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The Independent Culture

Births: Marsilio Ficino, philosopher and classical scholar, 1433; Auguste- Marie Louis-Nicolas Lumiere, photographic pioneer, 1862.

Deaths: John Lackland, King of England, 1216; Jonathan Swift, author, satirist and clergyman, 1745; George Mortimer Pullman, sleeping-car manufacturer, 1897; Ernest, first Baron Rutherford of Nelson, physicist, 1937; Jacqueline du Pre, cellist, 1987.

On this day: the American War of Independence ended when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, 1781; Wagner's opera Tannhauser was first performed, Dresden, 1845.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aquilinus of Evreux, St Charles Garnier, St Cleopatra, St Ethbin, St Frideswide, St Gabriel Lalemant, Saints Jean Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, St John of Lalande, St Noel Chabanel, St Paul of the Cross, St Peter of Alcantara, St Philip Howard, Saints Ptolemaeus and Lucius St Rene Goupil and St Varus.