1996 - Jazz singing legend Ella Fitzgerald died at her Beverly Hills home. Fitzgerald was 78. Fitzgerald, who had been in poor health in recent years, died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends. In 1993, both of her legs had to be amputated below the knees. Fitzgerald was known as the “first lady of song”. In a career spanning nearly 60 years, she built a reputation among musicians and singers for her clarity of tone, rhythmic perfection and a range from sombre lows to tinkling highs. A composer as well as a singer, Fitzgerald wrote or co-wrote a number of popular songs, including You Showed Me the Way, Once is Enough for Me and Please Tell Me the Truth. Fitzgerald began her career as a dancer, but froze in her first appearance at the famed Apollo Theatre.
Other important events
1862 - Turkish forces bombard Belgrade after a Serb uprising.
1896 - The deadliest tsunami in Japan’s history kills more than 22,000 people.
1904 - More than 1,000 people die in a fire aboard steamboat General Slocum in New York City.
1919 - John William Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown complete the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic, flying from Newfoundland to Ireland.
1934 - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is established in the US.
1944 - US forces begin an invasion of Japanese-held Saipan Island in the Marianas in the Pacific.
1954 - The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is founded in Basel, Switzerland.
1970 - Martial law is declared in Turkey when rioting breaks out.
1977 - Spaniards go to the polls in the first democratic elections since 1936.
1978 - King Hussain of Jordan marries 26-year-old American Lisa Halaby, who becomes Queen Noor.
1980 - Dubai Electricity Company’s steam power and desalination plant is opened at Jebel Ali.
1981 - The UAE Federal Government approves the construction of an industrial bank.
1987 - A West German military supply ship operating in the Baltic Sea is hit by artillery fire from a Warsaw Pact navy vessel.
1992 - The Japanese parliament approves the use of troops overseas for the first time since the Second World War.
1996 - A bomb explodes in a van near a shopping centre in Manchester, England, injuring more than 200 people.
1999 - Yugoslav forces withdraw from Kosovo’s border region with Albania.
2007 - Ethiopia accepts a United Nations commission ruling to turn over a disputed town to Eritrea.
2009 - Saudi Arabia and the UAE reach an agreement on ending the truck crisis at the border.
2013 - Moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani is declared Iran’s new President.
2014 - Casey Kasem, the internationally famous radio broadcaster, dies at the age of 82.
2015 - The Chicago Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup title with a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.