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Births: Sir Stanley Unwin, publisher, 1884; Oliver Hazard Perry La Farge, writer, 1901; Sir Ralph David Richardson, actor, 1902; Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, Soviet leader, 1906; Jean Genet, playwright and essayist, 1910; Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion), singer, 1915. Deaths: Frederick Melchior, Baron von Grimm, German statesman and wit, 1807; Joseph Mallord William Turner, painter, 1851; Sir Paul Gavrilovich Vinogradoff, lawyer and historian, 1925; Robert Andrews Millikan, physicist, 1953. On this day: the United States recognised the independence of Hawaii, 1842; in the New Hebrides, over 500 people were killed following a volcanic eruption, 1913; the German luxury liner Columbus was scuttled by her crew after being intercepted by a British destroyer, 1939; the British evacuated Penang, 1941; an air service between London and Moscow began, 1957; Ted Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate, 1984. Today is the Feast Day of St Anastasius I of Antioch, St Gregory of Auxerre, St Nemesius of Alexandria and St Timothy.


Births: Pieter de Hooch, painter, 1629; John Wilson Croker, politician and reviewer, 1780; The Rev Edwin Abbott Abbott, headmaster and theologian, 1838; Theodore Francis Powys, novelist, 1875; Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, statesman, 1894; Lt-Gen Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning, 1896.