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Births: John Milton, poet, 1608; Baldassare Ferri, castrato, 1610; Edward, first Baron Thurlow, Lord Chancellor, 1731; Prince Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin, Russian revolutionary and geo-grapher, 1842; Joel Chandler Harris, writer, and creator of "Uncle Remus", 1848; Clarence Birdseye, inventor of the deep-freezing process, 1886; Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, actress and entertainer, 1898; Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, statesman, 1902.

Deaths: Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, 1165; Sir Anthony Van Dyck, painter, 1641; Robert Nanteuil, engraver, 1678; Ezra Cornell, financier and founder of Cornell University, 1874; Dame Edith Sitwell, writer and poet, 1964.

On this day: the first execution took place in Newgate Prison, London, 1783; in attempting to rescue the barque Mexico, 27 lifeboatmen from Southport and St Annes, Lancashire, were drowned, 1886; China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy, 1941; the first episode of Coronation Street was televised, 1960; Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Budoc or Beuzec, St Gorgonia, St Leocadia, St Peter Fourier and The Seven Martyrs of Samosata.