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Births: Christian Furchtegott Gellert, poet and novelist, 1715; Jean-Pierre Blanchard, balloonist, 1753; Joseph Labitzky, composer, 1802; Nathaniel Hawthorne, author, 1804; Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian leader, 1807; Carolus- Duran (Charles-Auguste Emile Durand), painter, 1837; Marcus Stone, painter, 1840; Dr Thomas John Barnardo, philanthropist, 1845; Francis Montague (Frank) Holl, portrait painter, 1845; Walter Greaves, painter, 1846; James Anthony Bailey, circus proprietor, 1847; Hugo Winckler, Assyriologist, 1863; John Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President, 1872; Louis Burt Mayer, Hollywood movie mogul, 1885; Gertrude Lawrence (Gertrud Alexandra Dagmar Lawrence Klasen), actress, 1898; Daniel Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter and singer, 1900; Lionel Trilling, author and educationist, 1905.

Deaths: Bencivieni di Pepo (Giovanni Cimabue), painter, 1302; Ortelius (Abraham Oertel), cartographer, 1598; William Byrd, organist and composer, 1623; Samuel Richardson, novelist, 1761; Richard Cosway, miniature painter, 1821; John Adams, second US President, 1826; Thomas Jefferson, third US President, 1826; James Monroe, fifth US President, 1831; Viscomte Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, politician and writer, 1848; Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, astronomer, 1910; Marie Curie (Marja Sklodowska), chemist, 1934; Suzanne Lenglen, tennis player, 1938; Louis Wain, illustrator, 1939; Wladyslaw Sikorski, prime minister of Poland, in an air crash 1943; Sir Bernard Cyril, first Baron Freyberg, Governor-General of New Zealand, 1963.

On this day: Saladin defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Tiberias, 1187; Providence, Rhode Island, was founded by the English Puritan, Roger Williams, 1636; the American Declaration of Independence was adopted, 1776; the US Military Academy was opened at West Point with 10 cadets, 1802; the second Theatre Royal Haymarket opened in London, 1821; Don Miguel assumed the title of King of Portugal, 1828; the first London bus ran from Marylebone Road to the Bank of England, 1829; the Britannia, the first Cunard steamship, sailed from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, 1840; Karl Heinrich Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto, 1848; the Union army defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Vicksburg, 1863; the Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States by the people of France, 1883; the Gaiety Theatre, Strand, London, was demolished, 1903; the construction of the Panama Canal began, 1904; Hanna Reitsch made the first successful flight in a helicopter, Germany, 1937.

Today is Independence Day in the United States and the Feast Day of St Andrew of Crete, St Bertha of Blangy, St Elizabeth of Portugal, St Odo of Canterbury, St Ulric of Augsburg and The Martyrs of Dorchester.