Click to follow
The Independent Online

Births: Thomas Kyd, playwright, 1558; James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting telescope, 1638; Aloys Senefelder, inventor of lithography, 1771; Wilhelmine Schroder-Devrient, soprano, 1804; Adolphe (Antoine-Joseph) Sax, inventor of the saxophone, 1814; Jean-Louis-Charles Garnier, architect, 1825; John Richard Jefferies, author and naturalist, 1848; John Philip Sousa, conductor and composer of marches, 1854; Dr James A. Naismith, inventor of basketball, 1861; Thomas Harper Ince, pioneer film producer, 1882; Gus Kahn, lyricist, 1886; Sir John William Alcock, pioneer aviator, 1892; James Jones, author, 1921.

Deaths: Gustavus II Adolphus, King of Sweden, killed in battle 1632; William II, Prince of Orange, 1650; Heinrich Schutz, composer, 1672; John Murray (McMurray), publisher, 1793; Claude-Louis, Comte Berthollet, chemist, 1822; William Hone, satirist and editor, 1842; Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer, 1893; Kate (Catherine) Greenaway, illustrator of children's books, 1901; Sir William Henry Preece, radio pioneer, 1913; RP (Bob) Weston, popular composer, 1936; Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, actor- manager, 1937; Adolphe-Eugene-Jean- Henri Max, burgomaster of Brussels, 1939; Professor Nevill Henry Kendal Aylmer Coghill, scholar and author, 1980; Frank Arthur Swinnerton, novelist and critic, 1982; Gene Eliza Tierney, actress, 1991.

On this day: Henry VI of England was crowned, 1429; the Quorn Hunt was founded, 1753; Abraham Lincoln was elected as 16th US President, 1860; diamonds were discovered at Kimberley, South Africa, 1869; the P & O liner Arabia was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean, 1916; the Republic of Poland was proclaimed, 1918; Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1924; in the German general election, the Nazis were the largest party, 1932; the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll, in the Pacific, 1952; a ceasefire was agreed at Suez, 1956; Dwight David Eisenhower was re- elected as US President, 1956.

Today is the Feast Day of St Barlaam of Khutyn, St Demetrian of Khytri, St Illtud, St Leonard of Noblac, St Melaine and St Winnoc.


Births: Francisco de Zurbaran, painter, 1598; William Stukeley, physician and antiquary, 1687; Paul-Jacques- Aime Baudry, painter, 1828; Ludwig Deppe, conductor and composer, 1828; Ignaz Brull, pianist and composer, 1846; Marie Curie (Manya Sklodowska), physicist, 1867; Lise Meitner, physicist and (with Otto Hahn) a discoverer of nuclear fission, 1878; Leon Trotsky (Leiba Davidov Bronstein), Communist leader, 1879; Herman J. Mankiewicz, screenwriter, 1897; Albert Camus, novelist and playwright, 1913.

Deaths: Sir Godfrey Kneller (Gottfried Kniller), painter, 1723; Jean-Andre Deluc, geologist, 1817; Anne Grant, poet and essayist, 1838; Karl Gottlieb Reissiger, composer, 1859; Bahadur Shah, the last titular Mogul Emperor of India, 1862; Alfred Russel Wallace, explorer and naturalist, 1913; Hans Thoma, painter, 1924; Victor McLaglen, actor, 1959; Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, writer and lecturer, 1962; James Joseph (Gene) Tunney, heavyweight boxer, 1978; Terrence Steven (Steve) McQueen, actor, 1980; Audrey Beatrice Noel Erskine-Lindop, novelist, 1986; Alexander Dubcek, statesman, 1992.

On this day: Pierre Gassendi made the first observation of the transit of a planet when he studied Mercury, 1631; the last public hanging in England took place at Tyburn, 1783; the brigantine Mary Celeste left New York, to be found later abandoned, 1872; after 41 years' work, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, 1885; the Italian liner Ancona was torpedoed by an Austrian submarine, and 194 lives were lost, 1915; Jeanette Rankin was returned by the state of Montana as the first woman member of the US Congress, 1916; the October Revolution was staged, (Old Style 26 October), when the government of Alexander Kerensky was overthrown, 1917; the first London production of the musical show Robin Hood was presented, 1944; Britain and France ceased fire in Egypt, 1956; Richard Nixon was re- elected as US President, 1972; Mrs Mary Robinson became the first woman prime minister of the Irish Republic, 1990.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Engelbert, St Florentius of Strasbourg, St Herculanus of Perugia and St Willibrord.