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Births: Conte Giacomo Leopardi, poet and classicist, 1798; Abbate Pietro Alfieri, professor of singing and writer, 1801; George Washington Goethals, builder of the Panama Canal, 1858; William James Mayo, surgeon and co- founder of the Mayo Clinic, 1861; James Harvey Robinson, historian, 1863; Robert Schuman, statesman, 1886; Antoine-Marie Roger de Saint-Exupery, aviator and author, 1900; Nelson Eddy, film actor and singer, 1901; Frank Loesser, composer and lyricist, 1910.

Deaths: Anton Raphael Mengs, painter, 1779; Valentine Green, mezzotint engraver, 1813; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet, 1861; Joseph Aloysius Hansom, architect and inventor of the hansom cab, 1882; Adolphe Joseph- Thomas Monticelli, painter, 1886; Karl Brugmann, philologist, 1919; Lady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Jerome), 1921; Paul Klee, Modernist painter, 1940; Jayne Mansfield (Vera Jayne Palmer), actress, killed in a car crash 1967; Primo Carnera, heavyweight boxer, 1967; Pierre-Alexandre Balmain, fashion designer, 1982; General Sir Richard Nelson Gale, soldier, 1982.

On this day: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was burned down, 1613; an Act of Parliament established the first passenger railway: the Swansea to Oystermouth, 1804; the Daily Telegraph was first published, 1855; the Great Comet was seen over France and England, 1861; the Press Association news agency was founded, London 1868; Tahiti was annexed by France, 1880; steam-powered elevated trains began running in Chicago, 1892; the foundation stone of Westminster Cathedral was laid by Cardinal Vaughan, 1895; Sir Roger Casement, Irish revolutionary, was condemned to death for treason, 1916; US troops were withdrawn from Korea, 1949; US planes bombed Hanoi, North Vietnam, 1966.

Today is the Feast Day of St Cassius of Narni, St Paul the Apostle, St Peter the Apostle and Saints Salome and Judith.