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Births: Henry II, king, 1133; Matthew Merian the Younger, engraver and painter, 1621; Johann Adolf Hasse, composer, 1699; Jean-Baptiste-Paulin Guerin, painter, 1783; Alexander Ivanovich Herzen, journalist and author, 1812; Anne Bronte ('Acton Bell'), novelist, 1820; John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, sculptor, 1867; Hermann Abert, musicologist, 1871; Bela Bartok, composer, 1881; Jerry Livingston (Jerome Levinson), composer and lyricist, 1909.

Deaths: Nicholas Hawksmoor, architect, 1836; Anna Seward, poet and novelist, 1809; Achille-Claude Debussy, composer, 1918; King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, assassinated by Prince Museid, his 'mentally deranged' nephew 1975; Alan John Percivale Taylor, historian, 1990.

On this day: Robert Bruce was crowned King of Scots at Scone, Perthshire, 1306; the British parliament abolished the slave trade, 1807; the first gold medal of the modern Olympic Games was presented, 1896; in Mexico, the president, Porfirio Diaz, was overthrown and deposed by Francisco Indalecio Madero, 1911; the Fascist government in Italy claimed to have received 99 per cent of the votes in the general election, 1929; the Mosquito fighter-bomber made its maiden flight, 1940; the European Community was established when the Treaty of Rome was signed by the 'Six', 1957.

Today is Lady Day (Feast of the Annunciation) and the Feast Day of St Alfwold, St Barontius, St Dismas, the Good Thief, St Hermenland, St Lucy Filippini and St Margaret Clitherow.