Yes, July 4th is the birthday of America, but it’s also an occasion to salute some of the notable people who share that date—and of course featuring those with the more interesting names. It makes for quite a diverse little birthday party—from NathanielHawthorne, born in 1804, to First Daughter MaliaObama, born in 1998. But we won’t be including three who erroneously claimed the date as their own—composer George M. ‘born on the Fourth of July’ Cohan, MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and LouisArmstrong, whose real date of birth was August 4th.
Literary critic LionelMordecai Trilling was a major force in the intellectual life of his time. Lionel means ‘young lion,’ but it hasn’t taken off like its leonine brothers—Leo, Leonardo—though with its substantial history of notable bearers, Lionel could make a solid, interesting choice.