Births: Leone Battista Alberti, painter, poet, musician and architect, 1404; Mary I, Queen of England, 1516; Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, statesman and historian, 1608; Kaspar Merian, engraver, 1627; Sir Richard Baker, English chronicler, 1645; Count Alessandro Volta, physicist, 1745; Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck, organist and composer, 1770; Thomas Girtin, painter, 1775; Niccolo Paganini, violinist and composer, 1784; Marshall Hall, physician, 1790; George Peabody, industrialist and philanthropist, 1795; Baron Hendrik Leys, painter, 1815; Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Gadadhar Chatterjee), Hindu mystic, 1836; Ernst Mach, physicist, 1838; Isidor Georg Henschel, baritone, pianist and composer, 1850; Jean-Adrien- Antoine-Jules Jusserand, diplomat and historian, 1855; Max Klinger, painter, etcher and sculptor, 1857; Sholem Aleichem (Solomon J. Rabinowitz), Yiddish writer, 1859; Edward Arnold, (Gunther Edward Arnold Schneider) actor, 1890; Wendell Louis Wilkie, politician, 1892; Andres Segovia, guitarist, 1894; Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko, general, 1895; Andre Breton, poet and art critic, 1896.

Deaths: Fra Angelico (Giovanni da Fiesole), painter, 1455; George, Duke of Clarence, put to death in the Tower 1478; Cornelius Heinrich Agrippa (von Nettesheim), scholar and astrologer, 1535; Martin Luther, Protestant reformer, 1546; Michelangelo Buonarroti, artist, 1564; Maurice Quentin de La Tour, pastel artist, 1788; Sir Jeffry Wyatville, architect, 1840; Nicholas I, Tsar of Russia, 1855; Sir Malcolm Morris, dermatologist, 1924; Elbridge Thomas Gerry, lawyer and philanthropist, 1927; James John Corbett ('Gentleman Jim'), pugilist, 1933; Gustave Charpentier, composer, 1956; Jacob Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, 1967; Hans Richter, painter and film-maker, 1976.

On this day: Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, was published, 1678; the Order of the Bath was revived, 1725; the Italian Parliament was opened, 1861; the first Congress of the Confederate States met in Richmond, Virginia 1862; Charleston was taken by the Union fleet, 1865; a direct telegraph line was established between London and New Zealand, 1876; Emile Loubet was elected President of France, 1899; Piet Cronje surrendered to the British at Paardeberg in South Africa, 1900; Germany's blockade of Britain by submarine began, 1915; the Golden Gate International Exposition opened in San Francisco, 1939; 30 men died after the French submarine Le Se Surcouf was rammed by a merchant ship in the Caribbean, 1942; the King proclaimed a constitutional monarchy in Nepal, 1951; the Gambia became an independent state within the Commonwealth, 1965.

Today is the Feast Day of St Angilbert, St Colman of Lindisfarne, St Flavian of Constantinople, St Helladius of Toledo, St Leo and Paregorius, St Simeon of

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas