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Births: Otto the Great, Holy Roman emperor, 912; Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, 1221; John Wallis, mathematician, 1616; Dr Thomas Birch, historian and biographer, 1705; Thomas Attwood, organist and composer, 1765; Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev, poet, 1803; Karl Begas, sculptor, 1845; William H. Bonney (Billy the Kid), outlaw, 1859; Marie Konstaninova Bashkirtseff, author and painter, 1860; Sir John Scoular Buchanan, flying pioneer, 1883; Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt), actor, 1887.

Deaths: Angelo Allori (Il Bronzino), painter and poet, 1572; Thomas Tallis, organist and composer, 1585; William Bentinck, first Earl of Portland, statesman, 1709; L'Abbe Antoine-Francois Prevost D'Exiles, writer, 1763; Sir Roger Newdigate, antiquary, 1806; Thomas Seddon, landscape painter, 1856; Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, murderer, executed 1910; Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge, Orientalist and museum curator, 1934; Percival Christopher Wren, writer, 1941; Andre-Georges Malraux, writer, 1976; Merle Oberon (Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson), actress, 1979; Leslie Mitchell, radio and television presenter, 1985.

On this day: Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was first performed in Paris, 1670; the first pillar box was erected (at St Helier, Jersey), 1852; the Emperor Pedro II of Brazil was overthrown and the country was declared a republic, 1891; the St Martin's Theatre, London, opened, 1916; Dr Who was first shown by the BBC, 1963; Britain's first commercial radio station was opened on the Isle of Man, 1964; more than 4,000 people lost their lives in a violent earthquake in Southern Italy, 1980; Mr John Major became Prime Minister, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alexander Nevsky, prince, St Amphilochius, St Clement I, pope, St Columbanus, St Felicitas, St Gregory of Girgenti and St Trudo or Trond.