Anniversaries

Births: Martin Gerbert (von Hornau), prince-abbot and music historian, 1720; Rowland Hill, preacher, 1744; Thomas Bewick, wood-engraver, artist and naturalist, 1753; George IV, King, 1762; Robert Southey, poet, 1774; Francis Horner, politician, 1778; Sir Frederick Arthur Gore Ouseley, composer, 1825; Dr Hely Hutchinson Almond, educationist, 1832; Sir Joseph Barnby, conductor and academic principal, 1838; Abbott Handerson Thayer, painter and naturalist, 1849; Jean Louis Nicode, composer, 1853; Sir Alfred Gilbert, sculptor and goldsmith, 1854; Jacinto Benavente y Martinez, playwright, 1866; Mary Roberts Rinehart, novelist and playwright, 1876; Marguerite 'John' Radclyffe-Hall, author, 1880; Cecil Blount De Mille, film producer and director, 1881; Frank Arthur Swinnerton, novelist, 1884; Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, 1887.

Deaths: Philip VI, King of France, 1350; Pope Sixtus IV, 1484; Giovanni Gabrieli, composer, 1612; Philippe de Champaigne, painter, 1674; Pope Innocent XI, 1689; Nahum Tate, playwright, 1715; Robert Stewart, second Marquess of Londonderry and Viscount Castlereagh, statesman, committed suicide 1822; William Blake, poet and painter, 1827; George Stephenson, locomotive engineer, 1848; William Daniel Conybeare, geologist, 1857; Sir William Jackson Hooker, botanist, 1865; James Drummond, historical painter, 1877; Dr Georg Curtius, philologist, 1885; James Russell Lowell, poet, critic and diplomat, 1891; Nils Adolf Erik, Baron Nordenskjold, geologist and explorer, 1901; John Philip Holland, designer of the submarine, 1914; Arthur Griffith, Irish nationalist and president of Sinn Fein, 1922; Leos Janacek, composer, 1928; Thomas Mann, novelist, 1955; Ian Lancaster Fleming, novelist, creator of 'James Bond', 1964; Thomas Edward Driberg, first Baron Bradwell, journalist, 1976; Henry Fonda, actor, 1982.

On this day: the Crusaders were victorious at the Battle of Ascalon, 1099; Ottoman invaders of Hungary were routed at the Battle of Mohacs, 1687; the Russian- Austrian army overpowered the Prussians at the Battle of Kunersdorf, 1759; the Duke of Wellington's troops entered Madrid, 1812; the schooner America beat the British yacht Aurora, thus giving rise later to the 'America's Cup', 1851; the US and Spain concluded an armistice over Cuba and other possessions, 1898; Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary, 1914; during the Second World War the 'pipeline under the ocean' (Pluto) began operating beneath the English Channel, 1944; Echo I, the first communications satellite, 100ft in diameter, was launched, 1960.

Today is the Feast Day of St Euplus, St Jambert, archbishop of Canterbury, St Murtagh or Muredach and St Porcarius and his Companions.

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