Births: Michelangelo (Michelagniolo Buonarroti), painter, sculptor and poet, 1475; Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, novelist and playwright, 1619; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet, 1806; Frankie Howerd (Francis Alex Howard), comedian, 1922. Deaths: Francis Beaumont, playwright, 1616; Davy Crockett, frontiersman, killed at the Alamo 1836; William Whewell, philosopher and writer, 1866; Louisa May Alcott, novelist, 1888; John Philip Sousa, bandmaster and composer, 1932; David Ivor Novello (Davies), composer and playwright, 1951; Donald Maclean, former diplomat and Soviet agent, 1983; Melina Mercouri (Amalia-Maria Mercouri), Greek minister of culture and former actress, 1994. On this day: Verdi's La Traviata was first performed, Venice 1853; British soldiers were granted the right to wear spectacles on or off duty, 1902; the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon was destroyed by fire, 1926; frozen food was first put on sale by the Birdseye company, 1930. Today is the Feast Day of Saints Balred and Bilfrid, St Cadroe, St Chrodegang of Metz, St Colette, Saints Cyneburga, Cyneswide and Tibba, St Cyril of Constantinople, St Fridolin, St Ollegarius or Oldegar and Saints Perpetua and Felicity.
Births: Joseph Nicephore Niepce, photographic inventor, 1765; Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, painter, 1802; Piet Mondriaan, painter, 1872; Joseph-Maurice Ravel, composer, 1875. Deaths: St Thomas Aquinas, Christian philosopher, 1274; Jean-Pierre Francois Blanchard, balloonist, 1809; Percy Wyndham Lewis, writer and artist, 1957; Florence Margaret (Stevie) Smith, poet, 1971. On this day: Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", made her debut, 1838; the first telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell, 1876; the Queen opened the Victoria underground line in London, 1969. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Ardo, St Drausius or Drausin, St Esterwine, St Paul the Simple and St Theophylact.Reuse content