Births: Sir Samuel Romilly, law reformer, 1757; Gottfried Weber, composer, 1779; Denis-Auguste-Marie Raffet, illustrator, 1823; Frederic-

Francois (Fryderyk Franciszek) Chopin, composer, 1810; Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, architect, 1812; Ebenezer Prout, composer, 1835; Alfred Philippe Roll, painter, 1846; Georg Simmel, philosopher and sociologist, 1858; Henry Harland, novelist and editor of the Yellow Book, 1861; Lytton Giles Strachey, author and biographer, 1880; Roger Martin du Gard, playwright and novelist, 1881; Oskar Kokoschka, expressionist painter, 1886; Alton Glenn Miller, bandleader, 1904; James David Graham Niven, actor, 1910; Robert Traill Spence Lowell, poet, 1917. Deaths: Dom Francisco d'Almeida, Portuguese viceroy, killed at Table Bay, 1510; Thomas Campion, poet and composer, 1620; George Herbert, clergyman and poet, 1633; Girolamo Frescobaldi, organist and composer, 1643; Thomas Ellwood, poet, 1713; Edward Moore, playwright and writer of fables, 1757; Hermann Samuel Reimarus, philosopher, 1768; Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1792; Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov, statesman, 1883; George Grossmith, comedian and singer, 1912; Gabriele D'Annunzio, poet, politician and playwright, 1938; Mack Gordon (Morris Gittler), lyricist, 1959; Jackie (Jack Leslie) Coogan, actor, 1984; Tommy Farr, heavyweight boxer, 1986.

On this day: Mozambique was discovered by Vasco da Gama, 1498; 1,200 French Huguenots were massacred at Vassy, 1562; the Spectator was first published, 1711; Charles I of Spain expelled the Jesuits from the country, 1767; slavery was abolished by Pennsylvania, the first US state to do so, 1780; all the States of the American Union ratified the articles of Confederation, 1781; Ohio became the 17th of the United States, 1803; Mehemet Ali of Egypt massacred the Mamelukes and obtained total power, 1811; Texas was annexed by the United States, 1845; in the US, Yellowstone Park was set aside as a national park, 1872; St Dunstan's in Regent's Park, London, was opened as a hostel for the blind, 1915; Admiral Horthy was elected Regent of Hungary, 1920; the 19-month-old son of the aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped, 1932; the Saar voted to return to Germany, 1935; the United States tested a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, 1954; the Soviet spacecraft Venus 3 touched down on Venus, 1966; after the Watergate burglary, seven of Nixon's aides were indicted, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aubin or Albinus of Angers, St David or Dewi, St Felix III, Pope, St Rudesind or Rosendo and St Swithbert.