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Births: John Couch Adams, astronomer, 1819; Francisco Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary leader, 1878; Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky, composer, 1882; John Maynard Keynes, first Baron Keynes, 1883; Dame Ivy Compton- Burnett, novelist, 1884; Ruth Benedict, sociologist, 1887; Federico Garca Lorca, poet and playwright, 1898; Barbara Goolden, novelist, 1900; Gilbert Charles Harding, entertainer, 1907.

Deaths: St Boniface, apostle of Germany, murdered 755; Louis X, King of France, 1316; Sir Julius Benedict, pianist, composer and conductor, 1885; O. Henry, (William Sydney Porter), short story writer, 1910; Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, sculptor, 1915; Horatio Herbert, first Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, soldier, lost at sea in HMS Hampshire, 1916; Elijah Beardsworth, world quick- shaving champion, 1939; Harry James, bandleader, 1983.

On this day: the hot-air balloon was first demonstrated by the Montgolfier brothers, 1783; a liberal constitution came into force in Denmark, 1849; Pretoria, capital of the South African Republic, fell to the British under General Buller, 1900; the Ambassadors Theatre, London, opened, 1913; the cruiser HMS Hampshire struck a mine off the Orkneys and sank, 1916; Ramsay MacDonald formed a minority Labour Government in Britain, 1929; the Six Day War between the Arab states and Israel broke out, 1967; Robert Francis Kennedy, US senator, was shot by an assassin, dying 25 hours later, 1968; Britain's first referendum was held; it resulted in a two-to-one majority in favour of staying in the Common Market, 1975; Mikhail Gorbachev received the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Boniface of Mainz or Crediton, St Dorotheus of Tyre, St Sanctius or Sancho and St Tudno. Today is also UN World Environment Day.