Births: Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, 1316; Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, 1553; Thomas Gainsborough, painter, baptised, 1727; Robert Owen, social reformer, 1771; Sir Squire Bancroft, actor and manager, 1841; Henry Oliver Walker, painter, 1843; Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine, novelist, 1853; Otto Klemperer, conductor, 1885.

Deaths: Louis XIII, King of France, 1643; August Strindberg, playwright, 1912; James Gordon Bennett, newspaper proprietor, 1918; Henry John Heinz, food manufacturer, 1919; Sir Henry Rider Haggard, novelist, 1925; Sir William Dobell, painter, 1970; Jean Rhys (Williams), novelist, 1979.

On this day: the English barons were victorious against Henry III at the Battle of Lewes, 1264; Louis XIV became king of France at the age of four, 1643; Edward Jenner was successful in his first public vaccination experiment, 1796; Paraguay proclaimed her independence, 1811; the Illustrated London News was first issued, 1842; the trial of William Palmer, doctor and poisoner, began, 1856; in Germany, Nazis and Communists won many seats in the Reichstag, 1924; the centre of Rotterdam was destroyed by German bombing, 1940; in Palestine, the British mandate ended and Israel was proclaimed an independent state, 1948; the Warsaw Pact was signed, by the USSR, Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and East Germany, 1955; the Skylab space station was launched from Cape Kennedy, 1973.

Today is the Feast Day of St Carthage the Younger, St Erembert, St Mary Mazzarello, St Matthias, St Michael Garicoits and St Pontius of Cimiez.

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