06:41 GMT +325 March 2018
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    - The prominent Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini (d. in 1868) was born 212 years ago in 1792. Composed The Barber of Seville, The Italian Girl in Algiers, Othello, William Tell and other operas.

    - Herman Hollerith (d. in 1929), who devised a system of recording and retrieving information on punched cards, was born 144 years ago, in 1860. Founded a company that became IBM in 1929.

    - Glenn Miller (who died in the December 15, 1944 air crash over the Channel) was born 100 years ago, in 1904. A famed composer, arranger and jazz orchestra leader, he took part in the legendary Sun Valley Serenade in 1941.

    - The Boeing-737 crash in Peru in 1996 claimed the lives of 123 people.


    - Fyodor Abramov (d. in 1983) was born 84 years ago, in 1920. A prose writer and literary critic, wrote the novel Brothers and Sisters and the trilogy The Pryaslins.

    - Ivan Petrov (Krauze, d. in 2003), an opera singer, bass, was born in 1920. A Bolshoi soloist in 1943-1970, received much acclaim for the part of Mephistopheles in Charles Gounod's Faust.

    - Vladimir Kryuchkov, the last KGB chief of the Soviet time (1988-1991), was born in 1924.

    - Raisa Smetanina, many times Olympic champion in skiing, was born in 1952.

    - The 20th mission on the Mir orbiting station completed in 1996. The Soyuz TM-22 shuttle brought Russian cosmonauts Yury Gidzenko, Sergei Avdeyev and ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter to earth.

    - Nikita Moiseyev (b. in 1917), a physician, mathematician, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, died 4 years ago in 2000. A founder and the first president of the international environment and political science university.

    - According to the Orthodox calendar, February 29 marks St Cassius Day. This saint is believed to have an evil eye. Peasants preferred to not to leave their homes on this day as Cassius' evil eye could bereave them of their health and wealth.

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