Anniversaries

TODAY: Births: Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon, 1334; Jacques- Louis David, painter, 1748; Bonifacio Asioli, composer and writer on music, 1769; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, novelist and creator of Frankenstein's monster, 1797; Adolf Friedrich Hesse, composer, 1809; Joseph Mallaby Dent, publisher, 1849; Ernest, first Baron Rutherford of Nelson, physicist, 1871; Raymond Massey, actor, 1896; Fred MacMurray, actor, 1908; Joan Blondell, actress, 1909. Deaths: Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, committed suicide 30 BC; Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths in Italy, 526; Louis XI, King of France, 1483; Francis Baily, astronomer, 1844; Feargus Edward O'Connor, Chartist leader, 1855; Gilbert Abbott a Beckett, writer and playwright, 1856; Admiral Sir John Ross, explorer, 1856; Dr James Collis Browne, inventor of "Chlorodyne", 1884; Georges- Eugene Sorel, philosopher, 1922; Thomas Thornycroft, sculptor, 1885; Henri Barbusse, novelist and editor, 1935; Sir Joseph John Thomson, physicist, 1940; Lindsay Gordon Anderson, film, television and theatre director, 1994. On this day: Frederick II of Prussia was defeated by the French at Johannisberg, 1762; the first British tram service began, Birkenhead, 1860; the vacuum cleaner was patented by Hubert Cecil Booth, 1901; Alberta became a province of Canada, 1905; the Battle of Tannenberg ended when the Russians were defeated by German forces, 1914; Paul von Hindenburg became chief of the general staff of Germany, 1916; the siege of Leningrad began, 1941; Soviet troops entered Bucharest, Romania, 1944. Today is the Feast Day of St Fantinus, Saints Felix and Adauctus, St Margaret Ward, St Pammachius and St Ruan or Rumon.

TOMORROW: Births: Caligula, Roman emperor, 12; Jahangir, Mogul emperor, 1569; Pierre-Jules Theophile Gautier, novelist and poet, 1811; Elizabeth Mary Russell (Beauchamp), Countess Russell ("Elizabeth"), novelist, 1866; Maria Montessori, educationist, 1870; Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands, 1880; Edwin DuBose Heyward, novelist and playwright, 1885; Friedrich Adolf Paneth, chemist, 1887; William "Bombardier Billy" Wells, heavyweight boxer, 1889; Fredric March (Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel), actor, 1897; Roland Culver, actor, 1900; William Saroyan, writer, 1908; Richard Basehart, actor, 1914; Alan Jay Lerner, author and lyricist, 1918; Roy Castle, comedian, musician and dancer, 1932. Deaths: Henry V, King, 1422; John Bunyan, writer, 1688; Francois-Andre Danican Philidor, composer and chess-player, 1795; Sir Arthur Phillip, first Governor of New South Wales, 1814; Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, poet, 1867; Harley Granville Barker, actor, playwright and critic, 1946; Georges Braque, Cubist painter, 1963; Rocky Marciano (Rocco Marchegiano), heavyweight boxer, killed in an air crash 1969; John Ford (Sean O'Feeney), film director, 1973; Henry Moore, sculptor, 1986. On this day: Henry VI, acceded as King at the age of nine months, 1422; Mary Anne "Polly" Nichols, a prostitute, was found dead in Whitechapel, London, the first victim of Jack the Ripper, 1888; the musical show Chu Chin Chow was first performed, London, 1916; the first London production of the musical show Tip-Toes was presented, 1926; Kurt Weill's opera Die Dreigroschenoper was first performed, Berlin, 1928; women and children were evacuated from London, 1939; Malaya became independent, 1957; Trinidad and Tobago became independent, 1962; a South Korean airliner was shot down by the Soviet Union, killing 269 people aboard, 1983; over 1,000 people died in a tropical storm in the Philippines, 1984. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Aidan of Lindisfarne, St Paulinus of Trier, St Raymond Nonnatus and The Servite Martyrs of Prague.

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