Birthdays: Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, 91; Princess Alexandra, 56; Lord Annan, author, 76; Miss Sheila Browne, former principal, Newnham College, Cambridge, 68; Professor Kenneth Calman, chief medical officer, Department of Health, 51; Mr Nick Conway, actor, 30; Mr Kenny Everett, radio and television comedian, 48; Lord Grade, Chairman, the Grade Company, 86; Mr Stuart Hall, radio commentator and presenter, 58; The Right Rev Noel Jones, Bishop of Sodor and Man, 60; Miss Annie Lennox, singer, 38; Mr Tony Martin, singer and actor, 79; Sir Peter Matthews, former Chief Constable of Surrey, 75; Mr Ismail Merchant, film producer, 56; Professor Phyllida Parsloe, professor of social work, and warden of Wills Hall, Bristol University, 62; Mr Noel Redding, rock musician, 47; Sir Allen Sheppard, chairman and chief executive, Grand Metropolitan, 60; Miss Sissy Spacek, actress, 43; Mr Nigel Starmer-Smith, sports commentator, 48; Sir Noel Stockdale, life president of the ASDA group, 72; The Right Rev Benjamin Vaughan, former Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, 75; Sir Christopher Wates, chief executive of Wates Holdings, 53.
Born this day: Sir Isaac Newton, mathematician, physicist and astronomer, 1642; Dorothy Wordsworth, writer, 1771; William Nicholson, painter, 1784; Charles Pathe, film pioneer, 1863; Mohammed Ali Jinnah, statesman, 1876; Maurice Utrillo, painter, 1883; Conrad Nicholson Hilton, hotel proprietor, 1887; Dame Rebecca West, author, 1892; Humphrey DeForest Bogart, actor, 1899; Anwar Sadat, statesman, 1918.
Died this day: Pope Adrian I, 795; WC Fields, actor, 1946; Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, comedian and film producer, 1977; Joan Miro, artist, 1983; Nicolae Ceausescu, former Romanian president, executed by firing squad, 1989.
On this day: Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III as the first Holy Roman Emperor, 800; the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, 1620; the first Christmas tree was put up at Queen's Lodge, Windsor, by Queen Charlotte, 1800; 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.