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On this day: January 28

Today’s birthdays

David Lodge, author, 85

Alan Alda, actor, 84

Bobby Ball, comedian, 76

Robert Wyatt, musician, 75

Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of France, 65

Nick Price, golfer, 63

Gianluigi Buffon, goalkeeper, 42

Nick Carter, Backstreet Boys singer, 40

Elijah Wood (pictured), actor, 39

Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete, 34

Roman Kemp, radio DJ, 27

Will Poulter, actor, 27

It happened today…

814: The death of Charlemagne, king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor.

1547: Henry VIII died at Richmond, in a room reeking of his leg ulcers.

1807: London’s Pall Mall was the first street in the world to be gaslit.

1829: Body-snatcher William Burke was hanged in front of a huge crowd.

1908: The London Playhouse Theatre opened.

1932: The Japanese occupied Shanghai, marking the start of a full-scale invasion of China.

1935: Iceland became the first country to legalise abortion.

1953: Derek Bentley, 19, was hanged at Wandsworth Prison, despite public protests. Bentley and Christopher Craig, 16, had been found guilty of murdering a policeman, but Craig escaped the gallows because of his age.

1986: US space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after take-off (above), killing seven astronauts.

1993: The IRA bombed Harrods for the third time in 20 years. Four people were injured.

2014: The routes of high-speed rail links to cities in the north of England were unveiled.

Quote of the day

‘Man up and fly down to see me. And we’ll talk’ — Thomas Markle urges Prince Harry to help end the rift between him and daughter Meghan (pictured)

Thought for the day

‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success’ — Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell