Imagine what it must have been like for Gore Vidal to have been born at West Point in 1925 and to discover he was gay. He wrote quite a frank book about it back in the 1940's. But think of what that must have been like too. With his background and education, he once said, "I could have been president or a senator if it were not for this gay thing." Instead he became an iconic literary figure, known for public feuding, expatriate lifestyle, and great parties. And oh yes, his books. Here's the Charlie Rose appreciation aired last year shortly after Vidal died.
The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, Published This Day, 1895
In case you don't remember the schoolroom force-feeding on this, it's a look at the Civil War through the eyes of Henry Flemming, an 18-year-old boy. Here's a clip showing what Hollywood did to the story with WWII hero-turned-actor, Audie Murphy, in the lead role.
Chubby Checker - Born This Day - 1941
He gave us the dance craze known as The Twist, which arguably, helped pave the way for the sexual revolution. When you see the dance from the distance of several decades, it makes sense that Chubby C. was a Libra. All that shifting back and forth - he was just trying to find the balance all Libras are supposedly seeking. Here's a montage of the the revolutionary song and dance put together by RetroTVCentral.
TAGS: Famous Birthdays, Writers & Writing
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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