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On this day: March 24

Today’s birthdays

David Irving, military historian, 82

Mary Berry, TV chef, 75

Patrick Malahide, actor, 75

Archie Gemmill, coach and former footballer, 73

Lord (Alan) Sugar, businessman, 73

Nick Lowe, musician, 71

Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer, 69

Kelly LeBrock, actress, 60

Grayson Perry, artist, 60

Lara Flynn Boyle, actress, 50

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory actor, 47

Alyson Hannigan, actress, 46

Jessica Chastain (pictured), actress, 43

Lake Bell, actress, 41

It happened today…

1603: Elizabeth I died aged 69, after nearly 45 years as queen.

1834: Artist and poet William Morris was born in London.

1877: The University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge ended in a dead heat. On the same date in 1951, the race was called off when the Oxford boat sank. It was rerun two days later, when Cambridge won by 12 lengths.

1887: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, US silent film comedian, was born. In 1921, he was accused of being involved in a sex scandal that ruined his career.

1944: The breakout from prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft III by 76 inmates began. The event was the inspiration for the film The Great Escape.

1946: Alistair Cooke read his first Letter From America on BBC Radio.

1953: Queen Mary, widow of George V, died after a lengthy illness.

1956: In the Grand National, the Queen Mother’s horse Devon Loch collapsed after clearing the final fence in first place. The unlucky rider was Dick Francis.

1958: Elvis Presley (pictured), 23, signed up for the US army in Memphis, Tennessee.

1965: David Steel, 26, won Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles for the Liberals to become Britain’s youngest MP.

1976: President Isabel Peron of Argentina was deposed in a bloodless military coup.

1989: The Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground on a reef in Prince William Sound off the Alaskan coast and released 11million gallons of crude oil into the sea.

1993: Ezer Weizman was elected president of Israel.

Quote of the day

‘I will get to 100, see how I feel and maybe add another 20 years on’ — Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache (pictured), 87, believes meditation could help him live decades longer.

Thought for the day

‘Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well’ — 19th-century US humourist Josh Billings