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William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is assumed to have been born on April 23, 1564. Read Orrin's review of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599)(William Shakespeare 1564-1616) (Grade: A+)

James Buchanan (1791-1868), who is easily one of the worst Presidents of the Unnited States, was born in Cove Gap, PA on April 23, 1791.

Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989), America's first Poet Laureate, was born in Guthrie, KY on April 23, 1905. Warren won three Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1947 for All the King's Men (1946) (Grade: A+)

Halldór Laxness (1902-98) was born in Reykjavík, ICE on April 23, 1902. Read Orrin's review of Independent People (1946)(Grade: A+)

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on April 22, 1899. Read Orrin's reviews of Lolita (1955)(Grade: A), Pale Fire (1962) (Grade: B) and Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (1966)(Grade: A)

Henry Fielding (1707-54), one of the creators of the novel, was born in Somerset, England on April 22, 1707. Read Orrin's review of The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews (1742) (Grade: B+)

Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), Father of the Bomb, was born in New York City on April 22, 1904. His work at Los Alamos is best recounted in Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) died in Redding, Connecticut on April 21, 1910. Read Orrin's review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)(Grade: A-)

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) author of Jane Eyre, was born in Yorkshire, England on April 21, 1816.

Charles Dickens' great novel A Tale of Two Cities started coming out in monthly installments on April 20, 1859

Richard Hughes (1900-76) was born in Weybridge, England on April 19, 1900. Read Orrin's review of A High Wind in Jamaica (1929) (Grade: C) (#71 on the Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century)

Lord Byron died of malaria on April 19, 1824 while helping the Greeks fight for their independence from Turkey.

The first battle of the American Revolution took place on April 19, 1775 when Minutemen and British soldiers exchanged fire at Lexington, MA.

It was on April 18, 1775 that Paul Revere, Bill Dawes and Sam Prescott, made their famous "midnight ride" to warn colonial militiamen that British troops were advancing toward Lexington and Concord. This marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Clarence Seward Darrow (1857-1938) was born in Kinsman, OH on April 18, 1857. He appears in the recommended books Compulsion and Angel of Darkness.

Alexander Cartwright, who codified the rules of baseball, was born in New York City on April 17, 1820. It is widely assumed that he was divinely inspired when he established the measurement of 90 feet between bases.

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen, Baroness Blixen-Finecke) was born on April 17, 1885, in Rungsted, Denmark. Read Orrin's review of Out of Africa (1937) (Grade: B+) or watch the excellent movie adaptation.

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was born in Madison, WI on April 17, 1897. (Read Orrin's review of his 1927 Pulitzer Prize Winner, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Grade: C)

Anatole France (1844-1924) was born in Paris, France on April 16, 1844.

Jackie Robinson & the Brooklyn Dodgers broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947. Read Orrin's review of Jackie Robinson: A Biography (1997)(Arnold Rampersad) (Grade: B+)

Henry James (1843-1916) was born in New York City on April 15, 1843. Read Orrin's reviews of The Turn of the Screw (Grade: B), The Ambassadors (1903) & The Wings of the Dove (1902)

Happy Birthday to Mel and Chuck (April 15)

The Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Read Walter Lord's excellent account of the sinking in A Night to Remember.

Frank Serpico was born in on April 14, 1934. Brothers Judd recommends Serpico (1973) (Peter Maas)

Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865. David Herbert Donald's Lincoln (1995) provides an outstanding one volume account of his life.

Noah Webster, a founder of Amherst College, published his American Dictionary of the English Language, the product of 35 years of work, on April 14, 1818.

Horace McCoy was born in Pegram, TN on April 14, 1897. Brothers Judd recommends They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935) (Horace McCoy 1897-1955)

Samuel Beckett (1906-89) was born in Foxrock, County Dublin, IRE on April 13, 1906. Read Orrin's review of Waiting for Godot (1948)(Grade: F)

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was born in Shadwell, VA on April 13, 1743. Read Orrin's review of American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (1996)(Joseph J. Ellis) (Grade: A-)

F. Scott Fitzgerald's (1896-1940) classic novel The Great Gatsby was published on April 11, 1925. (read Orrin's review, Grade: A)

O. Henry's great short story The Gift of the Magi was first published on April 10, 1906. Read Orrin's review.

Lew Wallace (1827-1905) was born in Brookville, IN on April 10, 1827. Read Orrin's review of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880)(Grade: A+)

Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) was born in Paris, FR on April 9, 1821. His masterwork is The Flowers of Evil.

Barbara Kingsolver (1955-) was born in Annapolis, MD on April 8, 1955. Read Orrin's fairly ugly review of The Poisonwood Bible (Grade: F)

Billie Holiday [Eleanora Fagan](1915-59) was born in Baltimore, MD on April 7, 1915.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was born in Cockermouth, GB on April 7, 1770. One of his best known works is Tintern Abbey

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born in Franklin County, VA on April 5, 1856. Read Orrin's review of Up From Slavery (1901) (Grade: A)(#3 on the Modern Library Top 100 Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century)

Colin Powell (1937-) was born in New York, NY on April 5, 1937.

Herbert von Karajan (1908-89) was born in Salzburg, Austria on April 5, 1908.

James Earl Ray assassinated the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. Gerald Posner disproves all of the ridiculous conspiracy theories surrounding the killing in his excellent book Killing the Dream(Read Orrin's review, Grade: B)

Maya Angelou (1928-) was born in St. Louis, MO on April 4, 1928. Read Orrin's review of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)(Grade: B)

Muddy Waters [McKinley Morganfield](1915-) was born in Rolling Fork, MS on April 4, 1915.

Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) was born in Boston, MA on April 3, 1822. Read Orrin's review of The Man Without a Country (1863) (Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909) (Grade: A+)

Ma Rainey [Gertrude Pridgett](1886-1939), "The Mother of the Blues", was born in Columbus, GA on April 3, 1888.

Washington Irving (1783-1859) was born in New York, NY on April 3, 1783. Read Orrin's review of Tales of the Alhambra (Grade: A)

The great folklorist Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805

Emile Zola (1840-) was born in Paris, FR on April 2, 1840. Brothers Judd recommends his novel Germinal (1885)