Births: Bernhard Nieuwentijt, mathematician, 1654; Johann Georg Gmelin, chemist and naturalist, 1709; Samuel Arnold, organist and composer, 1740; Sir Charles James Napier, military commander, 1782; Jay Cooke, banker, 1821; Charles Samuel Keene, artist and illustrator, 1823; Nicolo Coccon, organist and composer, 1826; Hugo Eckener, aeronautical engineer, 1868; Laurence Robert Binyon, poet and playwright, 1869; Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st US President, 1874; Douglas Stuart Moore, composer, 1893.

Deaths: John de Witt and Cornelius de Witt, statesmen, assassinated 1672; Johann Michael Haydn, composer, 1806; Karl Wilhelm Naundorff, French pretender, 1845; Henri Ethelbert Louis Victor Hebert, Comte de Richemont, French pretender, 1853; Charles Wentworth Dilke, antiquarian, critic and journalist, 1864; Charles Eline Francatelli, chef, 1876; Edward William Lane, translator of the Thousand and One Nights, 1876; George Long, scholar and editor, 1879; Louis Vulliemin, historian, 1879; Oswald Veblen, mathematician, 1960.

On this day: the Scots defeated the English at the Battle of Otterburn, 1388; King Charles II laid the foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, 1675; Missouri became the 24th of the United States, 1821; the Mines Act prohibited women and young children from working under ground, 1842; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington was established, 1846; the Marine Aquarium was opened in Brighton, 1872; the first Promenade Concert was given by Henry Wood (later Sir) at the Queen's Hall, London, 1895; the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland was founded (later 'Royal'), 1897; Heavy losses were inflicted by the Japanese on the Russian Fleet off Port Arthur during the Battle of the Yellow Sea, 1904; the Parliament Act was passed, reducing the power of the House of Lords, 1911; British Members of Parliament voted to receive salaries for the first time (pounds 400 pa), 1911; France declared war on Austria-Hungary, 1914; the Allies and Turkey signed the Treaty of Sevres, 1920; strikes and riots broke out in Germany, 1923; the Quebec Conference opened, 1943; the moon satellite Orbiter I was launched, 1966.

Today is the Feast Day of St Laurence of Rome.