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Births: Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile and Leon, 1334; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, novelist and creator of Frankenstein's monster, 1797; Adolf Friedrich Hesse, composer, 1809; Friedrich Ratzel, geographer, 1844; Joseph Mallaby Dent, publisher, 1849; Ernest Rutherford, first Baron Rutherford of Nelson, physicist, 1871; Raymond Massey, actor, 1896; Fred MacMurray, actor, 1908; Joan Blondell, actress, 1909.

Deaths: Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, committed suicide, 30 BC; Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths in Italy, 526; Gilbert Abbott a Beckett, writer, 1856; Admiral Sir John Ross, explorer, 1856; John Francis, sculptor, 1861; Dr James Collis Browne, inventor of 'Chlorodyne', 1884; Thomas Thornycroft, sculptor, 1885; Georges- Eugene Sorel, socialist thinker, 1922; Wilhelm Wien, physicist, 1928; Henri Barbusse, novelist and editor, 1935; Sir Joseph John Thomson, physicist, 1940.

On this day: Frederick II of Prussia was defeated by the French at Johannisberg, 1762; the Battle of Chesapeake Capes (War of American Independence) began, 1781; the first British tram service began, Birkenhead, 1860; during the American Civil War, the second Battle of Bull Run ended with the defeat of the Union army, 1862; the vacuum cleaner was patented by Hubert Cecil Booth, 1901; Alberta became a province of Canada, 1905; the Battle of Tannenberg ended when the Russians were defeated by German forces, 1914; Paul von Hindenburg became chief of the general staff of Germany, 1916; the siege of Leningrad began, 1941; Soviet troops entered Bucharest, Romania, 1944.

Today is the Feast Day of St Fantinus, Saints Felix and Adauctus, St Margaret Ward, St Pammachius and St Ruan or Rumon.