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Births: John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, military commander, 1650; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, writer, 1689; Pierre Gavinies, violinist and composer, 1728; Joseph Drechsler, conductor, organist and composer, 1782; Princess Mary of Teck (Queen Mary, consort of King George V), 1867; Henry Farman, aircraft designer, 1874; Al Jolson, singer and entertainer, 1886; Sir Eugene Aynesley Goossens, composer and conductor, 1893; John Wayne, actor, 1907; Robert Morley, actor and playwright, 1908; Sir Matt Busby, football manager and president, 1909.

Deaths: St Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 604; Samuel Pepys, diarist, 1703; Jean-Joseph Benjamin Constant, painter, 1902; Ernest Solvay, industrial chemist, 1922; Charles Horace Mayo, surgeon, 1922; Lincoln Ellsworth, polar explorer, 1951; Wilbur Daniel Steele, short-story writer, 1970; Jacques Lipchitz, sculptor and poet, 1973; George Brent (George Brendan Nolan), actor, 1979.

On this day: Napoleon Buonaparte was crowned King of Italy, 1805; the wild boy Kaspar Hauser was discovered in the market-place of Nuremberg, 1828; the Confederate Army surrendered in Texas, so ending the American Civil War, 1865; Michael Barrett, Fenian terrorist, was hanged for causing an explosion and 13 deaths; Britain's last public execution, 1868; Mount Etna in Sicily started a series of violent eruptions, 1870; Vauxhall Bridge, London, was opened, 1906; Emily Duncan, the first woman magistrate in Britain, was appointed a Justice of the Peace, 1913; in South Africa, a Nationalist government was elected with apartheid policies, 1948; an Icelandic gunboat shelled and holed a British trawler, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Dyfan, St Lambert of Venice, St Mariana of Quito, St Philip Neri, St Priscus or Prix of Auxerre and St Quadratus of Athens.