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Births: Pope Leo X, 1475; Paul-Joseph Barthez, physician, 1734; Sir David Brewster, physicist, and inventor of the kaleidoscope, 1781; Louis-Hector Berlioz, composer, 1803; Louis- Charles-Alfred de Musset, playwright and poet, 1810; Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch, bacteriologist, 1843; Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov, Marxist revolutionary, 1856; Fiorello Henry La Guardia, Mayor of New York City, 1882; Victor McLaglen, actor, 1883.

Deaths: Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, last native Prince of Wales, killed in battle 1282; Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor, 1282; Bernardino Pinturicchio (Betto di Biago), painter, 1513; Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Conde, 1686, soldier, 1686; Sir Roger l'Estrange, journalist and translator of Aesop's Fables, 1704; Edmund Curll, bookseller and scurrilous pamphleteer, 1747; Baron Theodor von Neuhof, adventurer and sometime King of Corsica, 1756; Colley Cibber, playwright and actor, 1757; Jean-Francois-Casimir Delavigne, playwright and poet, 1843; Richard Doyle, artist, 1883; Matthias Hohner, musical-instrument maker, 1902; Ludwig Mond, chemist, 1909; Menelek II, Emperor of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), 1913; Emilie Albertina Olive Schreiner, novelist, 1920; Emile- Charles-Marie Wauters, painter, 1933; John William Mackail, scholar, 1945; Sir Douglas James Jardine, soldier and diplomat, 1946; Egbert Roscoe (Ed) Murrow, journalist and broadcaster, 1965.

On this day: James II fled from England, 1688; Ferdinand VII became King of Spain after the abdication of his father, Charles VI, 1814; Indiana became the 19th of the United States, 1816; the first motor show opened in Paris, 1894; the British, led by Lord Methuen, were repulsed by the Boers under Piet Cronje at the Battle of Magersfontein, Orange Free State, 1899; public buildings were burnt in Dublin, the damage being estimated at pounds 3m, 1920; King George VI acceded to the throne, 1936; the Fascist Grand Council in Rome decided to withdraw Italy from membership of the League of Nations, 1937; the new Waterloo Bridge was opened, 1945; the United Nations refused to admit Spain to the organisation, and recommended that member-countries should break diplomatic relations with that country, 1946; the prototype of the Concorde airliner was shown for the first time at Toulouse, 1968.

Today is the Feast Day of St Barsabas, St Damasus I, Pope, St Daniel the Stylite and Saints Fuscianus, Victoricus and Gentianus.


Births: Erasmus Darwin, physician and writer, 1731; John Jay, statesman, 1745; Sir William Beechey, painter, 1753; Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, second wife of Napoleon, 1791; William Lloyd Garrison, opponent of slavery, 1805; Gustave Flaubert, novelist, 1821; Siegmund Lebert (Levy), musician and educationist, 1822; Jean-

Jacques Debillement, violinist and composer, 1824; Jan Kasprowicz, poet, 1860; Edvard Munch, painter, 1863; Alfred Werner, chemist, 1866; Edward G. Robinson (Emanuel Goldenburg), actor, 1893.

Deaths: Darius II Nothus ('The Bastard'), King of Persia, 404 BC; Stephen Bathory, King of Poland, 1586; Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, statesman, 1751; Albrecht von Haller, biologist and poet, 1777; Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, civil engineer, 1849; Robert Browning, poet, 1889; Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, portrait sculptor, 1890; Douglas Fairbanks Snr (Douglas Elton Ulman), actor, 1939; Charles Jesse Kortright, cricketer, 1952; Tallulah Brockman Bankhead, actress, 1968; William (Billy) Gordon Reid, composer and pianist, 1974; Baroness Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-

Churchill, 1977; Anne Baxter, actress, 1985.

On this day: fleeing from the mob, Judge Jeffreys took refuge in the Tower of London, 1688; Pennsylvania became the second of the United States, 1787; the first transatlantic radio signal was transmitted by Marconi, 1901; Franz Lehar's operetta Die Lustige Witwe ('The Merry Widow') was first produced, Vienna 1905; King George V held a great Coronation Durbar in Delhi, India, 1911; in Germany, Hugo Junkers built the first all-metal aircraft, 1915; martial law was declared in the counties of Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and Limerick, 1920; the first motel opened in California, 1925; the Italian parliament passed a bill compelling all trades unions to be Fascist, 1925; in a press conference with American journalists, Adolf Hitler declared 'I am a democrat', 1931; China declared war on Japan, 1936; in Britain, conscription was introduced for men aged between 18 and 26, 1948; Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft, 1955; the first London production of the musical show West Side Story was staged, 1958; President John F. Kennedy proposed the installation of a direct telephone line between the White House and the Kremlin, 1962; Kenya became independent, 1963, and became a republic, 1964; Francis Chichester arrived at Sydney after sailing 13,000 miles alone from Plymouth in 107 days, 1966; women members were elected to the Jockey Club for the first time, 1977; a violent earthquake in Colombia resulted in over 700 dead 1979; near Clapham Junction, London, an express train from Bournemouth crashed into a stationary train, killing 36 people and injuring 111, 1988.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Corentin or Cury, St Edburga of Minster, Saints Epimachus and Alexander, St Finnian of Clonard, St Jane Frances de Chantel and St Vicelin.