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Births: Alexander Cruden, compiler of the Concordance of the Holy Scriptures; 1701; Johann Ludwig Tieck, poet, novelist and critic, 1773; John Jackson, portrait painter, 1778; Edouard Marie-Ernest Deldevez, conductor and composer, 1817; William Worrall Mayo, physician, 1819; Walt Whitman, writer and poet, 1819; Alphonse-Marie de Neuville, painter, 1836; Henry Sidgwick, philosopher, 1838; Frits Hartvigson, pianist and teacher, 1841; Will Hicok Low, artist and writer, 1853; Pope Pius (Achille Ratti) XI, 1857; Professor Graham Wallas, economist, 1858; Walter Richard Sickert, painter, 1860; Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, explorer, 1863; William Heath Robinson, illustrator, 1872; Charles Greeley Abbot, astrophysicist, 1872; Helen Waddell, poet and scholar, 1889; Florence Desmond (Dawson), actress, 1905; Don Ameche (Dominic Felix Amici), actor, 1908; Judith Wright, writer and poet, 1915.

Deaths: Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), painter, 1594; Franz Joseph Haydn, composer, 1809; Jean Lannes, Duc de Montebello, soldier, Marshal of the First Empire, 1809; Evariste Galois, mathematician, 1832; William Smith, abolitionist and emancipator, 1835; Joseph Grimaldi, comic actor and clown, 1837; George Green, mathematician and physicist, 1841; Elizabeth Blackwell, physician (the first woman doctor), 1910; John White Alexander, painter, 1915; Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi "protector" of Bohemia and Moravia, assassinated 1942; Adolf Eichmann, Nazi war criminal, hanged 1962; Jack Dempsey, heavyweight boxer, 1983.

On this day: Samuel Pepys discontinued writing his diary because of failing eyesight, 1669; in France, the Reign of Terror began, 1793; Rossini's opera The Thieving Magpie was first performed, Milan, 1817; the universal right to vote was abolished in France, 1850; the trans-Siberian railway was begun, 1891; the Peace of Vereeniging brought the end of the Boer War, 1902; during the American Civil War, the Battle of Fair Oaks started, 1862; at Johnston, Pennsylvania, a great flood occurred with the loss of 2,200 lives, 1889; the Union of South Africa was formed from Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, 1910; the White Star liner Titanic was launched at Belfast, 1911; the Australian airman Harry George Hawker reached a record height of 11,450ft, 1913; the Naval Battle of Jutland began, 1916; the Daily Chronicle and the Daily News ceased separate publication and became the News Chronicle, 1930; the Gothic, or Black Letter, printing type was officially abandoned in Germany in favour of the Roman character, 1941; the Union of South Africa became a republic, 1961; an earthquake shook Yungay, Peru, and some 18,000 people lost their lives, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Cantius, Cantianus, Cantianella and Protus, St Mechtildis of Edelstetten and St Petronilla.