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TODAY: Births: Jean-Francois Millet, painter, 1642; Edward Gibbon,author of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1737; Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, champion of women's rights, 1759; Maurice Baring, novelist, playwright and poet, 1874; Wallace Carothers, chemist and developer of nylon, 1896; Cecil Day Lewis, poet and novelist, 1904. Deaths: Ferdinand Magellan, navigator, killed by Philippine natives 1521; William Charles Macready, actor-manager, 1873; Ralph Waldo Emerson, author, 1882; Alexander Nikolaievich Scriabin, composer and pianist, 1915; Kwame Nkrumah, former president of Ghana, 1972. On this day: the English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar, 1296; the London Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park opened, 1828; Christina Rossetti, aged 12, produced her first book of poems, 1842; Guernica, in Spain, was destroyed in bombing by German aircraft, 1937; German troops occupied Athens, 1941; Britain recognised the state of Israel, 1950. Today is the Feast Day of St Anthimus of Nicomedia, St Asicus or Tassach, Saints Castor and Stephen, St Floribert of Liege, St Maughold or Maccul and St Zita.

TOMORROW: Births: Sir James Erasmus Wilson, dermatologist, who, at his own expense, brought ''Cleopatra's Needle'' to London, 1809; Oskar Schindler, businessman, 1908. Deaths: Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, executed by Italian partisans, 1945; Richard Arthur Warren Hughes, novelist, 1976; Francis Bacon, painter, 1992; Olivier Messiaen, composer and organist, 1992. On this day: the foundation stone of Salisbury Cathedral was laid, 1220; Captain Cook landed at, and named, Botany Bay and New South Wales, 1770; the crew of HMS Bounty mutinied, 1789; the League of Nations was founded, 1919; Thor Heyerdahl set off on the Kon-Tiki expedition, 1947; General de Gaulle resigned as President of France, 1969. Today is the Feast Day of St Cronan of Roscrea, St Cyril of Turov, St Louis Grignion of Montfort, St Pamphilus of Sulmona, St Peter Mary Chanel, St Pollio, Saints Theodora and Didymus, St Valeria and St Vitalis.