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Births: Bernhard Nieuwentijt, mathematician, 1654; Johann Georg Gmelin, chemist and naturalist, 1709; Samuel Arnold, organist and composer, 1740; Armand Gensonne, revolutionary, 1758; Sir Charles James Napier, military commander, 1782; Camillo Benso, Conte di Cavour, statesman, 1810; Jay Cooke, banker, 1821; Charles Samuel Keene, artist and illustrator, 1823; Nicolo Coccon, organist and composer, 1826; Hugo Eckener, aeronautical engineer, 1868; Laurence Robert Binyon, poet and playwright, 1869; Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st US President, 1874; Douglas Stuart Moore, composer, 1893.

Deaths: John de Witt and Cornelius de Witt, statesmen, assassinated 1672; Guillaume Dubois, statesman and Cardinal, 1723; Ferdinand VI 'the Wise', King of Spain, 1759; Allan Ramsay, portrait painter, 1784; Johann Michael Haydn, composer, 1806; Karl Wilhelm Naundorff, pretender to the French throne, 1845; Henri Ethelbert Louis Victor Hebert, Comte de Richemont, pretender to the French throne, 1853; John Wilson Croker, politician and writer, 1857; Sir George Thomas Staunton, writer on China, 1859; Charles Wentworth Dilke, antiquarian, critic and journalist, 1864; Charles Eline Francatelli, chef de cuisine, 1876; Edward William Lane, translator of The Thousand and One Nights, 1876; George Long, scholar and editor, 1879; Louis Vulliemin, historian, 1879; Otto Lilienthal, aviator, 1896; Oswald Veblen, mathematician, 1960.

On this day: the Scots defeated the English at the Battle of Otterburn, 1388; the Spanish and the English defeated the French at the Battle of St Quentin, 1557; the French took Arras, 1640; the foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory was laid by King Charles II, 1675; a revolt in Ecuador challenged the rule of Spain, 1809; Missouri became the 24th of the United States, 1821; the Mines Act prohibited women and young children from working under ground, 1842; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington was established, 1846; the Marine Aquarium was opened in Brighton, 1872; the first Promenade Concert was given by Henry Wood at the Queen's Hall, London, 1895; the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland was founded (later 'Royal'), 1897; Heavy losses were inflicted by the Japanese on the Russian Fleet off Port Arthur during the Battle of the Yellow Sea, 1904; the Parliament Act was passed, reducing the power of the House of Lords, 1911; British Members of Parliament voted to receive salaries for the first time ( pounds 400 pa), 1911; after the defeat of Bulgaria, the Balkan War ended with the Treaty of Bucharest, 1913; France declared war on Austria- Hungary, 1914; the Treaty of Sevres was signed between the Allies and Turkey, 1920; strikes and riots broke out in Germany, 1923; the Quebec Conference opened, 1943; the moon satellite Orbiter I was launched, 1966.

Today is the Feast Day of St Laurence of Rome.