To dearest Rachel, my nephew's younger girl, who turns 11 today,
Here are some things connected with your birthday. I couldn't find too many writing-related things, but some - and the others are still interesting.
Without further ado, here they are!
1777: Juliette Recamier, who kept a salon where a whole lot of famous literary and political figures visited. A kind of sofa was named after her.
Jacques-Louis David painting, Madame Recamier. Public Domain
1795: Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist. He wrote about the French Revolution.
1883: Katharine Susannah Prichard, Aussie writer. Journalist, novelist(the first to receive international recognition), film writer, playwright, founding member of the Australian Communist Party.
1910: Alex North, film composer. Most famous for the score of Spartacus. Less well known is that he wrote a score for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, before it was decided to go with the classical music we know so well, which was only meant to give some idea of what the score was meant to sound like.
Things That Happened
1674: Founding of a settlement on the shores of Lake Michigan that eventually became Chicago.
1791: First edition of The Observer, the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.
1872: Finding of the mysteriously deserted ship Mary Celeste, which has inspired a LOT of fiction!
1923: Premiere of Cecil B DeMille's silent Ten Commandments.
1986: Premiere of Neil Simon's play Broadway Bound.
St Barbara's Day - a possibly fictional saint who is the patron of armourers, architects, firemen and, oddly, mathematicians.
In the Eastern tradition, it's also her day as Eid il-Burbara, which is a celebration similar to Halloween, though it's possibly even older. Kids go around the houses in costume, people give them a sort of pudding with sweet things in it and the bakeries do very nicely with festive pastries. It's also a tradition to start sprouting plants that are later used with the Christmas decorations.
In the Roman Empire it was the holiday of the Bona Dea, the Good Goddess, which was strictly secret women's business. You could get into HUGE trouble if you were a man trying to get in to see what was going on!