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1782: The 100-ton battleship HMS Royal George sank off Spithead with the loss of more than 900 lives.
1831: Michael Faraday demonstrated the production of electricity from magnetism with the first transformer.
1842: The Treaty of Nanking was signed, ending the Opium War (1839-42) between China and Britain, and ceding Hong Kong to Britain.
1882: England cricketers lost to Australia in England for the first time, and from an epitaph that appeared in the Sporting Times the word “Ashes” came into being.
1885: The first motorcycle was patented by Gottlieb Daimler in Germany.
1895: The Rugby League was formed at a meeting in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, with 21 representatives of the leading Lancashire and Yorkshire Rugby Union clubs – the present title of “Rugby League” was adopted in 1922.
1897: “Chop-suey” (meaning ‘various things’), the most famous Chinese dish, was devised by a New York chef to appeal to Chinese and American tastes.
1930: The Rev William Spooner, who gave the world spoonerisms, died.
1966: The Beatles gave their last live concert performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
2005: Michael Schumacher won his fifth consecutive Formula One Drivers Championship.
2012: The London 2012 Paralympic Games started with a spectacular opening ceremony.
ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Fewer than half of adults were taking advantage of the free NHS midlife MoT, a charity found.
BIRTHDAYS: Elliott Gould, actor, 81; Joel Schumacher, film director, 80; Chris Copping, musician, 74; Lenny Henry, actor/comedian, 61; Joe Swail, snooker player, 50; Lea Michele, actress/singer, 33, Liam Payne, singer, 26.