Remarkable people in history had September birthdays! Here are some you might have heard of and some you probably haven’t:
September 7, 1533: Queen Elizabeth I
England’s first Queen Elizabeth had a bit of a complicated path to the throne. When her father, King Henry VIII, died in 1547, the throne passed to his nine-year-old son Edward VI (from his third marriage to Jane Seymour). Edward died six years later at age 15, but in that time he'd already changed the order of succession and named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his successor. Grey ruled for just nine days before the Privy Council declared Mary (daughter of Henry and first wife, Catherine of Aragon) queen instead. Mary I, also known as Bloody Mary, reigned for five tumultuous years until she died at age 42 without heirs. Elizabeth finally ascended the throne in 1558 at age 25 and ruled for 45 years. Like her siblings, she died without an heir and her reign was the last of the Tudor dynasty. Complicated, right?
September 13, 1916: Roald Dahl
The British author who gave us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG and many other fantastic stories.
Two memorable quotes from Dahl:
"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men."
"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
September 15, 1890: Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie holds the world record as the best-selling novelist ever. While much credit can be given to her pure talent and imagination, Christie was also influenced by her time spent working at a Red Cross hospital during World War I. She was trained in pharmacy work for the job, but became obsessed with the fear of accidentally poisoning someone. Interestingly enough, many of her fictional victims were poisoned. Notables among her novels are Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.
Two memorable quotes from Christie:
"An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her."
"Very few of us are what we seem."
September 23, 1838: Victoria Woodhull
Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, despite the fact that, at the time (1872), she couldn’t legally vote! Women in office was a radical idea, but Woodhull was a radical woman in many ways. She divorced twice, invested in the stock market, published a newspaper, and worked as a clairvoyant. Woodhull ran for president on the Equal Rights Party ticket, but spent election night in jail on indecency charges for calling out the hypocrisy of a local minister.
September 22, 1791: Michael Faraday
This English chemist and physicist gave us the concept of an electromagnetic field and invented devices that paved the way for our everyday use of electricity. He was quite an educator, too. Faraday inaugurated a series of science lectures designed for children in 1825, when such curriculum was rare.
September 24, 1936: Jim Henson
We know that Henson was the genius behind the Muppets, but did you know that he didn’t grow up with aspirations of puppeteering? As a high school senior in 1954, he landed a position with a local television station that wanted a show with puppets. Henson was only an amateur puppet maker and operator, and the show only lasted for two episodes, but that was enough time for Henson to make contacts and start out on the road that eventually brought us Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and many other lovable characters.
September 25, 1930: Shel Silverstein
The beloved children's author has quite the claim to fame in the music world, though few people know about it: He wrote the Johnny Cash hit "A Boy Named Sue." Among his most popular books is The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic.
A quote from Silverstein:
“If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain't enough!”