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Births: Martin Luther, Protestant reformer, 1483; Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, soldier and courtier, 1566; Francois Couperin (Le Grand), composer, 1668; George II, King of England, 1683; William Hogarth, painter and engraver, 1697; Oliver Goldsmith, playwright, 1728; Granville Sharp, philanthropist, anti-slaver and writer, 1735; Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, poet and playwright, 1759; Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, statesman, 1844; Martin Wegelius, teacher and composer, 1846; Robert Thorburn Axton Innes, astronomer, 1861; Winston Churchill, novelist, 1871; Henri-Benjamin Rabaud, composer, 1873; Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, poet, 1879; Sir Jacob Epstein, sculptor, 1880; Arnold Zweig, author, 1887; Claude Rains, actor, 1889; John Phillips Marquand, novelist, 1893; Moise Tshombe, politician, 1919; Richard Burton (Richard Walter Jenkins), actor, 1925.

Deaths: Pope Leo I (the Great), 461; Richard Chancellor, navigator, 1556; Pedro Antonio Correia Garcao, poet, 1772; Joseph Black, chemist, 1799; John Trumbull, artist, 1843; Gideon Algernon Mantell, palaeontologist, 1852; Isidore-Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, geologist, 1861; Oskar Begaegas, painter, 1883; Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud, poet, 1891; Giosue Borsi, poet and moralist, 1915; Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, statesman, 1938; Dennis Yates Wheatley, novelist, 1979; Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, Soviet political leader, 1982; Sir Gordon Richards, jockey, 1986.

On this day: the Hungarians were defeated by the Turks at Varna, 1444; Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua on his second voyage, 1493; Alois Senefelder patented the lithographic printing process, 1798; Verdi's opera The Force of Destiny was first performed, St Petersburg 1862; Sir Henry Morton Stanley met Livingstone at Ujiji, Tanganyika, 1871; an airmail service began between London and Paris, 1919; Vincent Massey became the first Canadian Minister to Washington, 1926; the Greek forces drove the Italian army back into Albania, 1940; the British Indian Ocean Territory, a new colony, was set up, 1965.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aedh MacBricc, St Andrew Avellino, St Justus of Canterbury, St Leo the Great and St Theoctista.