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On this day: August 7

Today’s birthdays

Nick Ross, broadcaster, 73

Greg Chappell, former cricketer, 72

Alexei Sayle, comedian, 68

Bruce Dickinson, heavy metal musician, 62

David Duchovny, actor, 60

Brian Conley, comedian/actor, 59

Dominic Cork, former cricketer, 49

Charlize Theron (pictured), actress, 45

Tina O’Brien, actress, 37

It happened today…

1711: Ascot became ‘Royal’ with the attendance of Queen Anne at the races

1840: Parliament passed an Act prohibiting the employment of climbing boys as chimney sweeps

1858: Ottawa was chosen by Queen Victoria as the capital of Canada

1876: Mata Hari (Margaretha Zelle), the exotic spy who passed secrets to Germany during World War I, was born. The French arrested her in 1917 and she was killed by a firing squad

1925: British Summer Time became permanent with the passing of the Daylight Saving Act

1926: The first British Motor Racing Grand Prix was held at the Brooklands track in Surrey, over 110 laps and 287 miles

1957: Oliver Hardy, the comedian who, with partner Stan Laurel, formed one of the most successful double acts of all time, died

1958: The Litter Act came into force in Britain

1981: The Washington Star published its final edition after 128 years

2012: Sir Chris Hoy (above) made Olympic history when he won his sixth gold medal in the frenzied atmosphere of the velodrome

2019: As the highly contagious Ebola virus caused concerns, travel across the Rwanda and Congo borders was discouraged

Quote of the day

‘Frankly, the term sounded a bit full of itself, painfully progressive and hard to swallow’ — Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured) on the term ‘conscious uncoupling’, which she used to describe her separation from ex-husband Chris Martin

Thought for the day

‘Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd’ — French writer and philosopher Voltaire