Anniversaries

Births: Thomas Hobbes, philosopher, 1588; Elihu Yale, merchant, administrator and founder of Yale College, 1649; Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt, lover and adventurer, 1724; Jean-Honor Fragonard, painter, 1732; Sir Henry Havelock, general, 1795; Joseph Lister, first Baron Lister, surgeon and pioneer of antiseptics in surgery, 1827; Algernon Charles Swinburne, poet, 1837; Spencer Tracy, actor, 1900; Bette (Ruth Elizabeth) Davis, actress, 1908.

Deaths: William Brouncker, second Viscount Brouncker, first president of the Royal Society, 1684; Georges-Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader, guillotined 1794; George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, fifth Earl of Carnarvon, Egyptologist, 1923; Douglas MacArthur, general, 1964; Howard Robard Hughes, aviator, industrialist and film producer, 1976; Marshal of the RAF Sir Arthur Travers Harris Bt, former chief of Bomber Command, 1984.

On this day: Strauss's opera Die Fledermaus was first performed, Vienna, 1874; Oscar Wilde was arrested for offences committed with Lord Alfred Douglas, 1895; an attempt was made to assassinate the Prince of Wales in Brussels, 1900; the second Battle of the Somme ended, 1918; the Dail Eireann chose a Sinn Fein Executive, with Eamon de Valera as president, 1919; Sir Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister, 1955; the first driverless automatic trains ran on the London Underground, 1964; the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth was sold to an American syndicate for £3,230,000, 1968; in Sicily, Mount Etna erupted, followed by violent flows of lava, 1971; Sir Harold Wilson resigned as Prime Minister, 1976.

Today is the Feast Day of St Albert of Montecorvino, St Derfel-Gadarn, St Ethelburga of Lyminge, St Gerald of Sauve-Majeure and St Vincent Ferrer.

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