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Anniversaries in 2013

January 3, 2013

I love celebrating anniversaries of births.  I wrote about anniversaries for 2012 (see here and here) and now it is time for the 2013 edition.

Here are some forthcoming anniversaries of famous (and a few not-so-famous) writers who I have read (in the original or translation).  Note that mention of an author does not mean endorsement (e.g., I am hardly a fan of Henry Ford’s or Richard Wagner’s anti-semitic writings): 

As you will note, I expended the list to include two famous speeches:  King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and Lincoln’s Gettysburgh Address.  Women did rather badly this year in my list, with only 5 female entries, and so did blacks (3 entries) and those of East Asian descent (1 entry).  Country statistics are: Algeria: 1, Britain: 4, Canada: 1, France: 3, Germany: 5, Hungary: 1, Ireland: 1, Israeli: 1, Jamaica: 1, Japan: 1, Persian: 1, Poland: 1, Russia/Soviet: 2, Spain: 1, US: 18.

I wonder how much celebration we will see of Wagner’s, Sterne’s, and Camus’s birthdays.

I found this site invaluable in searching birthdays.What anniversaries are important to you in 2013?

(*Note:  a bit of Wikipedia vandalism dating back to May 2012 identifies Hermann Kurz as the teletubby “Tinky Winky.”)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2013 3:45 pm

    Women did rather badly this year in my list, with only 5 female entries, and so did blacks (3 entries) and those of East Asian descent (1 entry).

    In addition to wikipedia and to, you could also use And so might you consider the following (some of whom aren’t necessarily thought of first as authors)?

    50th anniversary: Suzan-Lori Parks, Ann Patchett, Alice Sebold, Lisa Whelchel, and Keith Ellison.

    100th anniversary: Rosa Parks, Mary Leakey, Jesse Owens, Aimé Césaire, Kenzo Tange, and Menachem Begin.

    200th anniversary: Harriet Ann Jacobs, Søren Kierkegaard, David Livingstone, and Stephen A. Douglas

    It may be that wikipedia has some inherent sexist bias. You may be aware that César A. Hidalgo’s M.I.T. research of “the world’s most influential people, born before 1950, using data from all language editions of Wikipedia” yields merely only just simply “all men. No women.”

  2. January 3, 2013 3:55 pm

    I should have had Kierkegaard and Stephen Douglas — but the others, I must confess, I have not read. (However, I did order Aimé Césaire’s Tempest on December 31st, so I will have soon read him as well!)

  3. January 3, 2013 11:32 pm

    So Theophrastus, how do you plan to celebrate these anniversaries? Any particularly interesting plans for the days? 🙂

    @Kurk – indeed, the Geek Feminism Wiki has a good discussion of feminist concerns about Wikipedia.

  4. January 4, 2013 11:54 am

    Victoria, Thanks for bringing to our attention this very important work! Your linking to the Geek Feminism Wiki prompted the post “The Mannishness of Our Encyclopedias.”

    I probably should have said that the current Britannica (now online only and available only by academic institutional subscription) only says this about Mary Ritter Beard:

    Many women (including some in the early history of the Annales) worked as unpaid research assistants and cowriters for their husbands, and it is doubtless that they were deprived of credit for being historians in their own right. An exception was Mary Ritter Beard (1876–1958), who coauthored a number of books with her more famous husband, Charles Beard, and also wrote Women as a Force in History, arguably the first general work in American women’s history.

    That’s in the section:subsection, “historiography: Women’s history.” And that note of “her more famous husband, Charles Beard” has a link to a separate article (5 full paragraphs) on this man that does include this one sentence that names her: “Beard and his wife, Mary R. Beard, subsequently produced a monumental synthesis of the history of the United States entitled The Rise of American Civilization, 2 vol. (1927).”

    The rather separate and rather public does have a site called “Encyclopedia Profiles: 300 Women Who Changed the World.” But guess who’s not included. That’s right, Mary Ritter Beard. At least wikipedia has an entry for her.


  1. By Grand Central Station … « BLT
  2. The Mannishness of Our Encyclopedias « BLT

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