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TODAY: Births: Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor, 1879; Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor, 1895; Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, jazz musician, 1899. Deaths: Wallace Carothers, chemist and developer of nylon, 1937; Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, film director, 1980. On this day: at Oxford University a statute was passed admitting women to examinations, 1884; the first London performance of the musical Oklahoma! was staged, 1947. Today is the Feast Day of St Catherine of Siena, St Hugh of Cluny, St Joseph Cottolengo, St Robert of Molesmes and St Wilfrid the Younger.

TOMORROW: Births: Jacques-Louis David, painter, 1748; Sir John Lubbock, first Baron Avebury, banker, writer and entomologist, 1834. Deaths: Edouard Manet, Impressionist painter, 1883; Alfred Edward Housman, poet and scholar, 1936; Beatrice (Potter) Webb, writer and socialist, 1943; Adolf Hitler, dictator, committed suicide 1945; Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), rhythm and blues singer, 1983. On this day: General George Washington was inaugurated as first US President, 1789; four of President Richard Nixon's top aides resigned over Watergate charges, 1973; the South Vietnamese government surrendered unconditionally to the Vietcong, 1975. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Eutropius of Saintes, St Forannan, St Gualfardus or Wolfhard, Saints Marianus, James and Others, St Maximus of Ephesus and St Pius V, pope.