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 (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 , 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 (same dates as Beethoven) , on a sycophantic columnist
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
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
"If no thought your mind does visit
make your speech not too explicit."

Piet Hein
(12/16/1905 – 04/17/1996)
Danish inventor
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
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
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
"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
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)