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Births: Prince Henry the Navigator, sponsor of voyages, 1394; Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, composer and violinist, 1678; Charles Dibdin, playwright and songwriter, 1745; Thomas Rickman, architect, 1841; Thomas Sturge Moore, poet and wood-engraver, 1870; Fritz Graebner, ethnologist, 1877.

Deaths: Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria, 1193; Sir Thomas Malory, author of Morte d'Arthur, 1470; Bernard Gilpin, clergyman, the 'Apostle of the North', 1583; Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, playwright and novelist, 1852; Moritz Moszkowsky, composer, 1925; Antonin Artaud, actor, playwright and stage director, 1948; William Carlos Williams, physician and poet, 1963; Richard Thomas Church, poet and novelist, 1972.

On this day: Pennsylvania was granted by charter to William Penn, 1681; the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was founded, 1824; Chicago was chartered as a city, 1837; the New York Daily Graphic, the first illustrated daily newspaper, appeared, 1873; the first electric tramcars ran at Leytonstone, London, 1882; the Forth Bridge was officially opened, 1890; Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as 28th US president, 1913; the Comintern (Communist International) was formed, 1919; the first London performance of the musical the Cat and the Fiddle was staged, 1932; the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the Social Credit plan of the Albertan prime minister Aberhart was unconstitutional, 1938; British commandos raided the Lofoten Islands off Norway, then German-occupied, 1941; German radio declared that Dresden had been 'wiped off the map of Europe' by Allied bombing, 1945; the US nuclear submarine Nautilus travelled under the North Polar icecap, 1958; North Sea gas was first piped ashore, near Durham, 1967; the French submarine Eurydice sank off the coast of Toulon, and all 57 crew were lost, 1970; Edward Heath resigned and Harold Wilson became prime minister, forming a Labour government, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Adrian and his Companions, St Casimir of Poland and St Peter of Cava.