Classics Calendar for December 18

Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in a publicity still

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Charles Wesley (1707; died March 29, 1788) English leader of the Methodist movement; hymns

Saki (1870; died November 14, 1916) British short story writer; also playwright, and novelist; "The Storyteller"; "The Open Window"; "The East Wing"; The Westminster Alice; The Chronicles of Clovis

Christopher Fry (1907; died June 30, 2005) English poet and playwright; best-known for The Lady's Not for Burning

Steven Spielberg (1946) American filmmaker; Jaws; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Raiders of the Lost Ark; E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; The Color Purple; Empire of the Sun; Schindler's List; Amistad; Saving Private Ryan; Munich; Lincoln; Jurassic Park; Academy Award

Died on this day:

Theodosius Dobzhansky (1975; born January 24, 1900) Russian-American evolutionary biologist who contributed to the "modern synthesis" of Darwin's theory with Gregor Mendel's ideas on heredity; wrote Genetics and the Origin of Species; article "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution"

Vaclav Havel (2011; born October 5, 1936) Czech writer, philosopher, political dissident, and statesman who wrote The Garden Party and The Memorandum

Bonus Classic:

Sriharsha (12th century) Indian poet who wrote Naishadha-carita (About Nala and Damayanti), one of the (five or six) Mahakavya

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