Anniversaries

Births: Casimir III, King of Poland, 1310; William Lilly, astrologer and fortune-teller, 1602; Mary II, Queen, 1662; Jacques-Louis David, painter, 1748; David Thompson, explorer, 1770; Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician and astronomer, 1777; Richard Redgrave, painter, 1804; Jean-Francois Portaels, painter, 1818; Karl Kammerlander, song writer and composer, 1828; Sir John Lubbock, first Baron Avebury, banker, writer and entomologist, 1834; Karl Piutti, organist and composer, 1846; Franz Lehar, composer, 1870; Jaroslav Hasek, novelist, 1883; Joachim von Ribbentrop, politician, 1893.

Deaths: John Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly, soldier, 1632; James Montgomery, journalist, poet and hymn-writer, 1854; Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, composer, 1855; Robert Fitzroy, admiral and hydrographer, 1865; Sarah Josepha Hale (Buell), editor, and poet for children, 1879; Edouard Manet, Impressionist painter, 1883; Jens Peter Jacobsen, poet and novelist, 1885; Carl August Nicolas Rosa, operatic impresario, 1889; William Henry Welch, pathologist, 1934; Alfred Edward Housman, poet and scholar, 1936; Edwin Stanton Porter, film director, 1941; Beatrice Webb, writer and socialist, 1943; Adolf Hitler, dictator, committed suicide 1945; Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler, committed suicide, 1945; Sir Almroth Wright, bacteriologist, 1947; George Balanchine, choreographer, 1983; Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), rhythm and blues singer, 1983; Sir John William Max Aitken, newspaper publisher, 1985. On this day: under an Edict issued by Galerius Valerius Maximianus, Christians were legally recognised by the Roman Empire, 311; General George Washington was inaugurated as first US President, 1789; the Louisiana Purchase was made, when the US purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, 1803; John Luther ('Casey') Jones, immortalised in song, was killed when his Cannonball express crashed into a freight train near Vaughn, Mississippi, 1900; Hawaii became a US territory, 1900; Debussy's opera Pelleas et Melisande was first performed, Paris 1902; the World Fair opened in St Louis, 1904; the New York World's Fair opened, 1939; the Organisation of American States was founded, 1948; the first London performance of the musical show My Fair Lady was staged, 1958; the first London production of the comic operetta Candide was staged, 1959; the Brighton Belle train made its last journey from Victoria to Brighton, 1972; four of President Nixon's top aides resigned over Watergate charges, 1973; the South Vietnamese government surrendered to the Vietcong, 1975; more than 125,000 people died following a cyclone in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Eutropius of Saintes, St Forannan, St Gualfardus or Wolfhard, Saints Marianus, James and Others, St Maximus of Ephesus and St Pius V, pope.

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