This day in history

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2000, 12:00am

In Hong Kong 1949: Pan-American Airways Constellations revealed plans to take over from the Skymaster in October, making the Hong Kong-London run in 39 hours - 26 hours faster than previous runs.

1963: Advertisement. 'Now in twenties - Player's Gold Leaf - specially made for real smokers'. $1 for 20.

1967: Philips held the first public viewing of colour television in Hong Kong in the Repulse Bay Hotel. Wireless colour television broadcasts started later that year.

1974: Detectives probing the drug-smuggling racket in Stanley Prison raided a Kowloon factory workshop which was producing specially hollowed-out batons. The factory was run by a former inmate of the prison.

Around the world 1190: Richard I of England and Philip II of France started on the Third Crusade.

1631: The world's first employment agency opened in Paris.

1753: John Pierre Blanchard, French balloonist, was born. In 1785, he became the first to cross the English Channel by balloon.

1776: The American Declaration of Independence was signed.

1826: John Adams, the second US president (1797-1801), and Thomas Jefferson, the third president (1801-09), both died on this day.

1845: Thomas John Barnardo, Dublin-born philanthropist, was born. In 1870 he founded the first of the Dr Barnardo's Homes for destitute boys in London.

1847: James Anthony Bailey, US circus impresario, was born. In partnership with Phineas Barnum, he made the American circus the most successful ever.

1848: The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, was published.

1884: The Statue of Liberty was presented to America by the people of France.

1903: The first Pacific telegraph cable, between San Francisco and Manila, went into operation.

1904: Construction of the Panama Canal began.

1927: Gina Lollobrigida, Italian actress, was born. She became a star in films from the 1940s, notably in Beat The Devil and Solomon And Sheba.

1927: Neil Simon, US playwright and screenwriter, was born. His hits included Barefoot In The Park and The Sunshine Boys.

1934: Marie Curie, Polish-French physicist and Nobel prize winner, died.

1946: The Philippines gained independence from America.

1976: Israel launched a commando raid on Entebbe airport in Uganda to rescue 102 hostages held by Arab and West German hijackers of an Air France plane.

1979: Former Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella was released after 14 years detention. He was overthrown in a 1965 coup and had been under arrest ever since.

1994: French President Francois Mitterrand became the first foreigner to address South Africa's new parliament.

1997: The US Pathfinder space probe made a landing on Mars.