Births: Girolamo Savonarola, martyr and church reformer, 1452; Louis Joliet, explorer, 1645; John Home, cleric and playwright, 1722; Francis Hopkinson, composer, 1737; John Loudon McAdam, roadmaking engineer and inventor, 1756; August Emil Daniel Ferdinand Victor Wilhelmj, violinist, 1845; Sir Edmund William Gosse, writer and critic, 1849; Herbert George Wells, novelist, 1866; Gustav Holst (Gustavus Theodore von Holst), composer, 1874; Baron Constantine (Sir Learie Nicholas Constantine), West Indian cricketer and diplomat, 1902; Sir Allen Lane (Allen Lane Williams), publisher and founder of Penguin Books, 1902; Nigel Stock, actor, 1919; Dawn Addams, actress, 1930.

Deaths: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), poet, 19 BC; Edward II, king, murdered 1327; Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1549; Sir Walter Scott, novelist, 1832; Lord William George Frederic Cavendish Bentinck, MP and sportsman 1848; Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1860; Frank Hornby, inventor of "Meccano", 1936; Armand Calinescu, Romanian prime minister, assassinated 1939; William Jacob Baer, painter, 1941; Roger Cuthbert Quilter, composer, 1953; Haakon VII, King of Norway, 1957; Henry Marie-Joseph Millon de Montherlant, novelist and playwright, 1972; William Charles Franklyn Plomer, writer, 1973; Walter Brennan, actor, 1974.

On this day: the Turkish army of Suleiman the Magnificent was repulsed at Vienna, 1529; Charles Edward Stuart defeated the English under General Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans, 1745; the Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, the first successful newspaper published in North America, was launched, 1784; the obelisk ship Cleopatra, towed by the steamer Olga, and carrying "Cleopatra's Needle", sailed from Alexandria for London, 1877; Stonehenge was sold by auction for pounds 6,600, 1915; the independence of Latvia was proclaimed, 1917; Britain abandoned the Gold Standard, and the pound fell from $4.86 to $3.49, 1931; the Czech cabinet accepted the Anglo-French plan to cede Sudeten territories to Germany, 1938; the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was inaugurated, 1949; Malta became independent, 1964; in Honduras, floods caused by hurricanes resulted in the deaths of over 8,000 people, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Matthew the Apostle, and St Maura of Troyes.