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The Independent Culture

Births: Matteo Ricci, Jesuit missionary, 1552; Nevil Maskelyne, astronomer royal, 1732; Louis Philippe, "Citizen-King" of the French, 1773; Johann Anton Andre, music publisher and composer, 1775; Thomas Attwood, Chartist leader and political reformer, 1783; Thomas Keightley, writer, 1789; Jenny Lind (Johanna Maria Lind), operatic soprano, 1820; Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind, mathematician, 1831; George Westinghouse, inventor of the airbrake, 1846; Karol Maciej Szymanowski, composer, 1883; Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jenneret), architect and town planner, 1887; Milton Ager, popular composer, 1893.

Deaths: Charles II, the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor, 877; William Tyndale, Bible translator, strangled and burnt at the stake 1536; Jules Dupre, painter, 1889; Charles Stewart Parnell, political leader, 1891; William Henry Smith, newsagent, bookseller and statesman, 1891; Alfred, first Baron Tennyson, poet, 1892; Ford Madox Brown, painter, 1893; George Louis Palmella du Maurier, novelist and artist, 1896; Sir John Gilbert, painter and illustrator, 1897; Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat, president of Egypt, 1981; Denholm Mitchell Elliott, actor, 1992; Dr Cyril James Cusack, actor, 1993.

On this day: Captain Cook landed in New Zealand, 1769; in the US, The Polar Star and Boston Daily Advertiser newspaper was first issued, 1796; the Rainhill trials of railway locomotives began, 1829; the Mormons in Utah renounced bigamy, 1890; Manchester University was opened, 1903; Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1908; 243 lives were lost when the freighter Ticonderoga was sunk by a German U-boat, 1918; The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length talking film, began showing in New York, 1927; Chiang Kai-shek became president of China, 1928; the first production of the musical show Nymph Errant was presented, London, 1933.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bruno, St Faith of Agen, St Mary Frances of Naples and St Nicetas of Constantinople.