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Births: Peter III, Tsar of Russia, 1728; Carl Czerny, pianist, teacher and writer, 1791; John Henry Newman, cardinal, 1801; Clement- Philibert-Leo Delibes, composer, 1836; Charles-Marie-Jean-Albert Widor, organist and composer, 1845; George Lansbury, statesman, 1859; Gertie Millar, Countess of Dudley, musical comedy actress, 1879; Sacha Guitry, actor, playwright and director, 1885; Anais Nin, author, 1903; Raymond Queneau, novelist and critic, 1903; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1907; Douglas Bader, Second World War fighter pilot, 1910; Tadd Dameron, jazz composer and arranger, 1917.

Deaths: Pope Julius II, 1513; Robert Southwell, poet, Jesuit and martyr, hanged 1595; Jethro Tull, agricultural writer, 1741; John Charles Felix Rossi, sculptor, 1839; Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), novelist, 1935; George Ellery Hale, astronomer, 1938; Malcolm X (Little), black leader, murdered 1965; Shigechiyo Izumi, a Japanese, at the age of 120 years, 237 days, 1986; Victor Canning, author, 1986.

On this day: John Wilkes MP, expelled from the House of Commons, was found guilty of reprinting and publishing an 'impious libel', the 'Essay on Woman', 1764; freedom of worship was established in France, 1795; the first republic of Cuba was founded, 1901; the Apollo Theatre, London, opened, 1901; the New Statesman was founded, 1931; it was announced that British women aged 60 and over would receive the old age pension, 1940; identity cards were abolished in Britain, 1952; in the United States, John Ehrlichman, HR Haldeman and John Mitchell were sentenced after the Watergate affair, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St George of Amastris, St Germanus of Granfel, St Peter Damian, St Robert Southwell and St Severian of Scythopolis.