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Births: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painter, 1573; Pierre de Maupertius, astronomer and mathematician, 1698; William Julius Mickle, poet, 1735; John "Gentleman" Jackson, pugilist, 1768; Richard Bright, physician and discoverer of "Bright's disease", 1789; Giovanni Buonaventura Genelli, painter, 1798; Adrian Ludwig Richter, painter, 1803; Prosper Merimee, playwright and novelist, 1803; Alexandre Cabanel, painter, 1823; Francis Turner Palgrave, poet and editor, 1824; Jean Louis Gobbaerts, pianist and composer, 1835; Georges Clemenceau, statesman, 1841; Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French, first Earl of Ypres, 1852; Edward Herbert Thompson, explorer and archaeologist, 1856; Florent Schmitt, composer, 1870; Pietro Badoglio, statesman and soldier, 1871; Herman Cyril McNeile ("Sapper"), novelist, 1888; Peter Finch, actor, 1916.

Deaths: St Wenceslaus, Prince of Bohemia, martyred, 929; Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, 1197; Andrea del Sarto, painter, 1530; Thomas Gambier Parry, painter, and inventor of the "spirit fresco" process, 1888; Herman Melville, novelist, 1891; Louis Pasteur, chemist, 1895; Emile-Edouard Charles-Antoine Zola, novelist, 1902; Sir Alfred East, painter and etcher, 1913; Maundy Gregory, notorious "honours broker", 1941; Gregg Toland, film cameraman, 1948; Edwin Powell Hubble, astronomer, 1953; Gerard Hoffnung, humorist, artist and musician, 1959; Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and feminist, 1960; Arthur "Harpo" Marx, comedian, 1964; Andre Breton, poet and pioneer of surrealism, 1966; John Roderigo Dos Passos, novelist, 1970; Gamal Abdel Nasser, statesman, 1970; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1973; Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciani), reigned only 33 days, 1978; Sir Robert Helpmann, dancer and actor, 1986; The Hon William Douglas-Home, playwright, 1992.

On this day: the Persians were defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon, 490 BC; during the Hundred Years' War, Calais surrendered to the English, 1347; Admiral Blake defeated the Dutch Admiral Van Tromp off Dover, 1652; Judge Jeffreys was appointed Lord Chancellor of England, 1685; "God Save the King", the national anthem, was sung for the first time, at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, 1745; Bismarck made his "Blood and Iron" speech, 1862; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was admitted to the register as the first qualified woman physician and surgeon in Britain, 1865; Marks and Spencer's first shop opened in Manchester, 1894; the Turks were defeated by British forces at Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia, 1915; the Radio Times was first published, 1923; two US Army aircraft completed the first round the world flight, ending at Seattle, 1924; Canadian troops entered Calais, 1944; in France, a referendum on the constitution of the Fifth Republic was held, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of St Annemund or Chamond, St Eustochium of Bethlehem, St Exuperius or Soupire of Toulouse, St Faustus of Riez, St Ferreolus of Vienne, St Lioba and St Wenceslaus of Bohemia.