Births: John Wilbye, composer, baptised 1574; Alessandro Francesco Manzoni, poet and novelist, 1785; Sir John Frederick William Herschel, astronomer, 1792; Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, painter, 1802; Victor (Flix- Marie) Mass, composer, 1822; Henry Moore, marine painter, 1831; Henry Draper, astronomer, 1837; Henry Mayers Hyndman, journalist and socialist, 1842; Edward Lloyd, tenor, 1845; Luther Burbank, horticulturist, 1849; Toms Garrigue Masaryk, first president of Czechoslovakia, 1850; Piet (Pieter Cornelis) Mondriaan, abstract painter, 1872; Joseph-Maurice Ravel, composer, 1875.

Deaths: Antoninus Pius, Roman emperor, 161; St Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, 1274; Jean-Pierre Franois Blanchard, balloonist, 1809; Francesco Bartolozzi, engraver, 1815; Louis Boulanger, painter and lithographer, 1867; Sir Arthur Helps, essayist and historian, 1875; John Richard Green, cleric and historian, 1883; Aristide Briand, premier, 1932; Bertrand Edward, first Viscount Dawson, physician, 1945; Herman J. Mankiewicz, screenwriter, 1953; Percy Wyndham Lewis, writer and artist, 1957; Florence Margaret (Stevie) Smith, poet, 1971.

On this day: the British and Foreign Bible Society was founded, 1804; Napoleon defeated Blcher at the Battle of Craonne, 1814; Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", made her dbut, 1838; the first telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell, 1876; the first jazz record, "The Dixie Jazz Band One-step", went on sale in the United States, 1917; the transatlantic radio-telephone was established, 1926; parliamentary government in Austria was suspended by the Chancellor, Dr Engelbert Dollfuss, 1933; the Saar was re-incorporated with Germany, 1935; the Rhineland was reoccupied by Germany, 1936; British troops invaded Italian-held Ethiopia, 1941; British forces withdrew from Rangoon, 1942; in London, the Victoria underground line was opened by the Queen, 1969; at Heathrow Airport, London, armed raiders stole £850,000 worth of diamonds and currency, 1977.

Today is the Feast Day of St Ardo, St Drausius or Drausin, St Esterwine, St Paul the Simple and St Theophylact.

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