1527 – John Dee born – English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy.
1793 – John Clare born – English “peasent poet”, the son of a farm labourer who came to be known for his celebratory representations of the English countryside and his lamentation of its disruption. His poetry underwent a major re-evaluation in the late 20th century and he is often now considered to be among the most important 19th-century poets. His biographer, Jonathan Bate. states that Clare was “the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced. No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self”.
1793 – Journalist and French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat is assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a member of the opposing political faction.
1863 – Riots broke out in New York City in protest against the drafting of men to fight in the American Civil War. The start of three days of rioting which were later regarded as the worst in United States history.
1923 – The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It originally reads “Hollywoodland “ but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.
1934 – Birth of Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writer, notable especially as a playwright and poet; he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African in Africa and the diaspora to be so honoured.
1936 – Assassination of Spanish politician Jose Calvo Sotelo, triggering the military uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War.
1936 – Birth of Albert Ayler, American jazz saxophonist and singer
1951 – Death of Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg . Schoenberg’s approach, both in terms of harmony and development, is among the major landmarks of 20th-century musical thought; at least three generations of composers in the European and American traditions have consciously extended his thinking or, in some cases, passionately reacted against it. During the rise of the Nazi Party in Austria, his music was labeled, alongside jazz, as degenerate.