The List

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The Independent Online
SORRY I SPOKE: President Ronald Reagan tests a radio mike for broadcast: 'My fellow Americans . . . I have signed legislation to outlaw Russia for ever. We begin bombing in five minutes,' only to find he is on air (1981); Alan Clark MP allegedly refers to Africa as 'bongo-bongo land' (1984); Reagan welcomes the Princess of Wales as 'Princess David' at a White House ball (1985); the Duke of Edinburgh, in China, calls Peking 'ghastly' and warns British students they'll get 'slitty eyes' if they stay too long (1986); former French PM Edith Cresson says, 'In Anglo-Saxon countries men prefer the company of other men . . . in England 25 per cent (are) homosexual'; she also calls the Japanese 'ants . . . little yellow men (who) sit up all night thinking how to screw us' (1991); President George Bush vomits and collapses at a state dinner in Tokyo (1992); George Galloway MP visits Iraq and is televised saluting the courage of Saddam Hussein (1994).

TODAY is the feast day of St John the Almsgiver, patriarch of Alexandria in the late 6th century, renowned for helping the poor. He insisted that traders use accurate weights and measures and forbade his officers from taking presents which he said were bribes. He sat outside the church two days a week to hear the grievances of his people. He enjoyed taking from the rich to give to the poor and said that to strip the wealthy to their shirts was not wrong, especially if they were heartless skinflints.

23 January 1766: William Caslon, typefounder, died. Born in 1692 in Cradley, Worcestershire, he set up a gun-engraving business in London in 1716, but soon concentrated on cutting type for printers. His graceful, seriffed typefaces (above) were extensively used in Europe and the US and survive today. A light italic version is used for some heads in this paper.

1790: Fletcher Christian and the Bounty mutineers landed on Pitcairn Island.

1924: First Labour government formed under Ramsay MacDonald

BIRTHDAYS: Lord Denning, 95; Jeanne Moreau, actress, 66; Princess Caroline of Monaco, 37.

DEATHS: Sir Matt Busby, football manager, aged 84; Eugene Ivanov, Russian spy in Profumo scandal, aged 68.