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Births: Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick ('The Kingmaker'), 1428; Benoit Audran, artist and engraver, 1661; Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, landscape painter, 1787; Thomas Cook, travel agent and temperance advocate, 1808; Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, banker, 1808; George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), novelist, 1819; Wassily Kandinsky, abstract painter, 1866; Andre-Paul-Guillaume Gide, writer, 1969; General Charles-Andre-Marie-Joseph de Gaulle, president of France, 1890; Howard Hoagland (Hoagy) Carmichael, songwriter, 1899; Edward Benjamin Britten, composer, 1913.

Deaths: Sir Martin Frobisher, navigator, 1594; Edward Teach (Blackbeard the pirate), killed off the American coast 1718; Alicia (Alison) Cockburn, poet, 1794; Francois Levaillant, traveller and ornithologist, 1824; John Thadeus Delane, editor of The Times, 1879;John Griffith (Jack) London, novelist, 1916; Lorenz Milton (Larry) Hart, lyricist, 1943; Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, astronomer, 1944; Sir George Clausen, painter, 1944; Joseph Guy Ropartz, composer, 1955; Clive Staples Lewis, writer, 1963; Aldous Leonard Huxley, 1963; John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th US president, assassinated 1963; Mae West, actress, 1980; Sterling Holloway, actor and comedian, 1992.

On this day: Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, 1497; the first New York opera house - the Astor Place - opened, 1847; Cape Colony forbade the landing of convicts, and forced a British ship to sail on to Tasmania, 1849; a rising of Arab slaveholders was suppressed in the Upper Congo by the Belgians, 1892; the uncompleted Williamsburg Bridge across the East River, New York City, was destroyed by fire, 1902; the world's largest turbine liner, the Cunard Carmania, left Liverpool on her maiden voyage to New York, 1905; the first coelocanth 'living fossil fish' was caught off Cape Province, South Africa, 1938; Juan Carlos of Bourbon was sworn in as King of Spain, 1975; Mrs Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Cecilia or Cecily and Saints Philemon and Apphia.