Anniversaries

Births: William Burkitt, theologian, 1650; Giacomo Cordella, opera composer, 1786; Karl Liebig, clarinetist and conductor, 1808; Thomas Eakins, sculptor, portrait and figure painter, 1844; Arthur James Balfour, first Earl Balfour, statesman, 1848; David Belasco, playwright and producer, 1859; Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians, 1876; Alfredo Casella, composer, 1883; Walter Brennan, actor, 1894.

Deaths: Flavius Valerius Constantius, Roman emperor, 306; Pope Innocent VIII, 1492; Ferdinand I, Holy Roman emperor, 1564; Andre- Marie de Chenier, poet, executed 1794; Charles Dibdin, composer, playwright, actor and manager, 1814; John Emery, painter and actor, 1822; William Sharp, line engraver, 1824; Karl Ernst Christoph Hess, engraver, 1828; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet, 1834; Jean-Charles Leonard Simonde de Sismondi, historian, 1842; Charles Macintosh, waterproof clothing inventor, 1843; Dr James Barry, retired army surgeon, found on death to be a woman, 1865; Henry Mayhew, a founder of Punch and social investigator, 1887; Nathaniel ('Nat') Gould, racing novelist, 1919; Engelbert Dollfuss, statesman, assassinated 1934; Syrie Gwendoline Maud Barnardo Maugham, interior decorator and former wife of W. Somerset Maugham, 1955; Douglas Stuart Moore, composer, 1969; Leroy Robertson, composer, 1971; Louis Stephen St Laurent, statesman, 1973.

On this day: the Moors were defeated at Ourique by Alfonso I of Portugal, 1139; Mary I of England was married to Philip of Spain at Winchester, 1554; the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands proclaimed their independence from Spain, 1581; the Dutch fleet was totally routed by the English at the second naval Battle of the North Foreland, 1666; the Turks were defeated near Aboukir by Napoleon, 1799; Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States, 1898; Louis Bleriot made the first Channel crossing by aircraft, 1909; in Italy, Mussolini was forced to resign, 1943; in Britain, bread rationing ended, 1948; the Brussels Treaty on Western Union came into force, 1948; Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States, 1952; the European Steel and Coal Community came into being, 1952; Tunisia became a republic, with Habib Bourguiba as its first president, 1957; Hovercraft SR-N1 made its first Channel crossing in less than two hours, 1959; the first test-tube baby was born in Oldham, Lancs, 1978.

Today is the Feast Day of St Christopher, St James the Greater, St Magnericus and Saints Thea, Valentina and Paul.

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