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Births: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer, 1686; Jean-Paul Marat, politician and physician, 1743; William Whewell, philosopher and writer, 1794; Thomas Duncan, painter, 1807; Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, painter, 1816; Victoria, Queen and Empress, 1819; Frederick Walker, painter, 1840; Charles Napier Hemy, painter, 1841; Tito Mattei, pianist and composer, 1841; Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, author and politician, 1852; Admiral Prince Louis Mountbatten, 1854; Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, playwright, 1855; Jan Christiaan Smuts, soldier and statesman, 1870; Suzanne Lenglen, tennis player, 1899; George Formby (William Hoy Booth), singer and comedian, 1904.

Deaths: David I, King of Scots, 1153; Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer, 1543; Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, statesman, 1612; William Hamilton (of Gilbertsfield), poet, 1751; George Brydges, First Baron Rodney, admiral, 1792; Jane Porter, novelist, 1850; Julius William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, 1879; Samuel Palmer, landscape painter, 1881; John Foster Dulles, statesman, 1959; Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington, musician, 1974; Jack Warner (Waters), actor and variety artiste, 1981; Hamish Hamilton, publisher, 1988.

On this day: Malcolm IV became King of Scotland, 1153; Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne, was crowned in Dublin, 1487; Dartmoor Prison was opened to house French prisoners of war, 1809; the explorer George Evans discovered the Lachlan river, Australia 1815; Samuel Morse sent his first telegraphic message in his code from Washington to Baltimore, 1844; Westminster Bridge, London, was opened, 1862; Brooklyn Bridge, New York, was opened, 1883; the Tivoli Theatre of Varieties opened, London 1890; the Orange Free State was annexed by Britain, 1900; Empire Day was first celebrated in Britain, 1902; Bristol University was granted a Royal Charter, 1909; conscription began in Britain, 1916; Amy Johnson landed at Port Darwin after flying from London, 1930; the first London performance of the operetta Casanova was staged, 1932; the Bismarck sank the battleship HMS Hood off Greenland, 1941; Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, 1959.

Today is the Feast Day of St David I of Scotland, Saints Donatian and Rogatian, St Nicetas of Pereaslav and St Vincent of Lerins.