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Births: James II, King of Scotland, 1430; Robert Stephenson, civil engineer, 1803; Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, Irish playwright and author, 1854; Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, statesman, 1863.

Deaths: Lucas Cranach the Elder, painter, 1553; Marie Antoinette (Josephe- Jeanne Marie-Antoinette), Queen of France, executed 1793; Moshe Dayan, Israeli general, 1981.

On this day: the Houses of Parliament were almost completely destroyed by fire, 1834; Girton College, Cambridge, was opened (in Hitchin, Hertfordshire), 1869; the first detention centre was opened at Borstal, Rochester, Kent, 1902; a nuclear device was exploded in China, 1964; Harold Wilson became prime minister, 1964.

Today is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast Day of St Anastasius of Cluny, St Bercharius, St Bertrand of Comminges, St Gall, St Gerard Majella, St Hedwig, St Lull, St Margaret-Mary, Saints Martinian and Maxima and St Mommolinus.