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The Independent Online

TODAY: Births: Louis XVI, King of France, 1754; Sir Henry Thomas Tizard, scientist, 1885; Leonard Constant Lambert, composer and critic, 1905; Gene Kelly (Eugene Curran Kelly), dancer and singer, 1912. Deaths: Sir William Wallace, Scottish patriot, executed 1305; George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, assassinated by John Felton 1628; Rudolph Valentino (Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaele Pierre Philibert Guglielmi), actor, 1926; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist, 1960. On this day: Charles I of Anjou routed the German army of the Holy Roman Empire when it invaded Italy, at the Battle of Tagliacozzo, 1268; Mexico was declared to be independent, 1821; Hong Kong was taken by the British, 1839; the Albert Bridge across the Thames at Chelsea was opened, 1873; Japan declared war on Germany, 1914; John Cobb, the British motorist, drove at 368.85 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, United States, 1939; the World Council of Churches was founded, 1948. Today is the Feast Day of Saints Asterius and Claudius, St Eugene or Eoghan of Ardstraw, St Philip Benizi, St Rose of Lima and St Tydfil.

TOMORROW: Births: Robert Herrick, poet, baptised 1591; George Stubbs, animal and portrait painter, 1724; William Wilberforce, philanthropist, 1759; Ernst Lubeck, pianist, 1829; Sir Max (Henry Maximilian) Beerbohm, author and caricaturist, 1872; Jean Rhys, novelist, 1894; Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer, 1899; Graham Vivian Sutherland, artist, 1903. Deaths: Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist and writer, 79; Francesco Parmigianino, artist, 1540; Colonel Thomas Blood, adventurer, 1680; Thomas Chatterton, poet, committed suicide 1770; Nicolas-Leonard Sadi Carnot, physicist, 1832; Ronald Arbuthnot Knox, theologian and essayist, 1957. On this day: the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under volcanic ash after the eruption of Vesuvius, 79; Rome was captured by the Visigoths, 410; the Massacre of St Bartholomew occurred in France, when thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris, 1572; Washington DC was captured by British troops, who burned down the White House, 1814; Matthew Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, 1875; the Manchester Guardian was renamed the Guardian, 1959. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Audenoeus or Ouen, St Bartholomew and The Martyrs of Utica.