The Writer's Almanac
Summary: The Writer's Almanac is a daily podcast of poetry and historical interest pieces, usually of literary significance, hosted by Garrison Keillor.
It’s the birthday of novelist Ann Patchett (Los Angeles, 1963), author of Bel Canto and other books, who co-owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.
On this date in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. She’d always complied in the past, but this day, she was tired.
It's the birthday of the man who said, "A successful book is not made of what is in it, but of what is left out of it": Mark Twain (Florida, MO, 1835).
Today is the birthday of three giants of young people’s literature: Louisa May Alcott (1832), C.S. Lewis (1898), and Madeline L’Engle (1918).
It’s the birthday of engraver and poet William Blake (London, 1757), who was dubbed "an unfortunate lunatic" by a contemporary critic.
On this day in 1786, Scottish poet Robert Burns borrowed a pony and rode to Edinburgh, and became convinced along the way that he was rather famous.
It's the birthday of two beloved American cartoonists: Charles Schultz (St. Paul, 1922) and Roz Chast (Brooklyn, 1954).
It was on this day in 1864 that Confederate rebels set 13 fires in New York City, but they didn’t factor in the need for oxygen to feed the fires, so the damage was negligible.
It’s the birthday of mathematician and philosopher Benedict Spinoza (1632), who only published three books in his lifetime, afraid he'd be branded a heretic.
It’s the birthday of the legendary desperado Billy the Kid, who killed about 27 people during his short lifespan of 21 years.
Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for Marjane Satrapi, André Gide, George Eliot, and all the other writers born this day.
It’s the birthday of Voltaire (1694), who wrote, "To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."
On this date in 1820, a sperm whale attacked a whaling ship off the coast of South America, an event that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick.
On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, which only ten sentences long and lasted about 2 minutes.
It’s the birthday of poet and novelist Margaret Atwood, who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, now a hugely popular online television series.