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Births: Thomas Jefferson, third US President, 1743; Joseph Bramah, locksmith and inventor, 1748; Thomas Beddoes, physician, 1760; Richard Trevithick, engineer and railway pioneer, 1771; Felicien-Cesar David, composer, 1810; William Sterndale Bennett, pianist and composer, 1816; George Jacob Holyoake, rationalist, secularist and reformer, 1817; Josephine Elizabeth Butler (nee Grey), social reformer, 1828; Marshal of the RAF Sir Arthur Harris, wartime chief of Bomber Command, 1892; John Gerard Braine, novelist, 1922.

Deaths: Boris Feodorovich Godunov, Russian Tsar, 1605; Jean de La Fontaine, writer of fables, 1695; Vasili Vasilievich Vereshchagin, artist and traveller, 1904; Richard Garnett, librarian, 1906; Sir William Quiller Orchardson, painter, 1910; James Buchanan Brady ('Diamond Jim'), financier, 1917; Lavr Georgievich Kornilov, Cossack leader, 1918; Hugh Cecil Lowther, fifth Earl of Lonsdale, sportsman, 1944; Abdul Salam Arif, President of Iraq, killed in a helicopter crash, 1966; Travers Christmas Humphreys, judge, 1983.

On this day: the Edict of Nantes, giving Huguenots equal rights with Catholics, was issued by Henry IV of France, 1598; the Royal Military Academy was established at Woolwich, 1741; The Messiah by George Frederick Handel, was first performed, Dublin, 1742; Warren Hastings was appointed governor of Bengal, 1772; Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Millesimo, 1796; the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in Britain, 1829; Magdala, Abyssinia (Ethiopia) was taken by the British under Sir Robert Napier, 1868; the Anti-Semitic League was founded in Prussia, 1882; the Royal Flying Corps was constituted by Royal Warrant, 1912; the Amritsar Massacre occurred after British soldiers fired on Nationalist rioters in India, 1919; the first London production of Funny Girl was presented, 1966; in Beirut, Lebanon, fighting broke out between Moslems and Christians, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Agathonice, Carpus, and Papylus, St Guinoch, St Hermenegild, St Martin I, pope and St Martius or Mars.