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1265 - The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall.

1841 - The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. It returned to Chinese control in July 1997.

1885 - The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson.

1887 - The
U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.

1942 - Nazi officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their "final solution" that called for exterminating Europe's Jews.

1944 - The British RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.

1986 - Britain and France announced their plans to build the Channel Tunnel.

1987 - Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon. He was there attempting to negotiate the release of Western hostages. He was not freed until November 1991.

1996 - Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority and his supporters won two thirds of the 80 seats in the Legislative Council.

2000 - Greece and Turkey signed five accords aimed to build confidence between the two nations.

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