Births: Wilhelm Richard Wagner, composer, 1813; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, novelist, 1859; Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, first Baron Driberg, politician and journalist, 1905; Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, actor and director, 1907. Deaths: Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor, 337; Victor- Marie Hugo, writer, 1885; Cecil Day Lewis, poet and writer, 1972; Rajiv Gandhi, former Indian prime minister, assassinated 1991. On this day: the Lancastrians defeated the Yorkists at the Battle of St Albans, 1455; the title "baronet" was created when James I ennobled 18 men, 1611; the first parliament of New South Wales was opened, 1856; the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames was officially opened, 1897; Ceylon changed its named to Sri Lanka and became a republic, 1972. Today is the Feast Day of St Aigulf of Ayoul or Bourges, Saints Castus and Aemilius, St Helen of Caernarvon, St Humility, St Joachima de Mas, St Julia of Corsica, St Quiteria, St Rita (Margarita) of Cascia and St Romanus.
Births: Elias Ashmole, antiquarian, 1617; Carolus Linnaeus, botanist, 1707; Douglas Fairbanks (Douglas Elton Thomas Ulman), actor, 1883; Edmund Rubbra, composer, 1901; Denis Charles Scott Compton, writer and cricketer, 1918. Deaths: Captain William Kidd, naval officer, pirate and murderer, hanged in London 1701; Henrik Johan Ibsen, playwright, 1906; Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, outlaws, killed in an ambush 1934; John Davison Rockefeller, industrialist and philanthropist, 1937. On this day: Joan of Arc was taken prisoner by the English, 1430; King Henry VIII was divorced from Catherine of Aragon, 1533; in Canada, the North West Mounted Police was established, 1873; the Associated Press News Service was founded in New York, 1900; Whipsnade Zoo was opened at Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, 1931. Tomorrow is Whit Sunday (Pentecost) and the Feast Day of St Aldhelm, St Desiderius of Vienne, St Euphrosyne of Polotsk, St Guibert, St Ivo of Chartres, St John Baptist dei Rossi, St Leontius of Rostov and St William of Rochester.Reuse content