Wednesday 27 December 1995
Births: Johannes Kepler, astronomer, 1571; Jakob Bernoulli, mathematician, 1654; Sir George Cayley, aeronautics pioneer, 1773; Alexander Gordon Laing, explorer, 1793; Sir John Goss, organist and composer, 1800; Louis Pasteur, chemist and bacteriologist, 1822; Sir Mackenzie Bowell, statesman, 1823; Sir William Henry Hadow, educationist and musical scholar, 1859; Sydney Greenstreet, actor, 1878; Louis Bromfield, novelist, 1896; Carl Zuckmayer, playwright, 1896; Marlene Dietrich (Maria Magdalena Dietrich), actress, 1901; Oscar Levant, popular composer and pianist, 1906. Deaths: Pierre de Ronsard, poet, 1585; Hyacinthe-Francois Honore-Mathias Pierre-Martyr Andre-Jean Rigaud, painter, 1743; Joanna Southcott, religious fanatic, 1814; Charles Lamb, author and essayist, 1834; Charles Martin Hall, chemist and manufacturer, 1914; William Archer, dramatic critic and playwright, 1924; Sergei Aleksandrovich Esenin, poet, committed suicide 1925; Anatoli Vasilievich Lunacharsky, Russian leader and writer, 1933; Sir James Sexton, trade union leader, 1938; Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, composer and pianist; Nokrashy Pasha, Egyptian prime minister, assassinated 1948; Max Beckmann, expressionist painter, 1950; Lester Bowles Pearson, statesman, 1972; Houari Boumedienne (Mohammed ben Brahim Boukharrouba), statesman, 1978; Howard Hoagland (Hoagy) Carmichael, composer, singer and pianist, 1981. On this day: the island of St Helena was chartered to the East India Company, 1673; England and Portugal signed the Methuen Treaty giving preference to Portuguese wines, 1703; the French invaded Holland, 1794; Charles Darwin set sail for a world voyage on HMS Beagle, 1831; J.M. Barrie' s play Peter Pan was first performed, London 1904; the Globe Theatre, London, opened as the Hicks Theatre, 1906; Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party, 1927; violent earthquakes in Anatolia, Turkey, resulted in over 10,000 deaths, 1939; the International Monetary Fund was set up in Washington, 1945; Archbishop Jozef Mindszenty was arrested in Hungary and sentenced to life imprisonment, 1948; the BP oil-rig Sea Gem capsized in the North Sea and sank with the loss of 13 lives, 1965; Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship, 1978; President Hafizullah Amin of Afghanistan was overthrown after a Russian-sponsored coup d'etat, 1979. Today is the Feast Day of St Fabiola, St John the Evangelist, St Nicarete and Saints Theodore and Theophanes Graptoi.
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