Today in History
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  We know of 8 events of note in literature and the arts that occurred on May 1:
  • American landscape painter George Inness was born on this day in 1825. Coming Storm is his most famous work.
  • French philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born on this day in 1881.
  • Joseph Addison, who with Sir Richard Steele is thought of as the fountainhead of English prose, was born on this day in 1672. His short personal essays celebrated urbanity and civility. Benjamin Franklin said he learned to write by imitating Addison.
  • Mary Harris Jones [Mother Jones], political activist, was born on this day in 1830.
  • Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro was first performed on this day in 1786.
  • Novelist Joseph Heller was born on this day in 1923. His novel Catch-22 caused quite a stir for its antiwar stance.
  • On this day in 1919, the "May Day" police raids, part of the Red Scare, were made in New York City in search of suspected socialists and communists. Scott Fitzgerald described the event in the short story "May Day."
  • Southern writer Bobbie Ann Mason was born on this day in 1940. Her short-story collection Shiloh is especially noteworthy.