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Births: Gustavus II Adolphus the Great, King of Sweden, 1594; John Milton, poet, 1608; Baldassare Ferri, castrato, 1610; William Whiston, theologian and translator of Josephus, 1667; Johann Joachim Winckelmann, art historian, 1717; Edward, first Baron Thurlow, Lord Chancellor, 1731; Karl Wilhelm Scheele, chemist, 1742; Claude-Louis, Count Berthollet, chemist, 1749; Charles-Emile Waldteufel (Levy), composer, 1837; Prince Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin, Russian revolutionary and geographer, 1842; George Grossmith, actor in Gilbert and Sullivan roles, 1847; Joel Chandler Harris, author and creator of 'Uncle Remus', 1848; Emma Abbott, soprano and impresario, 1850; Algernon Bennet Langton Ashton, composer, 1859; Joaquin Turina, composer, 1882; Clarence Birdseye, inventor of deep-freezing process, 1886; Lancelot Thomas Hogben, scientific writer, 1895; Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, actress and entertainer, 1898; Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler, statesman, 1902.

Deaths: Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, 1165; Sa'di (Mosleh Od-din Sadi), classical writer, 1291; Pope Pius IV, 1565; Sir Anthony Van Dyck, painter, 1641; Pope Clement IX, 1669; Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, statesman and historian, 1674; Robert Nanteuil, engraver, 1678; Johann Reinhold Forster, naturalist, 1798; Joseph Bramah, locksmith and inventor of the hydraulic printing press, 1814; John O'Donovan, archaeologist, 1861; Ezra Cornell, financier and founder of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1874; Natsume Soseki (Kinnosuke), novelist and poet, 1916; Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson, publisher, 1921; Dame Edith Sitwell, author and poet, 1964; Karl Barth, theologian, 1968; Ralph Johnson Bunche, diplomat, 1971.

On this day: the first execution took place in Newgate Prison, London, 1783; the Macquarie River in Australia was discovered by George Evans, 1813; the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ayacucho, Peru, and agreed to leave South America, 1824; Glinka's opera Ruslan and Ludmila was first produced, St Petersburg 1842; in attempting to rescue the barque Mexico, 27 lifeboatmen from Southport and St Annes, Lancashire, were drowned, 1886; a bomb was exploded in the Paris Chamber of Deputies by an anarchist named Auguste Vailland, 1893; in France, a law was passed separating Church from State, 1905; Richard Strauss's opera Salome was performed for the first time, Dresden 1905; an Arab rising in Palestine was violently put down by the Ottoman army, 1910; during the First World War, Jerusalem (held by the Turks) surrendered to the General Allenby, 1917; Romania signed an armistice with the Central Powers at Foscani, 1917; the Eighth Army opened its offensive in North Africa by attacking Sidi Barrani, 1940; China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy, 1941; in Yugoslavia, Josip Tito formed his own government, 1943; the republic of Indonesia was established, 1949; the first episode of Coronation Street was televised, 1960; Tanganyika became independent, 1961, and a republic, 1962; the musical play Lady in the Dark was produced in England for the first time, Nottingham 1981; Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Budoc or Beuzec, St Gorgonia, St Leocadia, St Peter Fourier and the Seven Martyrs of Samosata.