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Births: Dr George Birkbeck, educationist, 1776; Manuel Azana, president of the Spanish Republic, 1880; Grock (Adrien Wettach), clown, 1880; Alexei Nikolayevich Tolstoy, novelist and playwright, 1883; Dame Barbara Hepworth, sculptor, 1903.

Deaths: Samuel Colt, gunsmith, 1862; William Frederick Cody ("Buffalo Bill"), 1917; Sir John Lavery, painter, 1941; Samuel Dashiell Hammett, detective story writer, 1961; Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, 1971; Chester Burnett ("Howling Wolf"), blues singer, 1976.

On this day: the penny post was begun, 1840; the London Underground (Metropolitan Railway) system was started, 1863; the tomb of Cleopatra was discovered, 1890; the League of Nations was inaugurated, 1920; after the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles by Germany and the Allies, the First World War officially ended, 1920; the cartoon character "Tintin" appeared for the first time, 1929; the British government forbade citizens to enlist in armies of either side in the Spanish Civil War, 1937; the first assembly of the United Nations was held in London, 1946.

Today is the Feast Day of St Agatho, pope, St Dermot or Diarmaid, St John the Good, St Marcian of Constantinople, St Peter Orseolo and St William of Bourge.