Births: Confucius, philosopher, 551 BC; Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, general and diplomat, 1545; Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, philosopher, 1770; Hermann Kipper, music teacher, critic and composer, 1826; Heinrich Urban, composer, 1837; Umberto Giordano, composer, 1867; Karl Haushofer, soldier and geographer, 1869; Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser, novelist, 1871; Karl Bosch, industrial chemist, 1874; Lloyd Cassel Douglas, novelist, 1877; The Hon Charles Stewart Rolls, motor manufacturer, 1877; Samuel Goldwyn (Samuel Gelbfisch), film magnate, 1882; Eric Coates, viola player and composer, 1886; Cecil Scott Forester, novelist, 1899; Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th US President, 1908.

Deaths: Josquin Desprez, composer, 1521; Titian (Tiziano Vecelli), painter, a victim of the plague, 1576; Pope Sixtus V, 1590; Tomas Luis de Victoria, composer, 1611; Lope Felix de Vega Carpio, playwright and poet, 1635; James Thomson, poet, 1748; Johan George Schwartze, painter, 1874; Eugene-Samuel-Auguste Fromentin, novelist and painter, 1876; Sir Rowland Hill, founder of penny postage, 1879; Louis Botha, South African soldier and statesman, 1919; William Edward Burghardt du Bois, educationist, editor and author, 1963; 'Le Corbusier' (Charles- Edouard Jeanneret), architect, 1965; Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, 1968; Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, novelist, 1969; Haile Selassie, deposed Emperor of Ethiopia, 1975; Earl Mountbatten of Burma, last Viceroy of India, murdered by the IRA 1979.

On this day: Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar lost the Duchy of Franconia at the Battle of Nordlingen, 1634; the Battle of Long Island was fought, 1776; the first balloon ascent was made in Britain by James Tytler at Edinburgh, 1784; the Declaration of the Rights of Man was adopted by the French National Assembly, 1789; Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Dresden, 1813; Algiers, then a refuge for Barbary pirates, was bombarded by Lord Exmouth, 1816; Edwin Laurentine Drake was the first in the US to strike oil - at Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1859; the Kellogg-Briand Pact, an anti-war document, was signed by 15 nations, 1928; the Heinkel 178, the first jet-propelled aircraft, made its first flight, 1939; the first transmission of a television programme from the Continent was made by the BBC, 1950; the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 3, carrying two dogs, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of St Caesarius of Arles, St David Lewis, Little St Hugh, St Marcellus of Tomi, St Margaret the Barefooted, St Monica and St Poemen.

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