Anniversaries

Births: Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), Jewish philosopher, 1135; Sir John Hawkins, publisher, editor and historian, 1719; Paul Verlaine, poet, 1844; Vincent van Gogh, painter, 1853; Sean O'Casey, playwright and writer, 1880; Joyce Carey, actress, 1898.

Deaths: Pietro Locatelli, violinist and composer, 1764; William Hunter, anatomist, obstetrician and medical writer, 1783; George Bryan "Beau" Brummel, dandy and leader of fashion, 1840; John Caldwell Calhoun, statesman, 1850; Rudolf Steiner, social philosopher, 1925; Leon Blum, statesman, 1950; Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave MP, barrister and writer, killed 1979; James Cagney, actor, 1986.

On this day: the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War between Russia on one side and England, France, Turkey and Sardinia on the other, 1856; a treaty for the purchase of Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2m was submitted to the US Senate, 1867; Thomas Francis Bayard, first US ambassador to Great Britain, arrived at his post, 1893; the first news event was filmed, when the Oxford and Cambridge boat race was captured on film by Robert Paul and Birt Acres, using a camera of their own invention; 1895; President Lyndon Johnson agreed to the shipping of additional grain to aid the starving millions of India, stricken by famine, 1966; the US Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam was blown up by the Vietcong, killing 13 people, 1966; President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by John W. Hinckley Jnr, 1981.

Today is the Feast Day of St John Climacus, St Leonard Murialdo, St Ludolf, St Osburga, St Rieul or Regulus and St Zosimus of Syracuse.

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