The List

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WIDE WATERS: Europa was abducted from Asia by Zeus who, as a bull, carried her on his back across the sea to Crete; Jason searched for the Golden Fleece in the Argo; Ulysses took 10 years to return to Ithaca after the Trojan wars; Christopher Columbus left the Spanish coast for India in August 1492 and arrived in the Bahamas in October; Charles Darwin spent five years (1831-36) on HMS Beagle surveying the coast of South America; the Ancient Mariner had 'a weary time, a weary time' becalmed on a silent sea; the Owl and the Pussycat sailed away for a year and a day; the captain of the Flying Dutchman is condemned to sail round the Cape of Good Hope forever; 19-year-old Gertrude Ederle swam the English channel on 6 August 1926 in a record 14 hours 31 mins; Thor Heyerdahl travelled 3,800 miles from South America to Polynesia on Kon Tiki, a wooden raft, in 1947; in 1968 250,000 people welcomed home lone yachtsman, Alec Rose, a greengrocer from Southsea, after his 354-day, 28,500-mile round-the-world voyage in Lively Lady; Ernesto Barral windsurfed 110 miles from Havana to Key West in 19 hours.

TODAY is the feast day of Saint Ultan, 7th-century bishop of Ardbraccan in Ireland, where a holy well still bears his name. A man of letters, he educated and fed numerous poor students and was famed for his care of sick children sometimes caring for 'fifty and thrice-fifty' at a time. A proverb refers to 'Ultan's left hand against evil' which records the time, when, feeding children with his right hand, he defended Ireland against Norse invaders with his left. An early Irish poet wrote: 'Had it been the right hand that noble Ultan raised against them, no foreigner would ever have come into the land of Erin.'

4 September, 1886: Geronimo, chief of the Chiricahua Apaches (above), surrendered to the US Army. The most famous of the Apaches, Geronimo fought US federal troops and settlers encroaching on tribal lands for 11 years, especially in Arizona and New Mexico. After a defeat in March 1886 he agreed to go quietly to Florida but resisted internment of his people on a reservation, and escaped. He finally converted to Christianity, and became a farmer in Oklahoma, appearing on state occasions, including Theodore Roosevelt's inauguration. In 1906 he dictated his life story. He died, aged 80, in 1909.

1918: The Germans retreated to the Siegfried Line.

1965: Albert Schweitzer, doctor and missionary, died.

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