Births: Jan Josephzoon van Goyen, landscape painter, 1596; Charles Perrault, collector and publisher of fairy tales, 1628; Paul Gavarni (Hippolyte- Guillaume-Sulpice Chevalier), caricaturist, 1804; Jacques-Alfred-Felix Clement, musicologist, 1822; Horatio Alger, clergyman and author of books for boys, 1834; Heinrich Johann Hofmann, pianist and composer, 1842; Wilhelm Wien, physicist, 1864; Charles Wellington Furse, painter, 1868; Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick, Duke of Connaught, 1883; Louis de Rochemont, film producer and director, 1899; Oliver Hilary Samborne Messel, designer, 1905; Lord Willis (Edward Henry 'Ted' Willis), playwright, 1918; Albert Lamorisse, film director, 1922.

Deaths: Edmund Spenser, poet, 1599; Maria Sibylla (Graff) Merian, painter and engraver, 1717; George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, 1691; Stephen Collins Foster, song writer, 1864; Louis-Pierre Baltard, architect and engineer, 1874; General Victoriano Huerta, Mexican dictator, 1916; William Frend De Morgan, artist and author, 1917; Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, electrical engineer, 1930; Jean-Baptiste Marchand, soldier and explorer, 1934; James Joyce, novelist, 1941; Alfred Edgar Coppard, writer, 1957; Robert Still, composer, 1971; Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Vice-President of the United States, 1978.

On this day: William Lyon Mackenzie, a Canadian rebel, was arrested in the United States, 1838; the Hudson's Bay Company acquired Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1848; in Russia, provincial assemblies, known as Zemstvos were formed, 1864; conscription was introduced into Russia, 1874; the Vaudeville Theatre, London, second building, opened, 1891; the Independent Labour Party was formed under Keir Hardie, 1893; following the acquittal of Major Esterhazy, Emile Zola published his open letter J'accuse to the French president, 1898; Lee De Forest broadcast an opera from the stage of the Metropolitan, New York, 1910; South African troops occupied Swakopmund in German South-West Africa, 1915; 29,000 people died after a massive earthquake in Central Italy, 1915; a 388-carat diamond was found in a mine at Kimberley, South Africa, 1919; Sir Satyendra Prassano Sinha was the first Indian to become a peer, 1919; a plebiscite in the Saar voted for incorporation into Germany, 1935; in Silesia, the Red Army began a counter-offensive against the Germans, 1945; Britain appointed her first ambassador to Communist China, 1972; the world's largest airport was opened in Dallas, Texas, 1974; the French newspaper Liberation published a list of 32 members of the CIA in Paris, 1976; a Boeing 737 aircraft crashed into a bridge on the Potomac river, hitting five ships and killing 78 people, 1982.

Today is the Feast Day of St Agrecius, St Berno and St Hilary of Poitiers.

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