Posted on July 4, 2018 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

You’re probably aware that on this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.

But July 4 is an important date in literary history as well!

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Lionel Trilling (1905), Neil Simon (1927), Jon Anderson (1940), Eileen Goudge (1950), and Margaret Edson (1961) were all born on it.

Writers who died on this day include Thomas Middleton (1627), Samuel Richardson (1761), and Georgette Heyer (1974).

And some of America’s favorite patriots had pithy commentary on the value of literature.

“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough. ... The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” — John Adams

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin

“There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” — George Washington

“I cannot live without books; but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.” — Thomas Jefferson

“… read good books because they will encourage as well as direct your feelings.” — Thomas Jefferson again

“The art of reading is to skip judiciously.” — Alexander Hamilton

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: History

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