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Births: Nanak, founder of the Sikhs, 1469; Leonhardt Euler, mathematician and acoustician, 1707; William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, military commander, 1721; Sir James Clark Ross, polar explorer, 1800; Henry James, novelist, 1843; Bessie Smith, blues singer, 1894.

Deaths: Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov, writer, 1765; Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, naturalist, 1788; Hubert Robert, landscape painter, 1808; Oliver Evans, inventor, 1819; John Bell, surgeon, 1820; Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President, from shot wound 1865; Matthew Arnold, educationalist and poet, 1888; Francis Davis Millet, artist, lost in the Titanic 1912; John Singer Sargent, portrait painter, 1925; Wallace Beery, actor, 1949; Jean-Paul Sartre, philosopher and writer, 1980; Arthur Lowe, actor, 1982; Tommy Cooper, comedian, 1984.

On this day: The Passion According to St Matthew by Johann Sebastian Bach, was first performed, St Thomas's, Leipzig, 1729; Dr Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary, 1755; the Duchess of Kingston was found guilty of bigamy, 1776; the Bank of England issued the first five- pound note, 1793; a naval mutiny occurred at Spithead, 1797; Andrew Johnson was sworn in as 17th US President, 1865; Thomas Edison publicly demonstrated the kinetoscope moving picture machine, New York 1891; the White Star liner Titanic sank on her maiden voyage after colliding with an an iceberg, and 1,513 lives were lost, 1912; the Daily Herald newspaper was first published, 1912; insulin was discovered by Sir Frederick Banting with JRR Macleod and Charles H. Best, 1922; the first public sound-on-film performance was shown at the Rialto Theatre, New York, 1923; the Ulster Parliament was opened by the Governor of Northern Ireland, 1925; the first London production of the musical show A Little Night Music was presented, 1975; US aircraft bombed Libya after American aircraft had been confronted by Libyan machines, 1986.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Anastasia and Basilissa, St Hunna or Huva, St Patern or Padarn of Wales and St Ruadhan.