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Births: Ferdinand I, Holy Roman emperor, 1503; Marcello Malpighi, anatomist, 1628; John Playfair, mathematician and geologist, 1748; Carl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel, poet and critic, 1772; Thomas Gordon Hake, physician and poet, 1809; Sir Samuel Ferguson, poet, 1810; Pablo Martin Meliton de Sarasate y Navascuz, violinist and composer, 1844; Henry Watson Fowler, author of English Usage, 1858; Leonard Raven-Hill, cartoonist, artist and illustrator, 1867; Tamara Platonovna Karsavina, ballerina, 1885; Bix Beiderbecke (Leon Bismarck Beidebecke), jazz cornet-player and composer, 1903.

Deaths: Sir John Denham, poet, 1669; Muzio Clementi, pianist and composer, 1832; Taras Grigoryevich Shevchenko, poet, 1861; Maximilian II Joseph, King of Bavaria, 1864; Giuseppe Mazzini, nationalist, 1872; Sir Charles Wyville Thomson, zoologist, 1882; Charles Frederick Worth, fashion designer, 1895; "F. Anstey" (Thomas Anstey Guthrie), humorist and playwright, 1934; Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty, first Earl Beatty, 1936; Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov, playwright and novelist, 1940; Robert Laurence Binyon, poet, 1943; Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb, short-story writer and journalist, 1944; Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne, novelist, 1944; Jan Garrigue Masaryk, Czechoslovak statesman, committed suicide 1948; Sir Philip Armand Hamilton Gibbs, author, 1962; Frank O'Connor (Michael O'Donovan), short-story writer, 1966; Maurice Macmillan (Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden), politician, 1984; Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko, Russian leader, 1985; Ray Milland (Reginald Truscott-Jones), actor, 1986.

On this day: the first British Census began, 1801; Napoleon was defeated by Blcher at the the Battle of Laon, 1814; the US Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ceding Texas and California to the United States, 1848; Edward (later King Edward VII) married Princess Alexandra of Denmark, 1863; the Bakerloo Line on London's underground opened, 1906; D.W. Griffith's film In Old California was released, the first movie to be made in Hollywood, 1910; the Rokeby Venus painting by Velazquez in the National Gallery was damaged by suffragettes, 1914; the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle (First World War) began, 1915; Sir Oswald Mosley was expelled from the Labour Party, 1931; Rangoon, Burma, fell to the Japanese, 1942; Peter Twiss, a test pilot, was the first man to fly at more than 1,000mph, 1956; Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands married Claus von Amsberg, 1966; James Earl Ray (Eric Starvo Galt) pleaded guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King, Memphis, 1969.

Today is the Feast Day of St Anastasia Patricia, St Attalas, St Codratus and Others, St Droctoveus or Drotte, St Hymelin, St John Ogilvie, St Kessog, St Macarius of Jerusalem and St Simplicius, pope.