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Births: Ludolf Backhuysen, painter, 1631; Charles Wesley, hymn-writer (of "Jesu, Lover of My Soul"), 1707; Joseph Grimaldi, clown, 1779; Viktor Kazynski, composer, 1812; Dr William Moon, inventor of "blind" alphabet, 1818; Abraham Viktor Rydberg, philosopher and poet, 1828; Sir Joseph John Thomson, physicist, 1856; Francis Thompson, poet, 1859; Edward Alexander MacDowell, composer and pianist, 1860; Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), short-story writer, 1870; Paul Klee, abstract painter, 1879; Dame Gladys Cooper, actress, 1888; Cuthbert Orde, painter, 1888; Edwin Howard Armstrong, engineer and inventor of FM radio, 1890; Willy Brandt (Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm), former West German Chancellor, 1913; Betty (Elizabeth Ruth) Grable, actress, 1916.

Deaths: Abu Mohammed al-Ghazali, Islamic theologian, 1111; Robert Nanteuil, engraver, 1678; Veit Ludwig von Seckendorf, political writer, 1692; Antonio Stradivari, violin maker, 1737; Johann Gottfried von Herder, theologian and philosopher, 1803; Dr Alexander Adam, classic scholar and teacher, 1809; Thomas Dunham Whitaker, topographer, 1821; Jean-Baptiste Pierre- Antoine Monnet, Chevalier de Lamarck, zoologist, 1829; Marie Louise, archduchess of Parma, empress, 1847; Samuel Rogers, poet and banker, 1855; Louis Moreau Gottschalk, composer, 1869; Philipp Veit, painter, 1877; George Edmund Street, architect, 1881; Sir Richard Owen, palaeontologist, 1892; Sir John William Alcock, aviator, killed in an air crash 1919; Horatio Parker, composer, 1919; Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, sculptor, 1925; Hugo Henkel, chemist, 1952; Dorothy Leigh Sayers, detective story writer, 1957; Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones, champion golfer, 1971; Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin, Russian leader, 1980; Ben Travers, writer of farces, 1980; Marguerite Yourcenar (Marguerite de Crayencour), historical novelist, 1987; Sam Wanamaker (Samuel Watenmaker), actor, director and producer, 1993.

On this day: the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Clifton Moor, 1745; New Jersey became the third of the United States, 1787; Thomas Paine, who had fled to France, was tried in his absence for his publication of The Rights of Man, 1792; the first stones of the piers of Blackfriars Railway Bridge, London, were laid, 1865; under the 13th Amendment, slavery was abolished in the United States, 1865; the underground railway from Stockwell to the City of London was opened, 1890; Frederick, Lord Lugard occupied Uganda for the British East Africa Company, 1890; a treaty between the US and Panama placed the Canal under US control for an annual rent, 1903; the US Congress prohibited the entry of illiterate immigrants, 1912; Edvard Benes succeeded Tomas Masaryk as president of Czechoslovakia, 1935; the French newspaper Le Monde was issued for the first time, 1944; after discussion in the House of Lords, the death penalty for murder was abolished, 1969; Stanley Barrett became the first man to break the sound barrier on land, driving in California at 739.6 mph, 1979.

Today is the Feast Day of St Flannan, St Gatian, Saints Rufus and Zosimus, St Samthan and St Winebald.