On this day - March 8

1702: Queen Anne acceded to the throne on the death of William III, who died in a riding accident at Hampton Court.

1787: Karl von Grafe, pioneer of plastic surgery, was born in Warsaw.

1790: The French Assembly voted to continue slavery in their colonies.

1859: Kenneth Grahame, author of children's books, notably The Wind In The Willows, was born in Edinburgh.

1879: Otto Hahn, German physicist and chemist, was born. He discovered nuclear fission, which made the atomic bomb possible.

1910: The first pilot's licences were granted. The Royal Aero Club granted licence number one to JTC Moore Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon of Tara).

1952: An artificial heart was used for the first time on a 41-year-old man, which kept him alive for 80 minutes.

1961: Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor and founder of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, died.

1966: An IRA bomb destroyed the Nelson Column in Dublin.

1971: Boxer Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali on points to become World Heavyweight Champion.

1983: President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire".

1990: Figures showed more than 3,000 Britons had fully developed Aids.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: Comic Relief apologised to its supporters after Frankie Boyle caused controversy at a charity gig with a string of gags about the Queen.