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Births: Nicholas Sanson, cartographer, 1599; Pieter de Hooch, painter, 1629; John Wilson Croker, politician and reviewer, 1780; William Burn, architect, 1789; Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet, designer and military painter, 1792; Thomas Graham, chemist, 1805; Leopold von Meyer, pianist, 1816; The Rev Edwin Abbott Abbott, theologian, 1838; Teresa Schwartze, portrait painter, 1852; Harvey Samuel Firestone, industrialist, 1868; Lorenzo Perosi, priest and composer, 1872; Theodore Francis Powys, novelist, 1875; Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, statesman, 1894; Lt-Gen Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning, 1896; Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, physicist and inventor, 1901.

Deaths: Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, AD107; Ambroise Pare, surgeon, 1590; Thomas Hill, literary patron, prototype of 'Paul Pry', 1840; Henry Harland, novelist and editor, 1905; Emile-Francois Loubet, statesman, 1929; James Hilton, novelist, 1954; John Ernst Steinbeck, novelist, 1968; Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, prime minister of Spain, assassinated 1973; Bobby Darin (Robert Walden Cassotto), singer, 1973; Artur Rubinstein, pianist, 1982; Gwen Berryman, actress ('Doris Archer'), 1983; Bill Brandt, photographer, 1983.

On this day: the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was held, 1560; Peter the Great's reformation of the Russian calendar was announced, 1699; the last issue of the original Spectator was published, 1714; the State of Texas was incorporated in the United States, 1845; the State of South Carolina seceded from the American Union, 1860; the first London performance of the operetta Madame Pompadour was presented, 1923; Karl Renner became the first president of the new Austrian republic, 1945; Wladyslaw Gomulka, Polish Communist leader, resigned office after riots by workers, 1970; two Townsend Thoresen ferries collided off Harwich, with the loss of six lives, 1982.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ammon and his Companions, St Dominic of Silos, St Philogonius and St Ursicinus.