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TODAY: Births: Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1626; Alfred Damon Runyon, writer and journalist, 1884; Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, sculptor, 1891. Deaths: St Teresa of Avila, Carmelite nun, 1582; Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, painter, 1669; Janis Joplin, rock singer, 1970. On this day: Peterborough Cathedral was consecrated, 1238; the first public escalator was opened at Earl's Court underground station, 1911. Today is the Feast Day of St Ammon, St Francis of Assisi and St Petronius of Bologna.

TOMORROW: Births: Denis Diderot, scholar and encyclopaedist, 1713; Donald Pleasence, actor, 1919. Deaths: Jacques Offenbach (Jakob Levy Eberst), composer, 1880; William Heinemann, publisher and playwright, 1920; Leonard Rossiter, actor, 1984. On this day: tea rationing ended in Britain, 1952. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Apollinaris of Valence, St Flora of Beaulieu, St Galla, St Magenulf or Meinulf and St Maurus.