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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.