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Births: David Hume, philosopher and historian, 1711; Robert Browning, poet, 1812; Richard Norman Shaw, architect, 1831; Johannes Brahms, composer, 1833; Euphrosyne Parepa de Boyesku Parepa-Rosa, soprano, 1836; Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer, 1840; Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery, statesman, 1847; Rabindranath Tagore, poet, 1861; Alfred Edward Woodley Mason, novelist, 1865; Margaret Fairless Barber (Michael Fairless), essayist, 1869; Archibald MacLeish, poet and librarian, 1892; Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia, 1892; Gary Cooper (Frank James Cooper), film actor, 1901; Maria Eva Duarte Peron (Ibarguren), Argentinian leader, 1919; Anne Baxter, film actress, 1923.

Deaths: Johann Jacob Froberger, composer, 1667; Caspar David Friedrich, landscape painter, 1840; Henry Peter, first Baron Brougham, statesman and lawyer, 1868; James Nasmyth, engineer and inventor of the steam hammer, 1890; William Hesketh Lever, first Viscount Leverhulme, soap millionaire, 1925; Paul Doumer, French president, assassinated by the Russian Paul Gorgoulov 1932; George Lansbury, Leader of the Labour Party, 1940; Sir James George Frazer, anthropologist, 1941; Paul Felix Weingartner, composer and conductor, 1942; Max Miller, comedian, 1963; John Masters, novelist, 1983; Dawn Addams, actress, 1985.

On this day: HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship, was launched at Chatham, 1765; Greece was proclaimed an independent kingdom, 1832; the Cunard liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine, with a total of 1,198 lives lost, 1915; the qualifying age of women voters was reduced from 30 to 21 (the 'Flappers' Vote'), 1928; Neville Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister, 1940; Allied forces captured Tunis, 1943; Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, 1945; the Vietminh captured Dien Bien Phu from the French, 1954; the new High Altar in St Paul's Cathedral was dedicated as a Commonwealth War Memorial, 1958; Leonid Brezhnev became chief of state of the Soviet Union 1960; the first London performance of the musical La Cage aux Folles was presented, 1986.

Today is the Feast Day of St Domitian of Maestricht, St John of Beverley, St Letard or Liudhard and Saints Serenicus and Serenus.


Births: Karl Stamitz, composer, baptised 1745; Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Mexican revolutionary, 1753; Thomas Hancock, pioneer of rubber manufacture, 1786; St Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, priest and teacher, 1786; Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, anarchist, 1814; Jean-Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, 1828; Louis Moreau Gottschalk, composer, 1829; Alphonse Legros, painter and etcher, 1837; Moreton Frewen MP, writer and entrepreneur, 1853; John Meade Falkner, novelist, 1858; Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president, 1884; Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright and poet, 1895; Friedrich August von Hayek, economist, 1899.

Deaths: Pietro Longhi, painter, 1785; Francis Hopkinson, composer, 1791; Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, chemist, guillotined 1794; Mauro Giuliani, composer, 1829; John Stuart Mill, political economist, 1873; Gustave Flaubert, novelist, 1880; Midhat Pasha, Turkish statesman, 1884; Eugene-Henri-Paul Gauguin, Post-Impressionist painter, 1903; Eadweard Muybridge (Edward James Muggeridge), photographer and inventor, 1904; Oswald Spengler, philosopher, 1936; Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, composer and suffragist, 1944; Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridge's department store, 1947; Emanuel, Baron Shinwell, statesman, 1986.

On this day: the Act of Uniformity was signed by Queen Elizabeth I, 1559; the British monarchy was restored, 1660; 'The People's Charter' was issued by the Working Men's Association, 1838; the US forces defeated the Mexicans at the Battle of Palo Alto, 1846; Mount Pelee on Martinique erupted, destroying the city of St Pierre and killing 38,000 people, 1902; the Battle of Cassino, Italy, ended, 1944; John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger was first performed, 1956.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Acacius or Agathus, St Benedict II, pope, St Boniface IV, pope, St Desideratus or Desire of Bourges, St Gibrian, St Otger, St Peter of Tarentaise, St Plechelm, St Victor Maurus and St Wiro.