On this day - January 25

BURNS NIGHT AND FEAST OF CONVERSION OF ST PAUL

1327: Edward III acceded to the English throne.

1533: Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (wife number two of six) were married secretly by the Bishop of Lichfield.

1540: Edmund Campion, scholar and Jesuit martyr, was born in London, son of a tradesman.

1759: Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, who used the Scottish dialect in his poems and many songs, including To A Mouse, was born in Alloway, Ayrshire.

1857: Lord Lonsdale (Henry Cecil Lowther), president of the National Sporting Club, who gave boxing its rules and Lonsdale Belts to its champions, was born in London.

1874: W Somerset Maugham, master of the short story, was born in Paris.

1924: The first Winter Olympics began at Chamonix, France.

1938: The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) were seen as far south as London's West End and throughout western Europe. It was due to intense sunspot activity.

1947: Al Capone, Chicago gang boss in the Prohibition era, died of a heart attack, days after suffering a stroke, aged 48.

1981: The Gang of Four (Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams and Bill Rodgers) broke away from the Labour Party to set up the Social Democrats.

1990: A Boeing 707 jet crashed on Long Island after running out of fuel, killing 73 people including the pilot. More than 80 passengers survived.

2010: One of Saddam Hussein's closest allies, Ali Hassan al-Majid, the man known as "Chemical Ali", was executed in Iraq.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Chancellor George Osborne vowed not to 'run away' from Britain's economic woes amid fresh signs that the UK was heading for an unprecedented triple-dip recession.