Births: Edward Alleyn, actor and founder of Dulwich College, 1566; Marguerite Gardiner, Countess Blessington, writer and journalist, 1789; Zerah Colburn, infant prodigy in mathematics, 1804; Amilcare Ponchielli, composer, 1834; Engelbert Humperdinck, composer, 1854; Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, chemist, inventor of the gas mantle, 1858; Sir Roger David Casement, conspirator for Irish nationalism, 1864; "Gentleman Jim" James John Corbett, heavyweight boxer, 1866; Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist and creator of "Tarzan", 1875; Rex Ellingwood Beach, novelist, 1877; Rocky Marciano (Rocco Marchegiano), heavyweight boxer, 1923.

Deaths: Hadrian IV, Pope (Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman to be Pope), 1159; Jacques Cartier, explorer, 1557; Louis XIV, the "Sun King" of France, 1715; Sir Richard Steele, essayist and playwright, 1729; William Yarrell, zoologist, 1856; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer, 1912; Guy Burgess, defector, 1963; Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon, poet and writer, 1967; Francois Mauriac, poet and novelist, 1970.

On this day: the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus took place, 70; the Covenanters were defeated by Montrose at Tippermuir, 1644; the world's first triangular postage stamps were issued by the Cape of Good Hope, 1853; the foundation stone of the Ottawa Parliament building was laid by the Prince of Wales, 1860; Cannon Street railway terminus, in London, was opened for passenger traffic, 1866; Britain signed a peace treaty with the Zulus, 1879; the Severn Tunnel was opened for goods traffic, 1886; in Russia, St Petersburg was renamed Petrograd, 1914; nearly 200,000 people were killed in earthquakes in Tokyo and Yokohama, 1923; Albania was declared a kingdom, and Zogu I became king, 1928; Poland was invaded by Germany, and Danzig Free City was seized, 1939; after overthrowing King Idris I, Colonel Muammar Gadaffi seized power in Libya, 1969; Qatar became independent, 1971.

Today is the Feast Day of St Drithelm, St Fiacre, St Giles or Aegidius, St Lupus or Leu of Sens, St Priscus of Capua, St Sebbe and St Verena.