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Births: Carlo Cignani, painter, 1628; Klemens Weazel Lothar, Prince Metternich-Winneburg, statesman, 1773; Dr Neil Arnott, physician, 1788; Adolph Bernhard Marx, musicologist and composer, 1799; Michael William Balfe, composer, 1808; Stephen Heller, pianist and composer, 1814; Alfred Rethel, historical painter, 1816; Clarence Edward Dutton, geologist, 1841; Leopold, Count von Kalckreuth, painter, 1855; Lyman Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, 1856; Pierre Curie, physicist, 1859; Arthur Schnitzler, playwright and novelist, 1862; Edwin Muir, poet and translator, 1887; Katherine Anne Porter, author, 1890; Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov, playwright and novelist, 1891; Joseph Cheshire Cotten, screen and stage actor, 1905; James Mason, actor, 1909.

Deaths: Ephraim Chambers, encyclopaedist, 1740; Richard Wilson, landscape painter, 1782; John Wall Callcott, composer, 1782; Edmund Kean, actor, 1833; Daniel O'Connell, Irish leader, 1847; Robert Hare, chemist, 1858; Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, poet, 1886; Edwin Longsden Long, painter, 1891; Joseph Whitaker, publisher and founder of Whitaker's Almanack, 1895; Etienne- Jules Marey, motion-picture pioneer, 1904; William John Locke, novelist, 1930; Tsuyoshi Inukai, Japanese prime minister, assassinated 1932; Philip, Viscount Snowden, statesman, 1937; Charles Walter Stansby Williams, author and playwright, 1945; Herbert Wilcox, film producer, 1977; Sir Robert Menzies, former prime minister of Australia, 1978; Rita Hayworth (Margarita Carmen Cansino), actress, 1987.

On this day: the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Hexham, 1464; the Anabaptists were defeated at the Battle of Frankenhausen, 1525; Captain Bartholomew Gosnold was the first European to set foot in New England, 1602; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (named after Elias Ashmole), was founded, 1679; an attempt was made by James Hatfield to assassinate King George III at the Drury Lane Theatre, 1800; the Theatre Royal Covent Garden (Royal Opera House) third theatre was opened, 1858; Giuseppe Garibaldi defeated the Neapolitan army at the Battle of Calatafimi, 1860; the US Department of Agriculture was in- augurated, 1862; General Henri Ptain became French commander-in-chief, 1917; the world's first long- distance regular air mail service was begun between Philadelphia and New York, 1918; Germany ceded Upper Silesia to Poland, 1922; the first London production of the musical show Music Box Revue was presented, 1923; the world's first air hostess, Ellen Church, flew in a Boeing 80A from Oakland, California, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1930; the Gloster-Whittle E28/39 turbojet flew for the first time, 1941; Burma was evacuated by British and Indian troops, 1942; the Vienna Treaty was signed by Britain, France, the US and USSR, restoring Austria as an independent nation, 1955; a British nuclear bomb was exploded at Christmas Island, in the central Pacific, 1957; in Bavaria, an avalanche on the Zugspitze mountain hit a hotel, burying 130 residents, and killing 40, 1965; Governor George C. Wallace was shot and seriously wounded at Laurel, Maryland 1972; General Spinola was inaugurated as president of Portugal, 1984; Mme Edith Cresson became the first woman prime minister of France, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of Saints Bertha and Rupert, St Dymphna, St Gerebernus, St Hallvard, St Hilary of Galeata, St Isaias of Rostov, St Isidore of Chios, St Isidore the Farmer, St Peter of Lampsacus and St Torquatus and his Companions.