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Births: Matthew Boulton, engineer, 1728; Joseph Wright, painter, 1734; Ernst Pasque, baritone, composer and novelist, 1821; James Hannington, bishop in Africa, 1847; Jean-Joseph Marie-Auguste Jaures, socialist writer and speaker, 1859; Cecil Parker (Cecil Schwabe), actor, 1897; Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, prime minister and President of Finland, 1900; Alan Ladd, actor, 1913.

Deaths: Robert Greene, playwright, 1592; Sir Edward Coke, lawyer, 1634; Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1658; Louis-Adolphe Thiers, former President of France, 1877; Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, playwright, 1883; Edvard Benes, president of Czechoslovakia, 1948; ee cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings), poet, 1962; Frederick Louis MacNiece, poet and playwright, 1963; Ho Chi Minh, president of North Vietnam, 1969; Frederic Dannay, novelist (one-half of the team called 'Ellery Queen'), 1982; Frank Capra, writer and film director, 1991.

On this day: the Battle of Dunbar was fought, when Cromwell defeated the Scots, 1650; Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalist troops at the Battle of Worcester, 1651; Richard Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, 1658; the Gregorian calendar was introduced, replacing the Julian, when 3 September became 14 September, 1752; the American War of Independence came to an end after Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris, 1783; Bartholomew Fair, dating from 1123, was proclaimed at Smithfield, London, for the last time, 1855; the Royal British Bank failed, with debts of over pounds 500,000, 1856; the Afghans massacred the members of the British legation in Kabul, 1879; the Princess Alice, a pleasure boat, collided with the Bywell Castle and sank in the Thames with the loss of over 650 lives, 1878; Cardinal Giacomo Della Chiesa was elected Pope as Benedict XV, 1914; the first Zeppelin was shot down by Flt-Lt W. Leefe Robinson in an air raid over England, 1916; 132 people were killed during a German air raid over the Chatham-Sheerness area, 1917; Sir Malcolm Campbell set up a land speed record of 301.13mph, 1935; Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, 1939; the Germans torpedoed the liner Athenia off the Irish coast, 1939; under the Lend-Lease agreement, the United States sent destroyers to Britain, 1940; the Allies landed at Salerno, on the mainland of Italy, and the Italian government surrendered, 1943; Sweden changed its rule of the road from left to right, 1967; the US spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars and sent back photographs to the Earth, 1976.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aigulf or Ayoul of Lerins, St Cuthburga, St Gregory the Great, St Hildelitha, St Macanisius, St Phoebe, St Remaclus and St Simeon Stylites the Younger.


Births: Robert Raikes, publisher and founder of Sunday Schools, 1736; Francois-Rene, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, author and politician, 1768; Anton Bruckner, composer and organist, 1824; Albert Joseph Moore, decorative painter, 1841; Darius Milhaud, composer, 1892; Antonin Artaud, playwright and director, 1896; Mary Renault (Mary Challens), novelist, 1905.

Deaths: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, 1588; Charles Townshend, chancellor of the exchequer, 1767; James Wyatt, architect, 1813; Celestin-Francois Nanteuil, painter and engraver, 1873; Edvard Hagerup Grieg, composer, 1907; Walford Graham Robertson, playwright and artist, 1948; Albert Schweitzer, organist, doctor and missionary, 1965.

On this day: the Battle of Montaperti was fought between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, 1260; Emperor Napoleon III of France was deposed, and the Third Republic proclaimed, 1870; the Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to the US army, 1886; the world's first rally of Boy Scouts was held at the Crystal Palace, near London, 1909; the Germans retreated to the Siegfried Line, 1918; the Cambridge Theatre London, opened, 1930; Largo Caballero formed a Socialist government in Spain, 1936; a demonstration of colour television was given on station W2XAB by the Columbia Broadcasting System, United States, 1940; Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana, 1948; the Queen opened the Forth Road Bridge, 1964; in Rio de Janeiro, the US ambassador to Brazil was kidnapped by terrorists, 1969.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Boniface I, pope, St Ida of Herzfeld, Saints Marcellus and Valerian, St Marinus of San Marino, St Rosalia, St Rose of Viterbo and St Ultan of Ardbraccan.