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The Independent Culture

Births: Dr Joseph Priestley, scientist and clergyman, 1733; Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole, novelist, 1884; George Seferis (Giorgos Stylianou Seferiades), poet and diplomat, 1900. Deaths: Stephen Vincent Benet, novelist and poet, 1943; Angela Brazil, girls' school-story writer, 1947; John Middleton Murry, author, 1957. On this day: as predicted by Halley in 1682, Halley's Comet came to its perihelion, 1758; the Soviet Congress voted to abolish the political monopoly of the Communist Party, 1990. Today is the Feast Day of St Ansovinus, St Euphrasia or Eupraxia, St Gerald of Mayo, St Heldrad, St Mochoemoc, St Nicephorus of Constantinople and Saints Roderic and Salomon.


Births: Mrs Isabella Mary Beeton (Mayson), author of household and cookery books, 1836; Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879; James Laver, writer and editor, 1899. Deaths: Admiral John Byng, executed for neglect of duty 1757; Karl Marx, political philosopher, 1883; Busby Berkeley (William Berkeley Enos), choreographer, 1976. On this day: the first production of The Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan, was staged, 1885; the New English Bible (New Testament) was published, 1961. Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and the Feast Day of St Eutychius or Eustathius of Carrhae, St Leobinus or Lubin and St Matilda.