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Births: Sir Samuel Romilly, law reformer, 1757; Gottfried Weber, composer, 1779; Frederic-Francois (Fryderyk Franciszek) Chopin, composer, 1810; Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, architect, 1812; Ebenezer Prout, composer, 1835; Alfred Philippe Roll, painter, 1846; Georg Simmel, philosopher and sociologist, 1858; Henry Harland, novelist and editor of the Yellow Book, 1861; Lytton Giles Strachey, author and biographer, 1880; Roger Martin du Gard, playwright and novelist, 1881; Oskar Kokoschka, Expressionist painter, 1886; Alton Glenn Miller, bandleader, 1904; Robert Traill Spence Lowell, poet, 1917.

Deaths: Thomas Campion, poet and composer, 1620; George Herbert, clergyman and poet, 1633; Hermann Samuel Reimarus, philosopher, 1768; Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1792; Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov, statesman, 1883; George Grossmith, comedian and singer, 1912; Gabriele D'Annunzio, poet, politician and playwright, 1938; Mack Gordon (Morris Gittler), lyricist, 1959; Jackie (Jack Leslie) Coogan, actor, 1984; Tommy Farr, heavyweight boxer, 1986.

On this day: Mozambique was discovered by Vasco da Gama, 1498; 1,200 Huguenots were massacred at Vassy, 1562; the Spectator was first published, 1711; Charles I of Spain expelled the Jesuits from the country, 1767; Pennsylvania was the first US state to abolish slavery, 1780; all the states of the American Union ratified the articles of Confederation, 1781; the Abyssinians defeated the Italian invading army at Adowa, 1896; St Dunstan's in Regent's Park was opened as a hostel for the blind, 1915; Admiral Horthy was elected Regent of Hungary, 1920; the 19- month-old son of Charles Lindbergh, aviator, was kidnapped, 1932; the US tested a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, 1954; the Soviet spacecraft Venus 3 touched down on Venus, 1966; after the Watergate burglary, seven of Nixon's aides were indicted, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aubin or Albinus of Angers, St David or Dewi, St Felix III, Pope, St Rudesind or Rosendo and St Swithbert.

Luis Alberto Sole-Romeo

A book of condolence for the Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Dr Luis Alberto Sole-Romeo, who died on 20 Feburary in London, will be opened for signatures tomorrow from 10am to 6.30pm at the Residence, 1 Campden Hill, London W8.


Mr JG Flynn, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Venezuela in succession to Mr GE Fitzherbert.

Mr JC Harrison, to be British High Commissioner to the Republic of Mauritius.