Friday 06 December 1996
Births: Chretien-Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, statesman, 1721; The Rev Richard Harris Barham ("Thomas Ingoldsby"), humorist and author, 1788; Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverel Sitwell, writer, 1892; Ira Gershwin (Israel Gershvin), lyricist, 1896. Deaths: Anthony Trollope, novelist and Post Office official, 1882; Ernst Werner von Siemens, inventor, 1892; Roy Orbison (Kelton), singer and composer, 1988; Don Ameche (Dominic Felix Amici), actor, 1993. On this day: Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti and Dominican Republic), 1492; the independence of Finland from Russia was proclaimed, 1917; in Halifax harbour, Nova Scotia, the ship Mont Blanc, loaded with 3,000 tons of TNT, collided and exploded, killing 1,654 people, 1917; the Irish Free State was established, 1922; war broke out between India and Pakistan, 1971. Today is the Feast Day of St Abraham of Kratia, St Asella, Saints Dionysia, Majoricus and their Companions, St Gertrude the Elder and St Nicholas of Bari.
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