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Births: Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1527; John Canton, physicist, 1718; tress, singer and composer, 1767; Friedrich Wohler, chemist, 1800; John Ericsson, naval engineer, 1803; Theobald Smith, pathologist, 1859.

Deaths: St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, 1556; Jacobus Gallus (Jakob Handl), composer, 1591; Juste-Aurele Meissonier, goldsmith, painter and sculptor, 1750; Louis- Christophe-Francois Hachette, publisher and bookseller, 1864; Benoit Fourneyron, inventor of the water turbine, 1867; Franz Liszt, composer, 1886; Frank Holl, painter, 1888; Richard Morris Hunt, architect, 1895; Jean-Joseph-Auguste-Marie Jaures, statesman, assassinated, 1914; Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, explorer, 1927; Scoresby Routledge, anthropologist and explorer, 1939; Sir Francis Younghusband, soldier, diplomat and explorer, 1942; Owen Ramsay Nares, actor-manager, 1943; Captain Hedley Verity, cricketer, on active service, 1943; Guilhermina Suggia, cellist, 1950; Jim Reeves, country singer, killed, 1964; Margaret Kennedy, novelist, 1967; Gian Francesco Malipiero, composer, 1973.

On this day: William Caxton published Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory, 1485; Trinidad was discovered by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage, 1498; the yacht America, first winner of the America's Cup, reached Cowes, Isle of Wight, 1851; the London Echo newspaper was last issued, 1905; the Boy Scout movement was inaugurated by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, 1908; Dr Crippen was arrested on board the SS Montrose for the murder of his wife, 1910; the third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) began, 1917; Germany adopted the Weimar constitution, 1925; the cross- Channel Hovercraft service was inaugurated, 1968; Pope Paul VI visited Uganda; the first time that a pope had visited Africa, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Helen of Skovde, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Justin de Jacobis, St Neot.


Births: Claudius, Roman Emperor, 10 BC; Sir Jeffry Wyatville, architect, 1766; William Clark, soldier and explorer, 1770; Francis Scott Key, poet and attorney, author of 'The Star Spangled Banner', 1779; Richard Henry Dana, novelist and lawyer, 1815; Herman Melville, sailor, novelist and poet, 1819; Guido Papini, violinist and composer, 1847; Montague Rhodes James, scholar, author and editor, 1862; Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay, author, 1881; Ivan Mestrovic, sculptor, 1883.

Deaths: Justin I, Byzantine emperor, 527; Louis VI, King of France, 1137; Queen Anne, last of the Stuart sovereigns, 1714; Richard Savage, poet, 1743; Elizabeth Inchbald (Simpson), actress and author, 1821; Robert Morrison, missionary in China, and translator of the Bible into Chinese, 1834; Sir William Robert Grove, scientist and lawyer, 1896; Ludwig Beckmann, painter, 1902; Edwin Austin Abbey, painter, 1911; Edmund C. Tarbell, painter, 1938; Theodore Roethke, poet, 1963.

On this day: Christopher Columbus landed on Terra Firma (mainland America), and believing it to be an insignificant island, named it Isla Santa, 1498; George Louis, Elector of Hanover, was proclaimed King George I of Great Britain, 1714; the watermen's race on the Thames for Doggett's Coat and Badge was first rowed, 1716; the foundation stone of the Bank of England was laid, 1732; the French were defeated by the British and Hanoverians at the Battle of Minden, 1759; Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, 1774; the French Fleet was destroyed by the English under Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, 1798; the new London Bridge was opened, 1831; slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, 1834; the Rotherhithe Thames Tunnel was opened, 1842; Colorado became the 38th of the United States, 1876; a papyrus was offered to the British Museum for pounds 10,000 purporting to give a variant account of the Israelites in the wilderness; it later proved to be a forgery, 1883; the Post Office began an inland parcel post in Britain, 1883; Louis Riel, leader of a revolt in Canada, was found guilty and sentenced to death, 1885; the Central Powers declared war on Russia, 1914; the XIth Olympic Games opened in Berlin, 1936; in Warsaw, the people under 'General Bor' rose against the Germans, 1944; Dahomey became independent, 1960.

Tomorrow is Swiss Independence Day and the Feast Day of St Almedha or Aled, St Alphonse Liguori, St Ethelwold of Winchester, The Holy Machabees, St Peter Julian Eymard and Saints Pistis, Elpis and Agape (Faith, Hope and Charity).



National Gallery: Julia Tozer, 'Boating Parties, v: Renoir and Monet on the Seine', 12pm.

Victoria & Albert Museum: Olivia Callea, 'Representation of Stories in Chinese and Japanese art', 2.30pm.

British Museum: Hilary Williams, 'Dal Pozzo: patron of Poussin and others', 1.15pm.

Tate Gallery: Laurence Bradbury, 'Colour in Modern Paintings', 1pm.