April 20: On this day in 1859, the first volume of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is published.

April 21: Mark Twain, born in the year Halley’s comet came through, dies at age 79 in 1910, the next year of the comet’s arrival.

April 22: Poet Rupert Brooke dies of blood poisoning at age 27 after contracting the disease while serving with the Royal Navy on the Greek Island of Skyros.

April 23: The U.S. is at war on this day in 1942 and president Franklin Roosevelt addresses the American Booksellers Convention: “We all know that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory….In this war, we know books are weapons.”

April 24: Willa Cather, author of My Antonia, a Nebraska native, dies in New York City at age 73 on this day in 1947.

April 25: Lord Byron leaves England for a life of exile in Europe on this day in 1826 but he cannot leave quietly. His friends arm themselves to protect him because of the potential the sight of the poet could lead the crowd to riot.

April 26: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes author Anita Loos is born on this day in 1893 in Sisson, California. She was a brunette.

April 27: Hart Crane, on board a ship returning from Mexico where he had gone on a Guggenheim Fellowship, jumps overboard and commits suicide at the age of 34 in 1932.


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