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Births: Emma (Lyon), Lady Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, 1765; Edward Lear, artist, humorist and poet, 1812; Florence Nightingale, pioneer of nursing, 1820; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet and painter, 1828; Gabriel-Urbain Faure, composer, 1845; Wilfrid Hyde White, actor, 1903; Leslie Charteris (Leslie Charles Bowyer Yin), novelist and creator of 'The Saint', 1907.

Deaths: August Wilhelm von Schlegel, poet and critic, 1845; Bedrich Smetana, composer, 1884; Erich von Stroheim, actor and director, 1957; Robert Reed, actor, 1992.

On this day: Charleston fell to the British, 1780; the General Strike in Britain collapsed, 1926; the blockade of Berlin by the Soviet Union was lifted, although other disputes caused the airlift to continue, 1949.

Today is the Feast Day of St Dominic of the Causeway, St Epiphanius of Salamis, St Ethelhard, St Germanus of Constantinople, St John Stone, St Modoaldus, Saints Nereus and Achilleus and St Pancras of Rome.