Anniversaries

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The Independent Online
Anniversaries

Births: John Keill, philosopher and mathematician, 1671; Madame Marie Tussaud (Grosholz), waxwork exhibitor, 1761; Henry Williamson, author and novelist, 1895; Mary Martin, actress and singer, 1913. Deaths: Blanche of Castile, wife of King Louis VIII of France, 1252; St Edmund Campion, St Alexander Briant and St Ralph Sherwin, Jesuit martyrs, executed 1581; Dr George Birkbeck, founder of Birkbeck College, 1841; Samuel Courtauld, industrialist, 1947; John Burton Sanderson Haldane, scientist, 1964; David Ben Gurion, Israeli statesman, 1973. On this day: Portugal became independent of Spain, 1640; the Royal Academy of Arts was founded, 1768; Nancy Astor became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons as an MP, 1919; Britain issued its first set of special Christmas stamps, 1966; the Isaac Newton telescope, the largest in Western Europe, was inaugurated at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, 1967; the two pilot tunnels for the Channel Tunnel were joined, linking the two coasts for the first time, 1990. Today is the Feast Day of St Agericus or Airy, St Alexander Briant, St Anasanus, St Edmund Campion, St Eligius or Eloy, St Ralph Sherwin and St Tudwal.

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