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Births: King Henry VII, 1457; Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, mathematician and astronomer, 1608; John Baskerville, typographer and printer, 1706; Charles George Gordon, general and hero of Khartoum, 1833; Sabine Baring-Gould, clergyman and author, 1834; Sir Henry Morton Stanley, journalist and explorer, 1841; William Seward Burroughs, adding-machine inventor, 1855; Colette (Gabrielle Sidonie Colette) author, 1873; Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold, actor and stage director, 1874; Ruby Mildred Ayres, novelist, 1883; Auguste Piccard, balloonist and deep sea explorer, 1884; Artur Rubinstein, pianist, 1889; Ernst Lubitsch, film director, 1892; Sir Archibald Grenfell Price, historian and geographer, 1892; Paul Jackson Pollock, abstract artist, 1912.

Deaths: Charlemagne, Frankish emperor, 814; King Henry VIII, 1547; Sir Francis Drake, sailor, at sea 1596; Sir Thomas Bodley, scholar and founder of the Bodleian, 1613; Pope Paul V, 1621; Sir John Fenwick, executed for attempted assassination of King William III 1696; William Burke, body-snatcher, hanged 1829; Thomas Treadgold, engineer, 1829; Sir William Beechey, painter, 1839; William Hickling Prescott, historian, 1859; Louis-Henri Murger, author, 1861; Adalbert Stifter, novelist, 1868; Sir Edmund Walker Head Bt, colonial governor and art critic, 1868; Vicente Blasco Ibanez, writer and politician, 1928; George Edward Bateman Saintsbury, literary critic and historian, 1933; Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov, composer, 1935; William Butler Yeats, poet and playwright, 1939; Sir Samuel Henry William Llewellyn, portrait painter, 1941; Reynaldo Hahn, composer, 1947; Herbert Ernest Bates, novelist, 1974.

On this day: the Diet of Worms began, 1521; Edward VI acceded to the throne of England, 1547; the penal colony at Botany Bay, New South Wales, was founded, 1788; Paris surrendered to the German army, 1871; a British relief force arrived at Khartoum, but General Gordon had died two days earlier, 1885; the Carnegie Institution was established in Washington, 1902; the present building of the Playhouse Theatre, London, was opened, 1907; the Ruhr became fully under the control of French forces, 1923; the dictatorship by Miguel Primo de Rivera in Spain ended, 1930; Shanghai was occupied by the Japanese, 1932; the British Eighth Army retreated to El Alamein, 1942; the US space shuttle Challenger exploded moments after take-off, killing six astronauts and a woman teacher, 1986; the Independent on Sunday was first published, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Amadeus of Lausanne, St Paulinus of Aquileia, St Peter Nolasco, St Peter Thomas and St Thomas Aquinas.