prussia.

1893 - Hawaii’s monarchy is overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters force Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.

1852 - Sand River Convention establishes South African Republic of Transvaal.

1871 - Wire manufacturer Andrew Hallidie patents the cable car.

1913 - Raymond Poincaré is elected President of France.

1945 - Soviet troops liberate Budapest, Hungary, during Second World War.

1946 - The United Nations Security Council meets for the first time, in London.

1948 - Netherlands and Republic of Indonesia sign truce.

1959 - Federal state of Mali is formed by Union of Republics of Senegal and French Sudan.

1981 - Martial law is lifted in Philippines after eight years.

1984 - Saudi Consul Hussain Abdullah Farrash is kidnapped in Beirut, he was released after 16 months.

1989 - A gunman opens fire on an elementary school playground at Cleveland School, California, killing five children.

1994 - A major earthquake strike Los Angeles, killing at least 74 people.

1995 - Japan’s deadliest earthquake in 70 years slams Kobe and other western cities, killing more than 5,000 people.

1996 - Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is sworn in as President of Sierra Leone.

1997 - Court in Dublin grants the first divorce in Ireland’s history.

2002 - The volcano Nyiragongo in eastern Congo erupts, forcing most of the 500,000 residents of the nearby city of Goma to flee.

2004 - About 10,000 Muslim women march through Paris to protest against France’s plan to ban head coverings in public schools.

2008 - A British Airways jet from Beijing carrying 152 people crash-lands at London’s Heathrow airport, injuring 19 people.

2010 - 139 members of the International Renewable Energy Agency meet for the inaugural summit held in Abu Dhabi.

2011 - Tunisia’s prime minister announces a national unity government.

2012 - UAE and China sign a strategic partnership deal that will enhance bilateral ties, during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to the UAE.

2013 - Algerian military strafes In Amenas gas complex in Sahara desert, killing 35 hostages and 15 kidnappers.

2014 - Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, the wife of former Indian Minister Shashi Tharoor, is found dead at a hotel in New Delhi.

2015 - Egyptian actress Faten Hamama dies at the age of 83.