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On this day: July 11

Today’s birthdays

Giorgio Armani, fashion designer, 85

John Kettley, TV weatherman, 67

Leon Spinks, former boxer, 66

Richie Sambora, rock guitarist (Bon Jovi), 60

Suzanne Vega, singer, 60

Craig Charles, comedian/actor/DJ, 55

Tony Cottee, former footballer, 54

Lil Kim (pictured), rapper and pop star, 45

It happened today…

1274:Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland who defeated the English at Bannockburn, was born at Turnberry, Ayrshire.

1690:William of Orangedefeated the deposed Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

1754:Shakespearean censorThomas Bowdler was born. Though he loved the Bard’s works, he considered some to be vulgar and ‘unfit to be read by a gentleman in the company of ladies’. His solution was to cut lumps wholesale — and from this came the verb ‘to bowdlerise’.

1776: Explorer Captain James Cook set sail from Plymouth on his third voyage of discovery, in search of a passage around the the northern coast of America from the Pacific side.

1937:George Gershwin (pictured above), American composer, whose work included Rhapsody In Blue and Porgy And Bess, died aged 38 of a brain tumour.

1949: The first film made specially for British television, A Dinner Date With Death, was shot at Marylebone Studios between July 11 and 14.

1950: Puppets Andy Pandy, Teddy and Looby Loo first appeared on BBC Television. The episodes were repeated for more than 25 years, until the film began to wear out, and Andy waved his last goodbye from the basket.

1975: China’s great Terracotta Army was uncovered near the ancient capital of Xian. More than 6,000 life-sized warriors were made around 206BC to guard the tomb of the first emperor.

1979: America’s Skylab Ireturned to Earth after 34,981 orbits in six years.

1989:Theatre lights were dimmed in London and around Britain as a mark of respect to Lord Olivier, who died in his sleep, aged 82.

Quote of the day

‘I have a lot to say that could probably help people that I do want to share, but I have a lot that I still need to process myself and will probably never be ready to talk about’ — Pop star Ariana Grande (pictured) is still dealing with the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017

Thought for the day

‘Food is something that is taken for granted by most world leaders despite the fact that more than half of the population of the world is hungry’ — US argronomist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Norman Borlaug