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The Independent Culture
Births: Erasmus Bartholin, physicist, 1625; James Gillray, caricaturist, 1756; Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV, 1792; Sir George Grove, engineer and editor, Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1820; William Thomas Best, organist and composer, 1826; Romesh Chunder Dutt, Indian writer and politician, 1848; Robert Hausmann, cellist, 1852; Annie Oakley (Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee (Moses)), crack shot, 1860; Sir William Alexander Craigie, lexicographer, 1867; John Nicholson Ireland, composer, 1879; John Logie Baird, television pioneer, 1888; Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, painter, 1889; Jean-Robert Borotra, tennis player, 1898; Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, film director, 1899; Felix Wankel, engineer, 1902; Sir Basil Urwin Spence, architect, 1907; Gene Raymond (Raymond Guion), actor, 1908; Archbishop Makarios III (Michael Christodolou Mouskos), priest and politician, 1913.

Deaths: Gerard David (Gheeraert Davit), painter, 1523; Jeremy Taylor, theologian, 1667; Acisclo Antonio Palomino de Castro y Velasco, painter and art historian, 1726; Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, physician and inventor of the stethoscope, 1826; Sir Martin Archer Shee, portrait painter, 1850; Ferdinand-Victor Eugene Delacroix, painter, 1863; Edward John Trelawny, traveller and writer, 1881; Sir John Everett Millais, painter, 1896; Domenico Morelli, painter, 1901; Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie ("John Oliver Hobbs"), novelist and playwright, 1906; Florence Nightingale, nurse, 1910; Jules- Emile Frederic Massenet, composer, 1912; Walter Runciman, first Baron Runciman, shipowner, 1937; Herbert George Wells, novelist, 1946; Henry Williamson, novelist, 1977.

On this day: Hernando Cortes, leading his Spanish troops, took Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), 1521; the French armies were defeated at Blenheim by the Austrians and English, 1704; Cape of Good Hope Province was ceded to Britain by the Dutch, and it became a British Colony, 1814; Dr Ludwig Leichhardt and his party set out to explore the area between Moreton Bay and Port Essington, Australia, 1844; earthquakes in Peru and Ecuador destroyed four cities and killed over 25,000 people, 1868; Manila in the Philippines was captured by US forces, 1898; Mustapha Kemal (Ataturk) was elected president of Turkey, 1923; over 13,000 people died in floods in the Honan, Hunan and Kwantung areas of China, 1924; the Central African Republic became independent, 1960; the frontier between East and West Germany was closed after the East Germans sealed the border, 1961; the last hangings in Britain took place, when two men were executed for murder at Liverpool and Manchester, 1964; the last US troops left Vietnam, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Benildus, St Cassian of Imola, St Hippolytus of Rome, St Maximus the Confessor, St Narses Klaietus, St Pontian, pope, St Radegund, queen, St Simplician of Milan and St Wigbert.