1173 – Pope Alexander III canonizes Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket had been martyred three years earlier on orders of English King Henry II, a former friend, until Becket was elevated to Archbishop in 1162. The saint is the “holy blisful martyr” that Chaucer’s pilgrims are going to pay homage to in The Canterbury Tales.
1431 – The English occupying France begin their witchcraft trial against Joan of Arc.
1599 – the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the acting company in which William Shakespeare was a shareholder, leased the land in Southwerk on which the Globe Theater would be built.
1821 – Charles Scribner was born. He and his sons will form one of the most important publishing houses in New York. They published Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Wolfe. (d 1871)
1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
1903 – Surrealist influenced writer Raymond Queneau is born in Le Havre, France, he was the first French novelist to write language the way it was spoken on the street, regardless of syntax and grammar. (d 1976)
1903 – Anaïs Nin, Neuilly, France. (d 1977)
1907 – W. H. Auden, English poet (d. 1973)
1925 – the first New Yorker appeared on the stands. Harold Ross said that the magazine was not designed for “the little old lady in Dubuque. “Dorothy Parker was Ross’ friend, as was James Thurber, the cartoonist. Thurber asked Parker, who later became dramatic and literary critic for the magazine, to contribute some material to the magazine, which at the onset was running on a shoestring. She said, “I came by the office to write something, but somebody was using the pencil.
1927 – Erma Bombeck, Dayton OH (d. 1996)
1931 – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest work, the short story Babylon Revisited is published in The Saturday Evening Post.
1947 – Victor Sokolov, Russian journalist (d. 2006)
1961 – Chuck Palahniuk, American writer
1962 – David Foster Wallace, American writer