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Births: Claude Adrien Helvetius, philosopher and encyclopaedist, 1715; Lord George Sackville (George Sackville Germain, first Viscount Sackville), soldier and politician, 1716; Ugo (Niccolo) Foscolo, poet, 1778; Ernst August Kellner, singer and or ganist, 1792; Douglas MacArthur, general, 1880; Jimmy Van Heusen (Edward Chester Babcock), popular composer, 1913; Jacqueline du Pre, cellist, 1945.

Deaths: Edward Jenner, physician, discoverer of vaccination, 1823; Jean-Louis-Andre-Theodore Gericault, painter, 1824; Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey, lawyer and literary critic, 1850; William Marsden, surgeon and founder of hospitals, 1867; Leon-Michel Gambetta, lawyer and statesman, 1882; Charles George Gordon, general, killed at Khartoum 1885; Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, killed in a KLM air crash, Copenhagen 1947; Edward G. Robinson (Emmanuel Goldenberg), actor, 1973; Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, statesman, 1979; William David Ormsby Gore, fifth Baron Harlech, 1986; Jose Vicente Ferrer Otero y Cintron, (Jose Ferrer), actor, 1992.

On this day: Brazil was discovered by Vicente Yanes Pinzon, 1500; Sydney, Australia, was founded by Governor Arthur Phillip, 1788; Mozart's opera Cos Fan Tutte was first performed, Vienna 1790; Michigan became the 26th of the United States, 1837; Hong Kong became a British sovereign territory, 1841; the Cullinan Diamond was found near Pretoria, South Africa, 1905; the first official Boy Scout troop - the First Glasgow - was formed, 1908; during the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona fell to Franco's army, 19

39; India became a republic within the Commonwealth, 1950; Hindi was made the official language of India, 1965; the National Provincial and Westminster banks merged to form the National Westminster Bank, 1968; the first London production of the musical Godspell was presented, 1972.

Today is Australia Day, Republic Day, India and the Feast Day of St Alberic, St Conan of Man, St Eystein, St Margaret of Hungary, St Paula, St Thordgith or Theorigitha of Barking, St Timothy and St Titus.