Anniversaries: Christmas Day

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The Independent Online
Born this day: Noel Coypel, painter, 1628; Sir Isaac Newton, mathematician, physicist and astronomer, 1642; Johann Jakob Reiske, philologist and scholar, 1716; William Collins, poet, 1721; Richard Porson, classical scholar, 1759; Joseph Mazzinghi, pianist, conductor and composer, 1765; Dorothy Wordsworth, writer and sister of the poet, 1771; William Nicholson, painter, 1784; Hugh Lee Pattinson, metallurgical chemist, 1796; Clara (Clarissa) Harlowe Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, 1821; Edmund Thomas Chipp, organist and composer, 1823; Hans von Bartels, painter, 1856; Charles Pathe, film pioneer, 1863; Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistani statesman, 1876; Maurice Utrillo, painter, 1883; Paul Manship, sculptor, 1885; Conrad Nicholson Hilton, hotel proprietor, 1887; Michael Thomas Sadleir, author and publisher, 1888; Dame Rebecca West (Cecily Isabel Fairfield), author, 1892; Humphrey DeForest Bogart, actor, 1899; Cabell (Cab) Calloway, jazz singer and bandleader, 1907; Anwar Sadat, statesman, 1918; Rod Serling, screenwriter, 1924.

Died this day: Pope Adrian I, 795; Sir Matthew Hale, judge, 1676; John Logan, poet, 1788; Hester Chapone (Mulso), essayist, 1801; Joseph Fouche, Duc d'Otrante, French revolutionary and secret police chief, 1820; Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko, poet and novelist, 1921; Dr Karel Capek, playwright, 1938; WC Fields (William Claude Dukenfield), comedian, 1946; Ismet Inonu, statesman, 1973; Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, comedian and film producer, 1977; Joan Blondell, actress, 1979; Fred Emney, comedian, 1980; Joan Miro, artist, 1983; Nicolae Ceausescu, former Romanian president and his wife, Elena, executed by firing squad, 1989.

On this day: Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the first Holy Roman Emperor, 800; William I, 'the Conqueror', crowned in Westminster Abbey, 1066; the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, 1620; the Great Frost of London began, when temperatures were 17 degrees below freezing, 1730; George Washington crossed the Delaware river, 1776; the first Christmas tree was put up at Queen's Lodge, Windsor, by Queen Charlotte, 1800; 3,700 people died of hunger in Leningrad, 1941; the Stone of Scone was stolen from Westminster Abbey, 1951; following an undersea volcanic eruption, a new island appeared in the Caspian Sea, with an area of 123 acres, 1959; a cyclone and tidal wave devastated Southern India and Ceylon, with over 7,000 deaths, 1964; Vaclav Havel, playwright, was elected president of Czechoslovakia, 1989.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day and the Feast Day of St Alburga, St Anastasia of Sirmium, St Eugenia and The Martyrs of Nicomedia.

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