Tuesday 17 December 1996
Births: Gabrielle-Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Chatelet, writer, 1706; Jean-Baptiste Girard, priest and educator, 1765; Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, baptised 1770; Francois-Marius Granet, painter, 1777; Sir Humphry Davy, chemist and inventor, 1778; Sir George Hayter, painter, 1792; Jules-Alfred Huot de Goncourt, novelist and historian, 1830; Ford Madox Ford (Ford Hermann Hueffer), novelist, 1873; Erskine Preston Caldwell, novelist, 1903; Walter Greenwood, novelist and playwright, 1903; Stanley Raymond (Ray) Noble, composer and conductor, 1903; Willard Frank Libby, chemist, 1908. Deaths: Pope Gregory VIII, 1187; Simon Bolivar, South American patriot, 1830; Kaspar Hauser, the foundling "wild boy" of Nuremberg, 1833; Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, hydrographer, 1857; Louis-Marie Alphonse Daudet, novelist, 1897; Baron Ferdinand James de Rothschild, banker, 1898; Bernard Quaritch, bookseller, 1899; Sir William Thomson, first Baron Kelvin of Largs, physicist, 1907; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, physician, 1917; Peter Philip Heseltine Warlock, composer and editor, committed suicide 1930; Harold Edward Holt, Australian statesman, drowned 1967; Dana Andrews (Carver Daniel Andrews), actor, 1992. On this day: Drake's ship The Pelican (afterwards called The Golden Hind) sailed out of Plymouth on a round-the-world voyage, 1577; the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, opened, 1888; the first radio message was sent across the Atlantic, 1902; the Wright brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1903; following a blizzard, New York received 27 inches of snow, 1947; due to the closing of the Suez Canal, petrol rationing was imposed in Britain, 1956. Today is the Feast Day of St Begga, St Lazarus, St Olympias, St Sturmi and St Wivina.
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
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