Births: Anne-Robert Jacques Turgot, statesman, 1727; Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, soldier, author and musician, composer of the "Marseillaise", 1760; Jean Lannes, duc de Montebello, Marshal of France, 1769; Sir George Thomas Smart, organist, composer and conductor, 1776; Augustin-Jean Fresnel, physicist, 1788; August, Ritter von Pettenkofen, painter, 1822; James, first Viscount Bryce, historian and statesman, 1838; John Wilkes Booth, actor, and assassin of Abraham Lincoln, 1838; Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, millionaire grocer and sportsman, 1850; Gustav Stresemann, statesman, 1878 Karl Barth, theologian and author, 1886; Maximilian (Max) Raoul Steiner, composer, 1888; Fred Astaire (Frederick Austerlitz), dancer and actor, 1899; David Oliver Selznick, film producer, 1902; Monica Enid Dickens (Mrs Roy Olin Stratton), novelist, 1915.

Deaths: Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus the Thracian, Roman emperor, murdered 238; Leonhard Fuchs, physician and botanist, 1566; Jean de La Bruyre, essayist and moralist, 1696; Louis XV, King of France, 1774; George Vancouver, navigator, 1798; Paul Revere, goldsmith and American hero, 1818; Thomas Young, physicist and decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphics, 1829; Katsushuka Hokusai, artist, 1849; Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, Confederate general, 1863; Sir John Goss, composer and organist, 1880; Sir Henry Morton Stanley, explorer, 1904; John Wesley Hyatt, inventor and pioneer of plastics, 1920; Joan Crawford (Lucille Fay Le Sueur), actress, 1977; John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Morton ("Beachcomber"), writer, 1979.

On this day; Jamaica was captured by the English, 1655; Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France, 1774; Fort Ticonderoga was captured during the American War of Independence, 1775; Warren Hastings was impeached in Parliament by Edmund Burke, 1787; the Austrians were defeated by Napoleon's army at the Battle of Lodi Bridge, 1796; the Indian Mutiny began, 1857; during the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, Confederate president, was taken prisoner at Irwinsville, Georgia, 1865; the first US transcontinental railway was completed when the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways linked up, 1869; the Imperial Institute, London, was opened, 1893; Mother's Day was first celebrated, Philadelphia 1908; nearly a hundred bombs were dropped on Southend-on-Sea by a Zeppelin, 1915; in order to block the harbour at Ostend, HMS Vindictive was sunk across the entrance, 1918; a strike of busmen in London began, 1937; Germany invaded the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, starting the Battle of Flanders, 1940; Winston Churchill began his office as Prime Minister, 1940; the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), later called the Home Guard, was formed, 1940; the House of Commons was destroyed during the heaviest air raid on London, 1941; during the blitz, the Holborn Empire theatre in London was damaged and closed, 1941; Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, flew to Scotland and made a parachute landing near Glasgow, 1941; peace talks on Vietnam began in Paris, 1968.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alphius, St Antoninus of Florence, St Calepodius, St Cataldus or Cathal, St Conleth or Conlaed, St Epimarchus, St Gordian, St John of Avila and St Solange.

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