Anniversaries

Births: Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, 121; Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor and architect, 1452; Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, 1573; David Hume, philosopher and historian, 1711; John James Audubon, naturalist and artist, 1785; Ferdinand-Victor-Eugene Delacroix, painter, 1798; Alfred Krupp, ironfounder and armaments manufacturer, 1812; Jan Albert van Eyken, composer and organist, 1822; Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne), humorist, 1834; Harold Sidney Harmsworth, first Viscount Rothermere, newspaper publisher, 1868; Syngman Rhee, statesman, 1875; Michel (Mikhail Mikhailovich) Fokine, choreographer, 1880; Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher, 1889; Anita Loos, screenwriter, novelist and playwright, 1893; Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader, 1894; John Grierson, documentary film maker, 1898; Jean Vigo, film director, 1905.

Deaths: Jeremy Collier, historian and opponent of the theatre, 1726; John Wilkes Booth, actor and assassin, shot while trying to escape 1865; Sir Edward George Clarke, barrister, 1931; Karl Bosch, chemist, 1940; Edward Arnold (Guenther Schneider), actor, 1956; Edwin John Pratt, poet and professor of literature, 1964; Dame Cicely Courtneidge, actress, 1980; William 'Count' Basie, jazz pianist and bandleader, 1984; Broderick Crawford, actor, 1986.

On this day: as a result of the Pazzi Conspiracy, Giuliano de' Medici was stabbed to death while at High Mass at the Cathedral in Florence 1478; at the Convention of Bartenstein, Russia and Prussia formed an alliance to drive France out of the German states, 1807; Port Hamilton (So-Do), Korea, was occupied by the British, 1885; the Pact of London was signed between the Allies and Italy, 1915; the Duke of York (later King George VI) married Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth), 1923; a new building for the Madame Tussaud's waxwork exhibition opened in London, 1928; German planes bombed Guernica in Spain during the Civil War, 1937; a conference began at Geneva on Far Eastern Affairs, 1954; the Cubans invaded Panama, 1959; a revolt in the French army failed, and the leaders were arrested, 1961; the first Anglo-American satellite, Ariel, was launched, 1962; Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form Tanzania, 1964; the musical show Two Gentlemen of Verona was first produced, London, 1973; President Reagan began a visit to China, 1984; an accident at the Soviet nuclear power station at Chernobyl resulted in a massive nuclear leak, 1986.

Today is the Feast Day of St Franca of Piacenza, St Paschasius Radbertus, St Peter of Braga, St Richarius or Riquier and St Stephen of Perm.

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