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Births: Jean de la Fontaine, poet and writer of fables, 1621; Joseph Chamberlain, statesman, 1836; Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich, Count von Zeppelin, soldier and inventor, 1838; John Davison Rockefeller, millionaire, 1839; Sir Arthur John Evans, archaeologist, 1851; Percy Aldridge Grainger (George Percy), composer and pianist, 1882; Mary Agnes Hamilton, novelist, 1884; Alec (Alexander Raban) Waugh, writer, 1898; Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, politician, 1908; Billy Eckstine (William Clarence Eckstein), singer and bandleader, 1914.

Deaths: Pope Gregory XV, 1623; Robert South, clergyman and orator, 1716; Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet, at sea at Spezia, Italy 1822; Sir Henry Raeburn, portrait painter, 1823; Sir William Edward Parry, Arctic explorer, 1855; Vivien Leigh (Vivian Mary Hartley), actress, 1967; Michael Wilding, actor, 1979; Frank Hampson, creator of "Dan Dare", 1985.

On this day: Vasco da Gama, navigator, set sail from Lisbon with four ships on a voyage to India, 1497; a French victory at Fort Ticonderoga stemmed the advance of the British upon Quebec, 1758; the last bare-knuckle boxing contest, between John Lawrence Sullivan and Jake Kilrain, and lasting 75 rounds, took place at Richburg, Missouri, US, 1889; Serbia declared war on Bulgaria, 1913; Britain took over the East African Protectorate as Kenya Colony, 1920; the New York municipal radio station WNYC went on the air for the first time, 1924; General Douglas MacArthur was appointed

commander of United Nations forces in Korea, 1950.

Today is the Feast Day of St Adrian III, pope, Saints Aquila and Prisca or Priscilla (husband and wife), St Grimbald, St Kilian and his Companions, St Procopius of Caesarea, St Raymund of Toulouse, St Sunniva and her Companions and St Withburga.