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TODAY: Births: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, 1756; Samuel Palmer, landscape painter, 1805; Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), author, 1832; Jerome David Kern, composer, 1885; Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg, poet and novelist, 1891. Deaths: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, composer, 1901; Giovanni Verga, novelist and playwright, 1922; Dame Gwen Ffrangcon- Davies, actress, 1992. On this day: the independence of Greece was proclaimed, 1822; a patent for the electric lamp was taken out by Thomas A. Edison, 1879; television was first demonstrated publicly by John Logie Baird, 1926; a ceasefire began in Vietnam, 1973. Today is the Feast Day of St Angela Merici, St Julian of Le Mans, St Marius or May and St Vitalian, pope.

TOMORROW: Births: Charles George Gordon, general and hero of Khartoum, 1833; Colette (Gabrielle Sidonie Colette) author, 1873; Artur Rubinstein, pianist, 1889; Paul Jackson Pollock, abstract artist, 1912. Deaths: Charlemagne, Frankish emperor, 814; King Henry VIII, 1547; Sir Francis Drake, sailor, at sea 1596; Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library, 1613; William Butler Yeats, poet and playwright, 1939; Herbert Ernest Bates, novelist, 1974. On this day: the Diet of Worms began, 1521; the Independent on Sunday was first published, 1990. Tomorrow is the Feast Day of St Amadeus of Lausanne, St Paulinus of Aquileia, St Peter Nolasco, St Peter Thomas and St Thomas Aquinas.