Births: Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik), astronomer, 1473; David Garrick, actor, 1717; George Brydges Rodney, first Baron, admiral, 1718; Richard Cumberland, playwright, 1732; Sir William Fairbairn, engineer, 1789; Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, geologist, 1792; Hans Dahl, painter, 1849; Svante August Arrhenius, physicist, 1859; Sven Anders Hedin, explorer, 1865; Alvaro Obregon, Mexican revolutionary and president, 1880; Merle Oberon (Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson), actress, 1911; Stan Kenton (Stanley Newcomb), jazz band-leader, 1912; Lulu Carson McCullers (Smith), novelist, 1917.

Deaths: Charles-Francois Daubigny, landscape painter, 1878; Charles Blondin (Jean-Francois Gravelet), tight-rope walker, 1897; Ernst Mach, physicist, 1916; Andre-Paul-Guillaume Gide, novelist, 1951; John Grierson, documentary film maker, 1972.

On this day: the Peace of Westminster was signed, under which New Netherlands (New York) became British, 1674; Napoleon Buonaparte established himself as First Consul, 1800; bread riots took place in Liverpool, 1855; the phonograph was patented by Thomas Alva Edison, 1878; British troops from Kenya invaded Italian Somaliland, 1941; US troops landed on Iwo Jima, 1945; an agreement for the independence of Cyprus was signed in London by the prime ministers of Britain, Turkey and Greece, 1959; the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces from Cuba, 1963; Iceland broke off diplomatic relations with Britain after failing to come to an agreement over the fishing dispute, 1976.

Today is the Feast Day of St Barbatus, St Beatus of Liebana, St Boniface of Lausanne, St Conrad of Piacenza and St Mesrop.