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Births: George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, courtier, 1592; Thomas Corneille, playwright, 1625; Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean patriot, 1778; Jons Jakob, Baron Berzelius, chemist, 1779; Heinrich Frankenberger, harpist, teacher and conductor, 1824; Benjamin Harrison, 23rd US President, 1833; Kristina Nilsson, soprano, 1843; Raymond-Nicolas- Landry Poincare, statesman, 1860; Shaul Tchernichowski, Hebrew poet, 1875; Howard Phillips Lovecraft, novelist, 1890; Christian Berard, painter and sculptor, 1902; Jim Reeves, country singer, 1924.

Deaths: Martin Opitz von Boberfeld, poet, 1639; Lord Herbert of Cherbury, philosopher and poet, 1648; Johan de Witt, statesman, with his brother Cornelis, murdered 1672; Sir Charles Sedley, playwright, 1701; Pope Pius VII, 1823; Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, philosopher, 1854; William Miller, 'nursery' poet, 1872; Mrs Charles Kean (Ellen Tree), actress, 1880; Jules Laforgue, poet, 1887; William Adolphe Bouguereau, painter, 1905; William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, 1912; Paul Ehrlich, biochemist, 1915; Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein), politician, murdered 1940; Bernard William Griffin, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, 1956; Jessie Matthews, singer, dancer and actress, 1981.

On this day: the exploration party under Burke and Wills started from Melbourne, Australia 1860; the German army occupied Brussels, 1914; Calder Hall nuclear- power station began operating, 1956; the French colony of Senegal became independent, 1960; the first London performance of the musical show Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was presented, 1962; Russian troops invaded Czechoslovakia, and fighting broke out in Prague, 1968; following the coup in the Soviet Union supporters of Boris Yeltsin fortified barricades and thousands demonstrated outside the Russian parliament building, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Amator or Amadour, St Bernard of Clairvaux, St Oswin, St Rognwald or Ronald, and St Philibert.