TODAY: Births: Sydney Smith, preacher, reformer and writer, 1771; Richard Cobden, reformer, 1804; Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, archaeologist, 1853; George V, King, 1865; Raoul Dufy, painter, 1877; Josephine Baker, singer, 1906; The Hon William Douglas-Home, playwright, 1912. Deaths: William Harvey, exponent of the theory of the circulation of the blood, 1657; Georges Bizet, composer, 1875; Samuel Plimsoll, politician and social reformer, 1898; Johann Strauss the Younger, composer and conductor, 1899; Mary Henrietta Kingsley, writer, 1900; Franz Kafka, writer, 1924; Pope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli), 1963; Arthur Michell Ransome, writer, 1967; Dame Anna Neagle (Marjorie Robertson), actress, 1986; Robert Morley, actor, 1992. On this day: the game of lacrosse was introduced into Britain, 1876; the Duke of Windsor married Mrs Wallis Warfield Simpson, 1937; the British army was evacuated from Dunkirk, 1940; third-class travel on British Railways was abolished, 1956; Ed White, the first astronaut to walk in space, spent 21 minutes outside Gemini 4, 1965. Today is the Feast Day of St Cecilius, St Charles Lwanga, St Clothilde, St Genesius of Clermont, St Isaac of Cordova, St Joseph Mkasa, St Kevin or Coemgen, St Liphardus and Urbicius, St Lucillian and his Companions, St Morand and Saints Pergentinus and Laurentinus.
TOMORROW: Births: George III, King, 1738; Nassau William Senior, economist, 1864. Deaths: Giovanni Jacopo Casanova, adventurer, 1798; Wilhelm II, former Emperor of Germany, 1941; Dorothy Gish (de Guiche), actress, 1968; Gyorgy Lukacs, philosopher, 1971. On this day: the Allies liberated Rome, 1944; Tonga became independent, 1970. Tomorrow is Pentecost (Whit Sunday) and the Feast Day of St Francis Caracciolo, St Metrophanes, St Optatus of Milevis, St Petroc, St Quirinus of Siscia and St Vincentia Gerosa.Reuse content