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Births: Ann Radcliffe (Ann Ward), novelist, 1764; Henry Hallam, historian, 1777; Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing-machine, 1819; Adolf Schreyer, painter, 1828; Nikola Tesla, electrician and inventor, 1856; Robert Frederick Blum, artist, 1857; Franz Boas, anthropologist, 1858; Ottorino Respighi, composer, 1879; Charles Bruce Bairnsfather, cartoonist, 1888; Simon Marks, first Baron Marks of Broughton, a founder of Marks and Spencer, 1888.

Deaths: Jan van Eyck, painter, 1440; Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, 1677; Philip V, King of Spain, 1746; Edmund Burke, statesman, 1797; Christian Friedrich, Baron von Stockmar, statesman, 1863; Frederick Samuel Robinson, first Marquess of Ripon, statesman, 1909; King Camp Gillette, safety-razor inventor and manufacturer, 1932; Randall Thompson, composer, 1984.

On this day: Henry VIII divorced Anne of Cleves, 1540; French troops and Indians attacked General Braddock's forces near Fort Duquesne, 1755; the Congress of Tucuman was held, at which Argentina declared its independence from Spain, 1816; in Edinburgh, Madeleine Smith was acquitted of murder, the verdict being 'not proven', 1857; a massacre of Christians in Damascus started, 1860; German South-West Africa surrendered to General Smuts, 1915; Germany ratified the Treaty of Versailles, 1919; the Allies captured Caen, 1944; the Bank of England issued pounds 20 banknotes (previous pounds 20 notes had been withdrawn in 1945), 1970; the Bahamas became independent, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Everild, St Nicholas Pieck and his Companions, The Martyrs of Gorcum (Holland), St Veronica de Julianis.