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On this day: February 8

Today’s birthdays

John Williams, film score composer (Jaws, Star Wars), 87

Nick Nolte, actor, 78

Mary Steenburgen, actress, 66

John Grisham, author, 64

Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian politician and former cricketer, 56

Seth Green, actor, 45

Abi Titmuss, model/TV personality, 43

Dani Harmer, actress, 30

Ralf Little (pictured), actor, 39

Trinny Woodall, fashion adviser and TV personality, 55

It happened today…

1587:Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire, implicated in a Catholic plot to overthrow Elizabeth I.

1725:Catherine I became Empress of Russia on the death of her husband Peter the Great.

1819:John Ruskin, writer and artist, was born in London.

1886:Rioting and looting followed a protest march by the unemployed in Trafalgar Square.

1904: The Russo-Japanese War broke out, provoked by Russian penetration into Manchuria and Korea.

1915:DW Griffith’s epic film The Birth Of A Nation was released.

1931:James Dean (pictured), cult actor, was born in Marion, Indiana. He made just three films, East Of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause and Giant, before he died in a car crash.

1965: The government announced a ban on cigarette advertising on TV.

1976: Fourteen British mercenaries died by firing squad in Angola.

1990: American pop singer Del Shannon shot himself.

Quote of the day

‘That’s the Botox’ — Singer Dolly Parton‘s reply to those who ask how she always looks so happy

Thought for the day

‘You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do’ — Longest serving US First Lady, diplomat and human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt