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TODAY: Births: Louis XII, King of France, 1462; Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish nationalist leader, 1846; Sir John Monash, engineer and general, 1865; Helen Adams Keller, blind, deaf and mute scholar and teacher, 1880. Deaths: Giorgio Vasari, painter and art historian, 1574; James Lewis Macie Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institution, 1829; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), murdered in prison 1844. On this day: the Ladies' Mercury, the first women's magazine, was issued, 1693; Bonnie Prince Charlie, disguised as a maid, escaped to Skye, 1746; British soldiers and others were massacred at Cawnpore, India, 1857; Joshua Slocum completed the first solo voyage around the world, 1898; the Central London Electric Railway was opened, running between Shepherd's Bush and the Bank, 1900; the first nuclear power station was opened at Obninsk, near Moscow, 1954. Today is the Feast Day of St Cyril of Alexandria, St George Mtasmindeli, St John of Chinon, St Ladislas, king of Hungary, St Samson of Constantinople, The Martyrs of Arras and St Zoilus of Cordova.

TOMORROW: Births: Pope Paul IV, 1476; Henry VIII, King of England, 1491; Sir Peter Paul Rubens, painter, 1577; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, writer and philosopher, 1712; Luigi Pirandello, playwright, 1867; Pierre Laval, politician, 1883; James Mallahan Cain, novelist, 1892; Richard Charles Rodgers, composer and lyricist, 1902. Deaths: Pope Paul I, 767; James Madison, fourth US president, 1836; Robert O'Hara Burke, explorer of Australia, 1861; Victor Thomas Trumper, cricketer, 1915; William Wyler, film director, 1981. On this day: during the First Crusade, the Crusaders regained Antioch from the Turks, 1098; Queen Victoria was crowned, 1838; a mutiny of Russian sailors took place on the battleship Potemkin, 1905; Westminster Cathedral was consecrated, 1910; the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were shot by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian revolutionary, at Sarajevo, 1914; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Cominform because of "hostility to the USSR", 1948; Seoul was taken by North Korean forces, 1950; the Seychelles became an independent republic within the Commonwealth, 1976. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Heimrad, St Irenaeus of Lyons, St John Southworth, St Paul I, Pope, Saints Plutarch, Potamiaena and Companions and Saints Sergius and Germanus of Valaam.