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Births: James II, King of Scotland, 1430; Jan Dismas Zelenka, composer, 1679; Victor Albrecht von Haller, biologist and poet, 1708; Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, engraver and painter, 1726; Noah Webster, lexicographer, 1758; Robert Stephenson, civil engineer, 1803; Arnold Bocklin, painter, 1827; Oscar Fingall O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, playwright and author, 1854; Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, statesman, 1863; David Ben Gurion, Israeli statesman, 1886; Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, playwright, 1888; Michael Collins, Irish leader, 1890; Enver Hoxha, Albanian prime minister, 1908.

Deaths: Luca Signorelli, painter, 1523; Lucas Cranach the Elder, painter, 1553; Hugh Latimer, bishop and Protestant martyr, burnt at the stake 1555; Nicholas Ridley, bishop and Protestant martyr, burnt at the stake 1555; Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, organist and composer, 1621; Robert Fergusson, vernacular poet, 1774; John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist, 1793; Marie Antoinette (Josephe - Jeanne - Marie - Antoinette), Queen of France, executed 1793; Joseph Strutt, author, artist and antiquary, 1802; Sir Granville Bantock, composer, 1946; Liaquat Ali Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, assassinated 1951; George Catlett Marshall, general and statesman, 1959; Moshe Dayan, Israeli general, 1981; Cornel Wilde (Cornelius Louis Wilde), actor, 1989.

On this day: the New York Gazette was issued for the first time in New York City, 1725; the Eddystone Lighthouse, built by John Smeaton, was officially opened, 1759; the Houses of Parliament were almost completely destroyed by fire, 1834; in the US, Harper's Ferry was raided by John Brown and 21 men, 1859; Girton College, Cambridge, was opened, 1869; the People newspaper (now the Sunday People) was first published, 1881; the first detention centre was opened at Borstal, Rochester, Kent 1902; the first aircraft flight was made in Britain by 'Colonel' Samuel F. Cody, showman and inventor, Farnborough 1908; 400 people died in the Philippine Islands during a typhoon, 1912; the price of a 4lb loaf in London reached 10 old pence (4p), 1916; the Simplon II railway tunnel was completed, 1922; the Daily Graphic newspaper was last issued, 1926; German forces advanced to within 96 kilometres of Moscow, 1941; Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, and Julius Streicher, Nazi war criminals, were executed by hanging, 1946; a nuclear device was exploded in China, 1964; Harold Wilson became prime minister, 1964.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anastasius of Cluny, St Bercharius, St Bertrand of Comminges, St Gall, St Gerard Majella, St Hedwig, St Lull, St Margaret-Mary, Saints Martinian and Maxima and St Mommolinus.