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On this day: May 24

Today’s birthdays

Bob Dylan (pictured), singer/songwriter, 78

Patti LaBelle, singer, 75

Dave Peacock, singer (Chas & Dave), 74

Priscilla Presley, actress, 74

Jim Broadbent, actor, 70

Alfred Molina, actor, 66

Rosanne Cash, country singer, 64

Kristin Scott Thomas, actress, 59

Eric Cantona, former footballer, 53

Jo Joyner, actress, 42

Simon Day, comedian, 57

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory MP, 50

It happened today…

1686: Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer, was born.

1809:Dartmoor Prison was opened to house French prisoners of war. From 1850 it was used for convicts.

1819:Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace.

1862: London’s Westminster Bridge opened.

1895: The first stage knighthood was conferred, on Sir Henry Irving.

1916:Conscription began in Britain.

1941: The German battleship Bismarck sank HMS Hood off Greenland with the loss of more than 1,400 lives.

1969: The Black And White Minstrel Show, at London’s Victoria Palace, closed after 4,354 performances in seven years.

1974: Jazz musician, bandleader and composer Edward ‘Duke’ Ellington (pictured) died.

1978:Princess Margaret’s 18-year marriage to Lord Snowdon was ended by a special procedure divorce.

Quote of the day

‘As a female American in the 21st century, I still cling to hope for our fragile, fractious democracy. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom of choice, as far as our bodies are concerned. I also wonder what the issues would be if men had babies’ — Actress Glenn Close (pictured), who refuses to make films in US states with strict abortion laws

Thought for the day

‘When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor’ — Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk