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Births: Pope Paul V, 1552; Marie-Jean Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, mathematician and philosopher, 1743; Edward William Lane, translator of The Thousand and One Nights, 1801; Charles Tomlinson Griffes, composer, 1884; Sir Francis Charles Chichester, yachtsman and aviator, 1901; Dolores Costello, actress, 1906.

Deaths: Pedro Menendez de Aviles, soldier and navigator, 1574; Philip IV, King of Spain, 1665; Tobias George Smollett, novelist, 1771; Walter Savage Landor, author, 1864; William Henry Fox Talbot, photographic pioneer, 1877; Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le- Duc, Gothic architect, 1879; Ruth Benedict, anthropologist, 1948; Dame Lilian Braithwaite, actress, 1948; Richard Basehart, actor, 1984.

On this day: the Constitution of the United States of American was signed, 1787; the frigates Briton and Tagus, under Sir Thomas Staines and Captain Pipon, touched at Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, and found the descendants of the Bounty mutineers, 1814; the indecisive Battle of Antietam (American Civil War) was fought, 1862; the Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed as a federal union of six colonies, 1900; the first long-playing records were demonstrated in New York, but the venture failed, 1931; Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union 1939; the 1st British Airborne Division landed at Arnhem, 1944; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia were admitted to the United Nations, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Columba of Cordova, St Francis of Camporosso, St Hildegard, St Lambert of Maastricht, St Peter Arbues, St Robert Bellarmine, St Satyrus of Milan, Saints Socrates and Stephen and St Theodora.


Births: Dr Samuel Johnson, lexicographer and writer, 1709; Pope Gregory XVI, 1765; Jean-Bernard Leon Foucault, physicist, 1819; Anton Mauve, landscape painter, 1838; Hans Muller, historian of music, 1854; Arthur Benjamin, composer, 1893; Fay Compton (Virginia Lilian Emeline Compton), actress, 1894; Greta Garbo (Greta Lovisa Gustafsson), actress, 1905; Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian prime minister, 1909.

Deaths: Domitian, Roman emperor, murdered 96; Hubert (Huybrecht) van Eyck, painter, 1426; Andrew Foulis, bookseller and printer, 1775; Gottlieb August Spangenberg, founder of the US Moravian Church, 1792; Louis- Lazare Hoche, revolutionary general, 1797; William Hazlitt, critic and essayist, 1830; Joseph Locke, railway engineer, 1860; Dion Boucicault (Dionysius Lardner Boursiquot), playwright and actor, 1890; George MacDonald, poet and novelist, 1905; Dr Dag Hammarskjold, secretary-general of the UN, 1961; Franchot Tone (Stanislas Pascal Franchot Tone), actor, 1968.

On this day: Parliamentary troops inflicted a severe defeat upon the Royalists, Montgomery, 1644; Chile revolted and became independent of Spain, 1810; the Anti-Corn Law League was established by Richard Cobden, 1838; the Irish Home Rule Bill received Royal Assent, 1914; the Battle of Megiddo (Palestine) started, 1918; Manchuria was taken by the Japanese, who set up the puppet state of Manchukuo, 1931; the Soviet Union was admitted to the League of Nations, 1934; following continual interruption of newspaper production by the NGA, the Newspaper Publishers Association announced that all national newspapers in London and Manchester would be closed down on the following day, 1971.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Ferreolus of Limoges, St Ferreolus of Vienne, St John Massias, St Joseph of Cupertino, St Methodius of Olympus and St Richardis.