Have you ever wondered who shares your birthday? Welcome to Birthdays of the Week! Here you can learn the birthdays of celebrities and historical characters. To start us off, here are our famous birthdays for the first week in April.
April 2 – Alec Guinness (1914-2000)
Although best known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Alec Guinness had a prolific film career, playing parts in over sixty different films. He was given multiple awards for his work, and was knighted by Elizabeth II in 1959.
Fun Fact: While in Burgundy for the filming of a movie of Father Brown, Mr. Guinness encountered a child who mistook him for a real priest, as he was in his priest costume. The boy’s affection and trust in him, merely because he thought him to be a priest, deeply impressed Mr. Guinness. He converted to Catholicism two years later.
April 2 – Emmylou Harris (1947 – )
Emmylou Harris is a very successful country musician. She has received numerous awards and has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She was listed as #22 on VH1’s list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Rock and Roll.
Fun Fact: Emmylou Harris has recorded many duets with numerous other renowned musicians, including Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, and others.
April 2 – Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
The fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen are quite possibly the most beloved fairy tales worldwide. Interestingly, it was through his novels and accounts of travels that he originally became popular, and he was thirty when his first fairy tales were published .
Fun Fact: Hans Christian Andersen greatly admired the highly successful novelist Charles Dickens, and was extremely pleased when he got to meet him. He admired him so greatly that when he came to Mr. Dickens’ house for a visit it turned into a five-week long stay, greatly vexing the Dickens family.
April 3 – Washington Irving (1783-1859)
One of the first American writers to have his writings be acclaimed in Europe as well as America, Washington Irving is most remembered for his short stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is said that his success encouraged other early American authors, including Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Fun Fact: When he was five Washington Irving met his namesake, George Washington, who was in the area for a celebration of some kind. Much later, Mr. Irving wrote a five-volume biography of George Washington, which he finished shortly before his death.
April 12 – Beverly Cleary (1916 – )
Beverly Cleary is a very popular author of children’s books, most notably her Ramona and Henry Huggins series. As a young child Mrs. Cleary had trouble reading, but she conquered this by third grade and enjoyed books so much that her school librarian suggested she become an author when she grew up–which she did. Mrs. Cleary has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Award.
Fun Fact: When Beverly Cleary went on a date with her future husband on the night of her graduation from college, he arrived at her house with his bow-tie untied because he didn’t know how to tie it. They stopped at a gas station and had the attendant there tie it for him.
April 13 – Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
I am quite sure that all of our intelligent, dutiful MODG students are already very familiar with Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. Since the distinguished reader probably knows just as much if not more on this topic than the distinguished author does, the distinguished author will leave it at that.
Fun Fact: When the British burned the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson sold his personal library of 6,700 books to Congress for $23,950 to help replace all the books they had lost.
I hope you enjoy this feature! If there are any famous birthdays you would like to see on Birthdays of the Week, please tell us in the comments – and, if your birthday is this week, happy birthday!