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Births: Ann Radcliffe (Ann Ward), novelist, 1764; Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing-machine, 1819; Adolf Schreyer, painter, 1828; Nikola Tesla, electrician and inventor, 1856; Ottorino Respighi, composer, 1879; Simon Marks, first Baron Marks of Broughton, a founder of Marks and Spencer, 1888; Ian Mikardo, politician, 1908.

Deaths: Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1228; Jan van Eyck, painter, 1440; Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, 1677; Philip V, King of Spain, 1746; Edmund Burke, statesman, 1797; Zachary Taylor, 12th US President, 1850; George Frederick Samuel Robinson, first Marquess of Ripon, statesman, 1909; King Camp Gillette, safety-razor inventor and manufacturer, 1932; Sir Francis Meredith Wilfrid Meynell, book designer and typographer, 1975; Randall Thompson, composer, 1984.

On this day: Henry VIII divorced Anne of Cleves, 1540; Holland was joined to France under Napoleon, 1810; the Congress of Tucuman was held, at which Argentina declared its independence from Spain, 1816; a massacre of Christians in Damascus started, 1860; German South-West Africa surrendered to General Smuts, 1915; the Treaty of Versailles was ratified by Germany, 1919; the Allies captured Caen in Normandy, 1944; the Bank of England issued pounds 20 banknotes (previous pounds 20 notes had been withdrawn in 1945), 1970; the Bahamas became independent, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Everild, St Nicholas Pieck and his Companions, The Martyrs of Gorcum (Holland) and St Veronica de Julianis.