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Births: Girolamo Savonarola, martyr and Church reformer, 1452; Louis Joliet, explorer, 1645; John Home, cleric and playwright, 1722; Francesco Bartolozzi, engraver, 1727; Francis Hopkinson, composer, 1737; John Loudon McAdam, roadmaking engineer and inventor, 1756; Louis-Emmanuel Jadin, composer, 1768; August Emil Daniel Ferdinand Victor Wilhelmj, violinist, 1845; Sir Edmund William Gosse, writer and critic, 1849; Herbert George Wells, novelist, 1866; Gustav Holst (Gustavus Theodore von Holst), composer, 1874; Baron Constantine (Sir Learie Nicholas Constantine), cricketer and diplomat, 1902; Sir Allen Lane (Allen Lane Williams), publisher and founder of Penguin Books, 1902; Nigel Stock, actor, 1919; Dawn Addams, actress, 1930.

Deaths: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet, 19 BC; Edward II, king, murdered 1327; Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1549; Sir Walter Scott, novelist, 1832; Lord William George Frederic Cavendish Bentinck, MP and sportsman 1848; Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1860; Armand Calinescu, Romanian prime minister, assassinated 1939; William Jacob Baer, painter, 1941; Roger Cuthbert Quilter, composer, 1953; Haakon VII, King of Norway, 1957; Henry Marie-Joseph Millon de Montherlant, novelist and playwright, 1972; William Charles Franklyn Plomer, author, 1973; Walter Brennan, actor, 1974.

On this day: the Turkish army of Suleiman the Magnificent was repulsed at Vienna, 1529; Charles Edward Stuart defeated the English under General Cope at the Battle of Prestonpans, 1745; the Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, the first successful newspaper published in North America, was launched, 1784; a duel was fought between Lord Castlereagh and George Canning, 1809; the London and Brighton Railway opened, 1841; the obelisk ship Cleopatra, towed by the steamer Olga, and carrying 'Cleopatra's Needle', sailed from Alexandria for London, 1877; Stonehenge was sold by auction for pounds 6,600, 1915; the independence of Latvia was proclaimed, 1917; Britain abandoned the Gold Standard, and the pound fell from dollars 4.86 to dollars 3.49, 1931; the Reichstag fire trial opened in Leipzig, 1933; the Czech cabinet accepted the Anglo-French plan to cede Sudeten territories to Germany, 1938; San Marino declared war on Germany, 1944; the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was inaugurated, 1949; Malta became independent, 1964; in Honduras, floods caused by hurricanes resulted in the deaths of over 8,000 people, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Matthew, St Maura of Troyes, St Michael of Chernigov, St Theodore of Chernigov and The Martyrs of Korea.