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Births: Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, soldier, author and musician, composer of the 'Marseillaise', 1760; Sir George Thomas Smart, organist, composer and conductor, 1776; John Wilkes Booth, actor and assassin of Abraham Lincoln, 1838; Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, grocer and sportsman, 1850; Gustav Stresemann, statesman, 1878; Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz), dancer and actor, 1899; David Oliver Selznick, film producer, 1902; Monica Enid Dickens (Mrs Roy Olin Stratton), novelist, 1915.

Deaths: Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus the Thracian, Roman emperor, murdered 238; Jean de La Bruyere, essayist, 1696; Louis XV, King of France, 1774; Paul Revere, American hero, 1818; Thomas Young, physicist and decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphics, 1829; Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson, Confederate general, 1863; Sir Henry Morton Stanley, journalist and explorer, 1904; Joan Crawford (Lucille Fay Le Sueur), actress, 1977; John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Morton ('Beachcomber'), humorous writer, 1979.

On this day: Jamaica was captured by the English, 1655; Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France, 1774; Warren Hastings was impeached in Parliament by Edmund Burke, 1787; during the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, Confederate president, was taken prisoner at Irwinsville, Georgia, 1865; Mother's Day was first celebrated, in Philadelphia, by the suffragist and temperance worker Anna May Jarvis, 1908; Winston Churchill began his office as Prime Minister, 1940; the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), later called the Home Guard, was formed, 1940; the House of Commons was destroyed during the heaviest air raid on London, 1941; Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, flew to Scotland and made a parachute landing near Glasgow, 1941.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alphius, St Antoninus of Florence, St Calepodius, St Cataldus or Cathal, St Conleth or Conlaed, St Epimarchus, St Gordian, St John of Avila and St Solange.