Birthdays and Anniversaries

Birthdays

King Harald V of Norway, 58; Sir John Bourn, Comptroller and Auditor General, 61; Professor Ruth Bowden, anatomist, 80; Mr Simon Coombs MP, 48; Mrs Jilly Cooper, author and journalist, 58; M Hubert de Givenchy, fashion designer, 68; Sir Colville Deverell, former overseas governor, 88; Mr Leslie Durbin, silversmith, 82; Dame Janet Fookes MP, 59; Sir John Goulden, ambassador to Turkey, 54; Mr Carron Greig, company chairman, 70; Sir Michael Grylls MP, 61; Sir Conrad Heron, former senior civil servant, 79; Sir Reginald Hibbert, former ambassador to France, 73; Sir John McGregor Hill, former chairman, British Nuclear Fuels, 74; Lord Hunter, a former Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland, 82; Mr Peter McEnery, actor, 55; Mr Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, 71; Professor Sir Rupert Myers, scientist, 74; General Sir Robert Pascoe, former Adjutant-General, 63; Sir Ashley Ponsonby, Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, 74; Lt-Gen Sir John Richards, former Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, 68; Professor Frederick Rimmer, Emeritus Professor of Music, Glasgow University, 81; Miss Nina Simone, singer, 61; Mr Richard Turner-Warwick, surgeon and urologist, 70; Professor Leslie Wagner, Principal and Chief Executive, Leeds Metropolitan University, 52; Mr David Wood, actor and playwright, 51.

Anniversaries

Births: Peter III, Tsar of Russia, 1728; Anne Grant, poet and essayist, 1755; Friedrich Karl von Savigny, jurist, 1779; Carl Czerny, pianist, teacher and writer, 1791; John Henry Newman, Cardinal, 1801; Jean-Louis- Ernest Meissonier, painter, 1815; Ludwig Beckmann, painter, 1822; Clment- Philibert-Lo Delibes, composer, 1836; Charles-Marie Jean-Albert Widor, organist and composer, 1845; George Lansbury, statesman, 1859; Gertie Millar, Countess of Dudley, musical comedy actress, 1879; Sacha Guitry, actor, playwright and director, 1885; Bernard Griffin, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, 1899; Anas Nin, author, 1903; Raymond Queneau, novelist and critic, 1903; Wystan Hugh Auden, poet, 1907; Douglas Bader, Second World War fighter pilot, 1910; Tad Dameron (Tadley Ewing Peake), jazz pianist, composer and arranger, 1917.

Deaths: Pope Julius II, 1513; Robert Southwell, poet, Jesuit and martyr, hanged 1595; Baruch Spinoza, philosopher, 1677; Jethro Tull, agricultural writer, 1741; John Charles Felix Rossi, sculptor, 1839; Constant Troyon, painter, 1865; John Pettie, painter, 1893; Henry Duff Traill, author, 1900; Karl Begas, sculptor, 1916; Kurt Eisner, Bavarian premier, assassinated in Munich 1919; Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell), novelist, 1935; George Ellery Hale, astronomer, 1938; Sir Frederick Banting, scientist, killed in an air crash 1941; Jacques Becker, film director, 1960; Malcolm X (Little), black leader, murdered 1965; Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey, pathologist, 1968; Louis Hayward (Seafield Grant), actor, 1985; Shigechiyo Izumi, a Japanese, at the age of 120 years, 237 days, 1986; Victor Canning, author, 1986.

On this day: John Wilkes MP, expelled from the House of Commons, was on this day found guilty of reprinting and publishing an "impious libel", the Essay on Woman, 1764; freedom of worship was established in France, 1795; Richard Trevithick demonstrated a self-powered railway locomotive in Glamorgan, Wales, 1804; the British Post Office inaugurated a mail- bag service operated by pneumatic conveyors below streets, 1863; the first republic of Cuba was founded, 1901; the Apollo Theatre, London, opened, 1901; Houston, Texas, was partly destroyed by fire, 1912; the Battle of Verdun commenced, 1916; the first London performance of the operetta The Lilac Domino was staged, 1918; the British protectorate over Egypt ended, 1922; the New Statesman was founded, 1931; it was announced that British women aged 60 and over would receive the Old Age Pension, 1940; General Eisenhower became supreme commander of Allied forces in North Africa, 1943; a mutiny in the Indian navy occurred at Bombay, 1946; identity cards were abolished in Britain, 1952; in the United States, John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman and John Mitchell were sentenced after the Watergate affair, 1975.

Today is the Feast Day of St George of Amastris, St Germanus of Granfel, St Peter Damian, St Robert Southwell and St Severian of Scythopolis.

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