Births: Lorenzo Lippi (Perlone Zipoli), poet and painter, 1606; Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre, French revolutionary, 1758; Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, violinist and composer, 1814; Sigmund Freud, neurologist and psychoanalyst, 1856; Robert Edwin Peary, Arctic explorer, 1856; Stanley Arthur Morison, typographer, 1889; Rudolph Valentino (Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaele Pierre Philibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla), actor, 1895; Stewart Granger, (James Lablanche Stewart), film actor, 1913; George Orson Welles, actor, director and writer, 1915.

Deaths: Robert Bruce Cotton, antiquary, 1631; Cornelius Jansen, theologian, 1638; Sir William Hamilton, metaphysicist, 1856; Friedrich Heinrich Alexander, Baron von Humboldt, explorer and scientist, 1859; Henry David Thoreau, poet and essayist, 1862; Edward VII, King, 1910; Lyman Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, 1919; Count Maurice-Polydore-Marie- Bernard Maeterlinck, poet and playwright, 1949; Maria Montessori, physician and educationist, 1952; Wilfrid Hyde White, actor, 1991; Marlene Dietrich (Maria Magdalene Dietrich), actress, 1992; Ivy Benson, bandleader, 1993; Ann Todd, actress, 1993.

On this day: King Henry VIII ordered that the Bible should be placed in every English church, 1536; the island of Manhattan was bought from the Indians by the Dutch settler Peter Minuit for trinkets worth some dollars 25, 1626; the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued, 1840; Epping Forest was dedicated by Queen Victoria for the perpetual use of the people, 1882; King George V acceded to the throne, 1910; the Zeppelin Hindenburg crashed and was destroyed by fire at Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1937; Josef Stalin became leader of the government of the Soviet Union 1941; Roger Bannister was first to run a mile in under four minutes, 1954; Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones in Westminster Abbey, 1960; Spain closed the border with Gibraltar to all but Spaniards, 1968; The Guitar Player, a painting by Jan Vermeer worth over pounds 1m, was found in a London churchyard, after being stolen from Kenwood House, Hampstead, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Edbert, St Evodius of Antioch, St John Before the Latin Gate and St Petronax.

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