Births: Edward I, King, 1239; Pedro Calderon de la Barca, playwright, 1600; Jan van Mieris, painter, 1660; John Wesley, evangelist, 1703; William Parsons, Third Earl of Rosse, astronomer, 1800; Hermann Goldschmidt, painter and astronomer, 1802;

Alfred James Hipkins, piano maker, 1826; Sir William Crookes, physicist, 1832; Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, composer, 1882; Martin Bormann, Nazi leader, 1900.

Deaths: Jean Audran, artist and engraver, 1756; Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, Methodist reformer, 1791; Richard Harris Barham, poet and author of The Ingoldsby Legends, 1845; William Hart, landscape and cattle painter, 1894; Sir Edward Coley Burne- Jones, painter, 1898; Arthur Christopher Benson, scholar and author, 1925; Dorothy Miller Richardson, novelist, 1957; John Cowper Powys, novelist and poet, 1963.

On this day: Francis Drake proclaimed English sovereignty over New Albion (now California), 1579; the Battle of Bunker Hill, beginning the American War of Independence, was fought, 1775; the Third Estate (tiers etat) or Commons, formed themselves into the French National Assembly, 1789; the Opera House, London, burned down, 1789; the Battle of Trebbia River (Wars of the French Revolution) started, 1799; Maori uprisings against the British began in New Zealand, 1843; the Great Eastern left the Needles, Isle of Wight, on her first transatlantic voyage, 1860; the first military port in Germany, Wilhelmshaven, was officially inaugurated, 1869; the Roumelian railway opened, 1873; the river steamboat service on the Thames started, 1905; Portuguese troops went into action for the first time on the Western Front, 1917; Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union, 1940; the British troopship Lancastria was bombed and sunk off St Nazaire, with the loss of 2,500 lives, 1940; the British Expeditionary Force from France was finally evacuated, 1940; Iceland was proclaimed an independent republic, 1944; in East Berlin, a rising took place against the Communist government, 1953; the May Fair Theatre opened in London, 1963; China reported that she had exploded a hydrogen bomb, 1967; General Leopoldo Galtieri was ousted as president of Argentina, 1982; the South African Parliament repealed a law, by which apartheid was ended, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Adolph, St Antidius, St Avitus or Avy of Perche, St Bessarion, Saints Botulph and Adulph, St Emily de Vialar, St Gregory Barbarigo, St Herve or Herveus of Brittany, St Hypatius, St Molling, St Nectan, Saints Nicander and Marcian and St Teresa of Portugal.

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