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On this day: November 9

Today’s birthdays

Ronald Harwood, playwright, 84
Roger McGough, poet, 81
Tom Weiskopf, golfer, 76
Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk actor, 67
Karen Dotrice, Mary Poppins actress, 63
Alan Curbishley, football manager, 61
Tony Slattery, actor and comedian, 59
Andy Kershaw, broadcaster, 59
Bryn Terfel, opera singer, 53
Roxanne Shante, hip hop musician/rapper, 49
Scarface (aka Brad Jordan), rapper, 48
Eric Dane, Charmed actor, 46
Sisqo, R&B singer, 40
Caroline Flack (pictured), TV presenter, 39
Charlie Webster, TV presenter and campaigner, 36
Delta Goodrem, singer, 34
Finn Cole, Peaky Blinders actor, 23

It happened today…

1812: One of the worst winters on record began — and caused the defeat of the mighty Napoleon. During his retreat from Moscow, troops endured temperatures as low as -37C for 27 consecutive days.

1841:Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was born. He was 61 when he was crowned and gave his name to the Edwardian Age in English manners, fashion and literature.

1859:Flogging in the British Army was abolished.

1881:Dr Thomas Kalmus, US inventor of Technicolor in 1912, was born.

1922: The SS — Schutzstaffel or ‘Protection Squad’ — was formed in Germany.

1938:‘Kristallnacht’ in Germany (pictured above), when Nazis burned 267 synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish homes and businesses, smashing windows — which gave the night its name.

1940:Neville Chamberlain died just months after resigning as Britain’s wartime prime minister.

1953: Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, author of Under Milk Wood, died aged 39, after falling into an alcoholic coma following the consumption of 18 stiff whiskies.

1979: A computer fault led to a full-scale nuclear alert in the US.

1989: The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel through the Berlin Wall. Thousands of East Berliners swarmed through the crossing points.

2017: Fertility experts celebrated IVF’s 40th anniversary. The procedure worked on this day in 1977, and nine months later Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first IVF baby, was born.

Quote of the day

‘I was literally hanging on to one handrail and over my right shoulder was just the rest of the universe. It’s very, very black, very intimidating but really incredible’ — Astronaut Tim Peake (pictured) describes walking on ‘the furthest edge of the space station’

Thought for the day

‘The clock is ticking towards a tipping point when the impact of what we are doing will become dangerously irreversible. We have a responsibility and obligation to the next generation to drastically reduce the extent to which we plunder the world’s natural resources’ — The Duke of Cambridge