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TODAY: Births: Caligula, Roman emperor, 12; Pierre-Jules Theophile Gautier, novelist and poet, 1811; Elizabeth Mary Russell (Beauchamp), Countess Russell ("Elizabeth"), novelist, 1866; Maria Montessori, educationist, 1870; William "Bombardier Billy" Wells, heavyweight boxer, 1889; Roland Culver, actor, 1900; William Saroyan, author, 1908; Alan Jay Lerner, author and lyricist, 1918; Roy Castle, comedian, musician and dancer, 1932. Deaths: Henry V, King, 1422; John Bunyan, author, 1688; Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, poet, 1867; Georges Braque, Cubist painter, 1963; Rocky Marciano (Rocco Marchegiano), heavyweight boxer, killed in an air crash 1969; John Ford (Sean O'Feeney), film director, 1973; Henry Moore, sculptor, 1986. On this day: Henry VI acceded as King at the age of nine months, 1422; Mary Anne "Polly" Nichols, a prostitute, was found dead in Whitechapel, London, the first victim of Jack the Ripper, 1888; a South Korean airliner was shot down by the Soviet Union, killing 269 people aboard, 1983. Today is the Feast Day of St Aidan of Lindisfarne, St Paulinus of Trier, St Raymond Nonnatus and The Servite Martyrs of Prague.

TOMORROW: Births: Edward Alleyn, actor and founder of Dulwich College, 1566; Engelbert Humperdinck, composer, 1854; Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, chemist, inventor of the gas mantle, 1858; "Gentleman Jim" James John Corbett, heavyweight boxer, 1866; Edgar Rice Burroughs, novelist and creator of "Tarzan", 1875; Rocky Marciano (Rocco Marchegiano), heavyweight boxer, 1923. Deaths: Hadrian IV, Pope (Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman to be Pope), 1159; Louis XIV, the "Sun King" of France, 1715; Guy Burgess, defector, 1963; Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon, writer, 1967; Francois Mauriac, poet and novelist, 1970. On this day: the Covenanters were defeated by Montrose at Tippermuir, 1644; Cannon Street railway terminus, London, was opened for passenger traffic, 1866; Britain signed a peace treaty with the Zulus, 1879; the Severn Tunnel was opened for goods traffic, 1886; nearly 200,000 people were killed in earthquakes in Tokyo and Yokohama, 1923; the Alhambra Theatre, London, was demolished, 1936; Poland was invaded by Germany, 1939; Colonel Gadaffi seized power in Libya, 1969. Today is the Feast Day of St Drithelm, St Fiacre, St Giles or Aegidius, St Lupus or Leu of Sens, St Priscus of Capua, St Sebbe and St Verena.