1902 – Kay Boyle, American writer (d. 1992)
1917 – Carson McCullers, American author (d. 1967)
1918 – Under the facilitation of W. E. B. Du Bois, the first Pan-African Congress is held in Paris, France
1932 – In Oxford, Mississippi, William Faulkner completes work on Light in August. He was working in a room in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, above the Intimate Book Shop. (another independent bookshop stomped to death by B&N)
1935 – Clifford Odets’ Awake & Sing, premieres in New York NY
1949 – Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.
1951 – André Gide dies in Paris at 81. A few days later a telegram with Gide’s signature appears on a bulletin board in a hall of the Sorbonne: “Hell doesn’t exist. Better notify Claudel.” Paul Claudel, the Catholic mystic poet, had once tried — unsuccessfully — to convert Gide.
1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist
1953 – The State of Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the U.S. Newspapers are excluded from the new legislation. Its purpose: to keep “obscene” literature out of the state.
1953 – William Inge’s Picnic premiered in New York City.