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Births: Casimir III, King of Poland, 1310; William Lilly, astrologer and fortune-teller, 1602; Mary II, Queen, 1662; Jacques-Louis David, painter, 1748; Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician and astronomer, 1777; William Mulready, painter, 1786; Richard Redgrave, painter, 1804; Karl Kammerlander, song-writer and composer, 1828; Sir John Lubbock, first Baron Avebury, banker, writer and entomologist, 1834; Jaroslav Hasek, novelist, 1883; Joachim von Ribbentrop, politician, 1893.

Deaths: Pierre du Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard, soldier, killed 1524; James Montgomery, journalist, poet and hymn-writer, 1854; Sarah Josepha Hale (Buell), editor, and poet for children, 1879; Edouard Manet, Impressionist painter, 1883; Carl August Nicolas Rosa, operatic impresario, 1889; Alfred Edward Housman, poet and scholar, 1936; Edwin Stanton Porter, film director, 1941; Beatrice (Potter) Webb, writer and socialist, 1943; Adolf Hitler, dictator, committed suicide 1945; Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler, committed suicide 1945; George Balanchine, choreographer, 1983; Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), rhythm and blues singer, 1983; Sir John William Max Aitken, newspaper publisher, 1985.

On this day: under an Edict issued by Galerius Valerius Maximianus, Christians were legally recognised by the Roman Empire, 311; General George Washington was inaugurated as first US president, 1789; the New York World's Fair opened, 1939; the Organisation of American States was founded, 1948; the first London performance of the musical My Fair Lady was staged, 1958; four of President Richard Nixon's top aides resigned over Watergate charges, 1973; the South Vietnamese government surrendered unconditionally to the Vietcong, 1975; more than 125,000 people died following a cyclone in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, 1991.

Today is the Feast Day of St Eutropius of Saintes, St Forannan, St Gualfardus or Wolfhard, Saints Marianus, James and Others, St Maximus of Ephesus and St Pius V, pope.


Births: Marshal Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban, statesman and military engineer, 1633; Joseph Addison, diarist and essayist, 1672; Charles Macklin (McLaughlin), actor, 1690; Arthur Wellesley (Wesley), first Duke of Wellington, field marshal and politician, 1769; Frederick Sandys, painter, 1832; Hilaire, Comte de Chardonnet, inventor of rayon, 1839; Edith Somerville (Anna Oenone), author, 1858; Leo Sowerby, organist and composer, 1895. …