Holiday-makers and local residents watch smoke plumes from fires burning around Frejus. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

2003 - Firefighters battled to control forest fires sweeping through southern France that have killed four people and forced thousands to flee their homes, as President Jacques Chirac promised tough penalties for arsonists. Some 1,700 firefighters were focusing their attention on a swathe of territory in the Maures hills, behind some of the most expensive real estate in Europe and near the trendy Riviera resort town of Saint-Tropez. Water-carrying aircraft were deployed to help douse the fires, which have come amid an exceptionally hot and dry summer over much of southern and central Europe.

Other important events

1858 - United States and Japan sign their first commercial treaty.

1937 - Eighteen-year-old Crown Prince Farouk is crowned King of Egypt.

1948 - King George VI opens 14th modern Olympic Games in London.

1957 - The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.

1958 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is founded in US.

1973 - Voters in Greece endorse the abolition of the Greek monarchy.

1980 - Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi is laid to rest in Cairo.

1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in London.

1987 - Sri Lankan President Junius Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sign a peace pact in Colombo.

1989 - Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani wins presidential elections in Iran.

2008 - An Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft makes historic landing at Dubai International Airport.