Classics Calendar for April 26

Mockingbirds defend their nest; detail
of a plate in Audubon's Birds of America

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Marcus Aurelius (121; died March 17, 180) Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher; The Meditations

William Shakespeare (baptized on this date, 1564; died April 23, 1616) pre-eminent English playwright and poet; Hamlet; King Lear; Macbeth; The Tempest

John James Audubon (1785; died January 27, 1851) American naturalist and painter; Birds of America; journals

Eugene Delacroix (1798; died August 13, 1863) French painter; Massacre at Chios; Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi; Liberty Leading the People

Artemus Ward (1834; died March 6, 1867) American humorist; numerous short humorous pieces

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889; died April 29, 1951) Austrian-British philosopher; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; Philosophical Investigations

A. E. van Vogt (1912; died January 26, 2000) Canadian author of science fiction; best-known for the novel Slan; short stories "The Silkie"; "The Weapon Shop"; "Black Destroyer"

Bernard Malamud (1914; died March 18, 1986) American novelist and short story writer; The Natural; The Fixer; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1967)

Natasha Trethewey (1966) American poet; Domestic Work; Native Guard; Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2006); Poet Laureate of the US (2012–2014)

Died on this day:

Count Basie (1984; born August 21, 1904) American performer; "One O'Clock Jump"; "April in Paris"; "Everyday (I Have the Blues)"; Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2002)

Björnstjerne Björnson (1910; born December 8, 1832) Norwegian writer and Nobel winner (1903) known for his "peasant tales" such as A Happy Boy; with Ibsen, Lie, and Kielland, one of Norway's "Four Greats."

Bonus Classic:

Euclid (flourished 300 BCE) Greek mathematician who wrote the Elements

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