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Births: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer, 1686; Victoria, Queen and Empress, 1819; Suzanne Lenglen, tennis player, 1899; George Formby (William Hoy Booth), singer and comedian, 1904.

Deaths: Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer, 1543; Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, statesman, 1612; Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington, musician, 1974; Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, actress, 1987; Hamish Hamilton, publisher, 1988.

On this day: Malcolm IV became king of Scotland, 1153; Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne, was crowned in Dublin, 1487; Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message in Morse code from Washington to Baltimore, 1844; Westminster Bridge across the Thames was opened, 1862; Brooklyn Bridge, New York, was opened, 1883; conscription began in Britain, 1916; the British Legion was founded, 1921; Amy Johnson landed at Port Darwin after flying from London, 1930; Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, 1959.

Today is the Feast Day of St David I of Scotland, Saints Donatian and Rogatian, St Nicetas of Pereaslav and St Vincent of Lerins.