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Births: Henry Vaughan, poet, 1622; Johann James Thom, self-taught sculptor, 1802; John Pierpont Morgan, financier, 1837; Constantine Cavafy, poet, 1863; Ian Hay (John Hay Beith), novelist, 1876; Sir (Charles) Leonard Woolley, archaeologist, 1880; Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, Russian leader, 1894.

Deaths: Benjamin Franklin, author, diplomat and scientist, 1790; James Thom, self-taught sculptor, 1850

On this day: at Dordrecht (Dort), Holland, the sea broke through the dykes, and over 100,000 people were drowned, 1421; Martin Luther was excommunicated by the Diet of Worms, 1521; the Act of Supremacy was partially re-enacted in England, 1559; the Republic of Guatemala was founded, 1839; Turkey declared war on Greece, 1897; Premium Savings Bonds were introduced in Britain, 1956; the civil war in Cambodia ended after the capital, Phnom Penh, surrendered to the Khmer Rouge forces, 1975; a policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher, was shot dead outside the Libyan embassy in London, 1984.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aybert, St Donnan and Others, St Innocent of Tortona, St Mappalicus and Others, St Robert of Chaise-Dieu and St Stephen Harding.


Births: Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, 1480; Bernhard Anselm Weber, pianist, conductor and composer, 1764; Louis- Adolphe Thiers, statesman, 1797; George Henry Lewes, journalist and critic, 1817; Henry Clarence Kendall, poet, 1839; Sir George Clausen, painter, 1852; Richard Harding Davis, journalist and novelist, 1864; Leopold Antoni Stanislaw Stokowski, conductor and composer, 1882; Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn, skier, 1888.

Deaths: Filippino Lippi, painter, 1504; John Leland, antiquary, 1552; John Foxe, author of The Book of Martyrs, 1587; George Jeffreys, first Baron Jeffreys of Wem, infamous judge, 1689; Erasmus Darwin, physician and writer, 1802; Count Istvan Szechenyi, statesman, committed suicide 1860; Sir Robert Smirke, architect, 1867; Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, historian, 1940; Albert Einstein, physicist, 1955; Benny Hill, comedian, 1992.

On this day: Paul Revere, American silversmith and patriot, made his dramatic ride from Charleston to Lexington, 1775; the 2,000 Guineas horse-race was first run at Newmarket, 1809; the remains of David Livingstone were interred in Westminster Abbey, 1874; the Natural History Museum in South Kensington was opened, 1881; San Francisco was devastated by an earthquake, 1906; the League of Nations was formally dissolved, and its assets handed over to the United Nations, 1946; London Bridge was sold to a US oil company, 1968.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Apollonius the Apologist, Saints Eleutherius and Anthia, St Galdinus, St Idesbald and St Laserian or Molaisse.