Births: George Sand (Amandine- Aurore-Lucile (Dupin), Baronne Dudevant), novelist, 1804; Louis Bleriot, aviator, 1872; Charles Laughton, actor, 1899; Amy Johnson, aviator, 1903.

Deaths: Charles Goodyear, inventor, 1860; Allan Pinkerton, detective agency founder, 1884; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1896; Juan Domingo Peron, Argentine president, 1974.

On this day: Sir Thomas More was put on trial, 1535; King William III defeated the Jacobites under James II at the Battle of the Boyne, 1690; the first volume of the Encyclopedie by Diderot was published, 1751; addressing the Linnean Society, Charles Darwin announced his theory of evolution, 1858; the Battle of Gettysburg began, 1863; the Dominion of Canada was established, 1867; in the US, the Klondike gold rush began, 1897; a crisis between France and Germany developed over Agadir, Morocco, after the German gunboat Panther was dispatched, 1911; the Battle of the Somme began, 1916; the first conscripts in Britain were called up, 1939; the first tests of nuclear bombs began over Bikini Atoll, 1946; Burundi and Rwanda became independent, 1962; the BBC began colour television and showed tennis from Wimbledon, 1967; the Prince of Wales's Investiture was held at Caernarvon Castle, 1969; Maria Estela Peron became president of Argentina, 1974; the Warsaw Pact was finally abolished, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Aaron and Julius, St Carilephus or Calais, St Eparchius or Cybard, St Gall of Clermont, St Oliver Plunket, St Servanus or Serf, St Shenute, St Simeon Salus and St Thierry or Theodoric of Mont d'Or.