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Births: Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, playwright and poet, 1671; Harry Houdini (Erich Weiss), stage magician and escapist, 1874; Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker, aircraft designer, 1890; Leo Robin, lyricist and writer of Thanks for the Memory, 1900; Sir John Betjeman, poet, 1906. Deaths: Richard I (Coeur de Lion), King of England, killed in battle 1199; Albrecht Drer, artist, 1528; John Stow, historian and antiquary, 1605; Giovanni Pascoli, poet, 1912; Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, composer, 1971; Isaac Asimov, biochemist and science fiction author, 1992. On this day: St Paul's Cathedral and other churches were badly damaged following an earthquake tremor in London, 1580; George Washington was elected as first president of the US, 1789; the Mormon Church was organised by Joseph Smith at Fayette, New York 1830; the first modern Olympic Games were inaugurated at Athens, 1896; Sir Anthony Eden became prime minister, 1955.

Today is the Feast Day of St Celestine I, pope, St Eutychius of Constantinople, St Marcellinus of Carthage, St Prudentius of Troyes and St William of Eskilsoe.