2000 10¢ Lion Statue, non-denominational, coil
May 23, 1895

Founding of the New York Public Library 

On May 23, 1895, the New York Public Library was established. Exactly 16 years later, on May 23, 1911, the main branch of the library opened its doors to the public. Today, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the country and the fourth largest in the world.

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1968 Canada John McCrae
May 3, 1915

“In Flanders Fields”

On May 3, 1915, Canadian physician John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” in honor of a fallen fellow soldier following the Second Battle of Ypres. The poem became a rallying cry among Allied nations to continue fighting and support the war effort.

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2005 37¢ Literary Arts: Robert Penn Warren
April 24, 1905

Robert Penn Warren

Author Robert Penn Warren was born on April 24, 1905, in Guthrie, Kentucky. The winner of multiple Pulitzer Prizes, he was the first US Poet Laureate.

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2015 49¢ Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928

Birth of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Poet, actor, author, teacher, and activist, Angelou became an influential voice of the 20th century.  

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1995 32¢ Tennessee Williams
March 26, 1911

Birth of Tennessee Williams

Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. One of the most successful playwrights of the 20th century, several of his works were adapted into films.

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2015 93¢ Flannery O’Connor
March 25, 1925

Birth of Flannery O’Connor

Mary Flannery O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia.  In a career cut short by disease, she produced two novels and more than 30 short stories that have led some to consider her one of the greatest short story writers of the 20th century.

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2001 34¢ American Illustrator Howard Pyle
March 5, 1853

Birth of Howard Pyle 

Illustrator and author Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853, in Wilmington, Delaware. Illustrating many of his own books, he’s often credited with creating the modern depiction of flamboyantly dressed pirates.

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2010 44¢ Literary Arts: Julia de Burgos
February 17, 1914

Birth of Julia de Burgos

Poet Julia de Burgos García was born on February 17, 1914, in Carolina, Puerto Rico. A poet, civil rights activist, and Puerto Rican nationalist, de Burgos defied convention before feminism was accepted in her culture. 

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1982 20¢ Horatio Alger
January 13, 1832

Birth of Horatio Alger

Horatio Alger Jr. was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on January 13, 1832. Alger was most well-known for his “rags to riches” stories that were especially popular with children.

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