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Births: George Bancroft, diplomat and historian, 1800; Heinrich Panofka, violinist and composer, 1807; Woldemar Bargiel, composer, 1828; Wilhelm Blodek, flautist, pianist and composer, 1834; Sir Patrick Manson, physician and parasitologist, 1844; Wilhelm Becker, painter, 1852; Eleanora Duse, actress, 1858; Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin, poet, 1865; Pierre Bonnard, painter, 1867; (Henri-Alban) Alain-Fournier, writer, 1886; Louis Aragon, poet and novelist, 1897; Leo McCarey, film director, 1898; Thomas Clayton Wolfe, novelist, 1900.

Deaths: St Francis of Assisi, 1226; Vincenzo Campi, painter, 1591; Myles Standish, Pilgrim Fathers leader, 1656; Elias Howe, sewing machine inventor, 1867; Hans Makart, painter, 1884; William Morris, writer, artist and printer, 1896; Gustav Stresemann, statesman, 1929; Carl Nielsen, composer, 1931; Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, composer, 1953; Sir Henry Malcolm Watts Sargent, conductor, 1967; Woody (Woodrow Wilson) Guthrie, singer and composer, 1967; Jean Anouilh, playwright, 1987

On this day: the siege of Leyden was raised by William of Orange, 1574; Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeomen of the Guard was first performed at the Savoy Theatre, London 1888; Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated, 1918; the official name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was changed to Yugoslavia, 1929; the Dominion Theatre, London, opened, 1929; the first London production of the musical show Follow Through was presented, 1929; Italian troops invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia), 1935; the first British atomic device was exploded in the Monte Bello islands, in the Pacific, 1952; the Bolshoi Ballet appeared at Covent Garden for the first time, 1956; the first London production of the musical show A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was presented, 1963; East and West Germany were reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Attilanus, St Froilan, St Gerard of Brogne, St Ewald the Dark, St Ewald the Fair, St Hesychius and St Thomas Cantelupe of Hereford.


Births: Louis X ('The Stubborn'), King of France, 1289; Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Muller), painter, 1472; Lucas Cranach the Younger, painter, 1515; Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector, 1626; Giambattista Piranesi, engraver, 1720; Edmond Malone, Shakespearean scholar, 1741; Francois-Pierre-Guillaume Guizot, historian and statesman, 1787; Augustin-Francois-Cesar Prouvencal de Saint Hilaire, botanist and traveller, 1799; Jean-Francois Millet, painter, 1814; Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th US president, 1822; Jacob Blumenthal, pianist and composer, 1829; William Griggs, inventor of photo-chromolithography, 1832; Helen Lemmens-Sherrington, soprano, 1834; Frederic Remington, painter, illustrator and sculptor, 1861; Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger John Brownlow Keyes, first Baron, naval officer, 1862; Alfred Damon Runyon, writer and journalist, 1884; Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, sculptor, 1891; Engelbert Dollfuss, statesman, 1892; Buster Keaton (Joseph Francis Keaton), film comedian, 1895; Richard Sorge, German spy for the USSR, 1895.

Deaths: Benozzo Gozzoli (Benozzo di Lese), painter, 1497; St Teresa of Avila (Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada), Carmelite nun, 1582; Francesco Albani or Albano, painter, 1660; Alonzo Cano (El Granadino), painter, architect and sculptor, 1667; Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, painter, 1669; Henry Carey, poet and musician, committed suicide 1743; Alexander Runciman, painter, 1785; John Rennie, civil engineer, 1821; Max Ludwig Planck, physicist, 1947; Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, pioneer aviator, 1948; Janis Joplin, rock singer, 1970.

On this day: Peterborough Cathedral was consecrated, 1238; Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible was published, 1535; George Washington was defeated at Germanstown, 1777; the Federal Republic of Mexico was proclaimed, 1823; the independence of Belgium was proclaimed, 1830; the Boys Brigade was founded in Glasgow by Sir William Smith, 1883; King Manoel II of Portugal fled to England, 1910; the first public escalator was opened at Earl's Court underground station, 1911; 600 French soldiers lost their lives when the French cruiser Callia was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, 1916; King Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicated in favour of his son, Boris, 1918; Mrs Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton became the first woman in the US Senate, 1922; Hitler and Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, 1940; the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched by the USSR, 1957; the first transatlantic passenger jet service started operating, 1958; the first close-up pictures of the moon were made from the Soviet Lunik III, 1959; Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit America when he landed at New York, 1965; Lesotho, formerly Basutoland, became independent, 1966.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Ammon, St Francis of Assisi and St Petronius of Bologna.