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Births: George Washington, first President of the US, 1732; Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1788; Niels Vilhelm Gade, composer, 1817; James Russell Lowell, poet and diplomat, 1819; Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, first Baron, founder of the Boy Scouts, 1857; Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, physicist, 1857; Arthur Eric Rowton Gill, artist, sculptor and typographer, 1882; Marguerite Clark, actress, 1883; Lew Cody (Louis Joseph Cote), actor, 1884; Olave St Clair Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide from 1930, 1889; Nacio Herb Brown, popular composer and publisher, 1896; Luis Bunuel, film director, 1900; Romulo Betancourt, Venezuelan statesman, 1908; Warren Stanley Tute, novelist, sailor and playwright, 1914.

Deaths: Amerigo Vespucci, navigator, 1512; Dr Adam Ferguson, philosopher and historian, 1816; Charles Willson Peale, portrait painter, 1827; Sydney Smith, social reformer, 1845; Jean-Baptiste- Camille Corot, painter, 1875; Sir Charles Lyell, geologist, 1875; Hugo Philipp Jakob Wolf, lieder composer, 1903; Sir Leslie Stephen, biographer, author and editor, 1904; Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen, novelist, 1973; Oskar Kokoschka, painter and playwright, 1980.

On this day: French soldiers landed at Fishguard and were made prisoners - the last invasion of Britain, 1797; Spain ceded Florida to the US, 1819; US forces under General Taylor defeated the Mexicans at the Battle of Buena Vista, 1847; Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as president of the Confederate States of America, 1862; Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first 'five- and-ten-cent-store', at Utica, New York 1879; the National Council for Civil Liberties was founded, 1934; Dr Selman Abraham Waksman announced his discovery of streptomycin, 1946; an IRA bomb attack at Aldershot killed seven people, 1972; Pakistan recognised the independence of Bangladesh, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Baradates, St Margaret of Cortona and Saints Thalassius and Limnaeus.