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Births: Georges de la Tour, painter, 1593; Alonso Cano, painter, 1601; Tobias George Smollett, physician and author, 1721; Charles Watson Wentworth, second Marquis of Rockingham, statesman, 1730; Joah Bates, composer, 1741; Dr David Livingstone, explorer and missionary, 1813; Johannes Josephus Herman Verhulst, composer and conductor, 1816; Sir Richard Francis Burton, scholar and explorer, 1821; William Allingham, poet, 1824; William Jennings Bryan, politician and speaker, 1860; Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, ballet company founder, 1872; Max Reger, teacher and composer, 1873; Sir John Hubert Marshall, archaeologist, 1876; Joseph Albers, painter and poet, 1888.

Deaths: Thomas Killigrew, playwright, 1683; Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, explorer, murdered by his own men in Texas 1687; Thomas William Daniell, landscape painter, 1840; Mary Anning, finder of the Ichthyosaurus fossil, 1847; William Henry Playfair, architect, 1857; Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow-Godenhaus, painter, 1862; George Richmond, painter, 1896; Antoine-Thomson d'Abbadie, explorer and scientist, 1897; Arthur James Balfour, first Earl Balfour, statesman, 1930; Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist and creator of 'Tarzan', 1950; Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Romanian prime minister, 1965; Stephen Graham, travel writer, 1975; Faith Cuthrell Baldwin, romantic novelist, 1978; Alan Badel, actor, 1982.

On this day: the Rev John White formed the New England Company in Massachusetts Bay, 1628; the US Senate refused to ratify the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations Covenant, 1920; Gounod's opera Faust was performed for the first time, Paris 1859; Sydney Harbour bridge was officially opened, 1932; following an internal dispute, British parachute troops took over the Caribbean island of Anguilla, 1969; Willy Brandt and Willi Stoph, heads of West and East Germany, met for the first time, Erfurt 1970; during a severe gale, the 1,260ft television mast at Emley Moor, Yorkshire, crashed to the ground, 1970; the first London performance of the musical show On the Twentieth Century was staged, 1980.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alcmund, prince of Northumbria, St John of Panaca, St Joseph (husband of the Virgin) and St Landoald.