Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.



Births: John V, King of Portugal, 1689; Johann Reinhold Forster, clergyman and naturalist, 1729; Franz Liszt, composer, 1811; Alexander Wheelock Thayer, biographer, 1817; Sarah Bernhardt (Henriette-Rosine Bernard), actress, 1844; James Kay, painter, 1858; Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, poet, 1870; Constance Bennett, actress, 1904.

Deaths: Charles Martel, leader of the Franks, 741; Mathurin Regnier, satirical poet, 1613; Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, drowned off the Scilly Isles 1707; Samuel Arnold, composer, 1802; Thomas Sheraton, cabinetmaker, 1806; Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, geologist, 1871; Thomas Mayne Reid, novelist, 1883; Paul Cezanne, painter, 1906; Sir John William Fortescue, military historian, 1933; Pablo Casals, cellist, 1973; Arnold Joseph Toynbee, historian, 1975.

On this day: Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first parachute jump from a balloon over Paris, 1797; in New York, the Metropolitan Opera House opened, 1883; Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen was found guilty of the murder of his wife, 1910; in Haiti, over 2,000 people died after a hurricane hit the country, 1935; President John F. Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had installed missiles in Cuba, 1962; Don Juan Carlos of Bourbon was proclaimed King of Spain, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St Abercius, St Donatus of Fiesole, St Mellon or Mallonus, Saints Nunilo and Alodia and St Philip of Heraclea and his Companions.