1564 – Galileo Galilei is born.
1622 – Moliere, French satirical playwright/actor, baptized, Paris, France.
1752 – Tobias Smollett anonymously publishes Habakkuk Hibling, pamphlet charging Henry Fielding with plagiarism.
1759 – The British Museum was opened on this day in Bloomsbury, London.
1815 – Lady Byron takes her one-month-old daughter Augusta Ada from Lord Byron’s London apartments & goes to stay with her family. Byron never saw his wife or child again.
1829 – Honoré de Balzac signs a contract with publisher for Les Chouans, the first work to appear under his own name. He is so anxious to perfect the text that the publisher has difficulty getting him to surrender the manuscript.
1831 – Victor Hugo completes his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
1863 – 1st U.S. newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
1891 – Russian poet Osip Mandelstam (Mandel’shtam) (d. 1938), memorialized in his widow Nadezhda’s Hope Against Hope ,is born in Warsaw. Victim of Stalin’s Gulag.
1933 – Ernest Gaines is born Oscar, LA
1951 – the U.S. Supreme Court ruled “clear and present danger” of incitement to riot is not protected speech and can be a cause for arrest.
1985 – Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Ashbery and Fred Chapell