Saturday 17 July 1993
Births: Isaac Watts, hymn writer and author of 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past', 1674; John Jacob Astor, fur trader and merchant, 1763; Hippolyte-Paul Delaroche, painter, 1797; Martin Farquhar Tupper, author, 1810; Ignace Leybach, pianist and composer, 1817; Therese Cathline Johanna Alexandra Tietjens, soprano, 1831; Johan August Sodermann, composer, 1832; Friedrich Gernsheim, pianist and composer, 1839; Sir Donald Francis Tovey, musicologist, 1875; Maxim Maximovich Litvinov (Wallach), Soviet leader, 1876; Erle Stanley Gardner, novelist and creator of 'Perry Mason', 1889; Mary Clare, stage and actress, 1894; James Cagney, actor, 1899; Christina Ellen Stead, novelist, 1902.
Deaths: Adam Smith, political economist and writer, 1790; Charlotte Corday, murderess of Marat, executed, 1793; James Abbott McNeill Whistler, painter, 1903; Giovanni Giolitti, statesman and reformer, 1928; Alvaro Obregon, president of Mexico, assassinated, 1928; George William Russell ('AE'), poet, 1935; Dragolub (Draza) Mihajlovic, Serbian nationalist, executed 1946; Billie Holiday (Eleanora Holiday), jazz singer, 1959;
On this day: the Moors defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Fraga, 1134; the Hundred Years' War ended after the defeat of the English at Castillon, 1453; Martin Frobisher reached Baffin Land, 1577; the Bridgewater Canal, linking Worsley and Manchester, opened, 1761; the Swedish Fleet was destroyed by the Russians, 1788; Thomas Saint patented the first sewing machine, 1790; the Champs de Mars massacre by the Marquis de La Fayette restored order in Paris, 1791; the humorous magazine Punch was first published, 1841; the Battle of Waitzen ended, 1849; George Phillips Bond, astronomer, made the first photograph of a star, 1850; General Havelock took Cawnpore after defeating Nana Sahib, 1857; Cecil Rhodes became prime minister of Cape Colony, 1890; Dr Robert Bridges became Poet Laureate, 1913; the Baghdad railway was completed, 1940; the Potsdam Conference was held to consider the occupation of Germany, 1945; Disneyland opened in California, 1955; the first London performance of the musical comedy Oh, My Papa was staged, 1957; the musical show Irma La Douce was first performed, London, 1958; Donald Campbell reached a speed of 429.3mph in his Bluebird car at Lake Eyre, South Australia, 1964; the US Apollo spacecraft and the Russian Soyuz ship docked successfully while in orbit, 1975; the Humber Estuary Bridge was opened, 1981.
Today is the Feast Day of St Clement of Okhrida and his Companions, St Ennodius, St Kenelm, St Leo IV, Pope, St Marcellina, St Nerses Lampronazi, The Seven Apostles of Bulgaria, St Speratus and his Companions, The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne and The Martyrs of Scillium.
Births: Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1552; Robert Hooke, physicist, 1635; The Rev Gilbert White, naturalist and author, 1720; William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist and poet, 1811; Michelle- Ferdinande-Pauline Viardot-Garcia, mezzo-soprano and composer, 1821; Dr William Gilbert Grace, cricketer, 1848; Karl Wilhelm Julius Hugo Riemann, musicologist, 1849; Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, physicist, 1853; Philip Snowden, first Viscount Snowden, statesman, 1864; Laurence Housman, playwright and novelist, 1865; Vidkun Quisling, traitor, 1887; Sydney Horler, thriller writer, 1888; Clifford Odets, playwright, 1906.
Deaths: Godfrey of Bouillon, protector of the Holy Sepulchre, 1100; Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), poet and scholar, 1374; Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painter, 1610; Antonio Vieira, Jesuit missionary in Brazil, 1697; Jean-Antoine Watteau, painter, 1721; Peter III, Tsar of Russia, murdered, 1762; John Paul Jones, naval officer, 1792; Jane Austen, novelist, 1817; Emanuel Leutze, historical painter, 1868; Benito Pablo Juarez, president of Mexico, 1872; Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, historian and theologian, 1881; Charles- Marie Leconte de Lisle, poet, 1894; Horatio Alger, clergyman and author of boys' books, 1899; Marie Alexandra Victoria, Queen of Romania, 1938; Thomas Sturge Moore, poet and engraver, 1944; Vitezslav Novak, pianist and composer, 1949; Corneille-Jean-Francois Heymans, physiologist, 1968; Jack Hawkins, actor, 1973; Margaret Laurence (Jean Margaret Wemys), novelist, 1986.
On this day: Warren de la Rue made the first photograph of a solar eclipse, Spain, 1860; the Dogma of Papal Infallibility in matters of faith and morals was proclaimed by the Vatican Council, 1870; the Ballot Act was passed, after which the secret ballot became law, 1872; Weston's Music Hall, London (later to become the Holborn Empire) closed, 1887; the second Battle of the Marne was fought, 1918; the Matrimonial Causes Bill, which gave women equal divorce rights with men, received Royal Assent, 1923; the first volume of Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, was published, 1925; the Mersey Tunnel was formally opened, 1934; the Spanish Civil War began after a revolt under Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco, 1936; generation of electricity from nuclear power first took place at Schenectady, New York, 1955; James Earl Ray (alias Ramon George Sneyd) was extradited to the US for complicity in the murder of Martin Luther King, 1968; General Arif, president of Iraq, was deposed after a military coup, 1968; John Stonehouse, former government minister, returned to England to face 21 charges of fraud, forgery and conspiracy, 1975; Vietnam became a member of the United Nations, 1977; in Beirut, a car-bomb exploded at the US Embassy, killing over 50 people and injuring over 100, 1983.
Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Arnoul or Arnulf of Metz, St Bruno of Segni, St Frederick of Utrecht and St Pambo.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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