In Hong Kong 1956: For rent: Prince Edward bed-sit, Waterloo Road. Well-furnished with private bathroom. Rent $380 a month, including daily breakfast and use of kitchen. 1971: About 100,000 industrial workers were left temporarily unemployed after a fire gutted a China Light and Power sub-station, leaving almost the entire eastern section of Kwun Tong without electricity for a week. 1973: Three American congressmen visiting Hong Kong announced the United States might invoke trade sanctions against the territory if it did not receive full co-operation in stamping out local narcotic trafficking. 1974: A 70-year-old Yuen Long farmer and his 50-year-old wife wrestled with a 4.5-metre Burmese python in a desperate effort to prevent their chickens from being eaten. The snake was eventually caged in hopes of attracting and catching its mate. Around the world 1629: John III Sobieski, king of Poland from 1674 to 1696, was born. Polish hero who fought against Swedes, Turks, Tartars and Cossacks. 1786: Davy Crockett, US frontiersman and politician, was born. US congressman 1827-1831, 1833-1835. Killed by the Mexicans at the Alamo in March 1836. 1850: Jose de San Martin, soldier, statesman and national hero of Argentina, died. With Simon Bolivar he led South America's independence movement. 1896: George Carmack discovered gold in a tributary of the Klondike River, Canada, precipitating the famous gold rush. 1929: Francis Gary Powers, US pilot, was born. He was shot down in a spy plane over Soviet territory in 1960, setting off a major diplomatic crisis. 1943: Robert De Niro, US actor and Oscar winner for The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull, was born. 1952: Nelson Piquet, Brazilian grand prix motor racing champion, was born. 1962: Peter Fechter, 18, was shot by East German guards as he attempted to flee across the Berlin Wall. Left to bleed to death, his case was the most notorious in the history of the Wall. In July 1996 two former guards were charged with his manslaughter. 1969: Dr Philip Blaiberg died in South Africa, 19 months and 15 days after receiving a heart transplant, a survival record at the time. 1978: Three American balloonists, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman, completed the first crossing of the North Atlantic in their balloon, Double Eagle II. 1987: Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess was found dead in his cell in Spandau Prison, after hanging himself with an electric cord. 1988: Pakistan president Zia ul-Haq and the US ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel were killed when Zia's plane exploded after takeoff. 1996: Ruth Perry was chosen by a meeting of West African heads of state to chair Liberia's ruling council, thus becoming Africa's first woman head of state. 1999: A violent earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck the western Turkish city of Izmit, 90km southeast of Istanbul, killing at least 17,118 people.