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Births: Nicholas Sanson, cartographer, 1599; Pieter de Hooch, painter, 1629; John Wilson Croker, politician and reviewer, 1780; William Burn, architect, 1789; Nicolas- Toussaint Charlet, designer and military painter, 1792; Thomas Graham, chemist, 1805; Friedrich Kuhmstedt, organist and composer, 1809; Leopold von Meyer, pianist, 1816; The Rev Edwin Abbott Abbott, headmaster and theologian, 1838; Teresa Schwartze, portrait painter, 1852; Harvey Samuel Firestone, industrialist, 1868; Lorenzo Perosi, priest and composer, 1872; Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, Australian statesman, 1894; Lt-Gen Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning, 1896; Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, physicist and inventor, 1901.

Deaths: Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, AD 107; Ambroise Pare, surgeon, 1590; Emmerich von Vattel, jurist, 1767; Thomas Hill, literary patron, prototype of "Paul Pry", 1840; Henry Harland, novelist and editor, 1905; Emile-Francois Loubet, French statesman, 1929; Erich Friedrich Wilhelm von Ludendorff, German general, 1937; James Hilton, novelist, 1954; Moss Hart, playwright, 1961; John Ernst Steinbeck, novelist, 1968; Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, Spanish prime minister, assassinated 1973; Bobby Darin (Robert Walden Cassotto), singer, 1973; Artur Rubinstein, pianist, 1982; Gwen Berryman, actress, 1983; Bill Brandt, photographer, 1983.

On this day: the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was held, 1560; Peter the Great's reformation of the Russian calendar was announced, 1699; the last issue of the original Spectator was published, 1714; the state of Texas was incorporated in the United States, 1845; the state of South Carolina seceded from the American Union, 1860; the first London performance of the operetta Madame Pompadour was presented, 1923; Karl Renner became the first president of the new Austrian republic, 1945; the first atomic ice- breaker, the Russian Lenin, began operating, 1959; Wladyslaw Gomulka, Polish Communist leader, resigned office after riots by workers, 1970; Romuald Spasowski, Polish ambassador to the United States, was granted political asylum in the United States, 1981; two Townsend Thoresen ferries collided off Harwich, with the loss of six lives, 1982.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ammon and his Companions, St Dominic of Silos, St Philogonius and St Ursicinus.