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Births: Pope Nicholas V, 1397; Madeleine de Scudery, novelist, 1607; Catharine of Braganza, queen of Charles II, 1638; William Pitt the Elder, First Earl of Chatham, statesman, 1708; Sir William (Friedrich Wilhelm) Herschel, astronomer, 1738; Heinrich Leopold Richter, composer, 1805; Charlotte Mary Mew, poet, 1869; Georgia O'Keeffe, painter, 1887; Manoel II, King of Portugal, 1889; William Averell Harriman, diplomat, 1891; Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, field marshal, 1891; Aneurin Bevan, statesman, 1897; Sir Sacheverell Sitwell Bt, poet and author, 1897; Hamish Hamilton, publisher, 1900.

Deaths: Albertus Magnus, philosopher and theologian, 1280; Johannes Kepler, astronomer, 1630; Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp, painter, 1691; Christoph Willibald Gluck, composer, 1787; George Romney, painter, 1802; T'zu Hsi, dowager empress of China, 1908; Emil Durkheim, sociologist, 1917; Viola Tree, actress and author, 1938; Lionel Barrymore (Blythe), actor, 1954; Tyrone Edmund Power, actor, 1958; Jean Gabin (Jean Moncorge), actor, 1976; John Le Mesurier, actor, 1983.

On this day: Isaac Pitman published his shorthand system, 1837; London was flooded when the Thames rose by over 28ft, 1875; in the United States, the National Broadcasting Company was inaugurated, 1926; the Commonwealth of the Philippines was inaugurated, 1935; Northern Cyprus, occupied by Turkish troops, was unilaterally declared independent, 1983.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Abibus, Gurias and Samonas, St Albert the Great, St Desiderius or Didier of Cohors, St Fintan of Rheinau, St Leopold of Austria and St Malo or Machutus.