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Births: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painter, 1573; Johann Mattheson, composer and writer, 1681; Pierre de Maupertius, astronomer and mathematician, 1698; William Julius Mickle, poet, 1735; John 'Gentleman' Jackson, pugilist, 1768; Adrian Ludwig Richter, painter, 1803; Prosper Merimee, playwright and novelist, 1803; Alexandre Cabanel, painter, 1823; Francis Turner Palgrave, poet and editor, 1824; Jean Louis Gobbaerts, pianist and composer, 1835; Georges Clemenceau, statesman, 1841; Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French, first Earl of Ypres, 1852; Edward Herbert Thompson, explorer and archaeologist, 1856; Wilhelm Kuhnert, animal painter, 1865; Herman Cyril McNeile ('Sapper'), novelist, 1888; Max Schmeling, heavyweight boxer, 1905; Peter Finch, actor, 1916.

Deaths: St Wenceslaus, Prince of Bohemia, martyred 929; Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, 1197; Andrea del Sarto, painter, 1530; Louis Pasteur, chemist, 1895; Emile-Edouard- Charles-Antoine Zola, novelist, 1902; Sir Alfred East, painter and etcher, 1913; Maundy Gregory, notorious 'honours broker', 1941; Gregg Toland, film cameraman, 1948; Edwin Powell Hubble, astronomer, 1953; Gerard Hoffnung, humorist, artist and musician, 1959; Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and feminist, 1960; Arthur 'Harpo' Marx, comedian, 1964; Andre Breton, poet and pioneer of surrealism, 1966; Gamal Abdel Nasser, statesman, 1970; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1973; Sir Robert Helpmann, dancer and actor, 1986.

On this day: the Greeks defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon, 490 BC; Calais surrendered to the English during the Hundred Years' War, 1347; Judge Jeffreys was appointed Lord Chancellor of England, 1685; 'God Save the King', the national anthem, was sung for the first time, at the Drury Lane Theatre, London 1745; Bismarck made his 'Blood and Iron' speech, 1862; the First International was founded, 1864; Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was admitted to the register as the first qualified woman physician and surgeon in Britain, 1865; Marks and Spencer's first shop opened in Manchester, 1894; the Radio Times was first published, 1923; two US Army aircraft completed the first round the world flight, ending at Seattle, 1924; Canadian troops entered Calais, 1944; a referendum on the constitution of the Fifth Republic was held in France, 1958.

Today is the Feast Day of St Annemund or Chamond, St Eustochium of Bethlehem, St Exuperius or Soupire of Toulouse, St Faustus of Riez, St Ferreolus of Vienne, St Lioba and St Wenceslaus of Bohemia.