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Births: Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and essayist, 1803; William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook, newspaper proprietor, 1879; Igor Ivan Sikorsky, pioneer aircraft designer, and inventor of the helicopter, 1889.

Deaths: the Venerable Bede, 735; Marie-Madeleine Pioche de la Viergne, Comtesse de La Fayette, author, 1693; Gustav Theodore Holst, composer, 1934Sir Frank Watson Dyson, astronomer, 1939; Jacques Feyder, film director, 1948.

On this day: Captain Cook sailed on his first voyage, 1768; Lloyd's insurance society received a Royal Charter, 1871; the House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act, 1871; the British House of Commons passed the Irish Home Rule Act, 1914; Jesse Owens, the athlete, broke five world records at the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bede, St Dionysius of Milan, St Gennadius of Astorga, St Gregory VII, Pope, St Leo or Lye of Mantenay, St Madeleine Sophie Barat, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi and St Zenobius.