Births: Robert Adam, architect and designer, 1728; John Singleton Copley, painter, 1737; Leo Janacek, composer, 1854; William Henry Davies, poet, 1871; Franz Kafka, writer, 1883; Elizabeth Taylor (Coles), novelist, 1912.

Deaths: Marie de' Medici, Queen of France, 1642; Dorothea Jordan (Phillips), actress and royal mistress, 1816; Karl Adolf Heinrich Hess, painter, 1849.

On this day: George Washington became C-in-C of American forces, 1775; the Austrians were defeated by the Prussians at the Battle of Sadowa (Koniggratz), John Logie Baird transmitted the first colour television, London 1928; food rationing in Britain ended, 1954; an Israeli commando force made an airborne raid on Entebbe airport, Uganda, to free 105 hostages from a hijacked aircraft, 1976; it was announced that Paul Hamlyn had sold his Octopus publishing group to Reed International for pounds 540m, 1987.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anatolius of Constantinople, St Anatolius of Laodicea, St Bernardino Realino, St Helidorus of Altino, Saints Irenaeus and Mustiola, St Leo II, Pope, St Rumold or Rombaut and St Thomas the Apostle.


Births: Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer, 1804; Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian leader, 1807; Dr Thomas John Barnardo, philanthropist, 1845; John Calvin Coolidge, 30th US president, 1872; Louis Burt Mayer, Hollywood 'movie mogul', 1885; Gertrude Lawrence (Gertrud Alexandra Dagmar Lawrence Klasen), actress, 1898; Daniel Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter and singer, 1900.

Deaths: Samuel Richardson, novelist, 1761; John Adams, second US president, 1826; Thomas Jefferson, third US president, 1826; James Monroe, fifth US president, 1831; Viscomte Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, politician and writer, 1848; Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, astronomer, 1910; Max Klinger, painter, etcher and sculptor, 1920; Marie Curie (Marja Sklodowska), chemist, 1934; Suzanne Lenglen, tennis player, 1938; Louis Wain, illustrator of cats, 1939; Wladyslaw Sikorski, prime minister of Poland, in an air crash 1943; Bernard Cyril, first Baron Freyberg, Governor- General of New Zealand, 1963.

On this day: Saladin defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Tiberias, 1187; the American Declaration of Independence was adopted, 1776; the first London bus ran from Marylebone Road to the Bank of England, 1829; the Britannia, the first Cunard steamship, sailed from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, 1840; Karl Heinrich Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto, 1848; the Statue of Liberty was presented by the people of France to the US, 1883; the Gaiety Theatre, Strand, London, was demolished, 1903; the construction of the Panama Canal began, 1904; Hanna Reitsch made the first successful flight in a helicopter, Germany, 1937; the Republic of the Philippines was established, 1946.

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States of America and the Feast Day of St Andrew of Crete, St Bertha of Blangy, St Elizabeth of Portugal, St Odo of Canterbury, St Ulric of Augsburg and the Martyrs of Dorchester.

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