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The Independent Culture
Births: Roger II, King of Sicily, 1095; James Edward Oglethorpe, colonist and founder of Georgia, 1696; Jean-Etienne Liotard, painter, 1702; John Crome ("Old Crome"), landscape painter, 1768; Franz Abt, composer and conductor, 1819; Jean-Henri Fabre, naturalist, 1823; Charles Stuart Calverley, poet and parodist, 1831; William Hale White ("Mark Rutherford"), novelist, 1831; John Nevil Maskelyne, stage magician, 1839; Teresa Carreno, pianist, 1853; Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, operatic composer, 1858; Edwin Arlington Robinson, poet, 1869; Franz Schmidt, composer, 1874; Edgard (Edgar Victor Achille-Charles) Varese, composer, 1883; Alan Dudley Bush, composer, conductor and pianist, 1900; Pierre Brasseur (Pierre- Albert Espinasse), actor, 1905.

Deaths: Aulus Vitellius, Roman emperor, beheaded AD 69; Francois Clouet (Janet), miniature painter, 1572; Maximilien de Bethune, Duc de Sully, soldier and statesman, 1641; Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino), painter, 1666; Michel Baron (Michel Boyron), actor and playwright, 1729; Jan Dismas Zelenka, composer, 1745; James Harris, grammarian, 1780; George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist, 1880; Dwight Lyman Moody, evangelist, 1899; Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing, psychiatrist, 1902; Nathanael West (Nathan Wallenstein Weinstein), novelist, 1940; Franz Boas, anthropologist, 1942; Helen Beatrix Potter, writer and artist, 1943; Harry Langdon, comedian, 1944; Richard Frederick Dimbleby, television commentator, 1965; Josef von Sternberg, film director, 1969; Darryl Francis Zanuck, film producer, 1979; David Penhaligon MP, killed in a car accident 1986; Lord (Ted) Willis, playwright, politician and writer, 1992.

On this day: James Stuart, the Old Pretender, landed at Peterhead, 1715; the first pantomime in England was staged at the Lincoln's Inn Theatre, 1716; Beethoven's 5th and 6th (Pastoral) symphonies were first played in Vienna, 1808; Alfred Dreyfus was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment on Devil's Island, 1895; the Ministry of Pensions was first set up, 1916; a Pan American jumbo jet crashed on to the town of Lockerbie in Scotland, killing all 259 passengers and crew, and 11 people on the ground, 1988.

Today is the Feast Day of St Chaeremon and Others, St Flavian of Tuscany, St Ischyrion and St Zeno.