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Jean Racine "Often it is fatal to live too long."

Jean Racine
(12/22/1639 – 04/21/1699)
French writer
Thomas Wentworth Higginson "When a thought takes one's breath away, a grammar lesson seems an impertinence."

Thomas W. Higginson
(12/22/1823 – 05/09/1911)
US writer, military, political activist
Rachel Donelson Jackson "Believe me, this country [Florida] has been greatly overrated. One acre of our fine Tennessee land is worth a thousand here."

Rachel Donelson Jackson
(06/15/1767 – 12/22/1828)
US first lady (7) (was married to Andrew Jackson; see other US first ladies)
"Art is a kind of illness."

Giacomo Puccini
(12/22/1858 – 11/29/1924)
Italian composer
Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy "You can't win them all."

Connie Mack
(12/22/1862 – 02/08/1956)
US baseball manager
Edwin Arlington Robinson "I shall have more to say when I am dead."

Edwin Arlington Robinson
(12/22/1869 – 04/06/1935)
US writer
Mary Ann Cross-Evans "I wish her characters would talk a little less like the heroes and heroines of police reports."

George Eliot
(11/22/1819 – 12/22/1880)
US writer , on Charlotte Bronte
Edgard Varese "Everybody is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes."

Edgard Varese
(12/22/1883 – 11/08/1965)
French modern-day composer
"I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man."

Dwight L. Moody
(02/05/1837 – 12/22/1899)
US evangelist
Claudia Taylor Johnson "Children are likely to live up to what you believe in them."

"Lady Bird" Johnson
(12/22/1912 – 07/11/2007)
US First Lady (36) (was married to Lyndon Johnson; see other US First Ladies)
"Being a Negro writer these days is a racket and I'm going to make the most of it while it lasts. About twice a year I sell a story. It is acclaimed. I am a genius in the making. Thank God for this Negro literary renaissance. Long may it flourish!"

Wallace Henry Thurman
(07/01/1902 – 12/22/1934)
US writer
Gertrude Malissa Nix Rainey "White folks hear the blues come out, but they don't know how it got there."

Ma Rainey
(04/26/1886 – 12/22/1939)
US singer
Beatrix Potter "All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. . . . Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest."

Beatrix Potter
(07/28/1866 – 12/22/1943)
English writer (Peter Rabbit)
Diane Sawyer "I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention."

Diane Sawyer
(12/22/1945 – )
US telejournalist
Robin Gibb "We've been in each other's pockets our entire lives."

Robin Gibb
(12/22/1949 – )
English singer (Bee Gees) (brother of Barry, Maurice, and Andy Gibb)
Maurice Gibb "People accuse us of being nothing more than a disco band now, but they don't know what they're talking about. If you listen to our records, you'll find that there's dance music. But there are also ballads like 'More Than A Woman.' And there are some very beautiful, undanceable songs, too."

Maurice Gibb
(12/22/1949 – 01/12/2003)
English singer (Bee Gees) (brother of Barry, Robin, and Andy Gibb)
"All quitters are good losers."

Bob Zuppke
(07/02/1879 – 12/22/1957)
German-US football coach
Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham Fiennes "I veer away from trying to understand why I act. I just know I need to do it."

Ralph Fiennes
(12/22/1962 – )
English actor
Daryl F. Zanuck "Slap some keys on her and we'll have a piano."

Daryl F. Zanuck
(09/05/1902 – 12/22/1979)
US film director , on Sonja Henie's legs
"Imagine the ball has little legs, and chop them off."

Sir Henry Cotton
(01/26/1907 – 12/22/1987)
English golfer
Samuel Beckett "If I had the use of my body, I would throw it out the window."

Samuel Beckett
(04/13/1906 – 12/22/1989)
Irish writer
Thelma McQueen "As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion."

Butterfly McQueen
(01/07/1911 – 12/22/1995)
US actor
"The quality of debate [in the House of Lords] is pretty high—and it is, I think, good evidence of life after death."

Rev. Donald Soper
(01/03/1903 – 12/22/1998)
English clergy
John Graham Mellor "I don't like saying, 'You're a punk and you're not.' There was a record out there called 'Ca Plane pour Moi' by Plastic Bertrand, right? And I guarantee you if I had to play it for you right now you'd go, 'Right! That is rockin!' Now, if you were to say to any sort of purist punk, 'This is a good punk record,' they'd get completely enraged. But Plastic Bertrand, whoever he was, compressed into that three minutes a bloody good record that will get any comatose person toe-tapping, you know what I mean? By purist rules, it's not allowed to even mention Plastic Bertrand. Yet, this record was probably a lot better than a lot of so-called punk records. "

Joe Strummer
(08/21/1952 – 12/22/2002)
English singer, songwriter (101ers, Clash, Mescaleros)