Births: Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and essayist, 1803; Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, first Baron Lytton, novelist, 1803; William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook, newspaper proprietor, 1879; Igor Ivan Sikorsky, inventor of the helicopter, 1889. Deaths: The Venerable Bede, historian, 735; Gaspard (Doughet) Poussin, painter, 1675; Marie- Madeleine Pioche de la Viergne, Comtesse de La Fayette, writer, 1693; Gustav Theodore Holst, composer, 1934. On this day: Captain Cook sailed on his first voyage, 1768; Lloyd's insurance society received a Royal Charter, 1871; the House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act, 1871; Gilbert and Sullivan's opera HMS Pinafore was first produced in London, 1878; the House of Commons passed the Irish Home Rule Act, 1914; the athlete Jesse Owens broke five world records at the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936; the new Coventry Cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was consecrated, 1962. Today is the Feast Day of St Bede, St Dionysius of Milan, St Gennadius of Astorga, St Gregory VII, Pope, St Leo or Lye of Mantenay, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi and St Zenobius.
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