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Births: Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, 1593; Thomas Telford, civil engineer, 1757; Fabian Gottlieb Bellingshausen (Faddei Faddeyevich Bellingsgausen), polar explorer, 1778; Michael Umlauf, violinist and composer, 1781; Robert Nicolas Charles Bochsa, harpist and composer, 1789; Alvan Fisher, portrait painter, 1792; George Payne Rainsford James, novelist, 1799; William Thomas Green Morton, dental surgeon, 1819; Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev, novelist and playwright, 1871; Reynaldo Hahn, Venezuelan composer, 1874; Albert William Ketelbey, composer, 1875; Leonide Fedorovich Massine, dancer and choreographer, 1896; Jean Piaget, child psychologist, 1896; Robert Aldrich, film director, 1918; Giles Stannus Cooper, playwright, 1918; Philip Arthur Larkin, poet, 1922.

Deaths: Trajan, Roman emperor, 117; Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp, admiral, 1653; Xavier Sigalon, painter, 1837; Captain Frederick Marryat, novelist, 1848; Dr John Hill Burton, historian and jurist, 1881; Sir Samuel Ferguson, poet, 1886; Sir Edward Frankland, chemist, 1899; Ernst Heinrich Haeckel, biologist, 1919; Ruggiero Leoncavallo, composer, 1919; Professor Graham Wallas, economist, 1932; Sir John Bernard Partridge, artist and cartoonist, 1945; Nikolai Miaskovsky, composer, 1950; John Jeffrey Farnol, novelist, 1952; Herman Hesse, poet and novelist, 1962; Joe Orton (John Kingsley Orton), playwright, 1967; Dmitri Dmitryevich Shostakovich, composer, 1975.

On this day: the Battle of Adrianople was fought between the Goths and the Roman emperor Valens, 378; the Siege of Limerick started, 1690; revolutionaries established the Commune in Paris, 1792; the border between Canada and the United States was established, 1842; the first Atlantic cable was completed by Cyrus Field, 1858; the Elementary Education Act was passed, 1870; the Married Women's Property Act was passed, 1870; the island of Heligoland was transferred to Germany, 1890; the coronation of Edward VII took place in Westminster Abbey, 1902; following an earthquake in the area of Constantinople (Istanbul), 6,000 people were killed and 40,000 rendered homeless, 1912; an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, 1945; Cyprus was attacked by Turkish aircraft, 1964; Singapore became independent, 1965; the London production of the musical show Jesus Christ Superstar was first presented, 1972; Gerald Ford succeeded Richard Nixon as 38th US president, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Emygius, Saints Nathy and Felim, St Oswald of Northumbria and St Romanus.