1st January 1868 - Sophia Alice Callahan's Birthday, author of Wynema, A Child of the Forest (1891)
First Published Native American female novelist,
“There is no man who is enterprising and keeps well up with the times but confesses that the women of to-day are in every respect, except political liberty, equal to the men.”
27th January 1832 - Lewis Carroll's un-birthday
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'
19th January 1809 - Edgar Allan Poe's birthday,
author of "The Raven," "The Tell Tale Heart," and other stories.
““I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
—Poe in a letter to George W. Evelthra
20th January 1993 Maya Angelou reads, "On the Pulse of Morning." With her public recitation, Angelou became the second poet in history to read a poem at a presidential inauguration, and the first African American and woman.
A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
February 1818 - Frederick Douglass is born, author of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
1st February 1902 - Langston Hughes birthday, author of Harlem
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
2nd February 1882 - James Joyce's birthday, author of Ulysses
"He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music."
“Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.”
23rd February 1868 - W.E.B. DuBois Birthday, author of The Souls of Black Folk
“We say easily, for instance, ‘The ignorant ought not to vote.’ We would say, ‘No civilized state should have
citizens too ignorant to participate in government,’ and this statement is but a step to the fact: that no
state is civilized which has citizens too ignorant to help rule it.”
March 1914 - Publication of the poem "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg
2nd March 1904 - Birth date of Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
6th March 1927 - Birth date of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and other works
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
11th March 1959 - A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry was the first play by a Black woman
playwright to premiere on Broadway
6th April 1943 - Publication of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
10th April 1925 - Publication of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."
18th April 1983 - Alice Walker became the first woman of color to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for her novel The Color Purple
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
28th April 1930 - Publication of the first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock
“Read, read, read. That's all I can say.”
17th May 1900 - Publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Chicago writer L. Frank Baum
"There's no place like home."
26th May 1897 - Publication of Dracula by Bram Stoker
“I want you to believe...to believe in things that you cannot.”
10th June 1915 - Birth date of Chicago writer Saul Bellow, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and author of
The Adventures of Augie March and other works
“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.”
22nd June 1947 - Birth date of Octavia Butler, author of Kindred, Parable of the Sower, and other works.
'There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.'
11th July 1960 - Publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”
16th July, 1862 - Birth date of Ida B. Wells, a Chicago journalist, suffragette, and civil rights activist.
Among many other achievements, she was a founding member of the NAACP.
"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
16th July 1951 - Publication of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
"I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot."
2nd August, 1924 - Birth date of James Baldwin, author of Giovanni's Room, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and other works.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
22nd August 1893 - Birth date of Dorothy Parker, American poet, critic, and satirist.
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."
21st September 1937 - Publication of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
"Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold."
7th October 1964 - Publication of The Giving Tree by Chicago writer Shel Silverstein
"The boy loved the tree very much. And the tree was happy."
7th October 1993 - Toni Morrison was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming first (and still only) woman of color
to receive the award. She is known for Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and other works.
"If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."
18th October 1851 - Publication of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
19th October 1953 - Publication of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
November 1949 - Publication of The Man with the Golden Arm by Chicago author Nelson Algren.
The novel was awarded the very first National Book Award for Fiction. Algren declined the award.
“Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.”
4th November 1905 - Publication of The Jungle by Chicago writer Upton Sinclair
“The rich people not only had all the money, they had all the chance to get more; they had all the knowledge and the power,
and so the poor man was down, and he had to stay down.”
22nd November 1819 - Birth date of Mary Ann Evans, also known as George Eliot, author of
Middlemarch, Silas Marner, Adam Bede, and other works.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
29th November 1832 - Birth date of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
16th December, 1775 - Birth date of Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, and other works.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading."
16th December 1901 - Publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
"Even the smallest one can change the world."
19th December 1843 - Publication of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
"There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor"