1776 – Boswell records Dr. Samuel Johnson as having said, “There is nothing yet which has been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.”
1812 – John and Leigh Hunt publish a derogatory article about the Prince Regent (“fat Adonis of 50”) in The Examiner and are sued for libel and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment and a £500 fine each.
1834 – Parliament authorized the purchase of the the first 38 pictures that would be the foundation of the National Portrait Gallery.
1853 – Matthew Arnold wrote to Arthur Clough, complaining about the hideousness of Charlotte Bronté’s novel Villette.
1905 – American poet Phyllis McGinley (d 1978)
1916 – Pop novelist Harold Robbins (d 1997)
1957 – Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending premiered in NYC.
1966 – the Supreme Court reversed a Massachusetts ruling that the 18th century novel Fanny Hill : Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure was obscene.