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Births: Alexander Cruden, compiler of the Concordance of the Holy Scriptures; 1701; Walt Whitman, author and poet, 1819; Alphonse-Marie de Neuville, painter, 1836; Henry Sidgwick, philosopher, 1838; Frits Hartvigson, pianist and teacher, 1841; Pope Pius (Achille Ratti) XI, 1857; Professor Graham Wallas, economist, 1858; Walter Richard Sickert, painter, 1860; Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, explorer, 1863; William Heath Robinson, illustrator, 1872; Helen Waddell, poet and scholar, 1889; Florence Desmond (Dawson), actress, 1905;Judith Wright, author and poet, 1915.

Deaths: Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), painter, 1594; Franz Joseph Haydn, composer, 1809; William Smith, abolitionist and emancipator, 1835; Joseph Grimaldi, comic actor and clown, 1837; Elizabeth Blackwell, physician (the first woman doctor), 1910; John White Alexander, painter, 1915; Adolf Eichmann, Nazi war criminal, hanged, 1962; Jack Dempsey, heavyweight boxer, 1983.

On this day: Samuel Pepys discontinued writing his diary because of failing eyesight, 1669; in France, the Reign of Terror began, 1793; the universal right to vote was abolished in France, 1850; the trans-Siberian railway was begun, 1891; the Peace of Vereeniging brought the end of the Boer War, 1902; the Union of South Africa was formed from Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, 1910; the White Star liner Titanic was launched at Belfast, 1911; the airman Harry George Hawker reached a record height of 11,450ft, 1913; the Naval Battle of Jutland began, 1916; the Daily Chronicle and the Daily News ceased separate publication and became the News Chronicle, 1930; in Germany, the Gothic, or Black Letter, printing type was officially abandoned in favour of the Roman character, 1941; the Volga-Don Canal was opened, 1952; the Union of South Africa became a republic, 1961; an earthquake shook Yungay, Huascaran, Peru, when about 18,000 people lost their lives, 1970.

Today is a Bank Holiday and the Feast Day of Saints Cantius, Cantianus, Cantianella and Protus, St Mechtildis of Edelstetten and St Petronilla.