Birthdays

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Mr Jack Anderson, newspaper columnist, 70; Sir Leslie Boreham, High Court judge, 73; Professor Sir Robert Boyd, physicist, 70; Dr David Clark MP, 53; Sir John Cullen, chairman, Health and Safety Commission, 66; Mr Simon Dyer, director-general, the Automobile Association, 53; Mr John Evans MP, 62; Mr Bernard Hepton, actor, 67; Dr Robin Holloway, composer and lecturer in music, 49; Sir Robert Jennings, QC, international judge, 79; Miss Rosamund John, actress, 79; Mr John Le Carre (David Cornwell), novelist, 61; Mr Graham Lock, former chief executive, Amalgamated Metal, 61; Mr Bill Morris, trade union leader, 54; Miss Mavis Nicholson, broadcaster, 62; Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Pollock, 76; Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Skingsley, Deputy Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe, 59; Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville Stack, 73; Sir Harold Walker, former ambassador to Iraq, 60; Major Sir Patrick Wall, former MP, 76; Mr Peter Whiston, architect, 80.

Anniversaries

Births: Marsilio Ficino, philosopher and classical scholar, 1433; Sir Thomas Browne, writer and physician, 1605; James Henry Leigh Hunt, poet and essayist, 1784; Robert Pollok, poet, 1798; Charles Robert Leslie, painter, 1794; Adam Lindsay Gordon, poet, 1833; Alfred Dreyfus, army officer, 1859; Auguste-Marie- Louis-Nicolas Lumiere, photographic pioneer, 1862; Edward Lewis Wallant, novelist, 1926.

Deaths: John Lackland, King of England, 1216; Perino del Vaga (Perino Buonaccorsi), painter, 1547; Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Hermansen), theologian, 1609; Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten, painter, 1678; Jonathan Swift, author, 1745; Francois-Joseph Talma, actor-manager, 1826; George Mortimer Pullman, sleeping-car manufacturer, 1897; Cesare Lombroso, physician and criminologist, 1909; Ernest Rutherford, Lord Rutherford of Nelson, physicist, 1937; Newell Convers Wyeth, artist, 1945; Edna St Vincent Millay, poet, 1950; Jacqueline du Pre, cellist, 1987.

On this day: the American War of Independence ended when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, 1781; Napoleon began his retreat from Moscow, 1812; with the end of the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, the Allies defeated Napoleon, 1813; Wagner's opera Tannhauser was first performed, Dresden 1845; at the Battle of Cedar Creek, General Sheridan defeated the Confederate forces, 1864; US troops were landed at Cape Haitien, Haiti, to maintain order, 1914; sanctions were imposed on Italy by the League of Nations, after its invasion of Ethiopia, 1935; the People's Republic of China was proclaimed, 1949; Britain and Egypt signed an agreement dealing with the Suez Canal base, 1954; over 200 people died in floods in the Granada, Murcia and Almeria provinces, Spain 1973; President Samora Machel of Mozambique and about 30 of his staff were killed in a plane crash on the South African border, 1986.

Today is the Feast Day of St Aquilinus of Evreux, St Charles Garnier, St Cleopatra, St Ethbin, St Frideswide, St Gabriel Lalemant, Saints Jean Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, St John of Lalande, St Noel Chabanel, St Paul of the Cross, St Peter of Alcantara, St Philip Howard, Saints Ptolemaeus and Lucius St Rene Goupil and St Varus.

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