On this day in 1754, neoclassical painter Andrea Appiani was born. The inventor of the Petri dish, Julius Richard Petri was born in 1852. Google created a cool little doodle for the occasion of his 161st birthday today. Check it out! Pseudo-impressionist Walter Sickert was born in 1860. “Positive thinking” proponent Norman Vincent Peale was born in 1898. Actor Don Ameche was born in 1908. One of my favorite actors, Denholm Elliott was born in 1922. And director Rainer Werner Fassbinder was born in 1945.
With all due respect to Google, the day belongs to the great poet Walt Whitman who was born on this day in 1819. I’m not a huge fan of his work, but he was a great man. And I have a great affection for artists who just keep writing the same book all through their careers. The first edition of Leaves of Grass was only 95 pages, and the last edition was 438 pages. But mostly, he was a very good man in his own time and ours.
Happy birthday Walt Whitman!