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Births: Jean-Philippe Rameau, composer, 1683; George Frederic Pinto, violinist and composer, 1786; Mrs Felicia Dorothea Hemans, poet, 1793; Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticist, 1866; Sir Charles Blake Cochran, impresario, 1872; George Douglas Howard Cole, socialist and novelist, 1889; Roberto Gerhard, composer, 1896; William Harrison Faulkner, novelist, 1897; Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkovich), painter, 1903; Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, composer, 1906; Robert Bresson, film director, 1907.

Deaths: Philip I, the Handsome, King of Spain, 1506; Samuel Butler, poet, writer and satirist, 1680; Johann Baptist Strauss the Elder, composer, 1849; Albert Joseph Moore, decorative painter, 1893; Emily Post (Price), writer and columnist, 1960; Erich Maria Remarque, novelist, 1970; Nikolai Poliakov (Coco the Clown), 1974; Walter Pidgeon, actor, 1984.

On this day: King Harold II defeated his brother the Earl Tostig and King Harold Hardrada of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066; Christopher Columbus set sail on his second voyage, 1493; the Pacific Ocean was discovered by Vasco Nunez de Balboa, 1513; the relief of Lucknow by Havelock and Outram began, 1857; the French battleship Liberte exploded, causing 226 deaths in Toulon Harbour, 1911; the Battle of Loos began, 1915; the German High Commissioner in Norway set up a government with Vidkun Quisling at its head, 1940; the first transatlantic telephone cable (Newfoundland-Oban) between America and Britain came into use, 1956; in a referendum, Norway voted against joining the Common Market, 1972; the first London performance of the musical show Stepping Out was presented, 1984.

Today is the Feast Day of St Albert of Jerusalem, St Anacharius or Aunaire, St Ceolfrith or Geoffrey, St Finbar (Fion-Bharr) or Bairre and St Firminus of Amiens.