Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Births: James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and chronologist, 1581; Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, composer, 1710; Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, 1771; Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1785; Henry George Bohn, publisher and bookseller, 1796; Louis Braille, deviser of a blind alphabet, 1809; Sir Isaac Pitman, publisher and inventor of Pitman's shorthand, 1813; Myles Birket Foster, painter, 1825; General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton), dwarf, 1838; Valentine Cameron Prinsep, artist, 1838; Emile Cohl (Courtet), film animator, 1857; Josef Suk, composer, 1874; Alfred Edgar Coppard, poet and short-story writer, 1878; Augustus Edwin John, painter, 1878; Sterling Holloway, actor and comedian, 1905; William Bendix, actor, 1906; Jan Lenica, film animator, 1928.

Deaths: Marechal Francois-Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, Duc de Luxembourg, soldier, 1695; The Rev Stephen Hales, inventor, chemist and plant physiologist, 1761; Charlotte Lennox (nee Ramsay), novelist and poet, 1804; Charles Samuel Keene, humorous artist and illustrator, 1891; Clarence Edward Dutton, geologist, 1912; Count Alfred von Schlieffen, field marshal, 1913; Benito Perez-Galdos, writer and poet, 1920; Leon-Adolphe Willette, painter, 1926; Henri Bergson, philosopher, 1941; Theodor Korner, Austrian military leader and president, 1957; Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer, 1958; Albert Camus, novelist and playwright, killed 1960; Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, 1961; Thomas Stearns Eliot, poet and critic, 1965; Donald Malcolm Campbell, land and water speedster, killed 1967; Said Hammani, representative of the PLO, assassinated 1978; Joy-Friederike Victoria Adamson, naturalist and writer, 1980; Lt-Gen Sir Brian Gwynne Horrocks, military strategist and historian, 1985; Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist and playwright, 1986.

On this day: Columbus sailed from America back to Spain in the Nina, 1493; King Charles I attempted to arrest five MPs, 1642; the Austrians, under Joseph Alvintzi, were defeated by Napoleon at Rivoli, 1797; Donizetti's opera Don Pasquale was first performed, Paris, 1843; all members of the crew of the Rhyl lifeboat were lost in attempting to save the schooner Temperance, 1847; the Fabian Society was founded, 1884; the first appendicitis operation was performed, 1885; the opera The Mountebanks, with libretto by W.S. Gilbert and music by Alfred Cellier was first produced, 1892; Utah became the 45th of the United States, 1896; the Bolsheviks captured Riga, 1919; in India, the National Congress was declared illegal, and Gandhi was arrested, 1932; the liner Atlantique caught fire off Cherbourg, and 18 members of the crew lost their lives, 1933; the first chart of pop music was published in the US by the Billboard, 1936; the British Fifth Army in Italy attacked Monte Cassino, 1944; Burma became an independent republic, 1948; a strike of barbers' assistants in Copenhagen ended after 33 years, 1961; Pope Paul VI began a tour of the Holy Land, 1964; Rose Heilbron became the first woman to sit as a judge at the Old Bailey, London, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Elizabeth Bayley Seton, St Gregory of Langres, St Pharaildis, St Rigobert of Rheims and St Roger of Ellant.