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Births: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, sculptor, 1598; Allan Cunningham, poet, 1784; William James Linton, wood engraver, 1812; Leopold Kronecker, mathematician, 1823; Willa Sibert Cather, novelist, 1876; Arthur Joyce Lunel Cary, author, 1888; Honore-Gabriel Marcel, philosopher and playwright, 1889; Fay Bainter, film actress, 1892; Stuart Davis, abstract painter, 1894.

Deaths: Cicero, orator, executed 43 BC; Pope Innocent IV, 1254; Robert Kett, rebel leader, hanged 1549; Sir Peter Lely (Pieter van der Faes), portrait painter, 1680; Algernon Sidney, republican and patriot, beheaded, 1683; Marie-Jeanne Becu, Comtesse du Barry, mistress of Louis XV, guillotined 1793; Marshal Michel Ney, soldier, executed for treason 1815; William Bligh, captain of the Bounty, 1817; Edward Irving, religious leader, 1834; Thomas Nast, artist and cartoonist, 1902; Sir Frederick Treves, physician, 1923; Nicholas Murray Butler, educator, 1947; Kirsten Malfrid Flagstad, operatic soprano, 1962; Thornton Niven Wilder, novelist, 1975; Robert Ranke Graves, poet, 1985.

On this day: Henry VI of England was crowned King of France, Paris, 1431; the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House), was opened, 1732; William Pitt the Younger became prime minister, 1783; Delaware became the first of the United States, 1787; Gilbert and Sullivan's opera The Gondoliers was first produced, London 1889; an imperial edict authorised all Chinese to cut their pigtails, 1911; David Lloyd George became British prime minister, 1916; the US declared war on Austria- Hungary, 1917; the first parliament of the Irish Free State met, electing William Thomas Cosgrave as president, 1922; the parliament of Northern Ireland voted against being included in the Irish Free State, 1922; the operetta The Last Waltz was staged for the first time in London, 1922; Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, 1941; the Ivory Coast became an independent republic, 1960; Apollo 17 was launched from Cape Kennedy, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ambrose of Milan, St Buithe or Boethius, St Eutychianus, St Martin of Saujon and St Servus.