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TODAY: Births: Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, philosopher, 1689; Peter Mark Roget, lexicographer, 1779; Charles John Kean, actor, 1811; Joseph Farwell Glidden, inventor of a barbed wire machine, 1813; Alan Alexander Milne, author, 1882; Arthur Mitchell Ransome, writer of children's books, 1884; Oliver Norvell Hardy, comedian, 1892; Cary Grant (Archibald Alexander Leach), actor, 1904; William Sansom, author, 1912. Deaths: Jan van Riebeck, founder of Cape Town, 1677; Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, first Baron Lytton, author, 1873; Joseph Rudyard Kipling, author, 1936; Sydney Greenstreet, film actor, 1954; Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell, statesman, 1963; Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, designer and photographer, 1980; John Frederick, Baron Wolfenden, social reformer, 1985. On this day: Lima, capital of Peru, was founded by Pizarro, 1535; Captain Cook discovered the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), 1778. Today is the Feast Day of St Peter's Chair, Rome, St Desle or Deicolus, St Prisca or Priscilla and St Volusian.

TOMORROW: Births: James Watt, inventor of the modern condensing steam engine, 1736; Edgar Allan Poe, author and poet, 1809; Sir Henry Bessemer, engineer, 1813; Paul Cezanne, painter, 1839. Deaths: William Congreve, playwright, 1729; Isaac D'Israeli, writer, 1848; Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, journalist and socialist, 1865. On this day: King Edward III established the Order of the Garter, 1348; John Wilkes was expelled from the House of Commons for seditious libel, 1764; the Duke of Wellington took Ciudad Rodrigo, 1812; the coast of Antarctica was discovered, 1840; Verdi's Il Trovatore was first performed, Rome 1853; the Japanese invaded Burma, 1942; Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India, 1966. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Saints Abachum and Audifax, St Albert of Cashel, St Canute IV of Denmark, St Charles of Sezze, St Fillan or Foelan, St Germanicus, St Henry of Uppsala, Saints Marius and Martha, St Messalina, St Nathalan and St Wulfstan.