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Births: James V, King of Scotland, 1512; Hugo Grotius (Huig de Groot), jurist and theologian, 1583; John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, poet and courtier, 1647; William Hazlitt, essayist and critic, 1778; Lewis Wallace, novelist, author of Ben Hur, 1827; William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, 1829; Joseph Pulitzer, newspaper proprietor and founder of the Pulitzer prizes, 1847; George William Russell (AE), poet, 1867; Claire Booth Luce, playwright, 1903.

Deaths: Agostino Agazzari, composer, 1640; Giovanni Battista Amici, astronomer and optician, 1863; Algernon Charles Swinburne, poet, 1909; Edgar Middleton, journalist and playwright, 1939; Auguste-Marie-Louis Lumiere, cine pioneer, 1954; Evelyn Waugh, novelist, 1966; Antonia White, journalist and novelist, 1980.

On this day: the Catholic Emancipation Bill was passed by Parliament, 1829; the New York Tribune (later Herald-Tribune) was first published, 1841; the Chartists met on Kennington Common, London, and presented their petition to Parliament, 1848; George Eliot's novel The Mill on the Floss was published, 1860; Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected President of Germany, 1932; the German battleships Blucher and Karlsuhe were sunk, 1940; the US Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill, 1960; Golda Meir resigned as Prime Minister of Israel, 1974; the first London performance of the musical show Chicago was staged, 1979.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bademus, St Fulbert of Chartres, St Macarius or Macaire of Ghent, St Michael de Sanctis, St Paternus of Abdinghof and The Martyrs under the Danes.


Births: Marguerite d'Angouleme, Queen of Navarre, 1492; Sir John Eliot, parliamentarian, 1592; Christopher Smart, poet, 1722; James Parkinson, physician and palaeontologist, discoverer of Parkinson's disease, 1755; George Canning, statesman, 1770; Sir Charles Halle (Carl Halle), pianist and conductor, 1819; Norman McLaren, film animator, 1914; Alberto Ginastera, composer, 1916.

Deaths: Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, Prince of Wales, 1240; Donato Bramante (d'Agnolo), architect, 1514; Sir Thomas Wyatt, conspirator, executed 1554; John Galt, novelist, 1839; Charles Reade, novelist and playwright, 1884; James Anthony Bailey, circus proprietor, 1906; Luther Burbank, 'plant wizard', 1926; Sir Gerald Hubert Edward Busson du Maurier, actor and manager, 1934; Edgar Jepson, novelist, 1938; Marie Ney (Menzies), actress, 1981; Enver Hoxha, Albanian leader, 1985; Erskine Caldwell, novelist, 1987.

On this day: William III and Mary II were crowned joint monarchs, 1689; the Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed, 1814; Napoleon abdicated, and was banished to the Isle of Elba, 1814; Uganda was declared a British Protectorate, 1894; the Stresa Conference between Britain, France and Italy began, 1935; the musical show New Faces was first produced, London, 1940; a major 'blitz' air raid was made over Coventry by German aircraft, 1941; the US spacecraft Apollo 13 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, 1971; a skeleton discovered in Berlin was stated to be definitely that of Martin Bormann, Hitler's deputy, 1974.

Tomorrow is Easter Day and the Feast Day of St Barsanuphius, St Gemma Galgani, St Godeberta, St Guthlac, St Isaac of Spoleto and St Stanislaus of Cracow.