Births: Joseph Addison, diarist and essayist, 1672; Charles Macklin (McLaughlin), actor, 1690; Arthur Wellesley (Wesley), first Duke of Wellington, field marshal and politician, 1769; George Inness, painter, 1825; Jules-Adolphe Aime-Louis Breton, painter, 1827; Hilaire, Comte de Chardonnet, inventor of rayon, 1839; Edith Somerville (Anna Oenone), author, 1858; Sir Philip Armand Hamilton Gibbs, author, 1877. Deaths: Dermot MacMurrough (Diarmid MacMurchada), King of Leinster, 1171; Pope Pius V, 1572; John Dryden, poet, 1700; Jean-Francois de Troy, painter, 1730; Dr John Walker, inventor of the friction match, 1859; David Livingstone, explorer, 1873; Antonn Leopold Dvork, composer, 1904; Joseph Goebbels, Nazi leader and propaganda chief, committed suicide 1945; William Fox, film producer, 1952; Sylvia Townsend Warner, novelist, 1978. On this day: the Union of Scotland and England was proclaimed, 1707; Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro was first performed, Vienna, 1786; the first tunnel on a railway in Britain was built, 1800; the London Library, founded by Thomas Carlyle, W.E. Gladstone, Lord Macaulay and others, was officially opened, 1841; the Great Exhibition was opened by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park, London, 1851; Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, 1876; work on reclaiming the Zuyder Zee was begun, 1919; Cyprus became a British Crown Colony, 1925; Professor Auguste Piccard made the first ascent into the stratosphere, a distance of just over 10 miles, 1931; in New York, the Empire State Building was opened, 1931; Berlin was captured by the Russians, 1945; in Britain, the gas industry was nationalised, 1949; in Clerkenwell, London, a bullion van was attacked and a gang stole gold ingots worth pounds 750,000, 1967. Today is May Day (Labour Day) and the Feast Day of St Amator or Amatre, St Briocus or Brieuc, St Joseph the Worker, St Peregrine Laziosi, St Sigismund of Burgundy and St Theodard of Narbonne.

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