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Births: Carlo Cignani, painter, 1628; Klemens Weazel Lothar, Prince Metternich- Winneburg, Austrian statesman, 1773; Dr Neil Arnott, physician, 1788; Stephen Heller, pianist and composer, 1814; Clarence Edward Dutton, geologist, 1841; Leopold, Count von Kalckreuth, painter, 1855; Lyman Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, 1856; Pierre Curie, physicist, 1859; Arthur Schnitzler, playwright and novelist, 1862; Frank Hornby, inventor of "Meccano", 1863; Edwin Muir, poet and translator, 1887; Katherine Anne Porter, writer, 1890; Joseph Cheshire Cotten, actor, 1905; James Mason, actor, 1909. Deaths: Ephraim Chambers, encyclopaedist, 1740; Richard Wilson, landscape painter, 1782; John Wall Callcott, composer, 1782; Edmund Kean, actor, 1833; Daniel O'Connell, Irish leader, 1847; Robert Hare, chemist, 1858; Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, poet, 1886; Joseph Whitaker, publisher and founder of Whitaker's Almanack, 1895; William John Locke, novelist, 1930; Tsuyoshi Inukai, Japanese prime minister, assassinated 1932; Charles Walter Stansby Williams, writer and playwright, 1945; Sir Robert Menzies, former prime minister of Australia, 1978; Rita Hayworth (Margarita Carmen Cansino), actress, 1987; Gilbert Roland (Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso), actor, 1994. On this day: the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Hexham, 1464; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, (named after Elias Ashmole) was founded, 1679; an attempt was made by James Hatfield to assassinate King George III at the Drury Lane Theatre, 1800; Giuseppe Garibaldi defeated the Neapolitan army at the Battle of Calatafimi, 1860; General Henri Petain became French commander-in-chief, 1917; the world's first air hostess, Ellen Church, flew in a Boeing 80A from Oakland, California to Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1930; Burma was evacuated by British and Indian troops, 1942; the Vienna Treaty was signed by Britain, France, the US and USSR, restoring Austria as an independent nation, 1955; a British nuclear bomb was exploded at Christmas Island, in the central Pacific, 1957; Edith Cresson became the first woman prime minister of France, 1991. Today is the Feast Day of Saints Bertha and Rupert, St Dymphna, St Gerebernus, St Hallvard, St Hilary of Galeata, St Isaias of Rostov, St Isidore of Chios, St Isidore the Farmer, St Peter of Lampsacus and St Torquatus and his Companions.


Births: John Opie, artist, 1761; Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, educationist, 1804; David Edward Hughes, inventor of the microphone and teleprinter, 1831; Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert), tenor and conductor, 1892; Herbert Ernest Bates, novelist, 1905; Henry Fonda, actor, 1905; Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman, jazz clarinetist and bandleader, 1913; Liberace (Wladsiu Valentino), pianist and entertainer, 1919. Deaths: Charles Perrault, author and fairy-tale writer, 1703; Daniel Charles Solander, botanist, 1782; Felicia Dorothea Hemans, poet and hymn-writer, 1835; Sir Edmund William Gosse, poet and writer, 1928; Stephen Fairbairn, oarsman and coach, 1938; Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) writer, 1944; James Agee, writer and screenwriter, 1955; Randolph Turpin, boxer, shot dead in his home 1966; Michael Abdul Malik, Black Power leader, hanged for murder in Trinidad 1975. On this day: in Holland, the Batavian Republic was established, 1795; the Kentucky Derby was first run at Louisville, Kentucky, 1875; the world's first electric tram went into public service, Lichterfelde, near Berlin, 1881; some remains of Neanderthal man were found in Jersey, 1911; the first Academy Awards ceremony was held, in Hollywood, 1929; the first British air hostess, Daphne Kearley, flew in an Avro 642 from Croydon to Le Bourget, France, 1936; a "bouncing bomb" invented by Dr Barnes Wallis was dropped on the large Mohne and Eder dams in the Ruhr, Germany, 1943; the Soviet spacecraft Venus 5 touched down on Venus, 1969; Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the US Congress, 1991. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Brendan, St Carantoc or Carannog, St Domnolus of Le Mans, St Germerius or Germier, St Honoratus of Amiens, St John Nepomucen, St Peregrinus of Auxerre, St Possidius, St Simon Stock and St Ubaldus of Gubbio.