Click to follow

Births: Admiral Samuel Hood, first Viscount Hood, naval commander, 1724; Erasmus Darwin, physician and writer, 1731; Sir William Beechey, painter, 1753; William Lloyd Garrison, opponent of slavery, 1805; Gustave Flaubert, novelist, 1821; Edvard Munch, painter, 1863; Alfred Werner, chemist, 1866; Edward G. Robinson, actor, 1893.

Deaths: Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, civil engineer, 1849; Robert Browning, poet, 1889; Douglas Fairbanks Snr (Douglas Elton Ulman), actor, 1939; Tallulah Brockman Bankhead, actress, 1968; William (Billy) Gordon Reid, composer and pianist, 1974; Clementine Ogilvy, Baroness Spencer-Churchill, widow of Sir Winston Churchill, 1977; Anne Baxter, actress, 1985.

On this day: fleeing from the mob, Judge Jeffreys took refuge in the Tower of London, 1688; Pennsylvania became the second of the United States, 1787; Marconi transmitted the first transatlantic radio signal, 1901; King George V held a great Coronation Durbar in Delhi, India, 1911; martial law was declared in the counties of Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and Limerick, 1920; the first motel opened in California, 1925; in Britain, conscription was introduced for men aged between 18 and 26, 1948; Christopher Cockerell patented the first hovercraft, 1955; the first London production of the musical show West Side Story was staged, 1958; President Kennedy proposed the installation of a direct telephone line between the White House and the Kremlin, 1962; Kenya became independent, 1963, and became a republic, 1964; Francis Chichester arrived at Sydney after sailing 13,000 miles alone from Plymouth in 107 days, 1966; women members were elected to the Jockey Club for the first time, 1977; near Clapham Junction, London, an express train from Bournemouth crashed into a stationary train, killing 36 people and injuring 111, 1988.

Today is the Feast Day of St Corentin or Cury, St Edburga of Minster, Saints Epimachus and Alexander, St Finnian of Clonard, St Jane Frances de Chantel and St Vicelin.


Births: William Drummond of Hawthornden, poet, 1585; Sir William Hamilton, husband of Emma Hamilton, 1730; The Rev Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, biographer, 1815; Ernst Werner von Siemens, inventor, 1816; Lucien-Germain Guitry, actor, 1860; Talcott Parsons, sociologist, 1902; Balthazar Johannes Vorster, South African nationalist, 1915.

Deaths: Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), Jewish philosopher, 1204; Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1250; Donatello (Donato de Betto Bardi), Florentine sculptor, 1466; Manoel I, King of Portugal, 1521; Charles de Lafosse, painter, 1716; Anthony Collins, philosopher and writer, 1729; The Rev John Strype, historian, 1737; Dr Samuel Johnson, lexicographer, 1784; William Calcraft, shoemaker and hangman, 1879; Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, prime minister of Canada, 1894; Samuel Gompers, labour leader, 1924; Wassily Kandinsky, abstract painter, 1944; 'Grandma Moses' Mrs Thomas Salmon Moses, primitive painter (aged 101), 1961; Henry Green (Henry Vincent Yorke), novelist, 1973; Mary Renault (Mary Challans), novelist, 1983.

On this day: the first assembly of the Council of Trent opened, 1545; Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth on his voyage around the world, 1577; New Zealand was discovered by Abel Janszoon Tasman, 1642; the Barebones Parliament ended, 1653; in the US, Italo Marcioni patented the first ice-cream cone, 1903; a treaty guaranteeing the independence of Ethiopia was signed between France, Great Britain and Italy, 1906; the P & O vessel Delhi was lost off the Moroccan coast, but passengers and crew were saved, 1911; Dr Lee De Forest demonstrated the first sound-on-film movie in the US, 1923; Nanking, China, was taken by Japanese troops, 1937; the Battle of the River Plate was fought, 1939; South Africa refused to place South West Africa under the trusteeship of the United Nations, 1950; a spell of extreme cold weather killed over 200 people in the US, 1960.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Aubert of Cambrai, St Eustratius of Sebastea, St Judocus or Josse, St Lucy and St Othilia or Odilia.