Friday 11 October 1996
Births: James Barry, historical painter, 1741; Sir George Williams, merchant and founder of the YMCA, 1821; Christian Friedrich Theodore Thomas, conductor, 1835; Henry John Heinz, food-products magnate, 1844; Francois Mauriac, author, 1885; Ethel Edith Mannin, novelist and travel writer, 1900; Richard Burton (Jenkins), actor, 1925. Deaths: Sir Thomas Wyatt, poet and diplomat, 1542; Samuel Wesley, composer and organist, 1837; Josef Anton Bruckner, composer, 1896; Jean-Henri Fabre, entomologist, 1915; Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis), novelist, 1935; Maurice de Vlaminck, painter, 1958; Leonard ''Chico'' Marx, comedian, 1961; Jean Cocteau, poet, novelist and playwright, 1963. On this day: the Order of the Bath was constituted, 1399; the title ''Defender of the Faith'' was conferred on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X, 1521; Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia, 1669; the Anglo-Boer War started, 1899; the Little Theatre, Adelphi, Strand, opened, 1910; enormous inflation overtook German currency, with the mark dropping to an exchange rate of 10bn to the pound, 1923; the second Vatican Ecumenical Council was opened by Pope John XXIII, 1963; the Apollo 7 spacecraft, with a crew of three, was launched from Cape Kennedy, 1968. Today is the Feast Day of St Agilbert, St Alexander Sauli, Saints Andronicus, Tarachus, and Probus, St Bruno the Great of Cologne, St Canice or Kenneth, St Gummarus or Gomaire, St Mary Soledad and St Nectarius of Constantinople.
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