Dec. 16: On this day in 1899, playwright Noel Coward is born in Teddington, Middlesex.

Dec. 17: Christmas will never be the same after this date. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is published for the first time on this day in 1843.

Dec. 18: Damon Runyon’s ashes are scattered over Broadway, a place he wrote about extensively in his short stories. One of his stories became the basis for the musical Guys and Dolls.

Dec. 19: “These are the times that try men’s souls” begins The American Crisis by Thomas Paine which appears on this day in 1776.

Dec. 20: Mark Twain compares himself to George Washington in an article published on this day in the Chicago Tribune. “I have a higher and greater standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie but I won’t.”

Dec. 21: F. Scott Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack in the apartment of his companion Sheilah Graham at the age of 44 on this day in 1940.


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