Births: Louis II, King of Hungary, 1506; Frederick II, King of Denmark, 1534; Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, philosopher and mathematician, 1646; Sir Robert Stawell Ball, astronomer and mathematician, 1840; Louis Bleriot, aviator, 1872; Maundy Gregory, infamous 'honours broker', 1877; Isaak Emmanuilovich Babel, novelist, 1894; Charles Laughton, actor, 1899; Amy Johnson, aviator, 1903.

Deaths: John Bradford, Protestant martyr, burnt at the stake 1555; Mahmud II, Sultan of Turkey, 1839; Allan Pinkerton, detective-agency founder, 1884; George Frederick Watts, painter and sculptor, 1904; Pierre Monteux, conductor, 1964; Juan Domingo Peron, Argentinian president, 1974; Marcel Lajos Breuer, architect and designer, 1981.

On this day: the Crusaders defeated the Turks at the Battle of Dorylaeum, 1097; Sir Thomas More was put on trial, 1535; King William III defeated the Jacobites under James II at the Battle of the Boyne, 1690; the first volume of Diderot's Encyclopedie was published, 1751; the US issued its first adhesive postage stamps, 1847; Charles Darwin announced to the Linnean Society his theory of evolution, 1858; the Battle of Gettysburg began, 1863; the Dominion of Canada was established, 1867; Queen Victoria unveiled the Albert Memorial in London, 1872; the Klondike gold rush began, 1897; Bernard Shaw's play Candida was first performed, 1900; the Union of South Africa was formed, 1910; the first Variety Command Performance took place, Palace Theatre 1912; the Battle of the Somme began, 1916; British civil administration in Palestine started, 1920; the first conscripts in Britain were called up, 1939; the first tests of nuclear bombs began over Bikini Atoll, 1946; the BBC began colour television and showed tennis from Wimbledon, 1967; the Prince of Wales's Investiture was held at Caernarvon Castle, 1969; Maria Estela Peron became president of Argentina, 1974; the Warsaw Pact was finally abolished, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Aaron and Julius, St Carilephus or Calais, St Eparchius or Cybard, St Gall of Clermont, St Oliver Plunket, St Servanus or Serf, St Shenute, St Simeon Salus and St Thierry or Theodoric of Mont d'Or.

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