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Births: Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary, 1368; Philipp Melanchthon (Schwarzerd), reformer and theologian, 1497; Pedro Menendez de Aviles, navigator, 1519; Galileo Galilei, astronomer and mathematician, 1564; Michael Praetorius (Schultheiss), composer and musical historian, 1571; Matthew Merian the Younger, engraver and painter, 1687; Charles Andrew Vanloo, painter, 1705; Jean-Nicolas Buache, geographer and cartographer, 1741; Jeremy Bentham, philosopher and writer, 1748; Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of the mechanical harvester, 1809; Charles Lewis Tiffany, jeweller, 1812; Charles Francois Daubigny, landscape painter, 1817; Sir Edward George Clarke, barrister and writer, 1841; Elihu Root, lawyer and statesman, 1845; Sir Frederick Treves, physician, 1853; Sir Halford John Mackinder, geographer and politician, 1861; Alfred North Whitehead, philosopher and mathematician, 1861; Heinrich Adam, landscape painter, 1862; Sir Banister Flight Fletcher, architect and historian, 1866; Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, Antarctic explorer, 1874; Joseph Hergesheimer, novelist, 1880; John Barrymore (Blythe), actor, 1882; Henry Mayo Bateman, cartoonist, 1887; Walter Donaldson, composer and pianist, 1893; Harold Arlen (Hyman Arluck), composer and singer, 1905; Graham Hill, racing driver, 1929.

Deaths: Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), painter, 1549; Francis Atterbury, prelate, 1732; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, author, 1781; Henry Hunt, radical politician, 1835; Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, composer, 1857; Cardinal Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman, 1865; Edward Cardwell, first Viscount, statesman, 1886; Lew (Lewis) Wallace, soldier, lawyer, diplomat and author, 1905; Lionel Monckton, composer, 1924; Herbert Henry, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, statesman, 1928; Nat 'King' Cole (Nathaniel Adams Coles), singer and musician, 1965; Edgar Parks Snow, journalist, 1972; Ethel Merman (Zimmerman), singer and actress, 1984.

On this day: the Treaty of Hubertusburg was signed by Austria and Prussia, 1763; the first cargo of frozen meat left New Zealand for Britain, 1882; the USS Maine was blown up by a mine in Havana Harbour, 1898; Kimberley was relieved, 1900; the first session of the Permanent Court of International Justice was held at the Hague, 1922; an attempt to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Miami failed, but Mayor Anton J. Cermak of Chicago was killed, 1933; the Balkan Entente Conference was held at Athens, 1937; Singapore surrendered to the Japanese, 1942; the Monte Cassino monastery in Italy was bombed by Allied aircraft, 1944; British troops reached the Rhine, 1945; Britain changed over to decimal currency, 1971; a violent storm off Newfoundland wrecked an oil rig, killing 84, 1982.

Today is the Feast Day of St Agape of Terni, St Sigfrid of Vaxjo, St Tanco or Tatto and St Walfrid or Galfrid.