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15th July

1606 * Rembrandt (Harmenszoon van Rijn), Dutch painter of the Renaissance period.

1795 The Marseillaise was officially adopted as the French national anthem.

1865 * Alfred Harmsworth, English journalist and pioneer of the tabloid press with the Daily Mail.

1869 Margarine was patented in France by Hippolyte Mege Mouries.

1881 Billy the Kid, notorious US outlaw, was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico.

1912 Lloyd George's social insurance scheme came into force in Britain.

1935 * Ken Kercheval, US TV actor best known as Cliff Barnes in the TV series Dallas.

1940 The world's tallest man 8 feet, 11.1 inches, Robert Wadlow, died.

1946 * Linda Rondstadt, US singer and actress who sang the hit 'You're No Good' (1975).

1965 The US space probe Mariner transmitted the first close-up pictures of the planet Mars.

1966 A West Indian refused a job at Euston Station will now be employed there after managers overturn a ban on black workers.

1971 The British Government endorsed a cull of baby seals in the Wash.

1975 The Russian Soyuz and the U.S. Apollo launched. The Apollo-Soyuz mission was the first international manned spaceflight.

1995 Thousands of Muslim refugees fled the captured "safe area" of Srebrenica - forced out by the Bosnian Serbs.

1997 Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot dead on the steps of his Miami mansion.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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