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Births: Jean-Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, 1828; John Meade Falkner, novelist, 1858; Harry S. Truman, 33rd US President, 1884; Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright and poet, 1895; Friedrich August von Hayek, economist, 1899; John Derrick Mordaunt Snagge, broadcaster, 1904. Deaths: Pietro Longhi, painter, 1785; Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, chemist, guillotined 1794; John Stuart Mill, political economist, 1873; Gustave Flaubert, novelist, 1880; Eugene-Henri Paul Gauguin, painter, 1903; Eadweard Muybridge (Edward James Muggeridge), photographer and inventor, 1904; Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, composer and suffragist, 1944; Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of the store, 1947; Emanuel, Baron Shinwell, statesman, 1986. On this day: the British monarchy was restored, 1660; "The People's Charter" was issued by the Working Men's Association, 1838; John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger was first performed, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1956. Today is VE Day and the Feast Day of St Acacius or Agathus, St Benedict II, pope, St Boniface IV, pope, St Desideratus or Desire of Bourges, St Gibrian, St Otger, St Peter of Tarentaise, St Plechelm, St Victor Maurus and St Wiro.


Births: Sir James Matthew Barrie, novelist and playwright, 1860; Howard Carter, painter and Egyptologist, 1873; Lilian Mary Baylis, manager of the Old Vic and Sadlers Wells theatres, 1874. Deaths: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, occultist and a founder of the Theosophical Society, 1891; Joseph Mallaby Dent, publisher, 1926. On this day: Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated, 1092; Victoria Embankment, London, was opened, 1874; Piccadilly Circus was first lit by electricity, 1932; Britain's first launderette opened in Queensway, London, 1949; Prince Rainier III became chief of state of Monaco, 1949; West Germany became a member of Nato, 1955; impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon were opened, 1974.

Tomorrow is Rogation Sunday and the Feast Day of St Beatus of Lungern, St Beatus of Vendome, St Gerontius of Cervia and St Pachomius.