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On this day: October 12

Today’s birthdays

Angela Rippon, broadcaster, 76

Robin Askwith, actor, 70

David Threlfall, actor, 67

Hugh Jackman (pictured), actor, 52

Stephen Lee, former snooker player, 46

Josh Hutcherson, actor, 28

It happened today…

1492: Christopher Columbus sighted his first land in discovering the New World, calling it San Salvador.

1537: Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was born. He succeeded his father when he was nine, but died at 15.

1609: Three Blind Mice was published in London, believed to be the earliest printed secular song.

1866: Ramsay MacDonald was born. In 1924, he became Britain’s first Labour prime minister.

1872: Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire.

1875: Modern-day Satanist Aleister Crowley — once dubbed ‘the wickedest man in the world’ — was born in Leamington, Warwickshire.

1899: Mafeking was besieged by the Boers and was gallantly defended by Baden-Powell, until relieved 217 days later.

1901: US President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion as the White House.

1915: British nurse Edith Cavell was executed as a spy by German firing squad.

1984: Five people died, and 34 were injured, in an IRA bomb attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where the Conservative Party conference was being held.

2002: Some 202 people died in bomb attacks on two nightclubs in Bali.

2007: Former US vice president Al Gore (above) and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2009: Edgar Allan Poe received a funeral in Baltimore, US, 160 years after his death and 200 after his birth.

Quote of the day

‘I have had Botox and I openly admit it. If I look good and feel good about the way I look, then I am a happier person. Better to be around someone who is happy and joyful than a misery guts looking 104’ — singer Elaine Paige (pictured)

Thought for the day

‘A ship is safe in harbour, but that is not what ships are built for’ — US author and professor John A Shedd on living life to the full