On This Day in Literary History #2

Hello everyone, today I am back with a post all about some historic events that took place today, April 9, in literary history. Let’s just get right into it!

April 9

1821: Charles Baudelaire is born

  • Charles Baudelaire is acknowledged as the greatest French poet of the 19th century
  • Although his work of poems, most notably his most famous called Les Fleur du Mal, gained him recognition, it also gained him some controversy as he wrote about themes of sex, death, lesbianism, metamorphosis, depression, urban corruption, lost innocence and alcohol.
  • He also wrote art reviews, establishing himself as an advocate of Romanticism and translated the works of Edgar Allan Poe whom he greatly admired.
  • Despite having gained controversy in his time, today his work is admired as his controversial topics opened the doors for critical discussions about truthful issues in both the literary community and the community at large.
Related image
A page in Les Fleur du Mal

1859: Mark Twain receives steamboat pilot’s license

  • 23 year old Samuel Langhorne, later known as Mark Twain, signed on as a pilot’s apprentice in 1857 in order to write comic travel letters for the Keokul Daily Post.
  • However, he soon realized that he would rather be a pilot than a writer, obtaining his license and piloting his own boats for 2 years.
  • It was during his time as a pilot that he coined the name Mark Twainthe name actually is a boating term that means the second mark on a line that measured depth, signifying 12 feet, which was a safe depth for riverboats.
  • When he returned to writing 2 years after getting his pilot license, he wrote a comedic travel letter signed, “Mark Twain”. Ever since then, the name continued to stick for almost 50 years!

1965- ‘Peanuts’ Featured On The Cover Of TIME Magazine

  • On October 2, 1950, Peanuts made its debut with its first comic strip.
  • Its creator, Charles Schulz, struggled with depression and anxiety, and used the character Charlie Brown as an outlet to poke fun at his own struggles.
  • 15 years later on April 9, Time Magazine features the cartoon on its cover for the first time.

The April 9, 1965, cover of TIME

Something new that I found out while researching this was that Mark Twain’s name isn’t his real name. I had no idea it was a pseudo-name, let alone that it’s an actual term in the boating community. It’s so crazy how one little decision can literally shape your whole life and career!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this and have a wonderful week 🙂




9 thoughts on “On This Day in Literary History #2

  1. It’s so cute that the Peanuts were featured on Time magazine ! And it’s crazy that the boating tidbit hasn’t been more recognized! I guess most of us don’t know much about boating

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, Charlie Brown is the cutest 😭 I didn’t realize they featured cartoons on the covers! And yeah I’m not in tune with any of the terms but it’s crazy that it turned out to be the name he picked and people know him as that now!


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