Births: Isabella, Queen of Castile and Leon, 1451; Henry Fielding, novelist, 1707; Immanuel Kant, philosopher, 1724; William Linton, landscape painter, 1791; Wilfred Ellington Bendall, composer, 1850; Lenin (Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov), Russian Communist leader, (Old Style 10 April) 1870; Alexander Feodorovich Kerensky, politician, 1881; Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, composer, 1891; Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, novelist, poet and lepidopterist, 1899; Kathleen Ferrier, contralto, 1912; Julius Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, 1904; Sir Sidney Nolan painter, 1917.

Deaths: John Tradescant, gardener, 1662; James Hargreaves, inventor of the spinning jenny, 1778; Thomas Rowlandson, cartoonist, 1827; Richard Trevithick, steam engineer, 1833; Victor-Antoine-Edouard Lalo, composer, 1892; William Stubbs, historian and bishop, 1901; John Passmore Edwards, newspaper proprietor and philanthropist, 1911; Frederick Henry Royce, motor-car pioneer, 1933; Basil Dean, actor, manager and playwright, 1978; Ansel Easton Adams, photographer, 1984.

On this day: Pedro Alvarez de Cabral reached Brazil and claimed it for Portugal, 1500; Napoleon defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Mondovi, 1796; St Helena became a Crown Colony, 1834; the first parliament in South Australia opened, 1857; the US blockaded Cuba to aid the independence forces, 1898; the second Battle of Ypres began, when poison gas was used for the first time by Germany, 1915; British forces made a raid on Zeebrugge, 1918; Allied forces landed in New Guinea, 1944; the New York World's Fair opened, 1964; the army in Greece effected a coup, and martial law was declared, 1967; Robin Knox-Johnston sailed into Falmouth after a 312-day non-stop round-the-world voyage, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Agipatus I, pope, Saints Epipodius and Alexander, St Leonides of Alexandria, St Opportuna and St Theodore of Sykeon.

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