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Births: Claude Adrien Helvetius, philosopher and encyclopaedist, 1715; Charles XIV, king of Sweden, 1763; Ugo (Niccolo) Foscolo, poet, 1778; Benjamin Robert Haydon, historical painter, 1786; Ernst August Kellner, singer and organist, 1792; Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, judge, poet and editor, 1795; Gustav Gunz, singer and teacher, 1831; Frederick Corder, conductor and composer, 1852; Douglas MacArthur, general, 1880; Edward Sapir, linguist and anthropologist, 1884; Jimmy Van Heusen (Edward Chester Babcock), composer, 1913.

Deaths: Edward Jenner, physician, discoverer of vaccination, 1823; Jean-Louis-Andre-Theodore Gericault, painter, 1824; Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey, lawyer and critic, 1850; Gerard de Nerval (Gerard Labrunie), poet and writer, 1855; William Marsden, surgeon and founder of hospitals, 1867; Leon-Michel Gambetta, lawyer and statesman, 1882; Charles George Gordon, general, killed at Khartoum 1885; Nikolaus August Otto, internal combustion engine inventor, 1891; Arthur Cayley, mathematician, 1895; Sir James Mackenzie, physician, 1925; Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, geneticist, 1943; Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, killed in a KLM air crash, Copenhagen 1947; Grace Moore (Mary Willie Grace Moore), singer and actress, killed in a KLM air crash, Copenhagen 1947; Edward G. Robinson (Emmanuel Goldenberg), actor, 1973; Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, statesman, 1979; Georges Bidault, statesman, 1983; Mark James Walter Cameron, journalist, 1985; Jose Vicente Ferrer Otero y Cintron (Jose Ferrer), actor, 1992.

On this day: Brazil was discovered by Vicente Yanes Pinzon, 1500; Sydney, Australia, was founded by Governor Arthur Phillip, 1788; Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte was first performed, Vienna 1790; Napoleon Buonaparte became president of the Italian Republic, formerly the Cisalpine republic, 1802; Michigan became the 26th of the United States, 1837; Hong Kong became a British sovereign territory, 1841; the Rugby Union was founded, 1871; Khartoum was captured by the Mahdi, 1885; Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier was first performed, Dresden, 1911; Barcelona fell to Franco's army during the Spanish Civil War, 1939; India became a republic within the commonwealth, 1950; Hindi was made the official language of India, 1965; the National Provincial and Westminster banks merged to form the National Westminster Bank, 1968; the first London production of the musical Godspell was presented, 1972.

Today is Australia Day, Republic Day, India and the Feast Day of St Alberic, St Conan of Man, St Eystein, St Margaret of Hungary, St Paula, St Thordgith or Theorigitha of Barking, St Timothy and St Titus.