Saturday 04 December 1993
Births: Thomas Godfrey, American colonial poet and playwright, 1736; Jeanne- Francoise- Julie- Adelaide Bernard, Madame Recamier, society leader, 1777; Johann Gottlob Topfer, organist and writer, 1791; Thomas Carlyle, author, 1795; Dr John Kitto, author and Biblical editor, 1804; Samuel Butler, author and satirist, 1835; Edith Louisa Cavell, nurse, 1865; Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, 1875; Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace, thriller writer and playwright, 1875; Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty, conductor, 1879; Katharine Susannah Prichard, novelist, 1883; General Francisco Paulino Hermengildo Teodulo Franco Bahamonde (Franco), Spanish dictator, 1892; Sir Herbert Read, poet and critic, 1893.
Deaths: Pope John XXII, 1334; William Drummond of Hawthornden, poet, 1649; Thomas Hobbes, political philosopher, 1679; Luigi Galvani, electrical inventor, 1798; Karl Ludwig Fernow, archaeologist and art critic, 1808; Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool, statesman, 1828; William Sturgeon, electrical engineer, 1850; James Duffield Harding, landscape painter, 1863; John Tyndall, physicist, 1893; Stefan George, poet, 1933; Thomas Hunt Morgan, geneticist, 1945; Glenn Luther Martin, aircraft inventor, 1955; Jack (John Wesley Vivian) Payne, bandleader, 1969; Hannah Arendt, political philosopher, 1975; Edward Benjamin Britten, composer, 1976.
On this day: Nicholas Breakspear was elected Pope Adrian IV, thus becoming the only Englishman to be pope, 1154; the Council of Trent was dissolved, 1563; the Observer was first published, 1791; Income Tax was first introduced by William Pitt, 1798; the Inquisition in Spain was abolished by Napoleon, 1808; suttee (the burning of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre) was abolished in India, 1829; the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London, were opened, 1882; the Chain Pier at Brighton was destroyed during heavy gales, 1896; the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed, 1918; Jean Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor of the Central African Empire at Bangui, 1977; HMS Ark Royal, the largest ship in the Royal Navy, arrived at Plymouth before being broken up, 1978; Moscow officially denounced the invasion in 1968 of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops, 1989.
Today is the Feast Day of St Anno, St Bernard of Parma, St John of Damascus, St Maruthas, St Osmund and St Sola.
Births: Robert Harley, first Earl of Oxford, politician, 1661; Christina Georgina Rossetti, poet, 1830; George Armstrong Custer, US cavalry commander, 1839; Admiral John Rushworth Jellicoe, commander of the Fleet at Jutland, 1859; Vitezslav Novak, composer, 1870; Walter (Walt) Elias Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, 1901; Werner Karl Heisenberg, physicist, 1901; Otto Preminger, film director, 1906.
Deaths: Francis II, king of France, 1560; Giovanni Battista Morgagni, pathologist, 1771; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, 1791; Friedrich Leopold, Count Stolberg-Stolberg, poet and author, 1819; Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie Dumas pere, novelist, 1870; George John Whyte-Melville, novelist, 1878; Sir Henry Tate, sugar refiner and philanthropist, 1899; Claude-Oscar Monet, painter, 1926; Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, poet, 1931; Jan Kubelik, violinist, 1940; Joseph Erlanger, neuro-physiologist, 1965; Jimmy Nervo (James Holloway), comedian, 1975; Ethel Edith Mannin, novelist and travel writer, 1984.
On this day: James Christie, London auctioneer, held his first sale, 1766; the US brig Mary Celeste was found abandoned in the Atlantic, 1872; a plebiscite held in Greece favoured the return of King Constantine, 1920; under the 21st Amendment, prohibition was repealed in the United States, 1933; Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary and Romania after they refused to withdraw from the war against the Soviet Union, 1941; Britain's first motorway, a bypass around Preston, opened, 1958; the first British woman priest was ordained in New Jersey, United States, 1981; the United Kingdom withdrew from membership of Unesco, 1985.
Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Birinus, St Christian, St Crispina, St John Almond, St Justinian or Iestin, St Nicetius of Trier, St Sabas and St Sigiramnus or Cyran.
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- 2 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
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Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
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