John Selden "They that govern the most, make least noise."

John Selden
(12/16/1584 – 11/30/1654)
English jurist
Ludwig van Beethoven "Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on his backside."

Ludwig van Beethoven
(12/16/1770 – 03/26/1827)
German composer (List of compositions)
(same dates as Noel Coward)
Jane Austen "Elinor agreed with it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition."

Jane Austen
(12/16/1775 – 07/18/1817)
English writer
Mary Russell Mitford "She was the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly ever."

Mary Russell Mitford
(12/16/1787 – 01/10/1855)
English writer ("Our Village")
, on Jane Austen
"All things by immortal power,
Near and Far
Hiddenly
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star."

Francis Thompson
(12/16/1859 – 11/13/1907)
English writer
George Santayana "It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true."

George Santayana
(12/16/1863 – 09/26/1952)
Spanish philosopher, writer
Wassily Kandinsky, by Gabriele Mönter "An empty canvas, apparently really empty, that says nothing and is without significance. Almost dull, in fact. In reality, however, [it's] crammed with thousands of undertone tensions and [is] full of expectancy. Slightly apprehensive lest it should be outraged... It can contain anything but cannot sustain everything... An empty canvas is a living wonder—far lovelier than certain pictures."

Wassily Kandinsky
(12/16/1866 – 12/13/1944)
Russian artist
(died near his birthday)
Noel Coward "I see her as one great stampede of lips directed at the nearest derriere."

Sir Noel Coward
(12/16/1899 – 03/26/1973)
English writer ("Blithe Spirit") , on a sycophantic columnist
(same dates as Beethoven)
Victor Sawdon Pritchett "The principle of procrastinated rape is said to be the ruling one in all the great best-sellers."

V. S. Pritchett
(12/16/1900 – 03/20/1997)
English writer ("Marching Spain")
Margaret Mead "Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible."

Margaret Mead
(12/16/1901 – 11/15/1978)
US anthropologist
"It may be observed, in a general way,
that life would be better, distinctly
If more of the people with nothing to say
were able to say it succinctly."

Piet Hein
(12/16/1905 – 04/17/1996)
Danish inventor ("Grooks")
Arthur Charles Clarke "There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."

Sir Arthur C. Clarke
(12/16/1917 – 03/19/2008)
English scientist, writer ("Childhood's End")
Philip Kindred Dick "It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."

Philip K. Dick
(12/16/1928 – 03/02/1982)
US writer ("Ubik")
Liv Ullmann "Hollywood is loneliness beside the swimming pool."

Liv Ullmann
(12/16/1938 – )
Norwegian actor
"Any stigma, as the old saying is, will serve to beat a dogma."

Philip Guedalla
(03/12/1889 – 12/16/1944)
English historian ("Supers and Supermen: Studies in Politics, History and Letters")
"Black women as a group have never been fools. We couldn't afford to be."

Barbara Smith
(12/16/1946 – )
US writer
Billy Gibbons "Can't do it, simply cause underneath 'em is too ugly."

Billy Gibbons
(12/16/1949 – )
US musician (ZZ Top) , on why he and Dusty Hill refused a hefty sum from Gillette to shave their beards
Bill Hicks "Ever notice that people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved?"

Bill Hicks
(12/16/1961 – 02/26/1994)
US comic
W. Somerset Maugham "Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it."

W. Somerset Maugham
(01/25/1874 – 12/16/1965)
English writer ("Of Human Bondage")
Harland David Sanders "Feed the poor and get rich or feed the rich and get poor."

Colonel Harland Sanders
(09/09/1890 – 12/16/1980)
US chef
Clarence Leroy Van Cleef, Jr. "I'll never kick dogs, I'll never hurt a child, I'll never slap a woman—three things I won't do on film."

Lee Van Cleef
(01/09/1925 – 12/16/1989)
US actor
Nicol Williamson "It is the doom of men that they forget."

Nicol Williamson
(09/14/1936 – 12/16/2011)
Scottish actor
(was married to Jill Townsend)