Early Baroque composer Claudio Saracini was born on this day in 1586. Modern master of projective geometry, Jean-Victor Poncelet was born in 1788. Female French novelist who wrote under the name George Sand was born in 1804. Grammarian William Strunk Jr was born in 1869. Silent film pioneer Alice Guy-Blache was born in 1873. She was one of the people who started making narrative films instead of stupid things like Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat and Seminary Girls. She made over 400 films during her career, including 22 of feature length.
On this day in 1915, one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century was born, Willie Dixon. His songs have been performed by countless performers. And often, they gave him credit. If you play the blues, you probably already know that half of all the tunes you play were written by Willie Dixon. Here he is on Saturday Night Live doing “Spoonful”:
And another fine director, Sydney Pollack was born in 1934.
And Dan Aykroyd is 61.
The day, however, belongs one of the greatest mathematicians ever Gottfried Leibniz, co-inventor of calculus and so much more, who was born in 1646. And unlike Newton, Leibniz wasn’t an asshole.
Happy birthday Gottfried Leibniz!