Mark Twain Born on This Date

Mark Twain

Mark Twain was born on this day in 1835. Illustration by Ryan Sheffield.


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Louisa May Alcott Born on This Date

Louisa May AlcottLouisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, born this day in 1832.

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William Blake Born on This Date

William BlakeBritish poet William Blake born this day in 1757. Blake began his career as an engraver. Largely unknown during his lifetime, he is now seen as a central figure in the Romantic movement. Many of his works, including Songs of Innocence and the accompanying Songs of Experience, as well as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell were designed with his own watercolor illustrations. The Tate Museum in London owns a large portion of his work, where it is kept on permanent display. You can read his poems here:

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Nobel Establishes Prize on This Date

Alfred NobelAlfred Nobel signs his last will and testament on this date in 1895, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after his death. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was a Swedish chemist, armaments manufacturer, innovator, and engineer. He decided to establish the prize to leave a better legacy for himself than one as the inventor of a substance used for human destruction.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

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London’s Longest Lasting Play Premieres on This Date

The Mousetrap by Agatha ChristieAgatha Christie’s murder mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on this date in 1952. It is the longest continuously running play in history.

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On the Origin of Species Published on This Date

On the Origin of Species by Charles DarwinCharles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species on this date in 1859.

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C.S. Lewis Died on This Date

Grand TetonsC.S. Lewis died this date in 1963. Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, lay theologian, essayist and Christian apologist from Belfast Ireland. He is best known for The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Namia.

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Voltaire Born on This Date

VoltaireFrench writer, playwright, and philosopher Voltaire was born on this date in 1694. His most famous work, Candide, is regularly taught in classrooms around the world.

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Don DeLillo Born on This Date

Don DelilloDon DeLillo born this date in 1936. In a 2005 interview, he stated, “Writers must oppose systems. It’s important to write against power, corporations, the state, and the whole system of consumption and of debilitating entertainments [ … ] I think writers, by nature, must oppose things, oppose whatever power tries to impose on us.” His works include Mao II and Underworld, both of which were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

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