Yes, the new year is here. Please clear the holiday cobwebs out of your brain and focus on these big big birthdays coming in 2012:
2000 Years (12 AD)
- CALIGULA, the grotesque and powerful Roman emperor.
600 Years (1412)
- JOAN OF ARC, the amazing fighting “Maid of Orléans.”
400 Years (1612)
- ANNE BRADSTREET, “the first significant poet of Puritan-era America.”
300 Years (1712)
- JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, the great self-educated thinker who wrote The Social Contract. Born on June 28th.
200 Years (1812)
- CHARLES DICKENS, author of Oliver Twist and many, many other hits. Born on February 7th.
- ROBERT BROWNING, Pippa Passes poet and lover of Elizabeth Barrett. Born on May 7th.
- EDWARD LEAR, the wonderful nonsense poet who wrote The Owl and the Pussycat. Born on May 12th.
- SNOW WHITE, the fairy-tale princess whose story was first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.
- UNCLE SAM, the American symbol said to have first been used on cartons of meat during the War of 1812.
100 Years (1912)
- CHUCK JONES, animator of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Born September 21st.
- JOHN CAGE, the avant-garde composer. Born September 5th.
- JOHN PAUL I, the pope who lasted just 31 days. Born October 17th.
- JULIA CHILD, author of Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Born August 12th.
- JACKSON POLLOCK, the abstract painter known as Jack the Dripper. Born January 28th.
- WERNHER von BRAUN, the Nazi rocketeer whose work was essential to putting a man on the moon. Born June 16th.
- Plus 14 other biggies!
50 Years (1962)
- Some of the bigger names turning 50: actor TOM CRUISE, Daily Show host JON STEWART, Jordan’s KING ABDULLAH II, singer SHERYL CROW, and animated hero SPIDER-MAN.
- Plus many, many more.
A “happy big big birthday!” to them all.