TODAY: Births: Bartolommeo di Francesco Cristofori, harpsichord maker, 1655; William Roy, military engineer and surveyor, 1726; Florian Leopold Gassmann, composer, 1729; Sir Thomas Lawrence, portrait painter, 1769; Baron Francois-Pascal Simon Gerard, painter, 1770; Johann Friedrich Herbart, philosopher, 1776; William Hickling Prescott, historian, 1796; Franz Adam, painter, 1815; Joseph Whitaker, publisher of Whitaker's Almanack, 1820; Thomas Henry Huxley, biologist and natural historian, 1825; Frederick Edwin Church, landscape painter, 1826; John Hanning Speke, discoverer of the source of the Nile, 1827; Edmund Hart Turpin, organist and composer, 1835; Thomas Wilmer Dewing, figure painter, 1851; Alice Liddell, the original of Alice in Wonderland, 1852; Alexandre Nikolaievich Benois, painter and theatrical designer, 1870; Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and feminist, 1882; Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, 1889; Israel Moses Sieff, Baron Sieff, president of Marks and Spencer, 1889; Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe, plastic surgeon, 1900; Matyas Seiber, composer, 1905; Audrey Hepburn, [Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston] film actress, 1929. Deaths: Sir James Thornhill, historical painter, 1734; William Froude, engineer and naval architect, 1879; Carl von Ossietzky, pacifist journalist and Nobel prizewinner, in a Nazi concentration camp, 1938; William Rose Benet, author, 1950; Georges Enesco (Gheorghe Enescu), violinist and composer, 1955; Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, author, 1969; Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, 1980; Diana Dors (Fluck), film actress, 1984. On this day: the Lancastrians were defeated by the Yorkists at the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471; the first Derby was run at Epsom and won by Diomed, 1780; the Cunard shipping line was founded by Sir Samuel Cunard, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1839; Natal was proclaimed a British colony, 1843; the Maoris rebelled against the British in New Zealand, 1863; the Colonial and Indian Exhibition opened at South Kensington, 1886; the Daily Mail was first published, price one halfpenny, 1896; work on excavating the Panama Canal began, 1904; 413 men were lost when the British transport Transylvania was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, 1917; the General Strike in Britain began, 1926; the first London production of the musical show Watch Your Step was staged, 1928; the first president of the Irish Republic was elected, Douglas Hyde, a Protestant, 1938; the Battle of the Coral Sea began, 1942; during an anti-war demonstration, four students were killed at Kent State University, US, 1970; "Waltzing Matilda" became the national anthem of Australia, 1976; Mrs Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first woman Prime Minister, 1979. Today is the Feast Day of St Augustine Webster, St Cyriacus or Judas Quiriacus, St Florian of Lorch, St Gothard or Godehard, St John Houghton, St Pelagia of Tarsus, St Robert Lawrence, St Richard Reynolds and St Venerius of Milan.

TOMORROW: Births: Rupert, King of Germany, 1352; Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1747; Louis-Christophe Francois Hachette, bookseller and publisher, 1800; Soren Aabye Kierkegaard, philosopher, 1813; Eugene-Martin Labiche, playwright and farceuceur, 1815; Heinrich Karl Marx, author and socialist, 1818; Stanislaw Moniuszko, composer, 1819; Jean-Louis Hamon, painter, 1821; The Empress Eugenie of France (Eugenie Marie de Montijo de Guzman), 1826; Karl Attenhofer, conductor and composer, 1837; Henryk Sienkiewicz, novelist, author of Quo Vadis?, 1846; Sir Douglas Mawson, Antarctic explorer, 1882; Archibald Percival Wavell, First Earl, soldier, 1883; Christopher Darlington Morley, novelist and playwright, 1890; Sir Gordon Richards, jockey, 1904. Deaths: Samuel Cooper, miniature painter, 1672; Napoleon I (Napoleone Buonaparte), Emperor of France, 1821; Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli, composer, 1837; Charles Robert Leslie, painter, 1859; Marc-Charles Gabriel Gleyre, painter, 1874; James Grant, novelist and historian, 1887; Joseph- Nicolas Robert-Fleury, painter, 1890; August Wilhelm von Hofmann, chemist, 1892; Francis Bret Harte, author, 1902; William Friese-Greene (William Green), cinematograph pioneer, 1921; Beatrice Harraden, novelist, 1936; James Branch Cabell, novelist, 1958; Professor Ludwig Erhard, former West German chancellor, 1977; Sir Donald Coleman Bailey, wartime bridge designer, 1985. On this day: St Helena was occupied by Captain John Dutton of the East India Company, 1659;the States-General assembled at Versailles, 1789; the British defeated the French at Battle of Fuentes de Onoro, 1811; the Confederates were victorious at the Battle of Williamsburg, 1862; the Battle of the Wilderness began during American Civil War, 1864; the first train robbery in the US took place near North Bend, Ohio, 1865; excavation of the Corinth Canal in Greece began, 1882; Amy Johnson began a solo flight to Australia, 1930; Italian forces captured Addis Ababa, 1936; British forces invaded Madagascar, 1942; the Council of Europe was set up in London, 1949; the Federal Republic of Germany became a sovereign state, 1955; US Commander Alan B. Shepard went into space in a Mercury capsule, 1961; Major Yuri Gagarin, cosmonaut of the USSR, orbited the earth, 1961. Today is the Feast Day of St Angelo, St Avertinus, St Hilary of Arles, St Hilary of Galeata, St John Haile, St Jutta and St Mauruntius.

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