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Births: Marie-Alexandre Guenin, violinist and composer, 1744; Charles-Auguste de Beriot, violinist and composer, 1802; Honore Daumier, caricaturist and painter, 1808; Henri Vieuxtemps, violinist and composer, 1820; William Terriss (William Charles James Lewin), actor and matinee idol, 1847; Charles Vincent Massey, statesman and diplomat, 1887; Georges Bernanos, novelist, 1888; Dame Marie Rambert (Cyvia Rambam, later Miriam Ramberg), founder of the Ballet Rambert, 1888; Carl Mayer, film director, 1892; Ansel Easton Adams, photographer, 1902; Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin, Soviet leader, 1904.

Deaths: Pope Martin V, 1431; James I, King of Scotland, assassinated 1437; Luca della Robbia, sculptor, 1482; Gentile Bellini, painter, 1507; Mrs Elizabeth Rowe (Singer), author and poet, 1736; Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1790; Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot, executed 1810; Joseph Hume, physician and social reformer, 1855; Robert Edwin Peary, Arctic explorer, 1920; Oswald Theodore Avery, bacteriologist, 1955; Laurence Housman, playwright, novelist and illustrator, 1959; Chester William Nimitz, admiral, 1966; Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, author, 1984.

On this day: Alexander Hamilton, First Secretary of the US Treasury, introduced his Funding Bill to Congress, 1790; the British captured Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1803; Austria declared herself to be bankrupt, 1811; the French defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Saragossa, 1809; the Crystal Palace was badly damaged and the steeple of Chichester Cathedral was blown away in a great storm, 1861; the Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco, 1915; the US purchased the Netherlands West Indies 1917; Anthony Eden resigned as British Foreign Secretary, 1938; John Glenn, US astronaut (now a Senator), was launched into space in the Mercury capsule, Friendship 7, 1962; the first London production of the musical show Mame took place, 1969; new-design pounds 10 notes showing a portrait of Florence Nightingale were issued, 1975; 175 people died owing to poisonous fumes from a volcano in Java, 1979.

Today is the Feast Day of St Eleutherius of Tournai, St Eucherius of Orleans, St Sadoth, Saints Tyrannio, Zenobius and their Companions and St Wulfric.


Births: Peter III, Tsar of Russia, 1728; Anne Grant, poet and essayist, 1755; Friedrich Karl von Savigny, jurist, 1779; Carl Czerny, pianist, teacher and writer, 1791; Antonio Lopez de Santa-Anna, Mexican revolutionary and President, 1794; John Henry Newman, Cardinal, 1801; Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, painter, 1815; Ludwig Beckmann, painter, 1822; George Lansbury, statesman, 1859; August von Wasserman, bacteriologist, 1866; Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, 1876; Bernard Griffin, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, 1899; Anais Nin, author, 1903; Raymond Queneau, novelist and critic, 1903; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1907; Douglas Bader, Second World War fighter pilot, 1910.

Deaths: Pope Julius II, 1513; Robert Southwell, poet, Jesuit and martyr, hanged 1595; Baruch Spinoza, philosopher, 1677; Jethro Tull, agricultural writer, 1741; John Charles Felix Rossi, sculptor, 1839; Constant Troyon, painter, 1865; John Pettie, painter, 1893; Henry Duff Traill, author, 1900; Karl Begas, sculptor, 1916; Kurt Eisner, Bavarian premier, assassinated in Munich 1919; George Ellery Hale, astronomer, 1938; Sir Frederick Banting, scientist, killed in an air crash 1941; Jacques Becker, film director, 1960; Malcolm X (Little), black leader, murdered 1965; Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey, pathologist, 1968; Louis Hayward (Seafield Grant), actor, 1985; Shigechiyo Izumi, aged 120 years, 237 days, 1986; Victor Canning, author, 1986.

On this day: John Wilkes MP, expelled from the House of Commons, was found guilty of reprinting and publishing an 'impious libel', the Essay on Woman, 1764; freedom of worship was established in France, 1795; Richard Trevithick demonstrated a self-powered railway locomotive in Glamorgan, Wales, 1804; the British Post Office inaugurated a mail-bag service operated by pneumatic conveyors below streets, 1863; the first republic of Cuba was founded, 1901; the Apollo Theatre opened, London 1901; Houston, Texas, was partly destroyed by fire, 1912; the Battle of Verdun commenced, 1916; the first London performance of the operetta the Lilac Domino was staged, 1918; the New Statesman was founded, 1931; it was announced that British women aged 60 and over would receive the Old Age Pension, 1940; General Eisenhower became supreme commander of Allied forces in North Africa, 1943; a mutiny in the Indian navy occurred at Bombay, 1946; identity cards were abolished in Britain, 1952; John Ehrlichman, HR Haldeman and John Mitchell were sentenced after the Watergate affair, 1975.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St George of Amastris, St Germanus of Granfel, St Peter Damian, St Robert Southwell and St Severian of Scythopolis.