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Births: Simon Bolivar, South American liberator, 1783; Alexandre Dumas pere (Davy de la Pailleterie), author, 1802; Adolphe Charles Adam, composer, 1803; Johann Christoph Lauterbach, violinist, 1832; Raimundo Madrazo y Garreta, painter, 1841; Edward Frederic Benson, novelist, 1867; Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, author, 1878; Ernst Bloch, composer, 1880; Amelia Earhart, aviator, 1898.

Deaths: Jacob van Artevelde, statesman, murdered 1345; Benedetto Marcello, composer, 1739; George Vertue, engraver, 1756; John Dyer, poet, 1758; John Sell Cotman, landscape painter, 1842; Martin van Buren, eighth US President, 1862; George Cattermole, painter and illustrator, 1868; Captain Matthew Webb, cross-Channel swimmer, 1883; Sacha (Alexander) Guitry, actor and playwright, 1957; Constance Bennett, actress, 1965; Alan Rawsthorne, composer, 1971; Sir James Chadwick, physicist, 1974; Peter Sellers, actor, 1980.

On this day: Jacques Cartier landed in Canada, claiming the area for France, 1534; James VI acceded to the Scottish throne, 1567; the French defeated William III of England at Steinkirk (Enghein), 1692; the city of Detroit was founded by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, 1701; Gibraltar was won from Spain by Admiral Sir George Rooke, 1704; the window tax was abolished in Britain, 1851; Arabi Pasha declared a Holy War in Egypt, 1883; Turkey and the Allied Powers signed the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923; in Tennessee, John Thomas Scopes, a schoolteacher, was found guilty of 'teaching evolution', 1925; the first greetings telegram was sent in Britain, 1935; 14 people were named as the first life peers, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of St Boris or Romanus, St Christina of Bolsena, St Christina the Astonishing, St Declan, St Gleb or David and St Lewinna.