On this date in 1905, Albert Einstein publishes his article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, thus introducing special relativity.
Elizabeth Gaskell born on this date in 1810. Mrs. Gaskell, as she is known, was the wife of a Unitarian minister; she started her writing career as a way to assuage her grief over the death of her infant son. As a result of her husband’s work, Mrs. Gaskell met many luminaries including Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Ruskin, and Charles Dickens. She was asked by Dickens to create a sketch for publication in his journal Household Words; the sketch became very popular and eventually evolved into the novel Cranford, which depicts the quite country life of “elegant economy” lived by unmarried women in an English village.
Perhaps Mrs. Gaskell’s most famous relationship is her friendship with fellow author Charlotte Brontë. The two wrote to each other, and Mrs. Gaskell eventually went to the Brontë home in Haworth. After Brontë died, Mrs. Gaskell wrote the biography, The Life of Charlotte Brontë, which was for many years the definitive biography of the reclusive author. However, Mrs. Gaskell unintentionally laid the foundation for many misconceptions that have persisted about the Brontë sisters and their work.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau born on this date in 1712. He said, “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains; he is often called the “Father of the French Revolution.” In his work The Confessions, Rousseau focused on examining his own life, claiming in the opening lines, “If I am not better, at least I am different.” In the work, he also describes the restorative quality of nature, the importance of children as unique personalities, and the importance of memory. Rousseau was a major influence on the growing Romantic movement.
The first Newbery Medal for children’s literature was presented to Hendrik Van Loon on this date in 1922.
Shirley Jackson’ short story “The Lottery” is published in magazine on this date in 1948. You can read the story here:
http://www.americanliterature.com/author / shirley-jackson/ short-story/the
Eric Carle, author of the popular children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, was born this day in 1929.
Today is Typewriting Day–the first typewriter patent was awarded this day in 1868.
Octavia E. Butler born this date in 1947. She was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Butler, who was dyslexic, began writing at age 10 “to escape loneliness and boredom.” Her novels include the Patternist series, Kindred, and The Parable of the Sower.
Jean-Paul Sartre born this date in 1905. Sartre was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism. He is also remembered for his relationship with Simone de Beauvoir, a prominent feminist theorist. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964, Sartre refused the prize, saying that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution.” Sartre’s best known work, Huis-clos, or No Exit, contains the famous line, “L’enfer, c’est les autres,” or “Hell is other people.”