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Births: Matthew Parker ('Nosey Parker'), Archbishop of Canterbury, 1504; William Hyde Wollaston, chemist and physicist, 1766; Alfred, first Baron Tennyson, poet, 1809; Sir Henry Thompson, surgeon, 1820; Rolf Boldrewood (Thomas Alexander Browne), novelist and author of Robbery Under Arms, 1826; Hermann Mendel, writer on music, 1834; Leo Carrillo, actor, 1880; Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist and discoverer of penicillin, 1881; William Joseph Slim, first Viscount Slim, field marshal, 1891; Ruth Suckow, novelist, 1892.

Deaths: Pope Sixtus II, 258; Pope Callixtus III, 1458; Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, 1623; Ben Jonson, playwright, 1637; Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, painter, 1660; Wilhelm Liebknecht, journalist and socialist, 1900; Joseph-Achille Le Bel, chemist, 1930; John George Haigh, 'acid bath' murderer, executed 1949; Preston Sturges, film director, 1959; Nancy Carroll (Ann Veronica La Hiff), actress, 1965; Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), 1978.

On this day: the Spanish defeated the Moors at the Battle of Simancas, 939; the Holy Roman Empire ended after the crown was renounced by Francis II, who became Francis I, Emperor of Austria, 1806; Louis Napoleon led a rising at Boulogne, but this failed, 1840; war began between France and Morocco, 1844; the Savoy Hotel, London, was opened 1889; in the US, the electric chair was used for the first time to execute a murderer (William Kemmler) in New York, 1890; the Corinth Canal, Greece, was opened, 1893; the Allies landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, 1915; Gertrude Ederle, swimmer, became the first woman to swim the English Channel, 1926; Don Juan, the first feature-length sound film, was publicly shown in the US, 1926; the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 1945; Jamaica became independent, 1962.

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration and the Feast Day of St Hormisdas, pope, and Saints Justus and Pastor.