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Births: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, composer, 1710; Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, 1771; Jakob Ludwig Karl Grimm, philologist and folklorist, 1785; Louis Braille, deviser of a blind alphabet, 1809; Sir I saac Pitman, publisher and inventor of Pitman's shorthand, 1813; General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton), dwarf, 1838; Emile Cohl (Courtet), film animator, 1857; Augustus Edwin John, painter, 1878; Sterling Holloway, actor and comedian, 1905; Will

i am Bendix, actor, 1906.

Deaths: Charlotte Lennox (nee Ramsay), novelist and poet, 1804; Charles Samuel Keene, humorous artist and illustrator, 1891; Clarence Edward Dutton, geologist, 1912; Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer, 1958; Albert Camus, novelist and playwright, killed 1


60; Thomas Stearns Eliot, poet and critic, 1965; Donald Malcolm Campbell, land and water speed record breaker, killed 1967; Joy-Friederike Victoria Adamson, naturalist and writer, 1980; Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist and playwright, 19



On this day: Columbus sailed from America back to Spain in the Nina, 1493; the Austrians, under Joseph Alvintzi, were defeated by Napoleon at Rivoli, 1797; all members of the crew of the Rhyl lifeboat were lost in attempting to save the schooner Temperance, 1847; the Fabian Society was founded, 1884; the first appendicitis operation was performed, 1885; in India, the National Congress was declared illegal, and Mahatma Gandhi was arrested, 1932; the liner Atlantique caught fire off Cherbourg, and 18 members of the crew lost their lives, 1933; the first chart of pop music was published in the United States by Billboard magazine, 1936; the British Fifth Army in Italy attacked Monte Cassino, 1944; a strike of barbers' assistants in Copenhagen ended after 33 years, 1961; Pope Paul VI began a tour of the Holy Land, 1964; Rose Heilbron became the first woman to sit as a judge at the Old Bailey, London, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Elizabeth Bayley Seton, St Gregory of Langres, St Pharaildis, St Rigobert of Rheims and St Roger of Ellant.