Births: Sir Thomas Bodley, diplomat and bibliophile, 1545; George Sandys, poet and translator, 1578; Claudio Coello, painter, 1642; William Murray, first Earl of Mansfield, jurist, 1705; Johann Veit, painter, 1790; Samuel Houston, Texas statesman, 1793; Pope Leo XIII, 1810; Sir George Alexander Macfarren, composer, 1813; Bedrich Smetana, composer, 1824; Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), 1876; Ivar Kreuger, industrialist and swindler, 1880; Kurt Julian Weill, composer, 1900; Marc Blitzstein, composer, 1905; Geoffrey Edward Harvey Grigson, poet and critic, 1905.

Deaths: Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon, writer of memoirs, 1755; John Wesley, founder of Methodism, 1791; Horace Walpole, fourth Earl of Orford, novelist and historian, 1797; John Raphael Smith, painter and engraver, 1812; Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, 1835; Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers, astronomer, 1840; Nicholas I, Tsar of Russia, 1855; Hugh Gough, first Viscount Gough, field marshal, 1869; Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, 1895; Queen Elizabeth of Romania (Carmen Silva, novelist), 1916; David Herbert Lawrence, novelist, 1930; Howard Carter, painter and Egyptologist, 1939; Lloyd Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist, 1946; Jose Martinez Ruiz ('Azorin'), author, 1967; Randolph Scott (Crane), actor, 1987; Joan Greenwood, actress, 1987.

On this day: the 'War of Oranges' started between Spain and Portugal, 1801; work began on the Thames Tunnel, 1825; 59 citizens proclaimed Texas a republic, independent of Mexico, 1836; the Morning Chronicle newspaper was first published, 1865; an attempt was made by Robert Maclean to assassinate Queen Victoria at Windsor, 1882; a mutiny of sailors aboard Russian battleships at Kronstadt led to a general revolt, 1921; the trial of Nikolai Bukharin and other political leaders began in the Soviet Union 1938; Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected as Pope Pius XII, 1939; Turkey closed the strait of the Dardanelles to all ships except those having special permits, 1941; the Battle of the Bismarck Sea began, 1943; in Burma, the British 14th Army entered Mandalay, 1945; Captain James Gallagher and a crew of 13 USAF men completed the first round-the-world flight in 94 hours, 1949; Morocco once more became independent, 1956; the French prototype Concorde made its first test flight, 1969; Rhodesia was proclaimed a republic, 1970; at the Saudi Arabian embassy, Khartoum, Sudan, terrorists murdered the US ambassador, his charge d'affaires and the Belgian charge d'affaires, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Chad or Caedda, St Joavan of Brittany and The Martyrs under the Lombards.

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