Click to follow
The Independent Online

Births: Georges de la Tour, painter, 1593; Tobias George Smollett, physician and author, 1721; Charles Watson Wentworth, second Marquis of Rockingham, statesman, 1730; Joah Bates, composer, 1741; Dr David Livingstone, explorer and missionary, 1813; Johannes Josephus Herman Verhulst, composer and conductor, 1816; Sir Richard Francis Burton, scholar and explorer, 1821; William Allingham, poet, 1824; Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, founder of the ballet company, 1872; Max Reger, teacher and composer, 1873; Joseph Albers, painter and poet, 1888.

Deaths: Thomas Killigrew, playwright, 1683; Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, explorer, murdered by his own men in Texas 1687; Thomas William Daniell, landscape painter, 1840; Mary Anning, finder of the first Ichthyosaurus fossil, 1847; William Henry Playfair, architect, 1857; Antoine-Thomson d'Abbadie, explorer and scientist, 1897; Arthur James Balfour, first Earl, statesman, 1930; Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist and creator of 'Tarzan', 1950; Stephen Graham, travel writer, 1975; Faith Cuthrell Baldwin, romantic novelist, 1978.

On this day: the Rev John White formed the New England Company in Massachusetts Bay, 1628; the US Senate refused to ratify the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations Covenant, 1920; the opera Faust by Gounod was performed in Paris for the first time, 1859; Sydney Harbour bridge was officially opened, 1932; following an internal dispute, British parachute troops took over the Caribbean island of Anguilla, 1969; Willy Brandt and Willi Stoph, heads of West and East Germany, met for the first time at Erfurt, 1970; during a severe gale, the 1,260ft television mast at Emley Moor, Yorks, crashed to the ground, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alcmund, prince of Northumbria, St John of Panaca, St Joseph (husband of the Virgin) and St Landoald.


Births: Ovid, Roman poet, 43 BC; Thomas Webster, figure painter, 1800; William Barnes, Dorset dialect poet, 1801; Ned Buntline (Edward Zane Carroll Judson), novelist, 1823; Henrik Ibsen, playwright, 1828; Sir Edward John Poynter, painter, 1836; Lauritz Melchior, operatic tenor, 1890; Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust), novelist and screenwriter, 1892; Hugh L. Maclennan, novelist, 1907; Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave, actor, 1908; Wendell Corey, actor, 1914.

Deaths: Henry IV, King of England, 1413; Sir Thomas Elyot, diplomat, doctor and writer, 1546; Sir Thomas Seymour, Baron, Lord High Admiral of England, executed 1549; Sir Isaac Newton, scientist, 1727; Nicolas de Largilliere, painter, 1746; Henry David Inglis, traveller and writer, 1835; Lawrence Barrett, actor, 1891; George Nathaniel Curzon, first Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy of India, 1925; Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of France, 1929; Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, author, 1936; Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, editor and poet, 1945; Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Richardson), novelist, 1946; Brendan Behan, writer, 1964.

On this day: Spain dispatched Pedro Menendez de Aviles to settle Florida and expel the French, 1565; the Dutch East India Company was founded, 1602; the New England Weekly Journal was first published, 1727; the foundation stone of Dartmoor Prison, Devon, was laid, 1806; Napoleon arrived at Fontainebleau and the 'Hundred Days' began, 1815; the Burlington Arcade, London, was opened, 1819; Marble Arch, formerly at Buckingham Palace, was unveiled at its present site in London, 1851; Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published in book form, 1852; Bismarck resigned as Germany's first chancellor, 1890; the Nazis opened their first concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich, 1933; the British Council was established, 1935; Hungary was occupied by the Germans, 1944; Mandalay was recaptured from the Japanese by the British, 1945; France recognised the independence of Tunisia, 1956; Isabel Peron, former president of Argentina, was jailed for eight years for corruption, 1981.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Cuthbert, St Herbert, St Martin of Braga, St Photina and her Companions, St Wulfram and The Martyrs of Mar Saba.