- Lorraine Hansberry, whose play Raisin in the Sun has become one of the most popular of plays by African-American authors, was born on this day in 1930.
- James Boswell, the Scottish-born biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, died in 1795, 11 years after his subject.
- On this day in 1795, Johns Hopkins, the philanthropist who founded Johns Hopkins University, was born.
- On this day in 1952, Lillian Hellman testified (or refused to testify) before a Congressional Red-baiting committee, saying that she would not "cut my conscience to fit today's fashions."
- On this day in 1971 comic poet Ogden Nash died at 68.
- Writer Nora Ephron (Heartburn) was born on this day in 1941 in New York