Birthdays and Anniversaries

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The Independent Online

Mr Walter Allen, author and journalist, 84; The Duke of Beaufort, fine art dealer, 67; Mr Jermyn Brooks, chairman, Price Waterhouse Europe, 56; Mr Jim Cousins MP, 51; Lady Digby, co-chairman, South Western Advisory Board, 61; Lord Ezra, former chairman, National Coal Board, 76; Mr Peter Fonda, actor, 55; Mr Frank Gerstenberg, Principal, George Watson's College, 54; Miss Sylvie Guillem, ballerina, 30; Miss Kathleen Harrison, actress, 103; Mrs Maureen Hicks, former MP, 47; Mr Nicholas Kenyon, Controller, BBC Radio 3, 44; Mr John Lewis, Headmaster, Eton College, 53; Mr Anton Mosimann, chef and proprietor, Mosimann's, 48; Lord Tugendhat, chairman, Abbey National, 58; Mr David Ward, former President, Law Society, 58; The Right Rev Dom Aelred Watkin, former Abbot of Glastonbury, 77.


Births: Samuel Pepys, naval official and diarist, 1633; George Frederick Handel, composer, 1685; Meyer Amschel Rothschild, banker, 1743; Sir George Frederick Watts, sculptor and painter, 1817; Franz von Stuck, painter and sculptor, 1863; William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, novelist, 1868; Victor Fleming, film director, 1883; Karl Jaspers, philosopher, 1883; Erich Kstner, poet and children's writer, 1899.

Deaths: Agostino Carracci, painter, 1602; Ferdinand V, King of Castile and Leon, 1516; Sir Joshua Reynolds, painter, 1792; John Keats, poet, 1821; John Quincy Adams, sixth US president, 1848; Joanna Baillie, poet and playwright, 1851; Sir George Thomas Smart, organist, 1867; Auguste Bonheur, painter, 1884; William Butterfield, architect, 1900; Ernest Christopher Dowson, poet, 1900; Samuel Rawson Gardiner, historian, 1902; Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th US president, 1924; Dame Nellie Melba (Helen Porter Mitchell), operatic singer, 1931; Sir Edward William Elgar, composer, 1934; Leo Hendrik Baekeland, inventor of Bakelite, 1944; Paul-Louis-Charles Claudel, poet, playwright and diplomat, 1955; Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson), comedian, 1965; Fannie Hurst, novelist, 1968; Laurence Stephen Lowry, painter, 1976; Sir Adrian Boult, conductor, 1983.

On this day: the Cato Street Conspiracy to murder Cabinet ministers was discovered, 1820; lawn tennis, then called "Sphairistike", was patented, 1874; in France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for writing the open letter J'accuse, 1898; the United States Steel Corporation was founded by J.P. Morgan, 1901; in Russia, the February Revolution began (Old Style date), 1917; Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party (Fasci del Combattimento) in Italy, 1919; the present building of the Vaudeville Theatre, London, opened, 1926; the musical show Wonderful Town was first produced, London 1953; Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth, 1970.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alexander Akimetes, St Boisil or Boswell, St Dositheus, St Milburga or Mildgytha, St Polycarp of Smyrna, St Serenus or Cerneuf the Gardener and St Willigis.