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Births: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer, 1686; Jean-Paul Marat, politician and physician, 1743; Louis-Francois Dauprat, horn-player and composer, 1781; Victoria, Queen and Empress, 1819; Frederick Walker, painter, 1840; Tito Mattei, pianist and composer, 1841; Sir Ernest Albert Waterlow, water-colour painter, 1850; Admiral Prince Louis Mountbatten, 1854; Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, playwright, 1855; Jan Christiaan Smuts, soldier and statesman, 1870; Suzanne Lenglen, tennis player, 1899; George Formby (William Hoy Booth), singer and comedian, 1904; Mai Elisabeth Zetterling, film actress and film-maker, 1925.

Deaths: David I, King of Scots, 1153; Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer, 1543; Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury, statesman, 1612; George Brydges, first Baron Rodney, naval officer, 1792; William Crockford, club- man and gambler, 1844; Jane Porter, novelist, 1850; William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, 1879; Samuel Palmer, landscape painter, 1881; John Foster Dulles, statesman, 1959; Bernard Rogers, composer, 1968; Edward Kennedy ''Duke'' Ellington, musician, 1974; Jack Warner (Waters), film actor and variety artiste, 1981; Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, actress, 1987; Hamish Hamilton, publisher, 1988.

On this day: Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne, was crowned in Dublin 1487; the explorer George Evans discovered the Lachlan river, Australia, 1815; Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message in his code from Washington to Baltimore, 1844; Westminster Bridge across the river Thames was opened, 1862; Brooklyn Bridge, New York, was opened, 1883; Henry Irving became the first theatrical knight, 1895; the Orange Free State was annexed by Britain, 1900; Empire Day was first celebrated in Britain, 1902; conscription began in Britain, 1916; the British Legion was founded, 1921; Amy Johnson landed at Port Darwin after flying from London, 1930; the cruiser HMS Hood was sunk by the Bismarck off Greenland, 1941; Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, 1959.

Today is the Feast Day of St David I of Scotland, Saints Donatian and Rogatian, St Nicetas of Pereaslav and St Vincent of Lerins.