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Births: Louis-Francois Beffara, lexicographer, 1751; Louis XVI, King of France, 1754; Sir Astley Paston Cooper, surgeon, 1768; Georges-Leopold- Chretien-Frederic-Dagobert, Baron Cuvier, zoologist and statesman, 1769; Baron Egide Charles Gustav Wappers, painter, 1803; William Dent Priestman, oil engine inventor, 1847; William Ernest Henley, poet and critic, 1849; Moritz Moszkowski, composer, 1854; Edgar Lee Masters, poet and novelist, 1869; Sir Henry Thomas Tizard, scientist, 1885; Ernst Krenek, composer, 1900; Arthur Adamov, playwright, 1908.

Deaths: Flavius Stilicho, Roman general, beheaded 408; Sir William Wallace, Scottish patriot, executed 1305; Sir Thomas Littleton (Lyttelton), legal author and jurist, 1481; Charles- Augustin de Coulomb, physicist, 1806; Alexander Wilson, ornithologist, 1813; Philip Henry Gosse, naturalist, 1888; Felicien Rops, painter and engraver, 1898; Rudolph Valentino (Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaele Pierre Philibert Guglielmi), actor, 1926; Adolph Loos, architect, 1933; Albert Roussel, composer, 1937; Sidney Coe Howard, playwright, in an accident, 1939; Robin Hyde (Iris Guiver Wilkinson), novelist, 1939; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist, 1960; Irving Fine, composer, 1962; Francis Xavier Bushman, actor, 1966; Lancelot Thomas Hogben, scientific writer, 1975.

On this day: Charles I of Anjou routed the German army of the Holy Roman Empire when it invaded Italy, at the Battle of Tagliacozzo, 1268; the French defeated the Flemings at the Battle of Cassel, 1328; Mexico was declared to be independent, 1821; Hong Kong was taken by the British, 1839; the Treaty of Prague was signed, making peace between Austria and Prussia, 1866; the Albert Bridge across the Thames at Chelsea was opened, 1873; Japan declared war on Germany, 1914; Namur, Belgium, was captured by German troops, 1914; Feisal I was crowned as King of Iraq, 1921; the USSR-German Non-Aggression Pact was signed, 1939; John Cobb, the British motorist, drove at 368.85mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, USA, 1939; the Battle of Stalingrad began, 1942; the World Council of Churches was founded, 1948.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Asterius and Claudius, St Eugene or Eoghan of Ardstraw, St Philip Benizi, St Rose of Lima and St Tydfil.