Friday 12 August 1994
Deaths: Philip VI, King of France, 1350; Pope Sixtus IV, 1484; Giovanni Gabrieli, composer, 1612; Philippe de Champaigne, painter, 1674; Pope Innocent XI, 1689; Robert Stewart, second Marquess of Londonderry and Viscount Castlereagh, statesman, committed suicide 1822; William Blake, poet and painter, 1827; George Stephenson, locomotive engineer, 1848; William Daniel Conybeare, geologist, 1857; Sir William Jackson Hooker, botanist, 1865; James Drummond, historical painter, 1877; Dr Georg Curtius, philologist, 1885; James Russell Lowell, poet, critic and diplomat, 1891; Nils Adolf Erik, Baron Nordenskjold, geologist and explorer, 1901; John Philip Holland, designer of the submarine, 1914; Arthur Griffith, Irish nationalist and president of Sinn Fein, 1922; Leos Janacek, composer, 1928; Thomas Mann, novelist, 1955; Ian Lancaster Fleming, novelist, creator of 'James Bond', 1964; Thomas Edward Driberg, first Baron Bradwell, journalist and politician, 1976; Henry Fonda, actor, 1982.
On this day: the Crusaders were victorious at the Battle of Ascalon, 1099; Ottoman invaders of Hungary were routed at the Battle of Mohacs, 1687; the Russian-Austrian army overpowered the Prussians at the Battle of Kunersdorf, 1759; the Duke of Wellington's troops entered Madrid, 1812; in a contest, the schooner America beat the British yacht Aurora, thus giving rise later to the 'America's Cup', 1851; the US and Spain concluded an armistice over Cuba and other possessions, 1898; Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary, 1914; during World War II, the 'pipe line under the ocean' (PLuto) began operating beneath the English Channel, 1944; Echo I, the first communications satellite, 100 feet in diameter, was launched, 1960.
Today is the Feast Day of St Euplus, St Jambert, archbishop of Canterbury, St Murtagh or Muredach and St Porcarius and his Companions.
From the blogs
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World news in pictures
Google challenges US surveillance gagging order
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 3 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 4 Viral video straps colt .45 handgun to a home-use drone
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf