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Births: Elizabeth of York, Henry VII's queen, 1465; William Henry Fox Talbot, photographic pioneer, 1800; Auguste-Ferdinand Francois Mariette, Egyptologist, 1821; Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, 1847; Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, director, producer and screenwriter, 1909; Farouk I, King of Egypt, 1920.

Deaths: Joanna II, Queen of Naples, 1435; Elizabeth of York, Henry VII's queen, 1503; Sir John Buchan, first Baron Tweedsmuir, governor-general of Canada, and novelist, 1940; Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein, film director, 1948; Sylvia Plath, poet, 1963.

On this day: the Miracle of Lourdes occurred, when St Bernadette had her vision of the Virgin Mary, 1858; the first weekly weather report was issued by the Meteorological Office, 1878; the Lateran Treaty established an independent Vatican State in Rome, covering 108 acres, 1929; Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party, 1975; in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, 1990; the Queen agreed to pay tax on her private income, 1993.

Today is the Feast Day of St Benedict of Aniane, St Caedmon, St Gregory II, Pope, St Lazarus of Milan, St Lucius of Adrianople, St Pascal I, Pope, Saints Saturninus, Dativus, and Others and St Severinus of Agaunum.