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Births: Catharine Cockburn, playwright and philosopher, 1679; Sir Thomas Picton, general, 1758; Heinrich August Marschner, composer, 1795; Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch, mathematician and philosopher, 1802; Jules Laforgue, poet, 1860; Henri-Constant Gabriel Pierne, conductor and composer, 1863; Georgette Heyer, novelist, 1902; Wendell Meredith Stanley, biochemist, 1904.

Deaths: Andrew Marvell, poet, 1678; Matthew Tindal, free-thinking writer, 1733; Duncan Phyfe (Fife), cabinetmaker, 1854; Ramakrishna (Gadadhur Chatterji), mystic, 1886; Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, chemist and inventor, 1899; Jose Maria de Eca de Queiros, novelist, 1900; Umberto Boccioni, futurist sculptor, 1916; Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer, astronomer, 1920; George Herman 'Babe' Ruth, baseball player, 1948; Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell, novelist, author of Gone With the Wind, 1949; Bela Lugosi (Bela Blasko), actor, 1956; Selman Waksman, microbiologist and discoverer of streptomycin, 1973; Elvis Aaron Presley, rock singer, 1977; Stewart Granger, (James Lablanche Stewart), actor, 1993.

On this day: Henry VIII and his army defeated the French at Guinegatte in the Battle of the Spurs, 1513; Prince Eugene of Savoy fought the French in the indecisive Battle of Cassano d'Adda, 1705; Prince Eugene defeated the Turks at Belgrade, 1717; the Jesuits were expelled from Rome, 1773; the American army led by Horatio Gates was defeated by British forces led by Cornwallis at the Battle of Camden, New Jersey, 1780; General Hull, of the US army holding Detroit, surrendered to the British, 1812; the trial of Queen Caroline for adultery began, 1820; the Republic of Bolivia was proclaimed, 1825; Wagner's opera Siegfried was first performed, Bayreuth 1876; the Tate Gallery, London, was opened, 1897; the US explorer William Beebe descended 3,028 feet (1,922 metres) in his bathysphere into the ocean near Bermuda, 1934; following heavy thunderstorms, flooding brought devastation to Lynton, Devon, 1952; Cyprus became an independent republic, 1960; Britain applied for membership of the EEC, 1961; after taking control of most of Northern Cyprus, Turkish forces called a ceasefire, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Armel, St Arsacius and St Stephen of Hungary.