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Births: James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and chronologist, 1581; Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, 1771; Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1785; Louis Braille, deviser of a blind alphabet, 1809; Sir Isaac Pitman, publisher and inventor of Pitman's shorthand, 1813; General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton), dwarf, 1838; Emile Cohl (Courtet), film animator, 1857; Josef Suk, composer, 1874; Augustus Edwin John, painter, 1878; Sterling Holloway, actor and comedian, 1905; William Bendix, actor, 1906.

Deaths: Marechal Francois-Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, Duc de Luxembourg, soldier, 1695; Charlotte Lennox (nee Ramsay), novelist and poet, 1804; Charles Samuel Keene, satirical artist and illustrator, 1891; Benito Perez-Galdos, author and poet, 1920; Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer, 1958; Albert Camus, novelist and playwright, killed 1960; Thomas Stearns Eliot, poet and critic, 1965; Donald Malcolm Campbell, land and water speedster, killed 1967; Joy-Friederike Victoria Adamson, naturalist and writer, 1980; Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist and playwright, 1986.

On this day: Columbus sailed from America back to Spain in the Nina, 1493; King Charles I attempted to arrest five MPs, 1642; Donizetti's opera Don Pasquale was first performed, Paris 1843; all members of the crew of the Rhyl lifeboat were lost in attempting to save the schooner Temperance, 1847; the Fabian Society was founded, 1884; Utah became the 45th of the United States, 1896; in India, the National Congress was declared illegal, and Gandhi was arrested, 1932; a strike of barbers' assistants in Copenhagen ended after 33 years, 1961; Rose Heilbron became the first woman to sit as a judge at the Old Bailey, London, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Elizabeth Bayley Seton, St Gregory of Langres, St Pharaildis, St Rigobert of Rheims and St Roger of Ellant.