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The Independent Culture

Births: Margaret, Queen of Scotland, 1489; John Harvard, founder of Harvard University, baptised 1607; John Ray (or Wray), father of English natural history, 1627; Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti, composer, 1797; Christian Johann Doppler, physicist, 1803; Louisa May Alcott, author, 1832; Sir William Blake Richmond, painter, 1842; Gertrude Jekyll, landscape architect, 1843; Sir John Ambrose Fleming, electrical engineer, 1849; Busby Berkeley (William Berkeley Enos), film director and choreographer, 1895; Clive Staples Lewis, scholar and writer, 1898; Carlo Levi, novelist, painter and journalist, 1902.

Deaths: Giovanni Bellini (Giambellini), painter, 1516; Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal and Lord Chancellor, 1530; Hans Holbein the Younger, painter, 1543; Prince Rupert, Royalist commander in England, 1682; Giovanni Paolo Colonna, composer, 1695; Anthony a Wood, antiquary and historian, 1695; Giambattista Bodoni, type designer and printer, 1813; Martin Farquhar Tupper, poet and inventor, 1889; Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, composer, 1924; Rosa Lewis (Ovenden), cook and hotelier, 1952; Norman Alfred William Lindsay, artist and novelist, 1969; Graham Hill, racing driver, killed in an air crash 1975; Natalie Wood (Natasha Gurdin), actress, 1981; Irene Handl, actress, 1987.

On this day: Admiral Richard Byrd made the first flight over the South Pole, 1929; Yugoslavia was proclaimed a Federal People's Republic, 1945; the United Nations proposed a plan for the partition of Palestine, 1947; Parliament passed a Bill making the IRA an illegal organisation, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Brendan of Birr, St Radbod, St Saturninus or Sernin of Toulouse and St Saturninus, martyr.