Anniversaries

Births: Wenzel Robert, Count von Gallenberg, composer, 1783; Sir John Bennet Lawes, agriculturist, 1814; Sir Archibald Geikie, geologist, 1835; Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th US president, 1856; Sir John William Fortescue, military historian, 1859; Philip Wilson Steer, artist, 1860; Pio Baroja Nessi, novelist, 1872; Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, astronomer, 1882; St John Greer Ervine, playwright and dramatic critic, 1883; Roger Huntington Sessions, composer, 1896; Earl 'Fatha' Hines, jazz pianist, 1905.

Deaths: St Francis de Sales, 1622; Laurent de Lahire, painter, 1656; Queen Mary II (of William and Mary), 1694; Pierre Bayle, philosopher and writer, 1706; Rob Roy (Robert Macgregor), clan chief, 1734; Emmerich de Vattel, diplomat and jurist, 1767; John Campbell, historian, 1775; Thomas Babington Macaulay, first Baron Macaulay, historian, 1859; Thomas Creswick, painter, 1869; Alfred Cellier, composer, 1891; George Robert Gissing, novelist, 1903; Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, engineer, 1923; Maurice Joseph Ravel, composer, 1937; Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser, novelist, 1945; Victor Emmanuel III, former King of Italy, 1947; Jack Lovelock, athlete and surgeon, killed 1949; Paul Hindemith, composer, 1963; Max (Maximilian) Raoul Steiner, film score composer, 1971; Sam Peckinpah, film director, 1984.

On this day: Westminster Abbey was dedicated, 1065; Spain recognised the independence of Mexico, 1836; the town of Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa, was founded, 1846; Iowa became the 29th of the United States, 1846; in the United States, the first patent for chewing gum was issued, 1869; the centre portion of the Tay Bridge in Scotland collapsed, taking with it a train, including 75 passengers and crew, 1879; the world's first public film show took place in Paris, 1895; Messina, in Sicily, was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake when over 150,000 lives were lost, 1908; the independence of Estonia was proclaimed, 1917; the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland, 1937; Ahmen Soekarno was elected president of the Indonesian Republic, 1949; an earthquake in Pakistan resulted in the death of more than 4,000 people, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St Antony of Lerins, The Holy Innocents (Childermas) and St Theodore the Sanctified.

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