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We know of 6 events of note in literature and the arts that occurred on May 19:

  • 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