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The Independent Culture

TODAY: Births: Claudius, Roman Emperor, 10 BC; Richard Wilson, landscape painter, 1714; Jean-Baptiste Pierre-Charles, third Earl Stanhope, reformer and inventor, 1753; Sir Jeffry Wyatville, architect, 1766; William Clark, soldier and explorer, 1770; Francis Scott Key, poet and attorney; author of "The Star Spangled Banner", 1779; Richard Henry Dana, novelist and lawyer, 1815; Herman Melville, sailor, novelist and poet, 1819; Guido Papini, violinist and composer, 1847; Montague Rhodes James, scholar, author and editor, 1862; Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay, author, 1881; Ivan Mestrovic, sculptor, 1883. Deaths: Queen Anne, last of the Stuart sovereigns, 1714; Richard Savage, poet, 1743; Elizabeth Inchbald (Simpson), actress and author, 1821; Robert Morrison, Scottish missionary in China, and translator of the Bible into Chinese, 1834; Walter Geikie, painter, 1837; Charles Turner, engraver, 1857; Henry Clarence Kendall, poet, 1882; Karl Wilhelm Dindorf, classical scholar, 1883; Sir William Robert Grove, scientist and lawyer, 1896; Edwin Austin Abbey, painter, 1911; Theodore Roethke, poet, 1963; Walter Ulbricht, East German leader, 1973. On this day: Christopher Columbus landed on Terra Firma (mainland America), and, believing it to be an insignificant island, named it Isla Santa, 1498; George Louis, Elector of Hanover, was proclaimed King George I of Great Britain, 1714; the watermen's race on the Thames for Doggett's Coat and Badge was first rowed, 1716; the foundation stone of the Bank of England was laid, 1732; Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, 1774; the French fleet was destroyed by the English under Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, 1798; the new London Bridge was opened, 1831; slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, 1834; the Rotherhithe Thames Tunnel was opened, 1842; the Post Office began an inland parcel post in Britain, 1883; the XIth Olympic Games opened in Berlin, 1936; the first postcodes were introduced in Germany, 1944; in Warsaw, the people under "General Bor" rose against the Germans, 1944. Today is Swiss Independence Day and the Feast Day of St Almedha or Aled, St Alphonse Liguori, St Ethelwold of Winchester, The Holy Machabees, St Peter Julian Eymard and Saints Pistis, Elpis and Agape (Faith, Hope and Charity).

TOMORROW: Births: Samuel Dircksz van Hoogstraten, painter, 1627; Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman, Cardinal, first archbishop of Westminster, 1802; John Tyndall, physicist, 1820; Edward Augustus Freeman, historian, 1823; Henry Steel Olcott, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, 1832; Elisha Gray, an inventor of the telephone, 1835; Francis Marion Craw