Born in Orange County, Vermont, on this date in 1822: Thiel’s great-grandfather George House Litch.
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Three “famous” birthdays of note. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on this date in 1898, composer George Gershwin. He was not just a composer, but a virtuoso pianist, as evidenced by the short clip below.
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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on this date in 1888, poet TS Eliot.
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Finally, in Leominster, Massachusetts, on this date in 1777: John Chapman, better known by his nickname, Johnny Appleseed. Although decidedly eccentric, he was far from the cartoonish image of the scatterbrained chap poking apple seeds in the ground wherever he went. On the contrary, he planted apple nurseries, as many as a dozen or more, across six states and provinces, worked at them on a rotation basis, and provided for their upkeep in his absence. In addition, he was a missionary of the religious teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a fringe sect to put it mildly. Above all, he was famous in his own time for his kindness and generosity, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he placed on apples.