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On this day: March 13

Today’s birthdays

Neil Sedaka, singer-songwriter, 80

Joe Bugner, former boxer, 69

William H Macy, actor, 69

Linda Robson, actress (pictured), 61

Adam Clayton, rock musician (U2), 59

Annabeth Gish, actress, 48

Stephen Maguire, snooker player, 38

Noel Fisher, actor, 35

It happened today…

1770:Daniel Lambert was born in Leicester — his adult weight was 739lb and his waist measured 102 inches. When he died it took 20 men to lower his coffin into the grave.

1781: Astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.

1884: Novelist Sir Hugh Walpole was born in Auckland, New Zealand.

1894: The first professional striptease took place at the Divan Fayonau Music Hall in Paris. Le Coucher d’Yvette, as the act was billed, showed a girl undressing to go to bed.

1900:British forces under General Roberts captured Bloemfontein in the second Anglo-Boer War.

1927: The lance ceased to be an official weapon in the British Army.

1928: The St Francis Dam near Los Angeles burst, flooding the countryside and killing around 450 people.

1935: The driving test was introduced in Britain. It was voluntary at this stage, becoming compulsory in June.

1938:Hitler invaded Austria, which was made a German Reich province named Ostmark.

1947: The government announced a mid-week ban on sport to try to boost productivity.

1963: Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung invited Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev for talks to try to heal relations.

1985: Russian leader Konstantin Chernenko was buried in Red Square as Mikhail Gorbachev became the youngest member of the ruling Politburo at 54.

1996: Day of the Dunblane Massacre, when lone gunman Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 children and their teacher in the local primary school before turning the gun on himself.

Quote of the day

‘I know for several thousand pounds, I could have it fixed. But what would be the point? I would still look like a telegraph pole that had eaten a space hopper’ — TV’s Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) on his thinning locks

Thought for the day

‘Ocean-polluting plastic has hideous consequences both to humanity and to life in the seas, on which we depend’ — TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough