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Births: Quentin Massys, painter, 1466; Pope Julius III, 1487; Thomas Sydenham, physician, 1624; John Turberville Needham, priest and scientist, 1713; Niccolo Jommelli, composer, 1714; Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, painter and engraver, 1727; Sir John Soane, architect, 1753; Mungo Park, explorer of Africa, 1771; Jacques Boucher de Crevecoeur de Perthes, archaeologist, 1788; Francois Benoist, organist and composer, 1794; Philip Gilbert Hamerton, artist and author, 1834; Sir John Robert Seeley, historian and essayist, 1834; Charles Sanders Peirce, physicist and mathematician, 1839; Robert Koldewey, archaeologist, 1855; Vibhaji Ranjitsinghi, Maharaja of Nawanagar, cricketer, 1872; Franz Werfel, novelist and poet, 1890; Arthur Holly Compton, physicist, 1892; Bessie Love (Juanita Horton), actress, 1898; Cyril Vernon Connolly, author, journalist and critic, 1903.

Deaths: Louis IV (d'Outremer), King of France, 954; Dr Edward Pococke, scholar and orientalist, 1691; Dr Thomas Sheridan, scholar and translator, 1738; Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, feminist, 1797; Johan Dominicus Fiorillo, painter and art historian, 1821; Ugo Foscolo, poet, 1827; Captain William Hobson, first Governor of New Zealand, 1842; George Bentham, botanist, 1884; Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, traveller, politician and poet, 1922; Arthur Reed Ropes ('Adrian Ross'), lyricist and librettist, 1933; Huey Pierce Long, US senator from Louisiana, assassinated 1935; Charles Cruft, founder of the dog show, 1938; Balthazar Johannes Vorster, former prime minister and president of South Africa, 1983.

On this day: the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie, 1547; the Peace of Nystad was concluded between Sweden and Russia, 1721; the Battle of Lake Erie was fought when Commodore Oliver H. Perry defeated the British flotilla, 1813; Simon Bolivar became the dictator of Peru, 1823; the Duke of York's Theatre, London opened (as the 'Trafalgar Square'), 1892; the first London production of the operetta The Chocolate Soldier was presented, 1910; the Treaty of St Germain (peace with Austria) was signed, 1919; the first motorway (autobahn) was completed in Germany, 1921; the first London production of the musical show Sally was presented, 1921; British forces arrived in France, 1939; in Norway, Lauritz Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death for treason, 1945; Sir Seretse Khama became the first president of the Republic of Botswana, 1966; the people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly to stay under British rule, 1967; Guinea-Bissau became independent, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ambrose Barlow, St Aubert of Avranches, St Finnian of Moville, Saints Menodora, Metrodora and Nymphodora, St Nemesian, St Nicholas of Tolentino, St Pulcheria, St Salvius or Salvy of Albi and St Theodard of Maestricht.