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 was on this day in 1558 that Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the English throne, and then reigned for 45 years.
It’s the birthday of Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart (1958), which was one of the first novels ever written about European colonization from the point of view of the colonized native people.
It’s the birthday of poet Marianne Moore, who once said, “I never knew anyone with a passion for words who had as much difficulty in saying things as I do.”
It's the birthday of the artist who said, "I would like to paint the way a bird sings": Claude Monet.
It’s the birthday of the man who wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1850).
It was on this day in 1954 that Ellis Island formally closed its doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants to the United States.
It’s the birthday of author Kurt Vonnegut (1922), who advised other writers to "Make characters want something right away — even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.”
It was on this day in 1969 that Sesame Street premiered, with the aim to "master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them."
It’s the birthday of poet Anne Sexton, who said of her troubled mental health, "My fans think I got well, but I didn't: I just became a poet."
It was on this day in 1864 that Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term as president of the United States, one of the few elections in world history to be held in the middle of a civil war.
It’s the birthday of scientist Marie Curie (Warsaw, 1867), whose laboratory journals are still too radioactive to handle.
It's the birthday of the founder of The New Yorker magazine, Harold Ross (1892), who was gap-toothed, messy-haired, and Western-accented.
On this day in 1930, a Swedish newspaper reporter telephoned Sinclair Lewis to tell him that he had won the Nobel Prize in literature. Lewis thought it was a practical joke and began to imitate the man’s accent.
Today is the birthday of cowboy poet and humorist Will Rogers, who once joked, "I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
It’s the birthday of photographer Walker Evans, who took some of the best known photos of tenant farmers in the Great Depression.