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The Independent Culture
TODAY: Births: Joseph Addison, diarist and essayist, 1672; Jules- Adolphe Aime-Louis Breton, painter, 1827; Hilaire, Comte de Chardonnet, inventor of rayon, 1839; Marie Corelli (Mary Mackay), novelist, 1855; Edith Somerville (Anna Oenone), writer, 1858. Deaths: Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, 1171; John Dryden, poet, 1700; David Livingstone, missionary and explorer, 1873; Antonn Leopold Dvork, composer, 1904; Joseph Goebbels, Nazi leader and propaganda chief, committed suicide 1945; Sir Harold George Nicolson, diplomat and biographer, 1968; Sylvia Townsend Warner, novelist, 1978. On this day: the Union of Scotland and England was proclaimed, 1707; the London Library, founded by Thomas Carlyle, W.E. Gladstone, Lord Macaulay and others, was officially opened, 1841; the Great Exhibition was opened by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park, London, 1851; Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, 1876; Cyprus became a British Crown Colony, 1925; Professor Auguste Piccard made the first ascent into the stratosphere, a distance of just over 10 miles, 1931; in New York, the Empire State Building was opened, 1931; in the general election, the Conservative Party was swept from power, following a landslide victory for the Labour Party, 1997. Today is May Day (Labour Day) and the Feast Day of St Amator or Amatre, St Briocus or Brieuc, St Joseph the Worker, St Peregrine Laziosi, St Sigismund of Burgundy and St Theodard of Narbonne.

TOMORROW: Births: William Camden, antiquarian and historian, 1551; Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, 1729; "Novalis" (Friedrich Leopold, Freiherr von Hardenberg), poet, 1772; The Rev Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, author of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1810; Augustus Leopold Egg, painter and actor, 1816; Jerome Klapka Jerome, novelist and playwright, 1859; Baron Manfred von Richthofen, aviator, 1892; Lorenz Milton Hart, songwriter and composer, 1895; Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby, singer, 1904. Deaths: Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor and scientist, 1519; Louis- Charles Alfred de Musset, playwright, 1857; Joseph Raymond McCarthy, senator, 1957; Nancy, Viscountess Astor, first woman to sit in Parliament, 1964; John Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, 1972; Sir Michael Murray Hordern, actor, 1995. On this day: the Authorised Version (King James) of the Bible was published, 1611; the Hudson's Bay Company was chartered, 1670; the Battle for Berlin ended, and Germany surrendered, 1945; public VHF broadcasting was first introduced to Britain, 1955; Queen Elizabeth II sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage, 1969; during the Falklands war, the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano was sunk by a torpedo from the British submarine Conqueror, 1982. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Athanasius, Saints Exsuperius or Hesperus and Zoe, St Mefalda, St Ultan of Fosses, St Waldebert and St Wiborada.