Wednesday 17 July 1996
Births: Isaac Watts, hymn writer, 1674; John Jacob Astor, fur trader and merchant, 1763; Hippolyte-Paul Delaroche, painter, 1797; Erle Stanley Gardner, novelist and creator of "Perry Mason", 1889; James Cagney, actor, 1899. Deaths: William Somerville, poet, 1742; Adam Smith, political economist and writer, 1790; Charlotte Corday, murderess of Jean Marat, executed 1793; Charles Grey, second Earl Grey, statesman, 1845; James Abbott McNeill Whistler, painter, 1903; Billie Holiday, jazz singer, 1959. On this day: the Hundred Years' War ended after the defeat of the English at Castillon, 1453; Martin Frobisher reached Baffin Land, 1577; the Bridgewater Canal, linking Worsley and Manchester, opened, 1761; Thomas Saint patented the first sewing machine, 1790; the humorous magazine Punch was first published, 1841; George Phillips Bond, astronomer, made the first photograph of a star, 1850; Disneyland opened in California, 1955; Donald Campbell reached a speed of 429.3 mph in his car Bluebird at Lake Eyre, South Australia, 1964; the Humber Estuary Bridge was opened, 1981. Today is the Feast Day of St Clement of Okhrida and his Companions, St Ennodius, St Kenelm, St Leo IV, Pope, St Marcellina, St Nerses Lampronazi, The Seven Apostles of Bulgaria, St Speratus and his Companions, The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne and The Martyrs of Scillium.
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
World news in pictures
British man confesses to slitting his two children's throats in Lyon flat
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
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