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Births: Nero, Roman emperor, AD 37; David Teniers the Younger, painter, 1610; George Romney, painter, 1734; Charles Cowden Clarke, Shakespearean scholar, 1787; Francois Joseph Heim, painter, 1787; Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, youngest brother of Napoleon, 1784; Janos Bolyai, mathematician, 1802; Henry Fothergill Chorley, music critic, librettist and author, 1808; Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, engineer, 1832; Henry Gadsby, composer, 1842; Sir Alfred East, painter and etcher, 1849; Antoine-Henri Becquerel, physicist, 1852; Dr Lazarus Ludovic Zamenhof, oculist and creator of Esperanto, 1859; Niels Ryberg Finsen, physician, 1860; Josef Hoffmann, architect, 1870; Maxwell Anderson, playwright, 1888; Jean Paul Getty, oil tycoon, 1892; Carl Ferdinand Cori, biochemist, 1896; General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey, 1896.

Deaths: Haakon IV, King of Norway, 1263; Jan Vermeer (Jan van der Meer van Delft), painter, 1675; Isaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, 1683; Giuseppe Bossi, painter, 1816; Georg Friedrich Grotefend, classical scholar, 1853; Leon Faucher, economist and statesman, 1854; Sir George Cayley, aeronautics pioneer, 1857; Chief Sitting Bull, Sioux Indian leader, killed 1890; Francisco Tarrega, composer, 1909; Whitelaw Reid, US ambassador to Great Britain, 1912; Thomas Wright 'Fats' Waller, pianist, 1943; Arthur Llewellyn Jones Machen, author, 1947; Wolfgang Pauli, physicist, 1958; Charles Laughton, actor, 1962; Walter Elias Disney, cartoonist and creator of 'Mickey Mouse', 1966.

On this day: the first meteorological recordings were begun in Tuscany, Italy, 1654; the states of the American union ratified the Bill of Rights, 1791; the French recaptured Rome and overran the Kingdom of Naples, 1798; Napoleon and his army entered Warsaw, 1806; the remains of Emperor Napoleon were interred at Les Invalides, Paris, 1840; General Redvers Buller's troops were defeated by the Boers at the Battle of Colenso, 1899; the Piccadilly Line tube in London was opened, 1906; the seven-masted schooner Thomas W. Lawson was lost in the English Channel, 1907; the Battle of Verdun ended, with 700,000 dead (338,000 German, 364,000 Allied soldiers), 1916; Fiume declared her independence, 1919; Box and Cox, the first television play in Britain, was transmitted to a limited audience, 1928; the Commonwealth of the Philippines was inaugurated, 1935; the premiere of the film Gone With the Wind took place at Atlanta, Georgia, 1939; the US Congress approved the appointment of five-star generals and admirals, 1944; the General Assembly of the United Nations voted to admit the Chinese People's Republic, 1961; Adolf Eichmann was found guilty of crimes against the Jewish people in Israel, 1961; the first production of the musical show Charlie Girl took place in London, 1965; food riots broke out in Poland, 1970; John Paul Getty III was released by kidnappers who had held him for five months and cut off his ear, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Mary di Rosa, St Nino, St Paul of Latros and St Valerian.