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Births: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), poet, 70 BC; Akbar the Great, Mogul Emperor, 1542; Samuel Holyoake, hymn writer, 1762; Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, poet and novelist, 1814; James-Joseph Jacques Tissot, painter and illustrator, 1836; Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher, 1844; Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, novelist, 1881; S.S. Van Dine (William Huntington Wright), mystery writer, 1888; Melville Cooper, actor, 1896; Charles Percy Snow (Baron Snow), scientist, civil servant and novelist, 1905; Mervyn Le Roy, film director, 1900.

Deaths: Pope Gregory XIV, 1591; Adam Frans van der Meulen, painter, 1690; Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, explorer, 1730; John Morgan, physician, 1789; Letitia Elizabeth Landon, poet and novelist, 1838; Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle), executed for espionage 1917; Raymond- Nicolas Landry Poincare, French statesman, 1934; Pierre Laval, Vichy Government leader, executed 1945; Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, committed suicide 1946; Clara Kimball Young, actress, 1960; Cole Albert Porter, composer and lyricist, 1964; James Phillip McAuley, poet, 1976; Pat O'Brien (William Joseph Patrick O'Brien), actor, 1983.

On this day: the new calendar, as promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII, came into force in Italy and Spain, when 5 October became 15 October, 1582; Pilatre de Rozier was the first man to make a balloon ascent, 1783; a brilliant comet was observed over Europe, 1811; the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park was closed, 1851; the Gaiety Theatre, London, opened as the Strand Musick Hall, 1864; Cologne Cathedral was solemnly opened, 1880; the first British Motor Show was held, at Tunbridge Wells, 1895; the US Navy took over Zeppelin Z3 (as reparation payment) under the new name of Los Angeles, 1924; the airship Graf Zeppelin completed its first transatlantic flight, 1928; the Paris Peace Conference ended, 1946; in the United States, demonstrations were staged to protest against the Vietnam War, 1969; the first women - Irene Miller and Vera Komarkova - reached the summit of Annapurna One in the Himalayas, 1978.

Today is the Feast Day of St Euthymius the Younger, St Leonard of Vandoeuvre, St Teresa of Avila and St Thecla of Kitzingen.