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Births: Gustavus II Adolphus the Great, King of Sweden, 1594; John Milton, poet, 1608; Baldassare Ferri, castrato, 1610; Edward Thurlow, first Lord Thurlow, Lord Chancellor, 1731; Karl Wilhelm Scheele, chemist, 1742; Claude-Louis, Count Berthollet, chemist, 1749; Prince Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin, Russian revolutionary and geographer, 1842; George Grossmith, actor in Gilbert and Sullivan roles, 1847; Joel Chandler Harris, author and creator of 'Uncle Remus', 1848; Emma Abbott, soprano and impresario, 1850; Clarence Birdseye, inventor of deep-freezing process, 1886; Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, actress and entertainer, 1898; Richard Austen Butler, first Lord Butler, statesman, 1902.

Deaths: Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, 1165; Pope Pius IV, 1565; Sir Anthony Van Dyck, painter, 1641; Edward Hyde, First Earl of Clarendon, statesman and historian, 1674; Robert Nanteuil, engraver, 1678; Joseph Bramah, locksmith and inventor of the hydraulic printing press, 1814; John O'Donovan, archaeologist, 1861; Ezra Cornell, financier and founder of Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 1874; Natsume Soseki (Kinnosuke), novelist and poet, 1916; Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson, publisher, 1921; Dame Edith Sitwell, poet, 1964; Karl Barth, theologian, 1968.

On this day: the first execution took place in Newgate Prison, London, 1783; the Macquarie River in Australia was discovered by George Evans, 1813; the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ayacucho, Peru, and agreed to leave South America, 1824; Glinka's opera Ruslan and Ludmila was first produced, St Petersburg 1842; in attempting to rescue the barque Mexico 27 lifeboatmen from Southport and St Anne's, Lancashire, were drowned, 1886; a bomb was exploded in the Paris Chamber of Deputies by an anarchist named Auguste Vailland, 1893; in France, a law was passed separating Church from State, 1905; Richard Strauss's opera Salome was performed for the first time, Dresden 1905; an Arab rising in Palestine was violently put down by the Ottoman army, 1910; Jerusalem (held by the Turks) surrendered to General Allenby, 1917; Romania signed an armistice with the Central Powers at Foscani, 1917; the Eighth Army opened its offensive in North Africa by attacking Sidi Barrani, 1940; China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy, 1941; in Yugoslavia, Josip Tito formed his own government, 1943; the republic of Indonesia was established, 1949; the first episode of Coronation Street was televised, 1960; Tanganyika became independent, 1961, and a republic, 1962; the musical play Lady in the Dark was a produced in England for the first time, Nottingham 1981; Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland, 1990.

Today is the Feast Day of St Budoc or Beuzec, St Gorgonia, St Leocadia, St Peter Fourier and The Seven Martyrs of Samosata.