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Births: James Wyatt, architect, 1746; Sir Joseph Paxton, architect and landscape gardener, 1801; Elisha Graves Otis, inventor of the safety lift, 1811; Frederic Clay, composer, 1840; Juliana Horatia Ewing, writer of children's books, 1841; Stanley Baldwin, first Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, statesman, 1867; King Haakon VII of Norway, 1872; Rupert Chawner Brooke, poet, 1887.

Deaths: James II, King of Scotland, killed 1460; Grinling Gibbons, sculptor and wood carver, 1721; William George Fargo, a founder of the Wells- Fargo express company, 1881; Sir Joseph Conrad (Josef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski), novelist, 1924; Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, novelist, 1954; Paul Goodman, novelist, playwright and poet, 1972; Archbishop Makarios III, President of Cyprus, 1977.

On this day: Hannibal won a victory over the Romans at Cannae, 216 BC; the uprising in Paris, known as the July Revolution, ended, 1830; John Hanning Speke discovered the source of the river Nile to be Lake Victoria, 1858; British troops under Colonel Younghusband and General Macdonald entered the forbidden city of Lhasa, Tibet, 1904; the first ship passed through the Panama Canal, 1914; Germany declared war on France, 1914; in Germany, Adolf Hitler became 'Der Fuhrer', 1934; Latvia became part of the Soviet Union, 1940; the Council of Europe was inaugurated, 1949; the first VTOL aircraft - The Flying Bedstead - was flown in Britain, 1954; the US nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus made its first undersea crossing of the North Pole, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of St Germanus of Auxerre, St Thomas of Hales or Dover, St Walthen or Waltheof.