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The Independent Culture
Births: St Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary, 1506; Dr Charles Burney, organist and historian of music, 1726; Domenico Dragonetti, double-bass player and composer, 1763; William Wordsworth, poet, 1770; Francois-Marie Charles Fourier, social reformer, 1772; William Ellery Channing, Unitarian minister, 1780; Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey, sculptor and benefactor, 1781; Hermann Berens, flautist and composer, 1826; Gilbert Arthur A. Beckett, playwright and writer, 1837; Franz Ries, violinist and music publisher, 1846; Edward Knoblock, playwright, 1874; Daisy (Margaret Mary Julia) Ashford, author, aged 9, of The Young Visiters, 1881; Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski, anthropologist, 1884; Gabriela Mistral (Lucila Godoy Alcayaga), poet, 1889; Sir David Alexander Cecil Low, cartoonist and caricaturist, 1891; (Cuthbert) Dale Collins, journalist and novelist, 1897; Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan), jazz singer, 1915.

Deaths: Jean-Baptiste, Abbe de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, 1719; Richard (Dick) Turpin, highwayman, hanged, 1739; El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), painter, 1614; Sir William Davenant, poet and playwright, 1668; William Godwin, radical writer, 1836; Anton Diabelli, music publisher and composer, 1858; Phineas Taylor Barnum, showman, 1891; Albert Venn Dicey, jurist, 1922; Joseph Aloysius Lyons, statesman, 1939; Henry Ford, motor manufacturer, 1947; Theda Bara (Theodosia Goodman), silent film actress, 1955; James (Jim) Clark, car- racing champion, killed 1968; Sheik Abeid Karume, dictator of Zanzibar, assassinated 1972.

On this day: in France, the metre was made the official measuring unit of length, 1795; during the American Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh ended after Federal reinforcements arrived, causing the Confederates to withdraw, 1862; the Conference of Algeciras, considering the ownership of Morocco, ended, 1906; the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway was completed, 1914; the first London production of the musical show The Desert Song was staged, 1927; Italy invaded Albania, 1939; the World Heath Organisation was formed as a specialised UN agency, 1948; Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1953; Spain relinquished its protectorate over Morocco, 1956.

Today the Feast Day of St Aphraates, St Celsus or Ceallach of Armagh, St George the Younger, St Hegesippus, St Henry Walpole, St Herman Joseph and St John Baptist de la Salle.