April 11: On this day in 1931, the “reign of terror” as she described it is over as Dorothy Parker steps down as drama critic for The New Yorker.

April 12: The first issue of The Tatler is published on this day in 1709.

April 13: Too poor to pay for passage aboard the Titanic, Theodore Dreiser, author of An American Tragedy, instead departs on the Kroonland on this day in 1912.

April 14: Sir Walter Scott accidentally destroys a gift given to him by King George IV on this day in 1822 by sitting down. The king gives Scott a glass goblet which he puts in his coat pocket. Later in the day, he sits down on the vessel and crushes it.

April 15: A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson’s major literary achievement, is published on this day in 1755. Johnson once said: “Dictionaries are like watches. The worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.”

April 16: The first English woman to live by her pen, Aphra Behn, a novelist, playwright and likely spy, is born on this day in 1689.

April 17: Benjamin Franklin dies at age 84 on this day in 1790.

April 18: Ezra Pound is released from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on this day in 1958 when a U.S. Federal Court decides that since he is permanently insane, he can no longer be held under indictment for treason.


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