American singer John Denver. - Gulf News Archives

1997 - John Denver, the boyish, upbeat country-pop star famed for such infectious songs as Rocky Mountain High and Thank God I’m a Country Boy, died when an experimental plane he was piloting crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Denver crashed his ultralight off Monterey Bay, California, but his body was so badly mangled police were unable to officially identify it and had to get copies of the singer’s fingerprints flown in from Colorado. The plane went down near Lover’s Point, Pacific Grove. Denver, 53, was an experienced pilot who had flown the single-engined, ultra-light fibreglass plane many times in the past and even used it to commute from Colorado to Monterey where he could indulge his passion for golf and be near a daughter in Carmel.

Other important events

1822 - Brazil becomes independent of Portugal.

1879 - British troops occupy Kabul, Afghanistan.

1934 - Peter II becomes King of Yugoslavia following the assassination of his father, King Alexander.

1942 - US forces defeat the Japanese in Battle of Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal in the Second World War.

1945 - Allied Control Council in Germany orders dissolution of Nazi Party after Second World War.

1964 - US forces take control in South Vietnam, ousting government of Major General Nguyen Khanh.

1969 - Soviet Union launches Soyuz VII spacecraft.

1973 - Juan Peron returns as President of Argentina after 18 years in exile.

1984 - An Irish Republican Army bomb explodes at a hotel in Brighton, England, where British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was attending a conference, killing five people.

1986 - Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to visit China.

1992 - A strong earthquake near Cairo kills more than 500 people.

1996 - Wonder Land is inaugurated in Dubai.

1997 - Cuban President Fidel Castro appoints his brother Raul as successor.

1998 - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agrees to withdraw his forces from Kosovo.

1999 - General Pervez Musharraf seizes power in a military coup in Pakistan.

2000 - Seventeen sailors are killed in a suicide bomb attack on the US destroyer Cole in Yemen.

2001 - UN and its Secretary-General Kofi Annan win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2002 - A bomb explodes in a resort area on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people.

2004 - Saudi security forces kill three suspected militants in a shootout near a housing compound for foreigners.

2009 - American Elinor Ostrom becomes the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.

2011 - The Royal Opera House of Oman, the first of its kind in the Arabian Peninsula, is officially opened.