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Births: John Hoadly, poet and playwright, 1711; Alicia (Alison) Cockburn, poet, 1713; William Swainson, naturalist, 1789; Henri-Louis Le Chatelier, chemist, 1850; John Cowper Powys, novelist, 1872; Sir Alfred John Munnings, artist, 1878; Eddie (Edward Vernon) Rickenbacker (Rickenbacher), fighter pilot in First World War, 1890; Juan Peron, president of Argentina, 1895; Rouben Mamoulian, film director, 1898.

Deaths: Jan Massys, painter, 1575; Henry Fielding, novelist, 1754; Pierre Fournier, typographer and engraver, 1768; Sir John Monash, commander of the Australian Army Corps in France in the First World War, 1931; Wendell Lewis Willkie, Republican presidential candidate, 1944; Kathleen Mary Ferrier, contralto, 1953; Clement Richard Attlee, first Earl Attlee, statesman, 1967; Willy Brandt (Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm), former Chancellor of West Germany, 1992.

On this day: the final consecration of St Mark's, Venice, took place, 1085; the First Balkan War broke out, when Greece, Serbia and Montenegro united against Turkey, 1912; Western Poland was made part of the German Reich, 1939; Britain's tallest building, the Post Office Tower, London, opened, 1965; Britain's first legal commercial radio station, LBC (London Broadcasting Company) started transmitting, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Demetrius, St Simeon Senex, St Keyne, St Marcellus, St Pelagia (or Margaret) the Penitent, St Reparata of Caesarea, and St Thais.


Births: Robert de Sorbon, founder of the Paris college of the Sorbonne, 1201; Giuseppe Bonomi ('The Younger'), sculptor and draughtsman, 1796; Emil Hermann Fischer, organic chemist, 1852; Alastair Sim, actor, 1900; Jacques Tati (Tatischeff), actor and film director, 1908; John Winston Lennon, composer and singer, 1940.

Deaths: Gabriel Fallopius, anatomist, 1562; Sir Richard Blackmore, physician, poet and writer, 1729; Karl Friedrich Schinkel, architect and painter, 1841; Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, Marxist revolutionary, captured and shot 1967; Andre Maurois (Emile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog), writer, 1967.

On this day: Louis XII, King of France, married Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, 1514; Captain Cook went ashore in New Zealand, 1769; the Universal Postal Union was founded in Rome, 1875; the first petrol-driven motor bus began operating in London, 1899; the breathalyser test came into force in Britain, 1967.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Saints Andronicus and Athanasia, St Demetrius of Alexandria, St Denis or Dionysius of Paris, St Dionysius the Areopagite, Saints Eleutherius and Rusticus, St Ghislain or Gislenus, St Louis Bertran, St John Leonardi, St Publia and St Savin.