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Births: Sir Dudley North, financier and economist, 1641; John Opie, artist, 1761; John Sell Cotman, water-colour artist, 1782; Friedrich Rckert, poet, 1788; Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, educationist, 1804; Eduard Hille, composer and conductor, 1822; David Edward Hughes, inventor of the microphone and teleprinter, 1831; Philip Danforth Armour, food industrialist, 1832; Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert), tenor and conductor, 1892; Herbert Ernest Bates, novelist, 1905; Henry Fonda, actor, 1905; Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman, jazz clarinetist and bandleader, 1913; Liberace (Wladsiu Valentino), pianist and entertainer, 1919; Martine Carol, actress, 1922.

Deaths: Pietro da Cortona (Berrettini), painter and architect, 1669; Charles Perrault, author and fairy-tale writer, 1703; Button Gwinnett, American revolutionary leader, in a duel 1777; Daniel Charles Solander, botanist, 1782; Baron Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, mathematician, 1830; Felicia Dorothea Hemans, poet and hymn-writer, 1835; Ferdinand de Braekeleer, painter, 1883; Edward Augustus Freeman, historian, 1892; Mili Alexeyevich Balakirev, composer, 1910; Sir Edmund William Gosse, poet and author, 1928; Lilli Lehmann, soprano, 1929; William Pember Reeves, politician and poet, 1932; Stephen Fairbairn, oarsman and coach, 1938; Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski, anthropologist, 1942; George Ade, novelist and playwright, 1944; Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) Western author, 1944; Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson, painter and engraver, 1949; Randolph Turpin, boxer, shot dead in his home 1966; Michael Abdul Malik, Black Power leader, hanged for murder in Trinidad 1975; Irwin Shaw, author, 1984.

On this day: the Batavian Republic was established in Holland, 1795; the Lombardic Republic was established, 1796; during the Peninsular War, the French were defeated by the Allies at Albuera, 1811; the Kentucky Derby was first run at Louisville, Kentucky, 1875; the world's first electric tram went into public service, Lichterfelde, near Berlin 1881; remains of Neanderthal man were found in Jersey, 1911; the Zeppelin Deutschland was wrecked at Dsseldorf, 1911; the White Star liner Majestic, the largest vessel to date, completed her first voyage from Southampton to New York in five and a half days, 1922; the first Academy Awards for films ceremony was held in Hollywood - best actor was Emil Jannings, best actress, Janet Gaynor, 1929; the first British air hostess, Daphne Kearley, flew in an Avro 642 from Croydon to Le Bourget, France, 1936; a ''bouncing bomb'' invented by Dr Barnes Wallis was dropped on the large Mhne and Eder dams in the Ruhr, Germany 1943; an earthquake in Northern Japan killed 47 and injured 217, 1968; the Soviet spacecraft Venus 5 touched down on Venus, 1969; Queen Elizabeth addressed the US Congress, the first British monarch to do so, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Brendan, St Carantoc or Carannog, St Domnolus of Le Mans, St Germerius or Germier, St Honoratus of Amiens, St John Nepomucen, St Peregrinus of Auxerre, St Possidius, St Simon Stock and St Ubaldus of Gubbio.