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Births: Louis VIII, King of France, 1187; Louis XIV, the 'Sun King' of France, 1638; Robert Fergusson, Scottish vernacular poet, 1750; Caspar David Friedrich, painter, 1774; John Wisden, cricketer and cricket records compiler, 1826; Victorien Sardou, playwright, 1831; Jesse Woodson James, outlaw, 1847; Sir Sarvepalli Radharkrishnan, president of India, 1888; Darryl Francis Zanuck, film producer, 1902; Arthur Koestler, author, 1905; John Cage, composer and pianist, 1912.

Deaths: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, painter, 1569; Richard Tarlton, actor and fencer, 1588; John Home, clergyman and playwright, 1808; Dr William McGillivray, naturalist, 1852; Isidore-Auguste Marie Francois-

Xavier Comte, philosopher and founder of Positivism, 1857; Jules-Elie Delaunay, painter, 1891; Charles-Pierre Peguy, poet, killed in action 1914; Josh White, blues singer, 1969; Gp Capt Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, Second World War pilot, 1982.

On this day: the English were defeated by the French at Montargis, 1427; Malta was surrendered to the British by the French after Nelson's fleet had blockaded them, 1800; the island of Heligoland was seized from Denmark by the British, 1807; the Russo-

Japanese War ended following the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, United States, 1905; the operetta The Girl in the Taxi was produced on the London stage for the first time, 1912; the first Battle of the Marne began, 1914; the United States declared its neutrality in the Second World War, 1939; Brussels was liberated by the Allies, 1944; terrorists of the Arab Black September group killed 11 Israelis at the Olympic Games in Germany, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bertinus, St Genebald of Laon, St Laurence Giustiniani and Saints Urban and Theodore and their Companions.