Click to follow
The Independent Online
Births: Gaspard de Coligny, Huguenot leader and soldier, 1519; Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, 1620; Giambattista Bodoni, printer and typographer, 1740; Heinrich Barth, explorer, 1821; Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov, novelist, 1831; Ernst Heinrich Haeckel, naturalist, 1834; Henry Brooks Adams, historian, 1838; Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka, composer, 1847; Hugo Marie de Vries, botanist, 1848; George Macaulay Trevelyan, historian, 1876; Robert Joseph Flaherty, film maker, 1884; Louis Calhern (Karl Henry Vogt), actor, 1895; Katherine Cornell, actress, 1898; Sir Geraint Evans, operatic baritone, 1922.

Deaths: Alfonso III, King of Portugal, 1279; Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1503; Richard Mead, royal physician, 1754; Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, painter, 1823; Lionel Lukin, lifeboat inventor, 1834; Elisha Kent Kane, explorer, 1857; Henry Walter Bates, explorer and naturalist, 1892; James Harvey Robinson, historian, 1936; Sir Isaac Leslie Hore-Belisha, first Baron Hore- Belisha, politician, 1957; Henry Cabot Lodge, statesman, 1985.

On this day: the Athenaeum Club, London, was founded, 1824; the Confederate forces surrendered Fort Grant to General Ulysses S. Grant, 1862; a fire broke out at Windsor Castle, causing limited damage, 1865; the Fianna Fail party, led by Eamon de Valera, won the Irish general election, 1932; the musical show Conversation Piece was first produced, London 1934; in Spain, the 'Popular Front' won the general election, 1936; HMS Cossack rescued British prisoners from the Altmark in Norwegian waters, 1940; US forces took Bataan, in the Philippines, 1945; Fidel Castro became prime minister of Cuba, 1959; the first London production of the musical show Fiddler on the Roof took place, 1967.

Today is Ash Wednesday and the Feast Day of Saints Elias, Jeremy and their Companions, St Gilbert of Sempringham, St Juliana of Cumae and St Onesimus the Slave.