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.
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- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
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