Anniversaries

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The Independent Online
Anniversaries

Births: Lorenzo de Medici, statesman, 1449; Maria Edgeworth, novelist, 1767; Arthur Hugh Clough, poet, 1819; Sir James George Frazer, anthropologist, 1854; Edward Morgan Forster, novelist, 1879; John Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, 1895; Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby, spy, 1912; Joe Orton (John Kingsley Orton), playwright, 1933. Deaths: William Wycherley, playwright, 1716; James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, 1766; Johann Christian Bach, composer, 1782; Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, physicist, 1894; Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, architect, 1944; Maurice Chevalier, entertainer and actor, 1972; Frank Soskice (Lord Stow Hill), statesman, 1979; Hephzibah Menuhin, pianist, 1981; Lord David Cecil, author, 1986; Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (L. Ron Hubbard), science-fiction writer and propounder of Scientology, 1986. On this day: the Gregorian calendar was introduced, 1583; Charles II was crowned King of Scots at Scone, 1651; the first issue of the Daily Universal Register (later the Times) appeared, 1785; the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland came into being, 1801; Haiti declared her independence of France, 1804; the importation of slaves into the United States was forbidden, 1808; Britain proclaimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, 1833; London was divided into 10 postal districts, 1858; Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, 1877; the first postal orders were issued in Great Britain, 1881; the electric chair was adopted in New York for capital punishment, 1889; in Britain, people of 70 and over became eligible for old age pensions, 1909; labour exchanges came into operation, 1910; the British telephone service passed into the control of the Post Office, 1912; the Soviet Union was established, 1923; the capital of Norway, known as Christiania, resumed the name of Oslo, 1925; a nationalist government was set up in China, 1926; coal mines in Britain were nationalised, 1947; British railways were nationalised, 1948; Sudan became an independent democratic republic, 1956; the European Economic Community came into being, 1958; the Cameroons became independent, 1960; Western Samoa became independent, 1962; the Foreign and Commonwealth offices were amalgamated to form the Diplomatic Service, 1965; Great Britain, the Irish Republic and Denmark joined the EEC, 1973; UK fishing limits were extended to 200 miles around the British coast, 1977. Today is New Year's Day and the Feast Day of St Almachius or Telemachus, St Clarus, St Concordius of Spoleto, St Eugendus or Oyend, St Euphrosyne, St Felix of Bourges, St Fulgentius of Ruspe, St Mochua or Cuan, St Odilo, St Peter of Atroa and St William of Saint Benignus.

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