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TODAY: Births: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer, 1686; George Formby, singer and comedian, 1904. Deaths: Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer, 1543; Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, musician, 1974; Lord Wilson of Rievaulx (John Harold Wilson), politician, 1995. On this day: Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne, was crowned in Dublin, 1487; Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message in Morse code, from Washington to Baltimore, 1844; the British Legion was founded, 1921. Today is the Feast Day of St David I of Scotland, Saints Donatian and Rogatian, St Nicetas of Pereaslav and St Vincent of Lerins.

TOMORROW: Births: Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and essayist, 1803; William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook, newspaper proprietor, 1879. Deaths: The Venerable Bede, 735; Gustav Theodore Holst, composer, 1934. On this day: the House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act, 1871; Jesse Owens broke five world records at the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936; the new Coventry Cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was consecrated, 1962. Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday and the Feast Day of St Bede, St Dionysius of Milan, St Gennadius of Astorga, St Gregory VII, Pope, St Leo or Lye of Mantenay, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi and St Zenobius.