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Births: Philip II (Philip-Augustus), King of France, 1165; William IV, King, 1765; Henry Hinchliffe Ainley, actor, 1879; Roark Whitney Wickliffe Bradford, novelist, 1896; William 'Count' Basie, jazz pianist and bandleader, 1904.

Deaths: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, author, 1762; Sir Jacob Epstein, sculptor, 1959; Norman Shelley, actor, 1980; Benigno Aquino, Philippine politician, assassinated 1983.

On this day: Wellington defeated the French forces under General Junot at the Battle of Vimiero, 1808; the Mona Lisa painting was stolen from the Louvre, 1911; the Battle of Bapaume- Peronne started, 1918; the London dock strike ended, 1923; Civil Defence was started in Britain, 1939; Hawaii became the 50th of the United States, 1959; it was announced in the Soviet Union that the coup had failed and that President Mikhail Gorbachev had been reinstated, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Abraham of Smolensk, Saints Bonosus and Maximian, Saints Luxorius, Cisellus and Camerinus, St Pius X, pope and St Sidonius Apollinaris.


Births: Denis Papin, physicist and inventor, 1647; Francois Forster, engraver, 1790; Claude-Achille Debussy, composer, 1862; Dorothy Parker (Rothschild), humorist and writer, 1893; Leni (Helene Bertha Amalie) Riefenstahl, actress, film producer and photographer, 1902.

Deaths: Philip VI, King of France, 1350; Richard III, King, killed at Bosworth Field 1485; Jean-Honore Fragonard, painter, 1806; Warren Hastings, first governor-general of India, 1818; George Shillibeer, pioneer of London's first bus service, 1866; Sydney Thompson Dobell, poet, 1874; Roger Martin du Gard, novelist and playwright, 1958; William Richard Morris, first Viscount Nuffield, motor manufacturer, 1963; Jomo Kenyatta (Kamau), Kenyan leader, 1978; James Thomas Farrell, novelist, 1979.

On this day: the Scots were defeated by the English at the Battle of the Standard (Northallerton), 1138; Richard III was defeated by Henry VII's men at the Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485; the Civil War began in England, 1642; Sierra Leone was first settled by the British as a haven for former slaves, 1788; New Mexico was annexed by the US, 1846; the Geneva Conference adopted the ideas put forward by Jean-Henri Dunant, and the International Red Cross organisation was founded, 1864; Korea was annexed by Japan, 1910; the first British aircraft shot down during war crashed near Mons, killing its two-men crew, 1914; the first regular BBC television service began, 1932; Pope Paul VI made the first papal visit to South America when he arrived in Colombia, 1968; following a change in the licensing laws, public houses in England and Wales were allowed to stay open all day, 1988.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Andrew of Fiesole, St John Kemble, St Sigfrid of Wearmouth, St Symphorian and St Timothy.