Anniversaries

Births: Bartolommeo di Francesco Cristofori, harpsichord maker, 1655; William Roy, military engineer and surveyor, 1726; Florian Leopold Gassmann, composer, 1729; Franz Adam, painter, 1815; Thomas Henry Huxley, biologist and natural historian, 1825; Frederick Edwin Church, landscape painter, 1826; John Hanning Speke, discoverer of the source of the Nile, 1827; Alice Liddell, the original of Alice in Wonderland, 1852; Alexandre Nikolayevich Benois, painter and theatrical designer, 1870; Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and feminist, 1882; Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, 1889; Israel Moses Sieff, Baron Sieff, president of Marks & Spencer, 1889; Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe, plastic surgeon, 1900; Audrey Hepburn (Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston), actress, 1929.

Deaths: Carl von Ossietzky, pacifist journalist and Nobel prizewinner (in a Nazi concentration camp), 1938; Georges Enesco (Gheorghe Enescu), violinist and composer, 1955; Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, author, 1969; Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, 1980; Diana Dors (Fluck), actress, 1984.

On this day: the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471; the first Derby was run at Epsom and won by Diomed, 1780; the Cunard shipping line was founded by Sir Samuel Cunard, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1839; Natal was proclaimed a British colony, 1843; the Maoris rebelled against the British in New Zealand, 1863; the Colonial and Indian Exhibition opened at South Kensington, 1886; the Daily Mail was first published, price one halfpenny, 1896; work on excavating the Panama Canal began, 1904; 413 men were lost when the British transport Transylvania was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, 1917; the General Strike in Britain began, 1926; the first London production of the musical show Watch Your Step was staged, 1928; the first president of the Irish Republic was elected, Douglas Hyde, a Protestant, 1938; during an anti-war demonstration, four students were killed at Kent State University, US 1970; 'Waltzing Matilda' became the national anthem of Australia, 1976; Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first woman prime minister, 1979.

Today is the Feast Day of St Augustine Webster, St Cyriacus or Judas Quiriacus, St Florian of Lorch, St Gothard or Godehard, St John Houghton, St Pelagia of Tarsus, St Robert Lawrence and St Venerius of Milan.

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