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Births: Margaret, Queen of Scots, wife of Alexander III, 1240; Denis Diderot, scholar and encyclopaedist, 1713; Dr William Wilkie, poet, 1721; William Scoresby, Arctic explorer, 1789; Robert Hutchings Goddard, rocket pioneer, 1882; Joshua Lockwood Logan, film and stage director, 1908; Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan), novelist and playwright, 1911; Robert Adams, sculptor and designer, 1917.

Deaths: Philip III ('the Bold'), King of France, 1285; Charles, first Marquess Cornwallis, statesman and soldier, 1805; Jacques Offenbach (Jakob Levy Eberst), composer, 1880; 'Barry Cornwall' (Bryan Waller Procter), poet, 1874; William Heinemann, publisher and playwright, 1920; Jean Vigo, film director, 1934; James Francis Courage, novelist, 1963; Nelson Smock Riddle, composer and arranger, 1985.

On this day: Edward Bruce, having been crowned King of Ireland, was slain at the Battle of Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, 1318; the Gregorian calendar was adopted in Italy and Spain, when this day became 15 October, 1582; Spain declared war on Britain, 1796; the US was victorious at the Battle of the Thames, Ontario, 1813; the first production of the musical show A Chinese Honeymoon was presented, London, 1901; Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey, and Ferdinand I became Tsar, 1908; in Portugal, King Manoel, having fled the country, was deposed and a republic declared, 1910; Tripoli was occupied by Italian troops, 1911; the first air battle took place between German and French aircraft, 1914; the Allies landed at Salonika, 1915; the estate of Chequers was presented by Sir Arthur Lee as an official country residence for the Prime Minister, 1917; the Locarno Conference met and the great powers guaranteed frontiers and agreed to put disputes to arbitration, 1925; the British airship R101 crashed near Beauvais, France, 1930; the march of unemployed shipyard workers from Jarrow to London started, 1936; the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) was set up to aid European Communist parties, 1947.

Today is the Feast Day of St Apollinaris of Valence, St Flora of Beaulieu, St Galla, St Magenulf or Meinulf and St Maurus.