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Births: Sir John Cheke, classical scholar, 1514; Henrietta Stuart, Duchess of Orleans, 1644; John Linnell, painter, 1792; Julius Plucker, mathematician and scientist, 1801; Otto Jahn, philologist and archaeologist, 1813; William Shakespeare, tenor and composer, 1849; Gustav V, King of Sweden, 1858; Arthur Meighen, statesman, 1874; Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson), comedian, 1890; Lupino Lane (Henry Lupino), singer and entertainer, 1892.

Deaths: John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, general, 1722; Joseph Butler, theologian, 1752; Charles Sturt, explorer of Australia, 1869; Crawford Williamson Long, surgeon who pioneered the use of ether, 1878; Elmer Ambrose Sperry, inventor, 1930; Arthur Wallis Myers, lawn tennis authority, 1939; Harry Arthur Saintsbury, actor and author, 1939; Du Bose Heyward, novelist and playwright, 1940; Margaret Grace Bondfield, trade-union leader and first woman cabinet minister, 1953; Harold Rupert Leofric George, First Earl Alexander of Tunis, field marshal, 1969; Sir John Charles Walsham Reith, first Baron Reith of Stonehaven, first director-general of the BBC, 1971; Wernher von Braun, rocket engineer, 1977.

On this day: Lambert Simnel, pretended Earl of Warwick, was defeated at the Battle of Stoke, 1487; King George II defeated the French at the Battle of Dettingen, 1743; the siege of Gibraltar began with Spanish and French attacks on the rock, 1779; Napoleon forced the Prussians under Blucher to fall back at the Battle of Ligny, 1815; the Prince of Orange defeated Napoleon's army under Marshal Ney at the Battle of Quatre Bras, 1815; the insurrection of the Janissaries at Constantinople ended, 1826; the London Working Men's Association was founded, 1836; Henry Ford founded the Ford motor company, and became its first president, 1903; the Automobile Association was founded, 1905; the first public meeting of the League of Nations council was held in London, 1920; mixed bathing in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London, was first permitted, 1930; Winston Churchill offered France indissoluble union with Britain, 1940; Marshal Petain took over the French government and asked Germany for an armistice, 1940; a Cathay Pacific Airways Catalina flying-boat was the first aircraft to be hijacked (by Chinese bandits), 1948; the first woman astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova, blasted off in Vostok 6, 1963; the first London performance of the musical show 1776 was staged, 1970; burglars were arrested at the Democratic Party headquarters, Watergate Building, Washington DC, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aurelian, St Benno of Meissen, Saints Cyr and Julitta, Saints Ferreolus and Ferrutio, St Lutgard and St Tychon of Amathus.