Anniversaries: New Year's Day

Born this day: Lorenzo de Medici, statesman, 1449; Paul Revere, silversmith and American hero, 1735; Maria Edgeworth, novelist, 1767; Ouida (Marie Louise de la Ramee), novelist, 1839; William Fox (Wilhelm Fried), movie mogul, 1879; EM Forster, novelist, 1879; John Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, 1895; Harold Adrian Russell 'Kim' Philby, former Foreign Office official and defector, 1912; Joe Orton, playwright, 1933.

Died this day: William Wycherley, playwright, 1716; James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, 1766; Johann Christian Bach, composer, 1782; Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, architect, 1944; Maurice Chevalier, actor, 1972; Lord David Cecil, author, 1986; L. Ron Hubbard, science-fiction writer and propounder of Scientology, 1986.

On this day: Charles II was crowned King of Scots at Scone, 1651; the importation of slaves into the US was forbidden, 1808; Britain proclaimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, 1833; Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, 1877; the Commonwealth of Australia was set up, 1901; in Britain, people of 70 and over became eligible for old age pensions, 1909; the British Board of Film Censors was given powers to operate, 1913; the first scheduled passenger airline began operating at St Petersburg, Florida, 1914; coal mines in Britain were nationalised, 1947; British railways were nationalised, 1948; the European Economic Community came into being, 1958; Great Britain, the Irish Republic and Denmark joined the EEC, 1973.

New Year's Day is 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.