Births: Pietro Francesco (Caletti di Bruni) Cavalli, composer, 1602; Claude-Prosper Jolyot, sieur de Crebillon (Crebillon Fils), novelist, 1707; Thomas Robert Malthus, economist, 1766; Jose Fernando Macari Sor, composer and guitarist, 1778; Heinrich Joseph Barmann, clarinettist, 1784; Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomitzhsky, composer, 1813; Christopher Latham Sholes, inventor of an early typewriter, 1819; Hans Seeling, pianist and conductor, 1828; Quintin Hogg, founder of the Polytechnic, 1845; Frank (James Thomas) Harris, journalist and author, 1856; Carl von Marr, artist, 1858; Israel Zangwill, novelist, playwright and Zionist leader, 1864; Jack Benny (Benjamin Kubelsky), comedian and actor, 1894.

Deaths: Pope Honorius II, 1130; Richard II, King, 1400; Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, painter, 1525; John Hadley, mathematician and inventor, 1744; Captain James Cook, sea-captain and explorer, murdered 1779; Sir William Blackstone, jurist, 1780; Henry Maudslay, engineer and inventor, 1831; William Dyce, painter, 1864; William Tecumseh Sherman, general, 1891; John Macallan Swan, painter and sculptor, 1910; Hendrick Antoon Lorentz, physicist, 1928; Maj-Gen Henry Edward Manning Douglas, VC, 1939; Sir William Rothenstein, artist, 1945; Sir Pelham Granville Wodehouse, writer, 1975; Sir Julian Sorell Huxley, biologist and philosopher, 1975; Frederick (Fritz) Loewe, composer, 1988.

On this day: the Great Swabian League was formed, 1488; King William III announced to Parliament the discovery of the plot by Sir John Fenwick to assassinate him, 1696; the Spanish fleet was defeated off Cape St Vincent by John Jervis and Horatio Nelson, 1797; Oregon became the 33rd of the United States, 1859; Hawaii was annexed by treaty to the United States (withdrawn on 9 March by the President), 1893; Yuan Shi-kai became the first president of the Chinese republic, 1912; Arizona became the 48th of the United States, 1912; Marconi began the first regular broadcasting transmissions in England, 1922; the St Valentine's Day Massacre took place in Chicago, 1929; the German 42,345 ton-battleship Bismarck was launched, 1939; the Bank of England was nationalised, 1946; Nikita Khrushchev, at the 20th Soviet Communist Party Conference, denounced the policies of Josef Stalin, 1956; South Africa introduced decimal coinage based on the new 'Rand', 1961; Harold Wilson became leader of the British Labour Party, 1963.

Today is the Feast Day of St Abraham of Carrhae, St Adolf of Osnabruck, St Antoninus of Sorrento, St Auxentius, St Conran, Saints Cyril and Methodius, St John Baptist of the Conception, St Maro and St Valentine.

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