Wednesday 18 December 1996
Births: Charles Wesley, hymn-writer, 1707; Joseph Grimaldi, clown, 1779; Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), short-story writer, 1870; Paul Klee, abstract painter, 1879; Dame Gladys Cooper, actress, 1888; Betty (Elizabeth Ruth) Grable, actress, 1916. Deaths: Antonio Stradivari, violin maker, 1737; Dorothy Leigh Sayers, detective story writer, 1957; Sam Wanamaker, actor, director and producer, 1993. On this day: under the 13th Amendment, slavery was abolished in the United States, 1865; the French newspaper Le Monde was issued for the first time, 1944; after discussion in the House of Lords, the death penalty for murder was finally abolished in Britain, 1969. Today is the Feast Day of St Flannan, St Gatian, Saints Rufus and Zosimus, St Samthan and St Winebald.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
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