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The Independent Culture

Births: Catherine of Aragon, first queen of Henry VIII, 1485; Jane Austen, novelist, 1775; Leopold I, King of the Belgians, 1790; Zoltn Kodly, composer, 1882; Sir John (Jack) Hobbs, cricketer, 1882; Sir Noel Pierce Coward, playwright, actor and composer, 1889; Dr Margaret Mead, anthropologist, 1901.

Deaths: Pepin II, leader of the Franks, 714; Wilhelm Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1859; William Terriss (William Charles James Lewin) actor, stabbed by a madman (Richard Archer Prince) on entering the Adelphi Theatre, London 1897; Charles-Camille Saint-Saens, composer, 1921; Alton Glenn Miller, dance band leader, lost after an air flight 1944; William Somerset Maugham, novelist, 1965.

On this day: Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector, 1653; the "Boston Tea Party" took place, 1773; Josephine was divorced from Napoleon by Act of the Senate, 1809; the Charlotte Jane, first immigrant ship for the Canterbury settlement in New Zealand, arrived at Lyttelton, 1850; the Manchester Ship Canal was completed, 1893; work on constructing the Mersey Tunnel was started, 1925; the first production of the musical show Me and My Girl took place in London, 1937; the power of the House of Lords to veto legislation was reduced, 1949; synthetic diamonds were first produced by Professor H.T. Hall at the GEC Laboratories in the United States, 1954.

Today is the Feast Day of St Adelaide, St Ado, St Albina, Saints Ananiah, Azariah and Mishael (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) and St Irenion.