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Births: Sir Edward Herbert, first Baron Herbert of Cherbury, poet, 1583; Edmund Waller, poet, 1606; Sir William D'Avenant, poet, baptised, 1606; Thomas Otway, playwright, 1652; William Godwin, novelist and political writer, 1756; John Austin, author and jurist, 1790; William Charles Macready, actor and manager, 1793; Adolphe Nourrit, tenor, 1802; Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, painter, 1803; Charles Kensington Salaman, pianist, conductor and composer, 1814; George Mortimer Pullman, industrialist and inventor, 1831; Georg Cantor, mathematician, 1845; Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, 1847; Lilian Adelaide Neilson (Elizabeth Ann Brown), actress, 1848; Arthur Llewellyn Jones Machen, novelist, actor and journalist, 1863; Emile-Auguste Chartier (``Alain''), philosopher, 1868; Sir Henry Joseph Wood, founder of Promenade Concerts, 1869; Philip Edward Thomas, poet and critic, 1878; Alexander Ivanovich Oparin, biologist, 1894; Jean Harlow (Harlean Carpenter), actress, 1911.

Deaths: Sir Nicholas Carew, courtier and diplomat, executed 1539; Robert Hooke, physicist, 1703; William Stukeley, antiquary and physician, 1765; Niccolo Antonio Porpora, composer, 1768; Robert Adam, architect, 1792; Francis Egerton, third Duke of Bridgewater, canal engineer, 1803; Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, painter and engraver, 1804; Antony Vandyke Copley Fielding, painter, 1855; Joseph Bonomi (the Younger), sculptor and draughtsman, 1878; The Rev John George Wood, writer on natural history, 1889; Sir Sidney Lee, editor, scholar and biographer, 1926; Eugene Francis Charles d'Albert, composer, 1932; Ernest Howard Griffiths, physicist, 1932; Norman Houston O'Neill, composer, 1934; Noel Gay (Richard Moxon Armitage), composer and pianist, 1954; Lou Costello (Louis Francis Cristillo), actor and comedian, 1959; Arthur Koestler, author, 1983; Danny Kaye (Daniel David Karminsky), actor, 1987.

On this day: Bernhard, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, overcame the attacking Bavarian army at the Battle of Rheinfelden, 1638; Florida became the 27th of the United States, 1845; Louis-Philippe of France arrived in England after abdicating, 1848; serfdom was abolished in Russia, 1861; Bizet's opera Carmen was first performed at the Opra Comique, Paris 1875; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed between Germany and Russia, 1918; the Turkish National Assembly abolished the Caliphate, and disestablished the Islamic religion, 1924; the US Congress adopted the "Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem, 1931; Italian Somaliland fell to the British army, and Italians fled to Ethiopia, 1941; the Apollo 9 spacecraft was launched from Cape Kennedy, 1969; one of the world's worst air disasters occurred when a Turkish DC-10 crashed after take-off from Paris, with the loss of 346 lives, 1974; Estonia and Latvia voted to secede from the Soviet Union, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aelred of Rievaulx, St Anselm of Nonantola, St Arthelais, St Chef, St Cunegund, empress, St Emeterius, St Gervinus, Saints Marinus and Astyrius, St Non or Nonnita and St Winwaloe or Guenole.