Charles Baudelaire, French poet, born today in 1821; click here for my piece about him in "Private Collection"
Paul Robeson, actor and singer, born today in 1898
Tom Lehrer, singing satirist and Harvard Math professor, born today in 1928
and two historic dates, the first of which is meaningless to me, though I have heard it mentioned many times - so why not take the opportunity to flesh it out, or even try to make a silk purse out of it: today, in 1731, Robert Jenkins's ear cut off, leading to the "War of Jenkins's Ear"...
the second, today, in 1865, Robert E. Lee (what does the E. stand for; and who was the first American to give such importance to the initial letter of the middle name?) surrendered to General whatever-he-was-called Grant (that is a very subtle, multi-lingual, Homeric and Joyceian jest; please send your solutions to DavidHPrashker@polyphemus.net), ending the military hostilities part of the American Civil War (almanacs tell me it happened at 1:30 pm, but which time zone was that? as far as I can tell the non-military hostilities are still on-going, in several states of the USA).
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