Today's Birthday

  • Janis Joplin (1943)
    Janis Joplin (1943)

    Joplin began singing folk rock in Texas bars after running away from home at the age of 17. In 1966, she moved to San Francisco and became lead vocalist of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band catapulted Joplin to stardom. By the late 1960s, she was almost as well known for her unconventional lifestyle as for her gritty, memorable vocals. Before her death from a heroin overdose at 27, she released hit albums with two other bands beside Big Brother. What were they called?

  • Joseph Bonanno, AKA Joe Bananas (1905)
    Joseph Bonanno, AKA Joe Bananas (1905)

    Born in Sicily, Bonanno came to the US illegally in 1924. He settled in Brooklyn and became a bootlegger and mob enforcer. In 1931, he founded the Bonanno crime family, one of five families that dominated organized crime in New York City. He ruled the family for decades, and although his empire stretched across the country and involved gambling, loan sharking, and drug trafficking, he was never convicted of a serious crime. He died in Arizona at the age of 97. What was the "Banana Split"?

  • Anne Brontë (1820)
    Anne Brontë (1820)

    Though often overshadowed by her more famous sisters, Charlotte and Emily, Anne Brontë was a novelist and poet in her own right. She possessed a style distinct from the romanticism of her sisters, and her works—which include Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall—have been praised for their realism and moral force. Like her five older siblings, Anne died of tuberculosis at a fairly young age. After she died, who prevented her controversial second novel from being reprinted?