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Births: Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne, novelist, 1734; James Ward, animal painter, 1769; Gustav Albert Lortzing, conductor, singer and composer, 1801; Adalbert Stifter, writer, 1805; Pierre-Athanase Larousse, lexicographer and encyclopaedist, 1817; Karl Severin Meister, organist and composer, 1818; Louis Riel, rebel leader of the Metis in Canada, 1844; Robert Seymour Bridges, poet, 1844; George Edward Bateman Saintsbury, critic and scholar, 1845; Jean Louis Forain, painter and illustrator, 1852; Douglas Robert Jardine, cricketer, 1900; Felix Bloch, physicist, 1905; Diana Dors (Diana Fluck), actress, 1931.

Deaths: Marcus Junius Brutus committed suicide 42 BC; Thomas Pride, Cromwellian soldier, 1658; Nance (Anne) Oldfield, actress, 1730; Johann Gottlieb Naumann, composer, 1801; Edward Geoffrey Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, statesman, 1869; Pierre-Jules-Theophile Gautier, author, 1872; Michel Marie Charles Verlat, painter, 1890; Ludwig Straus, violinist, 1899; Florent Joseph Marie Willems, painter, 1905; William Gilbert Grace, cricketer, 1915; John Boyd Dunlop, inventor of the pneumatic rubber tyre, 1921; Zane Grey, novelist of the American West, 1939; Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson), singer and actor, 1950; Reg Butler (Reginald Cotterell B), metal sculptor, 1981.

On this day: the second Battle of Philippi was fought, 42 BC; both Royalists and Parliamentarians claimed victory at the Battle of Edgehill, 1642; the first parliament of Great Britain met, 1707; Hector Munro defeated the Nabob of Oudh in Bengal, 1764; Borodin's opera Prince Igor was first produced, Petrograd, 1890; 25,000 women paraded in New York to demonstrate in favour of women's suffrage for the United States, 1915; the second Battle of El Alamein started (it ended the following day), 1942; Soviet forces invaded East Prussia, 1944; the Soviet army advanced through Hungary, 1944; the United Nations General Assembly met for the first time, New York 1946; Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to end the occupation of Germany, 1954; Western nations agreed to allow West Germany to enter Nato, 1954; George Blake, serving a 42-year sentence for espionage, escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison, 1966; at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Gary Gabelich in Blue Flame made the world land speed record of 631.367mph, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of St Allucio, St Elfleda or Ethelfleda, St Ignatius of Constantinople, St John of Capistrano, St Romanus of Rouen, St Severinus or Seurin of Bordeaux, St Severinus Boethius and St Theodoret.


Births: Aurangzeb, the last Mogul emperor of India, 1618; Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, microscope pioneer, 1632; Jacques Laffitte, banker and politician, 1767; Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, philanthropist, 1784; Sarah Josepha Hale (Buell), editor, and poet for children, 1788; David Roberts, painter, 1796; Ernst Friedrich Eduard Richter, composer, 1808; Ferdinand von Hiller, composer and author, 1811; Eugene-Samuel-Auguste Fromentin, painter and writer, 1820; George Frederick Samuel Robinson, first Marquess of Ripon, statesman, 1827; Sigismund Christian Hubert Goetze, painter, 1866; Dame Agnes Sybil Thorndike, actress, 1882; Merian C. Cooper, author, film producer and director, 1893; Jack Warner (Jack Waters), actor, 1894; Ferhat Abbas, Algerian nationalist leader, 1899; Moss Hart, playwright and director, 1904; Jackie Coogan (Jack Leslie Coogan), actor, 1914; Tito Gobbi, baritone, 1915.

Deaths: Lady Jane Seymour, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, 1537; Tycho Brahe, astronomer and mathematician, 1601; Sir William Rollo, Royalist soldier, executed 1645; Pierre Gassendi (Gassend), scientist and philosopher, 1655; Gabriel Metsu, painter, 1667; Pietro Alessandro Gaspare Scarlatti, composer, 1725; Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, composer, 1799; Joseph Lancaster, educationist, 1838; Francis Turner Palgrave, editor and anthologist, 1897; Pierre-Cecile Puvis de Chavannes, mural painter, 1898; Alexandre-Charles Lecocq, composer, 1918; Sigismund Christian Hubert Goetze, painter, 1939; Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian wartime traitor, executed 1945; Franz Lehar, composer, 1948; Christian Dior, fashion designer, 1957; George Edward Moore, philosopher, 1958; Carl Sprague Ruggles, composer, engraver and painter, 1971; Edward Burra, painter, 1976.

On this day: the cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres, was consecrated, 1260; murderers were no longer allowed to plead Benefit of Clergy, 1513; the Thirty Years War ended after the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, 1648; in the United States, the transcontinental telegraph line was completed, 1861; Strauss's operetta Der Zigeunerbaron was first produced, Vienna 1885; the Italians defeated the Austrians at Vittorio Veneto, and Austria-Hungary surrendered to the Allies, 1918; the United Nations Charter came into force, 1945; Soviet troops intervened in Hungary, 1956; the United States started to blockade Cuba, 1962; Northern Rhodesia, renamed Zambia, became independent, 1964; Israeli artillery destroyed a petrol refinery at Port Suez, 1967; in Tunisia, widespread floods led to the deaths of 300 people and 150,000 were rendered homeless, 1969.

Tomorrow is United Nations Day and the Feast Day of St Antony Claret, St Aretas, St Elesbaan, St Evergislus, St Felix of Thibiuca, St Maglorius or Maelor, St Martin or Mark, St Martin of Vertou, the Martyrs of Najran, St Proclus of Constantinople and St Senoch.