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Births: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet, 70 BC; Akbar the Great, Mogul Emperor, 1542; Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, poet and novelist, 1814; James-Joseph-Jacques Tissot, painter and illustrator, 1836; Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher, 1844; John Lawrence Sullivan, champion heavyweight boxer, 1858; Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, novelist, 1881; Melville Cooper, actor, 1896; Mervyn Le Roy, film director, 1900.

Deaths: Pope Gregory XIV, 1591; Letitia Elizabeth Landon, poet and novelist, 1838; Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle), executed 1917; Raymond-Nicolas-Landry Poincare, statesman, 1934; Pierre Laval, Vichy Government leader, executed 1945; Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, committed suicide 1946; Cole Albert Porter, composer and lyricist, 1964; James Phillip McAuley, poet, 1976; Pat O'Brien (William Joseph Patrick O'Brien), actor, 1983. On this day: the new calendar, as promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII, came into force in Italy and Spain, when 5 October became 15 October, 1582; Pilatre de Rozier was the first man to make a balloon ascent, 1783; a brilliant great comet was observed over Europe, 1811; the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park was closed, 1851; the Gaiety Theatre, London, opened as the Strand Musick Hall, 1864; in the First World War, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, 1915; the US Navy took over Zeppelin Z3 (as reparation payment) under the new name of Los Angeles, 1924; the airship Graf Zeppelin completed its first transatlantic flight, 1928; in the United States, demonstrations were staged to protest against the Vietnam War, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Euthymius the Younger, St Leonard of Vandoeuvre, St Teresa of Avila and St Thecla of Kitzingen.