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Births: Karl Stamitz, composer, baptised 1745; Johann Baptist Gansbacher, composer, 1778; St Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, priest and teacher, 1786; Jean- Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, 1828; Louis Moreau Gottschalk, composer, 1829; John Meade Falkner, novelist, 1858; Harry S. Truman, 33rd president of the US, 1884; Edmund Wilson, novelist, playwright and poet, 1895; Friedrich August von Hayek CH, economist, 1899.

Deaths: Pietro Longhi, painter, 1785; Mauro Giuliani, composer, 1829; John Stuart Mill, political economist, 1873; Gustave Flaubert, novelist, 1880; Midhat Pasha, statesman, 1884; Eugene-Henri- Paul Gauguin, Post-Impressionist painter, 1903; John Seymour Lucas, painter, 1923; Oswald Spengler, philosopher, 1936; Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, composer and suffragist, 1944; Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridge's, 1947.

On this day: the Act of Uniformity was signed by Queen Elizabeth I, 1559; the British monarchy was restored, 1660; 'The People's Charter' was issued by the Working Men's Association, 1838; the Battle of the Coral Sea ended, 1942; the Battle of Cassino, Italy, ended, 1944; John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger was first performed, Royal Court Theatre, 1956.

Today is the Feast Day of St Acacius or Agathus, St Benedict II, pope, St Boniface IV, pope, St Desideratus or Desire of Bourges, St Gibrian, St Otger, St Peter of Tarentaise, St Plechelm, St Victor Maurus and St Wiro.


Births: Abraham van Diepenbeeck, painter, 1596; Giovanni Paisiello, composer, 1740; Louis Gallait, historical painter, 1810; Sir James Matthew Barrie, novelist and playwright, 1860; Howard Carter, painter and Egyptologist, 1873; Lilian Mary Baylis, manager of the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells theatres, 1874.

Deaths: Nikolaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf, leader of the Moravian church, 1760; Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, poet and playwright, 1805; Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, occultist and a founder of the Theosophical Society, 1891; Joseph Mallaby Dent, publisher, 1926; Albert Abraham Michelson, physicist, 1931; Louis II, Prince of Monaco, 1949.

On this day: Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated, 1092; Christopher Columbus began his fourth voyage, 1502; Colonel Thomas Blood, adventurer, attempted to steal the Crown Jewels, 1671; Victoria Embankment, London, was opened, 1874; a fire broke out at the Empire Theatre, Edinburgh, killing the Great Lafayette, illusionist, nine of his company, a lion and a horse, 1911; the North Pole was flown over for the first time, by Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett 1926; Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, opened, 1927; Piccadilly Circus was first lit by electricity, 1932; the King of Italy was proclaimed Emperor of Abyssinia, 1936; the Russians completed the recapture of Crimea with the taking of Sebastopol, 1944; King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicated, 1946; Britain's first launderette opened in Queensway, London, 1949; West Germany became a member of Nato, 1955; impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon were opened in the US, 1974.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Beatus of Lungern, St Beatus of Vendome, St Gerontius of Cervia and St Pachomius.