The first train coming through the Channel Tunnel, England. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

1993 - Slowly but surely, a French high-speed TGV train passed through the Channel tunnel to reach English soil for the first time. Tunnel operator Eurotunnel SA/ Pic and French state railway SNCF said the “train a grande vitesse” conducted the first of a series of trial runs ahead of the tunnel opening, set for between December 1993 and June 1994. Work trains operate in the tunnel but the TGV, dubbed Eurostar, was the first passenger train to pass under the Channel. The TGV can cruise at 300km/h on special fast track in France and will eventually move at 160km/h through the tunnel.

Other important events

1605 - Russia’s Czar Theodore II is assassinated in a palace revolution.

1837 - Queen Victoria ascends the British throne following the death of her uncle.

1840 - American inventor Samuel Morse is granted a patent for his electro-magnetic telegraph system.

1961 - Kuwait is admitted to the Arab League.

1963 - US and Soviet Union sign an agreement to set up a hotline between the two superpowers.

1968 - American sprinter Jim Hines becomes the first man to run 100 metres in less than 10 seconds, setting a world record of 9.95 seconds.

1973 - Juan Peron returns to Argentina after 18-year exile.

1982 - Sajaa gas facility is inaugurated in Sharjah.

1997 - Turkey’s Islamist-influenced government falls when the president asks Mesut Yilmaz to form a government.

2016 - Virginia Raggi becomes first woman mayor of Rome in 2,500 years.