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On this day: Bishop John Hooper, burned at the stake for heresy, 1555; Rome was proclaimed a Republic under Giuseppe Mazzini, 1849; Burke and Wills, Australian explorers, reached the estuary of the Flinders river, 1861; Verdi's opera Falstaff was first performed, Milan 1893; Sybil Thorndike made her London debut in The Marquis, 1908; the British Military Service Act (conscription) came into force, 1916; a treaty, giving Norway sovereignty over Spitsbergen was signed, 1920; the Balkan Entente was signed by Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey at Athens, 1934; soap rationing began in Britain, 1942; The Threepenny Opera had its first London performance, 1956; a terrible blizzard raged in the United States, killing 64 people, 1969; the first tria l flight of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet took place, 1969; an earthquake in southern California claimed 64 lives in and around Los Angeles, 1971; following a month-long miners' strike, the British government declared a state of emergency, 1972; Britain and E ast Germany established diplomatic relations, 1973; Lithuania voted to secede from the Soviet Union, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Alto, St Ansbert, St Apollonia, St Nicephorus of Antioch, St Sabinus of Canosa and St Teilo.