Click to follow
The Independent Online
TODAY: Births: James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and chronologist, 1581; Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, 1771; Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1785; Louis Braille, deviser of a blind alphabet, 1809; Sir Isaac Pitman, publisher and inventor of Pitman's shorthand, 1813; General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton), dwarf, 1838; Augustus Edwin John, painter, 1878; Sterling Holloway, actor and comedian, 1905. Deaths: Marechal Francois-Henri de Montmorency- Bouteville, Duc de Luxembourg, soldier, 1695; Charles Samuel Keene, artist and illustrator, 1891; Clarence Edward Dutton, geologist, 1912; Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer, 1958; Albert Camus, novelist and playwright, killed 1960; Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, 1961; Thomas Stearns Eliot, poet and critic, 1965; Donald Malcolm Campbell, land and water speedster, killed 1967; Joy-Friederike Victoria Adamson, naturalist and writer, 1980; Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist and playwright, 1986. On this day: Columbus sailed from America back to Spain in the Nina, 1493; the Fabian Society was founded, 1884; the first appendicitis operation was performed, 1885; in India, the National Congress was declared illegal, and Mahatma Gandhi was arrested, 1932; the first pop music chart was published in the United States by the Billboard magazine, 1936; a strike of barbers' assistants in Copenhagen ended after 33 years, 1961. Today is the Feast Day of St Elizabeth Bayley Seton, St Gregory of Langres, St Pharaildis, St Rigobert of Rheims and St Roger of Ellant.

TOMORROW: Births: John Burke, genealogist, 1787; King Camp Gillette, inventor of the safety-razor, 1855; Stella Dorothea Gibbons, poet and novelist, 1902. Deaths: St Edward the Confessor, 1066; Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, 1589; Joseph Gillott, steel pen manufacturer, 1873; Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, explorer, 1922; John Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President, 1933; Amy Johnson (Mollison), aviator, 1941; Brian Alexander Johnston, broadcaster and cricket commentator, 1994. On this day: Charles the Bold of France was killed by the Swiss at the Battle of Nancy, 1477; Britain and Turkey concluded the Treaty of the Dardanelles, 1809; the first demonstration of X-rays was given by Wilhelm von Rontgen, 1896; the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) was established, 1919; FM radio was first demonstrated in the United States by Major Edwin H. Armstrong, 1940; President Giscard d'Estaing promulgated a law making the use of French compulsory in advertising, instructions on consumer goods, etc., 1976. Today is Wassail Eve (tonight is Twelfth Night) and the Feast Day of St Apollinaris, St Convoyon, St Dorotheus the Younger, St Gerlac, St John Nepomucene Neumann, St Simeon Stylites and St Syncletica.