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Births: Luigi Pulci, poet, 1432; Agostino Carracci, painter, baptised, 1557; Jeremy Taylor, theologian, baptised 1613; Napoleon Buonaparte, Emperor, 1769; Sir Walter Scott, novelist, 1771; Thomas De Quincey, essayist and critic, 1785; Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, lawyer and historian, 1822; Leon-Gustave Cyprien Gastinel, composer, 1823; Walter Crane, painter and illustrator, 1845; Walter Page Hines, editor and ambassador, 1855; James Keir Hardie, Labour Party veteran, 1856; Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer, 1875; Ethel Barrymore (Ethel Mae Blythe), actress, 1879; Edna Ferber, novelist and playwright, 1887; Thomas Edward Lawrence, soldier and writer, 1888; Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie, physicist, 1892; Gerty Theresa Cori (Radnitz), biochemist, 1896; Thomas Joseph Mboya, Kenyan leader, 1903.

Deaths: Macbeth, King of Scotland, killed in battle 1057; Pope Pius II, 1464; Lilian Adelaide Neilson (Elizabeth Ann Brown), actress, 1880; Joseph Joachim, violinist, 1907; Paul Signac, painter, 1935; William Penn ('Will') Rogers, humorist, killed in an air crash 1935; Rene-Francois Ghislain Magritte, Surrealist painter, 1967.

On this day: nearly 500 French ships were destroyed by the Duke of Bedford at Harfleur, 1416; Montrose's army overwhelmed the Covenanters at the Battle of Kilsyth, 1645; the Prussians under Frederick the Great defeated the Austrians under Baron von Laudon at the Battle of Liegnitz, 1760; the Panama Canal was officially opened, 1914; India became independent, 1947; Pakistan, having separated from India, became independent, 1947; the republic of (South) Korea was proclaimed, 1948; the French Congo became independent, 1960; Bahrain became independent, 1971; in Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was deposed and later killed in a military coup, 1975.

Today is the anniversary of VJ Day, 1945, and the Feast Day of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, St Arnulph of Soissons and St Tarsicius.