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Births: Margaret, Queen of Scots, wife of Alexander III, 1240; Jonathan Edwards, Calvinist, 1703; Denis Diderot, scholar and encyclopaedist, 1713; Dr William Wilkie, poet, 1721; William Scoresby, Arctic explorer, 1789; Chester Alan Arthur, 21st US President, 1830; Jean-Baptiste Edouard Detaille, painter, 1848; Robert Hutchings Goddard, rocket pioneer, 1882; Joshua Lockwood Logan, film and stage director, 1908; Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan), novelist and playwright, 1911; Robert Adams, sculptor and designer, 1917.

Deaths: Philip III ('the Bold'), King of France, 1285; Lodovico Ferrari, mathematician, 1565; Sir Francis Grant, portrait painter, 1878; Jacques Offenbach (Jakob Levy Eberst), composer, 1880; 'Barry Cornwall' (Bryan Waller Procter), poet, 1874; William Heinemann, publisher and playwright, 1920; Jean Vigo, film director, 1934; Alfred Louis Kroeber, anthropologist and archaeologist, 1960; Leonard Rossiter, actor, 1984; Nelson Smock Riddle, composer and arranger, 1985.

On this day: Edward Bruce, having been crowned King of Ireland, was slain at the Battle of Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, 1318; the Gregorian calendar was adopted in Italy and Spain, when this day became 15 October, 1582; Spain declared war on Britain, 1796; the United States was victorious at the Battle of the Thames, Ontario, 1813; Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey, and Ferdinand I became Tsar, 1908; in Portugal, King Manoel, having fled the country, was deposed and a republic declared, 1910; the first air battle took place between German and French aircraft, 1914; the Allies landed at Salonika, 1915; the estate of Chequers was presented by Sir Arthur Lee as an official country residence for the Prime Minister, 1917; the march of unemployed shipyard workers from Jarrow to London started, 1936; the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) was set up to aid European Communist parties, 1947; tea rationing ended in Britain, 1952.

Today is the Feast Day of St Apollinaris of Valence, St Flora of Beaulieu, St Galla, St Magenulf or Meinulf and St Maurus.