Births: James Wyatt, architect, 1746; Charles Stanhope, third Earl Harrington, politician and scientist, 1753; Sir Joseph Paxton, architect and landscape gardener, 1801; Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the safety lift, 1811; Sir George Gabriel Stokes, mathematician and physicist, 1819; Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, composer, 1823; Juliana Horatia Ewing, writer of children's books, 1841; Stanley Baldwin, first Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, statesman, 1867; Rupert Chawner Brooke, poet, 1887; Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Western author, 1909.

Deaths: James II, King of Scotland, killed 1460; Grinling Gibbons, sculptor and wood carver, 1721; Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame, 1792; Marie-Joseph Eugene Sue, novelist, 1857; Joachim Ventura, Jesuit preacher, 1861; Joseph Severn, painter, 1879; William George Fargo, a founder of the Wells- Fargo express company, 1881; Augustus Saint-Gaudens, sculptor, 1907; Sir Roger David Casement, Irish nationalist, executed for treason 1916; Joseph Conrad (Josef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski), novelist, 1924; Richard Willstatter, chemist, 1942; Albert Frederick Pollard, historian, 1948; Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, novelist, 1954; Paul Goodman, novelist, playwright and poet, 1972; Archbishop Makarios III, President of Cyprus, 1977.

On this day: Hannibal won a victory over Rome at Cannae, 216 BC; Christopher Columbus left Palos in Andalusia, Spain on his first voyage to America, 1492; Hudson's Bay was discovered by Henry Hudson, 1610; La Scala opera house in Milan was opened, 1778; the first recorded cricket match between Eton and Harrow was played, 1805; the cornet was first used in an orchestra; employed in Paris for William Tell, which was first presented, 1829; the uprising in Paris, known as the July Revolution, ended, 1830; John Hanning Speke discovered the source of the river Nile to be Lake Victoria, 1858; British troops under Colonel Younghusband and General Macdonald entered the forbidden city of Lhasa, Tibet, 1904; the first ship passed through the Panama Canal, 1914; Germany declared war on France, 1914; Lieutenant John Macready carried out the first aerial crop-dusting operation at Troy, Ohio, 1921; in Germany, Adolf Hitler became 'Der Fuhrer', 1934; Latvia became part of the Soviet Union, 1940; Whittaker Chambers, an editor for Time magazine, named Alger Hiss, a former US State Department official, as a member of the Communist underground, 1948; the Council of Europe was inaugurated, 1949; the first VTOL aircraft - The Flying Bedstead - was flown in Britain, 1954; the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus made its first undersea crossing of the North Pole, 1958; the French colony of Niger became independent, 1960.

Today is the Feast Day of St Germanus of Auxerre, St Thomas of Hales or Dover, St Walthen or Waltheof.