Wednesday 19 August 1998
Deaths: Augustus, first Roman emperor, 14; Frans Snyders, animal painter 1657; Blaise Pascal, theologian and mathematician, 1662; James Watt, engineer, 1819; George Smith, Assyriologist, decipherer of cuneiform scripts, 1876; Richard Burdon Haldane, first Viscount Haldane, statesman, 1928; Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, ballet director and choreographer, 1929; Sir Nigel Ross Playfair, actor and manager, 1934; Federico Garca Lorca, poet and playwright, 1936; Sir Henry Joseph Wood, conductor, 1944; Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian nationalist, 1945; Julius ("Groucho") Marx, comedian, 1977; Hermione Baddeley, actress, 1986; Sir Frederick Ashton, choreographer, 1988.
On this day: France and Spain formed an alliance against Britain, 1796; a plebiscite held in Germany gave sole power to the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, 1934; the raid on Dieppe by British and Canadian commandos took place, 1942; Lt-Gen Bernard Montgomery became commander of the British Eighth Army in North Africa, 1942; Michael Ryan, a 27-year-old marksman, went on a rampage, killing 14 people in Hungerford, Berkshire, and finally himself, 1987; the Soviet news agency Tass announced that the vice-president, Gennady Yanayev, had taken over the presidency of the Soviet Union "because of the ill-health of Mikhail Gorbachev", 1991; a state of emergency was declared and troops surrounded important buildings, including the Russian parliament building in Moscow, 1991.
Today is the Feast Day of Saints Agapius and Timothy, St Andrew the Tribune, St Bertulf of Bobbio, St Credan of Evesham, St John Eudes, St Louis of Anjou, St Mocha, St Sebald, St Sixtus III and St Thecla.
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Arts & Ents blogs
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Back in Black (Sabbath): On the comeback trail with Ozzy Osbourne and crew
The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
Back from the dead? Family Guy's Brian Griffin 'to make a comeback' after fan petition
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
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