Saturday 28 December 1996
TOMORROW: Births: Jeanne-Antoinette, Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, 1721; Charles Macintosh, chemist and inventor of waterproof clothing, 1766; Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanised rubber, 1800; William Ewart Gladstone, statesman, 1809; Alexander Parkes, chemist, inventor of a second method of vulcanising rubber, 1813; Pablo Casals, cellist, 1876; Vera Mary Brittain, author, pacifist and feminist, 1893; Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs, Soviet spy, 1911. Deaths: St Thomas Beckett, murdered 1170; Jacques-Louis David, painter, 1825; William Crotch, composer, 1847; Christina Georgina Rossetti, poet, 1894; Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, 1926; Donald Robert Perry Marquis, journalist and humorist, 1937; The Earl of Stockton (Harold Macmillan), statesman, 1986. On this day: the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, opened, 1720; Sarah Siddons, as Portia, made her first appearance on the London stage, 1775; Texas became the 28th of the United States, 1845; the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, took place, when 200 Sioux Indians were killed, 1890; Radio Luxembourg started operating, 1930; the City of London was the subject of a fire- bomb raid, 1940; the magazine Life ceased publication, 1972. Today is the Feast Day of St Ebrulf or Evroult, St Marcellus Akimetes, St Thomas of Canterbury and St Trophimus of Arles.
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