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Births: Louis VIII, King of France, 1187; Louis XIV, the 'Sun King' of France, 1638; Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, pastellist, 1704; Johann Christian Bach, composer, 1735; Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, Prince of Smolensk, soldier, 1745; Robert Fergusson, Scottish vernacular poet, 1750; Caspar David Friedrich, painter, 1774; Giacomo Meyerbeer, composer, 1791; Christian Louis Heinrich Kohler, composer, 1820; John Wisden, cricketer and cricket-records compiler, 1826; Sir Sarvepalli Radharkrishnan, president of India, 1888; Darryl Francis Zanuck, film producer, 1902; Arthur Koestler, author, 1905; John Cage, composer and pianist, 1912.

Deaths: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, painter, 1569; Richard Tarlton, actor and fencer, 1588; Jean-Francois Regnard, poet and playwright, 1709; John Home, clergyman and playwright, 1808; Karl Wilhelm, composer, 1815; Dr William McGillivray, naturalist, 1852; Isidore-Auguste-Marie-Francois-Xavier Comte, philosopher and founder of Positivism, 1857; Charles-Pierre Peguy, poet, killed in action 1914; Josh White, singer, 1969; Gp Capt Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, Second World War air ace, 1982.

On this day: the first Continental Congress in America opened at Philadelphia, 1774; the Russo-Japanese War ended following the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, US, 1905; the operetta The Girl in the Taxi was produced on the London stage for the first time, 1912; the first Battle of the Marne began, 1914; the US declared its neutrality in Second World War, 1939; Brussels was liberated by the Allies, 1944; terrorists of the Black September group killed 11 Israelis at the Olympic Games in Munich, 1972.

Today is the Feast Day of St Bertinus, St Genebald of Laon, St Laurence Giustiniani and Saints Urban and Theodore and their Companions.


Births: Sebastiano Serlio, architect, 1475; Laurence Eusden, poet, baptised 1688; Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, statesman and soldier, 1757; John Dalton, chemist and physicist, 1766; Vincent Novello, organist, composer and founder of the music publishers, 1781; Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow-Godenhaus, painter, 1789; Carl Ferdinand Pohl, writer and bibliographer, 1819; Jane Addams, sociologist, 1860; Sir Henry Walford Davies, organist and composer, 1869; Montagu Collet Norman, banker, 1871; John James Rickard Macleod, one of the discoverers of insulin, 1876; Manfred Gurlitt, composer, 1890; Sir Edward Victor Appleton, physicist, 1892; Billy Rose (William Samuel Rosenberg), producer and lyricist, 1899; King Peter of Yugoslavia, 1923.

Deaths: Benvenuto Tisio (Il Garofalo), painter, 1559; Jean- Baptiste Colbert, statesman, 1683; Carlo Cignani, painter, 1719; Edmund Gibson, Bishop of Lincoln and author, 1748; George Alexander Stevens, writer and humorist, 1784; Sir Horatio Gilbert George Parker, author and politician, 1932; Arthur Rackham, illustrator, 1939; Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, South African prime minister, assassinated, 1966.

On this day: Richard I defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Arsouf, 1191; Del Cano, commanding the Vittoria, Magellan's ship, completed the first circumnavigation of the world, 1522; the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in the Mayflower from Plymouth (6 September Old Style; 16 September New Style), 1620; the Great Fire of London came to an end, 1666; the first free lending library in Britain opened in Manchester, 1852; the first telephone exchange in Britain opened in Lombard Street, London, 1879; the first cricket test match in England was played at the Oval between England and Australia, 1880; William McKinley, 25th US President, was fatally wounded by an anarchist, 1901; TW Burgess swam the English Channel from South Foreland to Cap Gris Nez, 1911; German aircraft approached the East Coast of England, but turned back, 1939; India invaded West Pakistan, 1965; Swaziland became an independent kingdom, 1968; in Turkey, a massive earthquake centred on Lice resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, 1975; the Soviet ruling council recognised the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, 1991.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Cagnoald or Chainoaldus, Saints Donatian, Laetus and Others and St Eleutherius of Spoleto.