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On this day: July 9

Today’s birthdays

David Hockney, artist, 82

Dean Koontz, novelist, 74

OJ Simpson, former actor and American football player, 72

Jimmy Smits, actor, 64

Marc Almond, singer, 62

Tom Hanks (pictured), actor, 63

Kelly McGillis, actress, 62

Jim Kerr, singer (Simple Minds), 60

Courtney Love, singer/actress, 55

Jack White, musician (The White Stripes), 44

It happened today…

1540:Henry VIIIdivorced his fourth wife Anne of Cleves, nicknamed The Flanders Mare, after six months of marriage. She at least managed to keep her head.

1819:Elias Howe, inventor of the domestic sewing machine, was born in Massachusetts. He sold the British rights of his machine to a Cheapside corset-maker.

1872: The first doughnut cutter was patented in America by John Blondel. A sea captain, he is said to have invented the hole so he could slip the doughnut over the handle of the ship’s wheel and enjoy his snack while steering.

1877:Wimbledon staged its first lawn tennis championship, at its original site in Worple Road.

1938:Gas masks were issued to Britain’s civilian population in anticipation of the war with Germany. Some 35 million went into the shops.

1951: As the McCarthy witchhunts gathered pace in the USA, crime novelist Dashiell Hammett was jailed for contempt when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

1954: Australia’s Peter Thomson, at 24, became the youngest winner of the British Open Golf Championship.

1955:Bill Haley And His Comets (pictured above) went to No 1 in the US pop charts with Rock Around The Clock.

1984: A bolt of lightning set fire to York Minster. The 700-year-old building suffered serious damage to the south transept but the famous Rose Window survived.

Quote of the day

‘There’s not many better things than seeing an older woman skipping’ — Broadcaster Richard Madeley (pictured)

Thought for the day

‘A person is a success if they get up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do’ — Bob Dylan