Today in history

In Hong Kong

1959: Patsy Toh Yat-lung, an 18-year-old pianist from Hong Kong, won the Commonwealth Award for 1959 at the final concert of the Music Festival of Commonwealth Youth in London.

1962: W H Kwan, father of film actress Nancy Kwan, said he knew nothing about a Vienna newspaper reporting his daughter was secretly engaged to Academy Award-winning actor Maximillian Schell. Kwan was in the Austrian Tyrol filming The Great Attraction with American crooner Pat Boone.

1964: Advertisement: The Highball Nightclub presents direct from Paris 'seven fascinating stars. Pretty, shapely, seductive, all of whom were once . . . Male!!'

1977: Capital Artists announced the first Hong Kong appearance by Sergio Mendes and Brazil '77 at the Lee Theatre on April 30.

Around the world

1194: The second coronation of King Richard I of England took place after he returned from the Third Crusade.

1421: The sea broke through the dykes at Dort, in the Netherlands, drowning more than 100,000 people.

1492: Christopher Columbus received a commission from the Spanish monarchy to explore the seas to the west of Europe.

1521: Cardinal Girolamo Aleander, the papal nuncio, cross-examined Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms over his beliefs and views on the Catholic Church.

1711: Joseph I, Holy Roman emperor, died and was succeeded by his brother Charles VI.

1790: Benjamin Franklin, US scientist and statesman, died. He helped frame the American Declaration of Independence.

1895: The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed under which China and Japan recognised the independence of Korea and Formosa was ceded to Japan by China.

1941: In World War II, the Yugoslav army and government surrendered to the Germans in Belgrade. On the same day, the British Air Force rescued King Peter of Yugoslavia from Kotor.

1961: An attempt to invade Cuba by US-backed right-wing Cuban exiles failed at the Bay of Pigs. After a three-day battle, 100 were killed and more than 1,000 captured.

1969: Sirhan B Sirhan was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Robert F Kennedy, who was shot while campaigning in California in June 1968.

1970: The US spacecraft Apollo 13 splashed down after its near-disastrous trip to the moon.

1975: Khmer Rouge guerillas seized Phnom Penh and began a reign of terror in which more than one million people died.

1986: British journalist John McCarthy was kidnapped in Beirut; he was held until August 8, 1991, by Islamic Jihad guerillas.

1989: The Polish trade union Solidarity was legalised after a seven-year ban.

1993: Turgut Ozal, president of Turkey from 1989, died of a heart attack.

1996: Police gunned down 19 landless peasants in one of Brazil's bloodiest massacres.

1998: Linda McCartney, photographer and wife of former Beatle Paul, died from cancer.