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Births: Ferdinand I, Holy Roman emperor, 1503; Marcello Malpighi, anatomist, 1628; John Playfair, mathematician and geologist, 1748; Carl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel, poet and critic, 1772; Edward Hodges Baily, sculptor, 1788; Thomas Gordon Hake, physician and poet, 1809; Joseph Bernard Coninck, teacher and composer, 1827; Sir Samuel Ferguson, poet, 1810; Leonard Raven-Hill, cartoonist, artist and illustrator, 1867; Arthur Honegger, composer, 1892; Bix Beiderbecke (Leon Bismarck Beidebecke), jazz cornet-player and composer, 1903.

Deaths: Sir John Denham, poet, 1669; Muzio Clementi, pianist and composer, 1832; Maximilian II Joseph, King of Bavaria, 1864; Giuseppe Mazzini, Italian nationalist, 1872; Sir Charles Wyville Thomson, zoologist, 1882; Charles Frederick Worth, fashion designer, 1895; 'F. Anstey' (Thomas Anstey Guthrie), humorist and playwright, 1934; Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty, first Earl Beatty, 1936; Robert Laurence Binyon, poet, 1943; Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne, novelist, 1944; Sir Philip Armand Hamilton Gibbs, author, 1962; Frank O'Connor (Michael O'Donovan), short-story writer, 1966; Maurice Macmillan (Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden), politician, 1984; Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko, Soviet leader, 1985; Ray Milland (Reginald Truscott-Jones), actor, 1986.

On this day: the first British Census began, 1801; Napoleon was defeated by Blucher at the the Battle of Laon, 1814; Edward (later King Edward VII) married Princess Alexandra of Denmark, 1863; the Bakerloo Line on London's Underground opened, 1906; DW Griffith's film In Old California was released, the first movie to be made in Hollywood, 1910; the Rokeby Venus painting by Velazquez in the National Gallery was damaged by suffragettes, 1914; the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle began, 1915; Sir Oswald Mosley was expelled from the Labour Party, 1931; Rangoon, Burma, fell to the Japanese, 1942; Peter Twiss, a test pilot, was the first man to fly at more than 1,000mph, 1956; Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands married Claus von Amsberg, 1966; James Earl Ray (Eric Starvo Galt) pleaded guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anastasia Patricia, St Attalas, St Codratus and Others, St Droctoveus or Drotte, St Hymelin, St John Ogilvie, St Kessog, St Macarius of Jerusalem and St Simplicius, pope.