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Births: Joseph Wright, painter, 1734; Jean-Joseph Marie-Auguste Jaures, socialist writer and speaker, 1859; Alan Ladd, actor, 1913.

Deaths: Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1658; Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, playwright, 1883; e.e. cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings), poet, 1962; Frederick Louis MacNiece, poet and playwright, 1963; Ho Chi Minh, president of North Vietnam, 1969; Frank Capra, writer and film director, 1991.

On this day: the Royal British Bank failed, with debts of over pounds 500,000, 1856; the Princess Alice, a pleasure boat, collided with the Bywell Castle and sank in the Thames with the loss of over 650 lives, 1878; Sir Malcolm Campbell set up a land speed record of 301.13 mph, 1935; Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, 1939.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aigulf or Ayoul of Lerins, St Cuthburga, St Gregory the Great, St Hildelitha, St Macanisius, St Phoebe, St Remaclus and St Simeon Stylites the Younger.