Born on the Fourth of July

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 Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804, to First Daughter Malia Obama, 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 Louis Armstrong, whose real date of birth was August 4th.


You probably knew her as Dear Abby/Abigail Van Buren, but she was born Pauline Esther Friedman (nn Popo), and her identical twin, Esther Pauline (nn Eppie) would become Ann Landers. Both Pauline and Esther are names that were in the Top 100 until the 1930’s; Pauline disappeared in 1997, but Esther, with its Old Testament cred, is now at Number 242.

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