Martin Van Buren "As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it."

Martin Van Buren
(12/05/1782 – 07/24/1862)
US President (8), VP (8)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(01/27/1756 – 12/05/1791)
Austrian composer ("Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310")
Christina Rossetti "The downhill path is easy, but there's no turning back."

Christina Rossetti
(12/05/1830 – 12/29/1894)
English poet ("Goblin Market")
(sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
George Armstrong Custer "The Army is the Indian's best friend."

George Armstrong Custer
(12/05/1839 – 06/25/1876)
US general
Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie "While gripinge grefes ye hart would wounde,
And dolefulle domps ye mynde oppresse,
There musicke with her silver sound,
Is wont with spede to send redresse."

Alexandre Dumas Père
(07/24/1802 – 12/05/1870)
French writer ("The Count of Monte Cristo")
(father of Alexandre Dumas Fils)
Werner Heisenberg "Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached."

Werner Karl Heisenberg
(12/05/1901 – 02/01/1976)
German physicist ("The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory")
Walt Disney "I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known."

Walt Disney
(12/05/1901 – 12/15/1966)
US filmmaker ("Steamboat Willie")
James Strom Thurmond "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches."

Strom Thurmond
(12/05/1902 – 06/26/2003)
US senator (SC), bigot, and hypocrite , in 1948
Otto Preminger "A vacuum with nipples."

Otto Preminger
(12/05/1905 – 04/23/1986)
Austrian director ("Anatomy of a Murder") , on Marilyn Monroe
Hans Richter "The hardest thing in the world is to start an orchestra, and the next hardest, to stop it."

Hans Richter
(04/04/1843 – 12/05/1916)
Hungarian conductor
Claude Monet "I am following Nature without being able to grasp her. I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."

Claude Monet
(11/14/1840 – 12/05/1926)
French painter ("Water Lilies")
(Manet is here)
Richard Penniman "Elvis may have been the king of rock'n'roll, but I am the queen."

Little Richard
(12/05/1932 – 05/09/2020)
US singer, pianist, hall of famer ("Tutti Frutti")
Joan Didion "California: The west coast of Iowa."

Joan Didion
(12/05/1934 – )
US writer ("The Year of Magical Thinking")
(was married to John Gregory Dunne)
Calvin Trillin "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."

Calvin Trillin
(12/05/1935 – )
US writer ("Tepper Isn’t Going Out")
"Even when Micheál [MacLiammóir] took in later life to autobiographies, they were about as reliable as his hairpieces."

Sheridan Morley
(12/05/1941 – 02/16/2007)
English writer ("The Brits in Hollywood: Tales from the Hollywood Raj")
(son of Robert Morley)
Margaret Cho "Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever."

Margaret Cho
(12/05/1968 – )
US-Korean comic ("All-American Girl")
Jimmy Cannon "Let's face it, sports writers, we're not hanging around with brain surgeons."

Jimmy Cannon
(04/10/1909 – 12/05/1973)
US sports writer
Nick Stahl "I try to avoid the sweet-ass roles."

Nick Stahl
(12/05/1979 – )
US actor ("Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines")
Frankie Muniz "I'm just an actor, that's nothing special."

Frankie Muniz
(12/05/1985 – )
US actor ("Malcolm in the Middle")
Dave Brubeck "It's like a whole orchestra, the piano for me."

Dave Brubeck
(12/06/1920 – 12/05/2012)
US composer, musician ("Take Five")
(died near his birthday)
"The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain."

Colin Henry Wilson
(06/26/1931 – 12/05/2013)
English writer ("The Outsider")
Nelson Mandela "It always seems impossible until it's done."

Nelson Mandela
(07/18/1918 – 12/05/2013)
African statesman
"One good thing about rain in Scotland. Most of it ends up as scotch."

Peter Alliss
(02/28/1931 – 12/05/2020)
English golfer
Robert Dole "History buffs probably noted the reunion at a Washington party a few weeks ago of three ex-presidents: Carter, Ford, and Nixon—See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Evil."

Bob Dole
(07/22/1923 – 12/05/2021)
US senator (KS), presidential candidate
(Illustration by Zach Trenholm)