Anniversaries

Births: Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1552; Robert Hooke, physicist, 1635; The Rev Gilbert White, naturalist and author, 1720; William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist and poet, 1811; Michelle-Ferdinande Pauline Viardot-Garcia, mezzo-

soprano and composer, 1821; Dr William Gilbert Grace, cricketer, 1848; Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Dutch physicist, 1853; Philip Snowden, first Viscount Snowden, statesman, 1864; Laurence Housman, playwright, novelist and illustrator, 1865; Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian traitor, 1887; Sydney Horler, thriller writer, 1888; Clifford Odets, playwright, 1906.

Deaths: Godfrey of Bouillon, protector of the Holy Sepulchre, 1100; Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), poet and scholar, 1374; Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painter, 1610; Jean-Antoine Watteau, painter, 1721; Peter III, Tsar of Russia, murdered 1762; Jane Austen, novelist, 1817; Emanuel Leutze, historical painter, 1868; Benito Pablo Juarez, president of Mexico, 1872; Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, historian and theologian, 1881; Charles-Marie Leconte de Lisle, poet, 1894; Horatio Alger, clergyman and author of boys' books, 1899; Marie Alexandra Victoria, Queen of Romania, 1938; Vitezslav Novak, Czech pianist and composer, 1949; Jack Hawkins (John Edward Hawkins), actor, 1973; Margaret Laurence (Jean Margaret Wemys), novelist, 1986.

On this day: Warren de la Rue made the first photograph of a solar eclipse, Spain, 1860; the Ballot Act was passed, after which the secret ballot became law, 1872; the Second Battle of the Marne was fought, 1918; the Matrimonial Causes Bill, which gave women equal divorce rights with men, received Royal Assent, 1923; the first volume of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler was published, 1925; the Mersey (road) Tunnel was formally opened by King George V and Queen Mary, 1934; the Spanish Civil War began after a revolt under Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco, 1936; generation of electricity from nuclear power first took place at Schenectady, New York, 1955; James Earl Ray (alias Ramon George Sneyd) was extradited to the US for complicity in the murder of Martin Luther King, 1968; General Arif, president of Iraq, was deposed after a military coup, 1968; John Stonehouse, former Labour Minister, returned to Britain to face 21 charges of fraud, forgery and conspiracy, 1975; Vietnam became a member of the United Nations, 1977; in Beirut, a car-bomb exploded at the US Embassy, killing over 50 people and injuring over 100, 1983.

Today is the Feast Day of St Arnoul or Arnulf of Metz, St Bruno of Segni, St Frederick of Utrecht and St Pambo.

Lectures

Victoria & Albert Museum: Beth Stukley, 'The great Lords of Hinduism: Shiva', 2.30pm.

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