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Births: Jean-Antoine Watteau, painter, 1684; Benjamin West, painter, 1738; Sir John Simon, public-health pioneer, 1816; Charles Conder, artist, 1868; Alberto Giacometti, sculptor, 1901; Thelonius Sphere Monk, pianist and pioneer of 'bop', 1918.

Deaths: Fra Filippo Lippi, painter, 1469; Katherine Mayo, social reformer and author, 1940; Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion), singer, 1963; Yul Brynner (Youl Bryner), actor, 1985; George Orson Welles, actor and producer, 1985; Priaulx Rainier, composer, 1986.

On this day: rioters burnt down Nottingham Castle over rejection of the Reform Bill, 1831; Henry Morton Stanley met Dr Livingstone at Ujiji, 1871; the first public street collection for charity (later 'flag days') was held as 'Lifeboat Saturday', in Manchester 1891; Gershwin's Porgy and Bess opened in New York City, 1935; the XVIIIth Olympic Games opened in Tokyo, 1964; Fiji became independent, 1970; Sir John Betjeman became Poet Laureate, 1972; Spiro Agnew resigned as US Vice-President after being fined dollars 10,000 for income-tax evasion, 1973; in the General Election, Labour was returned with an overall majority of three, 1974.

Today is the Feast Day of St Cerbonius, St Daniel, Saints Eulampius and Eulampia, St Francis Borgia, St Gereon, St Maharsapor and St Paulinus of York.


Births: Arthur Phillip, admiral and first governor of New South Wales, 1738; James Barry, historical painter, 1741; Sir George Williams, merchant and founder of the YMCA, 1821; Sir John Bernard Partridge, artist and cartoonist, 1861; Lewis Fry Richardson, physicist and psychologist, 1881; Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, writer and lecturer, 1884; Ethel Edith Mannin, novelist and travel writer, 1900; Richard Burton (Jenkins), actor, 1925.

Deaths: Huldrych Zwingli, religious reformer, killed in battle 1531; Sir Thomas Wyatt, poet and diplomat, 1542; Meriwether Lewis, explorer, 1809; Josef Anton Bruckner, composer, 1896; Jean-Henri Fabre, entomologist, 1915; Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis), novelist, 1935; Maurice de Vlaminck, painter, 1958; Leonard 'Chico' Marx, comedian, 1961; Jean Cocteau, poet, novelist and playwright, 1963.

On this day: the Order of the Bath was constituted, 1399; the title 'Defender of the Faith' was conferred on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X, 1521; Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia, 1669; the Chicago Fire ended, having almost completely destroyed the city at a cost of dollars 196m, 1871; the Anglo-Boer War started, 1899; the Little Theatre, Adelphi, Strand, opened, 1910; enormous inflation overtook German currency, with the mark dropping to an exchange rate of 10bn to the pound, 1923; the Apollo 7 spacecraft, with a crew of three, was launched from Cape Kennedy, 1968.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Agilbert, St Alexander Sauli, Saints Andronicus, Tarachus, and Probus, St Bruno the Great of Cologne, St Canice or Kenneth, St Gummarus or Gomaire, St Mary Soledad and St Nectarius of Constantinople.