Friday 11 April 1997
Births: Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1492; Christopher Smart, poet, 1722; James Parkinson, physician and palaeontologist, discoverer of Parkinson's Disease, 1755; George Canning, statesman, 1770; Manuel Jose Quintana, writer and politician, 1772; Edward Everett, clergyman and statesman, 1794; Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, soldier and orientalist, 1810; Sir Charles Halle (Carl Halle), pianist and conductor, 1819; James Augustus Grant, travel writer and explorer, 1827; Walter James Macqueen- Pope, theatrical historian, 1888; Dean Gooderham Acheson, lawyer and statesman, 1893. Deaths: Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Wales, 1240; Donato Bramante (d'Agnolo), architect, 1514; Sir Thomas Wyatt, conspirator, executed 1554; Antoine Coypel, painter, 1661; John Galt, novelist, 1839; Henry James Byron, playwright, actor and editor, 1884; James Anthony Bailey, circus proprietor, 1906; Richard Harding Davis, journalist and novelist, 1916; Luther Burbank, "plant wizard", 1926; Sir Gerald Hubert Edward Busson du Maurier, actor and manager, 1934; Edgar Jepson, novelist, 1938; Freeman Wills Crofts, detective story writer, 1957; John Henry O'Hara, novelist, 1970; Marie Ney (Menzies), actress, 1981; Erskine Caldwell, novelist, 1987. On this day: the French were victorious at the Battle of Ravenna, Italy, but their leader, Gaston de Foix, was killed 1512; Sir Thomas Fairfax was victorious at the Battle of Selby during the English Civil War, 1644; William III and Mary II were crowned joint monarchs, 1689; the Treaty of Utrecht was signed between France and England, ceding Gibraltar and Newfoundland to England, 1713; the Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed, 1814; Napoleon abdicated, and was banished to the Isle of Elba, 1814; Louis XVIII acceded to the throne of France, 1814; Uganda was declared a British Protectorate, 1894; Gustav Hamel, aviator, flew from Dover to Dunkirk and back nonstop, 1913; George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion opened in London, 1914; the Stresa Conference between Britain, France and Italy began, 1935; the musical show New Faces was first produced, London, 1940; a major "blitz" air raid was made over Coventry by German aircraft, 1941; President Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his command in the Far East, 1951; the spacecraft Apollo 13 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, 1970; a skeleton discovered in Berlin was stated to be definitely that of Martin Bormann, Hitler's deputy, 1974; the first London performance of the musical Blood Brothers was staged, 1983. Today is the Feast Day of St Barsanuphius, St Gemma Galgani, St Godeberta, St Guthlac, St Isaac of Spoleto and St Stanislaus of Cracow.
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