Births: Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, composer, 1736; Jean- Baptiste Madou, painter and lithographer, 1796; Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, composer, 1809; Horace Greeley, newspaper editor, 1811; Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman medical practitioner, 1821; Walter Bagehot, economist, author and journalist, 1826; Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil, third Marquess of Salisbury, 1830; Frederick Niecks, musicologist, 1845; Sir James Jebusa Shannon, painter, 1862; Field Marshal Hugh Montague Trenchard, first Viscount Trenchard, RAF commander, 1873; Gertrude Stein, author and critic, 1874; Carl Theodor Dreyer, film director, 1889; Alvar Aalto, architect, 1898; Priaulx Rainier, composer, 1903; Luigi Dallapiccola, composer, 1904.

Deaths: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 1399; Germain Pilon, sculptor, 1590; Richard 'Beau' Nash, gambler and dandy, 1762; Nicholas-Edme Restif de la Bretonne, novelist, 1806; Johann Beckmann, economist, 1811; Thomas Hope, collector and novelist, 1831; George Crabbe, poet, 1832; Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, professor of law, 1888; Christoph Hendrik Didericus Buys Ballot, meteorologist, 1890; Sir Morell Mackenzie, physician, 1892; Lady Jane Francesca Wilde (nee Elgee) or 'Speranza', poet, 1896; Edward Charles Pickering, astronomer, 1919; John Lane, publisher, 1925; Edward Phillips Oppenheim, thriller writer, 1946; Felix-Edouard- Justin-Emile Borel, mathematician, 1956; Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt), actor, 1969; Teferi Bante, prime minister of Ethiopia, assassinated 1977; John Cassavetes, actor, director and screenwriter, 1989.

On this day: Bartholomew Diaz landed at Mossal Bay, Cape of Good Hope, 1488; Montevideo was taken by British forces under Sir Samuel Auchmuty, 1807; Illinois was organised as a US territory, 1809; Greece was declared to be independent under the protection of France, Russia and Britain, 1830; the Parliament Buildings at Ottawa were destroyed by fire, 1916; the United States and Germany broke off diplomatic relations, 1917; Kiev, in the Ukraine, was captured by the Bolsheviks, 1919; in New Zealand, the cities of Napier and Hastings were almost destroyed in an earthquake when 256 people were killed, 1931; Berlin was bombed in daylight by the Allies using over 1,000 aircraft, 1945; the Benelux economic treaty was signed, 1958; Mr Harold Macmillan, as Prime Minister, made his 'Wind of Change' speech in Cape Town, South Africa, 1960; the Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 reached the Moon, sending back television pictures, 1966.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anskar, St Blaise, St Ia the Virgin, St Laurence of Canterbury, St Laurence of Spoleto, Saint Margaret 'of England' and St Werburga.