Leonard (Louis) Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. One of the most famous conductors of his time, he was the first American conductor to earn international praise.
On July 22, 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote America the Beautiful. It has since become one of America’s most beloved patriotic songs, and has often been proposed to become our national anthem.
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born on June 30, 1917, in New York City, New York. Horne was one of the great icons of the 20th century. She spent over 70 years in the entertainment industry as an actress and jazz singer and was also an acclaimed civil rights activist.
Conductor George Szell was born György Endre Szél on June 7, 1897, in Budapest, Hungary. Szell conducted the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and is credited with transforming it into one of the world’s greatest orchestras.
On April 30, 1983, legendary blues musician Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Illinois. Dubbed the “Father of Modern Chicago Blues,” Waters had dozens of hits over the years and has been a major influence for generations of musicians.
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.
Victor August Herbert was born on February 1, 1859, in Guernsey, United Kingdom. He was one of the most prolific composers of his day, as well as a celebrated cellist, conductor, and champion for the legal rights of composers.
Janis Lyn Joplin was born on January 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas. The “Queen of Psychedelic Soul,” Joplin infused her blues-inspired songs with a raw emotion and distinctive voice that made her one of the era’s leading female rockers.
On January 18, 1919, composer-turned statesman Ignacy Paderewski was sworn in as the first prime minister of newly independent Poland.