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On this day: March 12

Today’s birthdays

Liza Minnelli, actress/singer, 73

James Taylor, singer-songwriter, 71

Anish Kapoor, sculptor, 65

Jerry Levine, actor/director, 62

Courtney B Vance, actor, 59

Aaron Eckhart, actor, 51

Graham Coxon, musician (Blur) (pictured), 50

Pete Doherty, musician, 40

It happened today…

1710:Thomas Augustine Arne, composer who wrote the masque Alfred, which included the song Rule Britannia, was born in London.

1836:Isabella Mary Mayson, who became Mrs Beeton of cookery-book fame, was born in London.

1890: Dancer Vaslav Nijinsky was born in Kiev.

1904: The first main-line electric train in the UK left Liverpool for Southport.

1941: The original incident used in Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore occurred in the Hebrides when a cargo ship ran aground with her holds full of whisky. Islanders hid the quarter of a million bottles from customs officers.

1955:Death of jazz great Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker (pictured), aged 35.

1969: Beatle Paul McCartney married photographer Linda Eastman, while George Harrison was arrested for illegal possession of cannabis.

1977: Egyptian president Anwar Sadat said he would not allow a single inch of Arab land to remain under Israeli occupation.

1987: The government gave the go-ahead to the Sizewell B nuclear processing plant in Suffolk.

1992:Mauritius broke its links with the British Crown, becoming a fully fledged republic but remaining a member of the Commonwealth.

Quote of the day

‘I think people are slightly exhausted by seeing women being brutalised on screen. Seeing women being violent, the flipside of that is refreshing and oddly empowering’ — Screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge (pictured)

Thought for the day

‘To live in harmony with nature, we must know how to sing the same song as nature. To do that, we must understand nature. Good intentions aren’t enough. Science might be — if we use it wisely’ — Author Terry Pratchett