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Births: William Henry Holmes, pianist and composer, 1812; Wilhelm Camphausen, painter, 1818; Alfredo Carlo Piatti, cellist, 1822; Alfred Russel Wallace, naturalist, 1823; William Wilkie Collins, novelist, 1824; Hans Guido von Bulow, pianist and conductor, 1830; Frank Nelson Doubleday, publisher and editor, 1862; Viscount Craigavon (James Craig), Ulster statesman, 1871; John Joseph Curtin, Australian prime minister, 1885; Jaromir Weinberger, composer, 1896; Dennis Yates Wheatley, novelist, 1897; Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Sri Lankan prime minister, 1899; Jose Ferrer (Jose Vicente Ferrer Otero y Cintron), actor, 1912; Elvis Presley, rock singer, 1935.

Deaths: Pope Celestine III, 1198; Ambroglio Giotto di Bondone, painter, 1337; Galileo Galilei, astronomer, 1642; Sir John Dalrymple, first Earl of Stair, politician and lawyer, 1707; Arcangelo Corelli, composer and violinist, 1713; John Baskerville, printer and typographer, 1775; Jean- Marie Collot d'Herbois, French revolutionary, 1796; Eli Whitney, inventor and perfector of the cotton gin, 1825; Moritz von Schwind, painter, 1871; Paul Verlaine, poet, 1895; Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, first Baron Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, 1941; Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert (Denemy)), tenor, 1948; Kurt Schwitters, painter and writer, 1948; Chou En-lai, Chinese leader, 1976; Andre-Francois Poncet, politician, 1978; Georgi Maksimilianovich Malenkov, former Soviet leader, 1988; Sir Michael Kemp Tippett, composer and conductor, 1998.

On this day: Alexander I acceded to the Scottish throne, 1106; the explorer Robert La Salle reached Niagara Falls, 1679; soup kitchens for the poor were opened in London, 1800; Britain occupied the Cape of Good Hope, 1806; the Americans defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, 1815; the Severn Railway Tunnel was opened, 1886; the British evacuated Gallipoli, 1916; President Woodrow Wilson announced his "Fourteen Points" for world peace, 1918; Chequers Court was occupied by its first prime minister tenant, David Lloyd-George, 1921; Ibn Saud was proclaimed King of the Hejaz, a name which he changed to Saudi Arabia, 1926; sugar, bacon and butter were rationed in Britain, 1940; General Charles de Gaulle was proclaimed President of the French Fifth Republic, 1959; in New York, seven floors of the Empire State Building caught fire, 1963; in Uruguay, the British ambassador, Geoffrey Jackson, was kidnapped by guerillas, 1971; the first London production of the musical show Company took place, 1972; the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in Bantry Bay, Ireland, with the loss of 49 lives, 1979; Pan American World Airways filed for bankruptcy in the United States, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Adrian of Canterbury, St Apollinaris the Apologist, St Erhard, St Gudula, St Lucian of Beauvais, St Pega, St Severinus of Noricum Repense, St Severinus of Septempeda, St Thorfinn and St Wulain.