Classics Calendar for December 24

Yosemite's Bridalveil Fall and El Capitan around 1880,
about a dozen years after John Muir's first visit
to The Yosemite. Photo by Carleton E. Watkins.

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Matthew Arnold (1822; died April 15, 1888) English poet and critic; "Dover Beach"; "The Scholar-Gipsy"; "Thyrsis"; Culture and Anarchy; Literature and Dogma

Michael Curtiz (1886; died April 10, 1962) Hungarian-American filmmaker; Casablanca (Best Director Oscar); Angels with Dirty Faces; Yankee Doodle Dandy; Mildred Pierce; White Christmas

Fritz Leiber (1910; died September 5, 1992) American fantasy and science fiction writer, most famous for stories starring his characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Died on this day:

William Makepeace Thackeray (1863; born July 18, 1811) English novelist; Catherine; The Luck of Barry Lyndon; Vanity Fair; Pendennis; The Newcomes; The History of Henry Esmond

Clarence King (1901; born January 6, 1842) American geologist and author; Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

John Muir (1914; born April 21, 1838) Scottish-American naturalist and writer; The Mountains of California; Our National Parks; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Yosemite

Harold Pinter (2008; born October 10, 1930) English playwright who wrote The Birthday Party; The Homecoming; Betrayal; Nobel Prize in Literature (2005)

Bonus Classic:

The Poetic Edda (12th century?) collection of poetry in Old Norse (sometimes attributed to Saemundr the Learned) including Norse mythology and tales of human heroes

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