Births: Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca), scholar, lyric poet and humanist, 1304; James Harris, grammarian, 1709; Thomas Lovell Beddoes, playwright and poet, 1803; Sir Richard Owen, palaeontologist and biologist, 1804; John Sterling, author, 1806; Francesco Chiaromonte, composer and teacher, 1809; John Augustin Daly, playwright and theatrical manager, 1838; Max Liebermann, painter and etcher, 1847; Margaret McMillan, politician and educationist, 1860; Erik Axel Karlfeldt, poet and lyricist, 1864; Joseph-Marie Deodat de Severac, composer, 1873; Alberto Santos-Dumont, aviator, 1873; Sir John Charles Walsham Reith, first Baron, first director-general of the BBC, 1889; Theda Bara (Theodosia Goodman), actress, 1890; Morris (Maurice) Leyland, cricketer, 1900; James (Jimmy) Kennedy, popular music composer, 1902.

Deaths: Robert II, King of France, 1031; Hugh O'Neill, second Earl of Tyrone, Irish nationalist, 1616; Professor John Playfair, mathematician and geologist, 1819; Caroline Anne Southey (Bowles), poet and wife of Robert Southey, 1854; Carl Ludwig Emil Aarestrup, poet, 1856; Henri Jean Augustin de Braekeleer, painter, 1888; Sir Richard Wallace, founder of the Wallace Collection, 1890; Jean Ingelow, poet, 1897; Pope Leo XIII, 1903; Andrew Lang, scholar, author and fairy-tale editor, 1912; Guglielmo Marconi, inventor, 1937; Sir Dan Godfrey, conductor, 1939; Col Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, soldier, executed 1944; Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint- Jules Valery, poet and philosopher, 1945; King Abdullah of Jordan, assassinated 1951; Iain Norman Macleod, statesman, 1970.

On this day: Euston Station opened, London 1837; Charles Sturt, explorer, entered Simpson's Desert, Australia, 1845; Marshal Osman Nuri Pasha, Turkish commander, beat back the Russian attack on Plevna, Bulgaria, 1877; Giuseppe Sarto was elected as Pope Pius X, 1903; Oscar Slater's conviction (due to mistaken identity) was quashed, 1928; Franz von Papen by a show of force, removed the Socialist premier of Prussia, 1932; the XIth Olympic Games opened in Berlin, 1936; Colonel von Stauffenburg attempted to assassinate Hitler by planting a bomb at a meeting in Rastenburg, Germany 1944; the Peace Conference began in Paris, 1946; an armistice was signed under which Vietnam was divided into North and South, 1954; the musical show Stop the World - I Want to Get Off was first produced, London 1961; Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus, 1974; the space probe Viking 1 launched its 'Lander' which made a landing on Mars, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ansegisus, St Aurelius of Carthage, St Elias of Jerusalem, St Flavian of Antioch, St Gregory Lopez, St Joseph Barsabas the Just, St Margaret of Antioch, St Wilgefortis or Liberata and St Wulmar.

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