Literary October

About ten years ago, while pretending to get computerized, I started collecting literary birthdays and publication dates for my stepdaughter, who was teaching high school English at the time. Cutting and pasting, editing and adding dates and so on, were supposed to help me learn word processing. Obviously, that is still a work in progress. And so is the calendar, which I’ve kept nibbling at all this time, though I’m not entirely sure why — as an obsessive way to avoid real work, perhaps. Along the way, I’ve also incorporated birthdays and such for songwriters and scientists, and bits of poems, proverbs, song lyrics, and quotes in some way associated with a certain month or season, at least in my mind. Someday I may learn to upload relevant portraits and illustrations. Someday, proper layout and formatting, with quotes and poems nicely indented, authors’ names highlighted, days of the month in a larger font, and other glitzy features may even happen. A fully searchable data base for all this stuff would be great too, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m having fun adding Youtube videos though, with some good ones here if the links keep working. In fairness to readers I should wait until this is more presentable before posting it, but realistically I may never live that long! Ready or not, here’s what I’ve got.

– LLF, 26 December, 2011

=========================================================

OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.

– Mark Twain

1.
– Sergey Aksakov Russian novelist; Chronicle of a Russian Family 1791-1859
– The first installment of Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary is published in 1856.
– Louis Untermeyer New York City-born poet, critic 1885-1977

– Faith Baldwin New York-born romance novelist 1893-1978
– Daniel J. [Joseph] Boorstin Atlanta-born historian, librarian of Congress; Pulitzer for The Americans: the Democratic Experience (1973) 1914-2004
– Jimmy [James Earl] Carter Georgia-born engineer, politician, US president, human rights activist, 2002 Peace Nobel, author; Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid (2007) 1924-

2.
– Mahatma Gandhi (born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) Indian lawyer, editor, activist for India’s independence, pioneer of nonviolent civil disobedience; An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth 1869-1948 [death by assassination]
– Wallace Stevens Connecticut-born insurance salesman, poet; Pulitzer for Collected Poems (1954), 1949 Bollingen 1879-1955

– Graham Greene English prolific novelist; The Third Man (1950), Our Man in Havana (1958) 1904-1991

– Don McLean New York-born folk singer, songwriter; “American Pie” 1945-

3.
– Fulke Greville English poet, statesman; biographer of Sir Philip Sidney 1554-1628
– Alain-Fournier (born Henri Alban-Fournier) French novelist, poet; Le Grand Meaulnes (1913) 1886-1914
– Steven Crane’s Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage is published in 1895.
– Thomas [Clayton] Wolfe North Carolina-born novelist; Look Homeward, Angel (1929), You Can’t Go Home Again (1940) 1900-1938

– James Herriot (born James Alfred White) Scottish veterinarian, writer; All Creatures Great and Small (1972) 1916-1995

– Gore Vidal (born Eugene Luther Vidal) New York-born writer, playwright; Burr (1973) 1925-2012

– Eddie Cochran Minnesota-born pioneering rock guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Summertime Blues” 1939-1960

– Peerless folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie dies from complications of Huntington’s disease in 1967.

4.
– Eugene [Edine] Pottier French workman, revolutionary, poet; lyrics for workers’ anthem “L’Internationale” 1816-1887

– Edward Stratemeyer New Jersey-born juvenile novelist, publisher; Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins series 1862-1930
– [Alfred] Damon Runyon Kansas-born short-story writer, humorist, reporter 1884-1946

– Alvin Toffler New York City-born author, futurist; Future Shock (1970) 1928-
– Jackie [Jacqueline Jill] Collins English actress, romance novelist 1937-
– Anne Rice New Orleans-born gothic, religious novelist; Interview with the Vampire (1976) 1941-

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

– Albert Camus

5.
– Jonathan Edwards Connecticut-born Calvinist theologian; sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God 1703-1758
– Denis Diderot French Enlightenment philosopher, literary critic, man of letters; compiled massive, influential Encyclopédie (1751-1772) 1713-1784
– John Addington Symonds English poet, critic 1840-1893
– Frederic Morton (born Fritz Mandelbaum) Austria-born US writer 1924-
– Vaclav Havel Czech political leader, playwright 1936-2011
– Colin [Patrick Henry] Meloy Montana-born folk-rock musician, singer, songwriter, Decemberists founding member; “The Crane Wife” 1974-

6.
– English poet and playwright Ben Jonson dies in 1637.
– Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is published in 1847.

– The American Library Association is founded in Philadelphia in 1876.
– English poet Alfred Tennyson dies in 1892.

– Caroline [Ferguson] Gordon Kentucky-born novelist, critic, wife of poet Allen Tate 1895-1981
– Thor Heyerdahl Norwegian adventurer, ethnographer; The Kon-Tiki Expedition … (1948) 1914-2002

7.
– Writer Edgar Allan Poe dies in 1849.
– James Whitcomb Riley Indiana-born poet 1849-1916
– Joe Hill Swedish-born US labor organizer, songwriter; “The Preacher and the Slave”, “The Rebel Girl” 1879-1915

– Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes dies in 1894.
– Amiri Baraka (born Everett Leroi Jones) New Jersey-born playwright, poet 1934-2014
– Thomas M. [Michael] Keneally Australian novelist; Confederates (1979), Booker Prize for Schindler’s Ark (1982) 1935-

8.
– John [Milton] Hay Indiana-born poet, politician; Pike County Ballads 1838-1905
– John Cowper Powys British novelist, essayist, poet, lecturer 1872-1964
– Walter Lord Baltimore-born historian; A Night to Remember (1955), Incredible Victory (1967) 1917-2002
– Frank [Franklin Patrick] Herbert Washington-born science fiction writer; Dune (1965) 1920-1986

– Faith Ringgold New York City-born painter, children’s author 1930-
– RL [Richard Lawrence] Stine Columbus Ohio-born children’s author; Goosebumps series 1943-

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.

– Elizabeth Lawrence

9.
– [Charles] Bruce Catton Michigan-born journalist, Civil War historian; This Hallowed Ground (1956); 3-volume series The Coming Fury (1961), Terrible Swift Sword (1963), Never Call Retreat (1965) 1899-1978
– James [Underwood] Crockett Massachusetts-born horticulturist, garden writer; Crockett’s Victory Garden (1977) 1915-1779
– Jill Ker Conway Australia-born US writer, Smith College president 1934-
– John [Winston] Lennon English rock musician, songwriter, Beatles founding member; “Imagine”, “Dear Prudence” 1940-1980


– Jackson Browne Germany-born US folk-rock singer, songwriter; “Ready or Not”, “Running on Empty” 1948-

10.
– Aleksis Kivi Finnish playwright, novelist, poet; novel Seven Brothers 1834-1872
– Ivo Andri’c Yugoslavian novelist; 1961 Nobel 1892-1975
– James [du Maresq] Clavell Australian novelist, screenwriter; novel Shõgun (1975), screenplays: The Great Escape (1963), To Sir With Love (1967) 1924-1994
– Harold Pinter English playwright, screenwriter, director; The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1964), 2005 Nobel 1930-2008

– George Gershwin’s ‘folk’ opera Porgy and Bess opens on Broadway in 1935.
– Ken [Kenule Beeson] Saro-Wiwa Nigerian environmental activist, playwright 1941-1995 [hanged by Nigeria’s military regime]
– John Prine Illinois-born country-folk singer, songwriter; “Hello in There” 1946-

– Kirsty [Anna] MacColl English folk/pop singer, songwriter; “They Don’t Know” 1959-2000

11.
– Steen Steensen Blicher Danish poet, short-story writer 1782-1848
– [Anna] Eleanor Roosevelt New York City-born first lady, social activist, columnist 1884-1962
– Francois Mauriac French novelist, poet, playwright; Le Désert de l’amour (1925), 1952 Nobel 1885-1970
– Elmore [John] Leonard New Orleans-born mystery writer; Get Shorty (1990) 1925-2013
– James M. McPherson North Dakota-born Civil War historian; Pulitzer for Battle Cry of Freedom (1988) 1936-

October 12, the Discovery. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more
wonderful to miss it.

– Mark Twain

12.
– The earliest secular song known to be published, “Three Blind Mice,” is printed in London in 1609.
– George Washington Cable New Orleans-born writer; books of antebellum Louisiana Creole, Negro life 1844-1924
– Eugenio Montale Italian poet, translator; 1975 Nobel 1896-1981
– Ann Lane Petry Connecticut-born novelist, short story, children’s writer; The Street (1946) 1908-1997
– Alice Childress South Carolina-born actress, playwright, young adult novelist; A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich (1973), Rainbow Jordan (1981) 1920-1994
– Charles [Edward] Gordone Cleveland-born playwright, actor, director; Pulitzer for No Place to Be Somebody (1967) 1925-1995
– [Martin] Robert Coles Boston-born psychiatrist, author; 1973 Pulitzer 1929-
– William J. [James] Raspberry Mississippi-born journalist, Washington Post columnist; 1994 Pulitzer 1935-2012

13.
– Conrad Richter Pennsylvania-born historical novelist; Pulitzer for The Town (1951), The Light in the Forest (1953) 1890-1968
– Arna Bontemps Louisiana-born Harlem Renaissance poet, anthologist, novelist; 100 Years of Negro Freedom 1902-1973

– Pioneer psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s influential study The Interpretation of Dreams is published in 1904.
– Frank D. [Daniel] Gilroy New York City-born playwright, screenwriter, director; Pulitzer for The Subject Was Roses (1965) 1925-2015
– Paul Simon New Jersey-born folk, pop musician, songwriter; “Sounds of Silence”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “American Tune” 1941-


– Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opens on Broadway in 1962.

14.
– Masaoka Shiki Japanese haiku, tanka poet, diarist 1867-1902
– Katherine Mansfield New Zealand-born modernist short story writer 1888-1923
– E. E. [Edward Estlin] Cummings Massachusetts-born poet, playwright, painter 1894-1962

– Eugene Fodor Hungary-born US travel writer 1905-1991
– John W. [Wesley] Dean Ohio-born attorney, Nixon staffer, political writer; memoir Blind Ambition (1976), Worse Than Watergate (2004), Conservatives Without Conscience (2006) 1938-

15.
– Virgil (born Publius Vergilius Maro) Roman poet; epic The Aeneid 70-19 BCE
– Mikhail [Yuryevich] Lermontov Russian romantic poet, novelist; A Hero of Our Time 1814-1841
– Friedrich [Wilhelm] Nietzsche German philosopher; Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1891), Beyond Good and Evil (1886) 1844-1900
– P. G. [Pelham Grenville] Wodehouse English comedic writer; Jeeves and Wooster series 1881-1975
– C. P. [Charles Percy] Snow English chemist, novelist; The Masters (1953) 1905-1980
– John Kenneth Galbraith Ontario-born US economist, political writer 1908-2006
– Arthur M. [Meier] Schlesinger Jr. Columbus Ohio-born historian; Pulitzers for: The Age of Jackson (1946), JFK biography A Thousand Days (1966) 1917-2007
– Mario Puzo New York City-born novelist; The Godfather (1969) 1921-1999
– Italo Calvino Italian journalist, writer 1923-1985
– Ed McBain (born Evan Hunter) New York City-born mystery writer; 87th Precinct series 1926-2005
– Composer and lyricist Cole Porter dies in 1964.

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne

16.
– Noah Webster Connecticut-born lexicographer, spelling reformer; seminal An American dictionary of the English language (1825) 1758-1843
– Oscar Wilde Irish wit, author; play The Importance of Being Earnest (1898), novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) 1854-1900

– Eugene [Gladstone] O’Neill New York City-born playwright; Mourning Becomes Elektra (1931), The Iceman Cometh (1940), 1936 Nobel 1888-1953

– Günter Grass German novelist, playwright; The Tin Drum (1959), Danzig Trilogy, 1999 Nobel 1927-2015
– Hawaii author novelist James A. Michener dies in 1997.

17.
– Jupiter Hammon Long Island-born slave, poet; “An Evening Thought …” (1761) 1711-1806 [year of death uncertain]
– Georg Buchner German dramatist; influenced 1890s naturalistic drama, expressionism 1813-1837
– Elinor Glyn Jersey-born British modernist, erotic novelist 1864-1943
– In 1896, Anton Chekhov’s first play The Seagull opens in St. Petersburg, but is so disastrously received that the author renounces writing for the theatre — though he later changes his mind.
– Nathanael West (born Nathan von Wallenstein Weinstein) New York City-born novelist, screenwriter, satirist; Miss Lonelyhearts (1933), Day of the Locust (1939) 1903-1940
– Arthur Miller Harlem-born playwright; Pulitzer for Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) 1915-2005

– Lerone Bennett, Jr. Mississippi-born social historian; Ebony Magazine editor 1928-

18.
– Heinrich von Kleist German Romantic dramatist, poet 1777-1811 [death by suicide]
– Thomas Love Peacock English satirical novelist, poet 1785-1866
– Helen Hunt Jackson Massachusetts-born social reformer, novelist; A Century of Dishonor (1882), Ramona (1884) 1830-1885
– Fannie Hurst Ohio-born novelist; Imitation of Life (1933) 1889-1968
– H. L. [Harold Lenois] Davis Oregon-born poet, short story writer, novelist; Pulitzer for Honey in the Horn (1935) 1894-1960
– A. J. [Abbott Joseph] Liebling New York City-born war correspondent, New Yorker writer 1904-1963
– Chuck [Charles Edward Anderson] Berry St. Louis-born pioneering rock guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Johnny B. Goode”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “You Never Can Tell” 1926-2017


– Laura Nyro Bronx-born pop/jazz singer, songwriter; “And When I Die”, “Save the Country” 1947-1997
– Ntozake Shange (born Paulette Williams) New Jersey-born poet, novelist, dramatist, performer; choreo-poem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1976) 1948-
– Wendy Wasserstein Brooklyn-born playwright; Pulitzer for The Heidi Chronicles (1988) 1950-2006
– Terry McMillan Michigan-born novelist; Waiting to Exhale (1992) 1951-

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing
miseries of summer and winter.

– Carol Bishop Hipps

19.
– Thomas Browne London-born physician, renowned prose stylist 1605-1682
– [Pierre Ambroise Francois] Choderlos de Lacloc French writer; novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) 1741-1803
– Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift dies in 1745.
– [James Henry] Leigh Hunt British poet, essayist; remembered as champion of Keats, Shelley, and Tennyson 1784-1859
– Vincas Kreve-Mickievicius Lithuanian poet, playwright 1882-1954
– Miguel Ángel Asturias Guatemalan poet, novelist, playwright; El Señor Presidente (1946), 1967 Nobel 1899-1974
– John Le Carré (born David John Cornwell) English espionage novelist; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) 1931-

20.
– Thomas Hughes English lawyer, writer; Tom Brown’s School Days (1857) 1822-1896
– Daniel Owen Wales-born Welsh-language novelist 1836-1895
– [Jean Nicolas] Arthur Rimbaud French poet; “Voyelles” 1854-1891

– Frederic Dannay (born Daniel Nathan) Brooklyn-born mystery writer; half of Ellery Queen writing team 1905-1982
– Art [Arthur] Buchwald New York City-born humorist; Washington Post columnist 1925-2007
– Robert Pinsky New Jersey-born poet; US Poet Laureate (1997-2000) 1940-

– Tom Petty Florida-born rock singer, guitarist, songwriter; “An American Girl” 1950-2017

21.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge English Romantic poet, critic; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Kubla Khan (1816) 1772-1834

– Alphonse [Marie Louis de Prat] Lamartine French poet, statesman; influenced French Romantic movement 1790-1869
– Patrick Kavanagh Irish poet; “Raglan Road” (often sung to a traditional tune) 1904-1967

– Ursula K. [Kroeber] LeGuin California-born science fiction/fantasy writer; The Lathe of Heaven (1971), the Earth-Sea trilogy (1968-1972), Hugo and Nebula awards for: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Dispossessed (1974) 1929-

– On the Road author Jack Kerouac dies in 1969.

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.

– Robert Frost

22.
– Ivan Bunin Russian novelist; The Life of Arseniev (1927-1933), 1933 Nobel 1870-1953
– Dámaso Alonso Spanish poet, philologist, critic 1898-1990
– Sidney Kingsley New York-born playwright, screenwriter; Pulitzer for Men in White (1934) 1906-1995
– Doris [May] Lessing Iran-born British novelist; The Golden Notebook (1962), The Good Terrorist (1985), 2007 Nobel 1919-2013

23.
– Robert [Seymour] Bridges English physician, poet 1844-1930

– Emily Kimbrough Indiana-born memoirist, Ladies’ Home Journal editor 1899-1989
– Archie Fisher Scottish folk singer, songwriter; “Dark-Eyed Molly”, “Witch of the Westmorland” 1939-

– Michael Crichton Chicago-born popular novelist; The Andromeda Strain (1969), Jurassic Park (1990) 1942-2008

24.
– Moss Hart New York City-born playwright; Pulitzer for You Can’t Take It with You (1936), screenplay for A Star Is Born (1954) 1904-1961
– Denise Levertov English-born US poet 1923-1997

25.
– English poet Geoffrey Chaucer dies in 1400.
– Although badly outnumbered, on this day in 1415 English troops led by king Henry V win the Battle of Agincourt, which will feature in Shakespeare’s historical play Henry V.

– During the Crimean War battle of Balaklava, a hopeless assault made by English cavalry on this day in 1854 prompts Alfred Tennyson to write his poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade”.

– [Henri] Benjamin Constant [de Rebecque] Swiss-born French writer, statesman; early psychological novel Adolphe (1815) 1767-1830
– Thomas Babbington Macaulay English poet, politician, historian; The History of England from the Accession of James II (1842) 1800-1859
– Eduardo Barrios Chilean novelist, poet 1884-1963
– Henry Steele Commager Pittsburgh-born historian, constitutional scholar 1902-1998
– John [Allyn] Berryman Oklahoma-born confessional poet; NBA, Bollingen Prize for The Dream Songs (1969) 1914-1972 [death by suicide]

– Harold Brodkey Illinois-born novelist, New Yorker writer; stories First Love and Other Sorrows (1958) 1930-1996
– Anne Tyler Minnesota-born novelist; The Accidental Tourist (1985), Pulitzer for Breathing Lessons (1989) 1941-

O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather.

– Helen Hunt Jackson

26.
– [Desiderius] Erasmus Dutch humanist ,writer; edited classics, Church Fathers 1466-1536
– Charles Sprague Boston-born banker, poet 1791-1875
– Beryl Markham British-born pilot, memoirist; West With the Night (1942) 1902-1986
– John Arden Yorkshire-born novelist, playwright 1939-2012
– Pat [Donald Patrick] Conroy Atlanta-born writer; The Water Is Wide (1972(, The Prince of Tides (1986) 1945-2016

– Andrew Motion London-born poet, biographer; Poet Laureate (1999-2009) 1952-

– Natalie [Anne] Merchant New York-born singer, songwriter; “Trouble Me”, “The Gulf of Araby” 1963-

– The premiere US urban tabloid, New York City alternative weekly The Village Voice is first published in 1955.

27.
– Enid Bagnold English writer; National Velvet (1935) 1889-1981
– Dylan [Marlais] Thomas Welsh poet; Collected Poems (1953) 1914-1953

– Sylvia Plath Massachusetts-born poet; autobiographical novel The Bell Jar 1932-1963 [death by suicide]

– John Cleese English comedian, scriptwriter; Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers 1939-

– Maxine Hong Kingston California-born writer; memoir The Woman Warrior (1976), nonfiction NBA for China Men (1980) 1940-
– Fran Lebowitz New Jersey-born humorist 1950-
– Velvet Underground founder and singer-songwriter Lou Reed dies in 2013.

28.
– [Georges] August Escoffier French culinary artist, food writer; Le Guide Culinaire (1903) 1846-1935
– Gilbert [Hovey] Grosvenor Constantinople-born US journalist; developed, edited National Geographic Magazine (1899-1954) 1875-1966
– Evelyn [Arthur St. John] Waugh English novelist; Brideshead Revisited (1945) 1903-1966

– Ayi Kwei Armah Ghanaian novelist, essayist 1939-

Oh, it’s a marvelous night for a moon dance
With all the stars up above in your eyes.
A fantabulous time to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies.
When all the leaves on the trees are falling,
To the sound of the breezes that blow …

– Van Morrison

29.
– Elizabethan courtier Walter Raleigh dies, beheaded for treason in 1618.

– James Boswell Scottish lawyer, diarist, biographer; The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 1740-1795
– Guillermo Valencia Colombian poet, translator, statesman 1873-1943
– Jean [Hippolyte] Giraudoux French playwright, novelist; La Folle de Chaillot/The Madwoman of Chaillot (1943) 1882-1944
– Henry Green (born Henry Vincent Yorke) English modernist novelist; Living (1929), Loving (1945) 1905-1973
– Dominick [John] Dunne Conneticutt-born investigative journalist, novelist; focused on wealth, celebrity and justice 1925-2009
– The Byrds’ superb folk-rock version of Pete Seeger’s song “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, with lyrics based on verses from the Book of Ecclesiastes, is released as a single in 1965.

30.
– John Adams Massachusetts-born attorney, 2nd US president, prolific letter writer, and helped draft the Declaration of Independence 1735-1826
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan Dublin-born British playwright; The Rivals (1775), The School for Scandal (1777) 1751-1816

– André Marie de Chénier Constantinople-born French poet, political journalist 1762-1794 [executed by guillotine during the French Revolution]
– Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility is published in 1811.
– Paul Valéry French poet, essayist, philosopher; La Jeune Parque (1917) 1871-1945
– Ezra [Weston Loomis] Pound Idaho-born modernist poet, critic; The Cantos (1917-1969) 1885-1972

– In 1938 the network broadcast of Orson Wells’ radio play The War of the Worlds, based on the H. G. Wells’ novel, creates widespread panic as many listeners are convinced the United States is in reality under attack by Martians.
– Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing) Illinois-born rock musician, singer, songwriter, Jefferson Airplane member; “White Rabbit” (1967) 1939-

– Larry Woiwode North Dakota-born novelist, poet 1941-

31.
– In 1517 Martin Luther ‘publishes’ his revolutionary 95 Theses by nailing them to the Wittenberg church door, thus emphatically launching the Protestant Reformation.
– John Evelyn English diarist, writer; most remembered for Diary (1818) 1620-1706
– John Keats London-born English Romantic poet; “To A Skylark,” “ode on a Grecian Urn” 1795-1821

– Dick [Richard Stanley] Francis Wales-born British champion jockey, mystery novelist; Edgar Award for Whip Hand (1979), Straight (1989), Shattered (2000) 1920-2010

– Katherine Paterson China-born US children’s novelist; Newburies for Bridge to Terabithia (1977), Jacob Have I Loved (1981) 1932-

– Tom [Thomas Richard] Paxton Chicago-born folk singer, songwriter; “Whose Garden Was This?”, “Peace Will Come” 1937-


– On this day in 1941, USS Clemson Class destroyer Reuben James is torpedoed by a German submarine, becoming the first US warship sunk in World War II. Though some are saved, 96 crew members die, and Woody Guthrie writes the song “The Sinking of the Reuben James” in response to this tragedy.

– Neal [Town] Stephenson Maryland-born science fiction writer; Snow Crash (1992), The Baroque Cycle 1959-
– Great oral historian Studs Terkel dies in 2008.

From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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