6 March, 1475: Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian painter, sculptor and poet, born near Florence. He completed the St Peter's Pieta (detail above) in his twenties. In 1508 he began work on the Sistine chapel ceiling (now brighter but flatter after a dollars 3m restoration funded by Japanese television), considered a superhuman achievement, but the commission from Pope Julius II was accepted under duress.
1836: Davy Crockett and 148 other US frontiersmen killed at the siege of the Alamo; six survived.
1902: British soldiers allowed to wear spectacles.
1957: Ghana became independent.