It was on this date, January 29, 1737 (N.S February 9), that English-born American patriot and pamphleteer Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, into an English Quaker family. He worked as a stay-maker for women’s dresses, and as an excise-man, but in London Benjamin Franklin persuaded the budding writer to emigrate to America. As a soldier in George Washington’s army, Paine witnessed the struggle for independence for himself and penned Common Sense, which made him so popular that the title became Paine’s nickname.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Fridtjof Nansen (1861) It was on this date, October 10, 1861, that Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen was born Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen. He grew up in Frøen, on the outskirts of Christiania (now Oslo), at that time a rural area that hardened Nansen for his life's work. Nansen loved the outdoors and his parents instilled in […]