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Births: Trajan, Roman emperor, 53; Jose de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz, Mexican leader, 1830; William Howard Taft, 27th US President, 1857; Horatio Parker, composer, 1863; Robert Charles Benchley, humorist, 1889; Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, detective-story writer, 1890; Jean Renoir, film director, 1894; Tom Conway (Thomas Charles Sanders), actor, 1904.

Deaths: Sir Thomas Overbury, poet, poisoned while in the Tower of London 1613; Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, 1643; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, engineer, 1859; Thomas Clayton Wolfe, novelist, 1938; Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern, composer, 1945; Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Lord Fisher of Canterbury, former archbishop of Canterbury, 1972; Gustaf VI Adolf, King of Sweden, 1973; Willy Messerschmitt, aircraft designer, 1978.

On this day: to halt the French occupation, the Russians set fire to Moscow, 1812; tanks were first used in battle by the British Army at the Somme, 1916; Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler at Berchtesgaden over the Czech crisis, 1938; the first traffic wardens went on duty in London, 1960; The Sun newspaper was first published, 1964.

Today is the Feast Day of St Achard or Aichardus, St Catherine of Genoa, St Mirin, St Nicetas the Goth and St Nicomedes.