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Getty Images // iStock (hats) // Chloe Effron
Getty Images // iStock (hats) // Chloe Effron

10 Famous Birthdays to Celebrate in June

Getty Images // iStock (hats) // Chloe Effron
Getty Images // iStock (hats) // Chloe Effron

Some of our favorite historical figures were born in the month of June. We couldn't possibly name them all, but here are just a handful whose lives we'll be celebrating.

1. JUNE 1, 1926: MARILYN MONROE

Much has been made of Monroe’s size—both during her life and since her 1962 death—but according to her dressmaker's measurements, the actress would have likely been a U.S. size 6 or 8.

2. JUNE 3, 1906: JOSEPHINE BAKER

Best known as a song-and-dance actor, Josephine Baker was a spy for the French Resistance during World War II. She used invisible ink to hide notes and maps in her sheet music, and tucked sensitive photographs of German military installations in her unmentionables.

3. JUNE 8, 1867: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Wright is one of the best-known American architects in history, but his son John also has a claim to fame in the world of construction, just on a much smaller scale. On August 31, 1920, John received a patent for a "Toy-Cabin Construction,” also known as Lincoln Logs. The name actually came from dear old dad, who was born Frank Lincoln Wright.

4. JUNE 10, 1895: HATTIE MCDANIEL

When Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940, she had to make her way to the stage from a segregated table at the back of the room.

5. JUNE 10, 1928: MAURICE SENDAK

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We love any opportunity to repeat one of our favorite Sendak stories, about his correspondence with a fan:

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters—sometimes very hastily—but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I've ever received. He didn't care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

6. JUNE 14, 1811: HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

National Portrait Gallery // Wikimedia Commons

As a young woman, Stowe was a member of the Semi-Colon Club, a gathering of writers in Cincinnati, Ohio in the mid-19th century; a member of the literary group went on to print Stowe’s first published story. As for the name, it was apparently a riff on Christopher Columbus, whose Spanish name was Cristobal Colon. While the group wasn’t discovering new lands, they deemed their literary explorations worthy of the title “Semi-Colons.”

7. JUNE 17, 1882: IGOR STRAVINSKY

It wasn’t enough for Stravinsky to cause the most famous ballet-related riot in history: Three decades later, in 1944, he was charged with defaming the national anthem after an arrangement of the "Star Spangled Banner" sent Boston cops into an outrage. They were so angry they showed up the following night to “make sure he didn’t play it again.”

8. JUNE 22, 1947: OCTAVIA BUTLER

Butler is a well-regarded (and beloved) science fiction author, but she herself hated her third novel, Survivor. She told Amazon.com: "When I was young, a lot of people wrote about going to another world and finding either little green men or little brown men, and they were always less in some way. They were a little sly, or a little like 'the natives' in a very bad, old movie. ... People ask me why I don't like Survivor, my third novel. And it's because it feels a little bit like that. Some humans go up to another world, and immediately begin mating with the aliens and having children with them. I think of it as my Star Trek novel." The novel only had one run; Butler refused to circulate it further.

9. JUNE 23, 1894: ALFRED KINSEY

Kinsey is remembered for his work in the field of human sexuality, but his pursuits in the field of biology went way beyond that. For his doctoral thesis he collected more than 7.5 million gall wasps, which now reside at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

10. JUNE 25, 1903: GEORGE ORWELL

The Nineteen Eighty-Four author was skilled at more than just long-form writing—he was also a killer list writer. His 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language" contains six rules for better writing, and that same year he penned 11 tips for making and drinking tea. We're sure Orwell would have hated a lot about the internet, but he would have been pretty adept at writing for it.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.

1. HER FIRST ROLE WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL FILM.

Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.

2. GREGORY PECK WAS AFRAID SHE’D MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A JERK.

Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).

3. SHE’S AN EGOT.

In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.

4. TRUMAN CAPOTE HATED HER AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY.

Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”

5. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS SOLD FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION.

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.

6. SHE SANG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JFK IN 1963.

One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.

7. THERE’S A RARE TULIP NAMED AFTER HER.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

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How Common Is Your Birthday? An Interactive Map Can Tell You
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by James Hunt

At some point in their life, everyone counts back from their birthday and tries to figure out what anniversary, special occasion, or other excuse might have happened to their parents nine months before they were born. To make this backtracking exercise easier—and give us the chance to do it for a much larger population—data journalist Matt Stiles created an interactive "heat map" showing the most common birthdays in the United States for individuals born between 1994 and 2014.

Click on the map and you'll quickly notice that July, August, and September are by far the most common birth months. It's no surprise that nine months prior you'll find the dark and rainy period of October, November, and December when—to put it delicately—people have to make their own entertainment.

According to Stiles, "People generally seem to have time for baby-making during their time off. Several of the most common birth dates, in September, correspond with average conception periods around Christmas. September 9 is most common in this dataset, though other days in that month are close. September 19 is second. Following a customary gestation period, many of these babies would, in theory, have been conceived on December 17 and December 27, respectively."

But that's not all we can tell from the chart. When you take into account the fact that some people get to choose their child's birthday because of induced and elective births, they tend to want to stay away from the hospital during understaffed holiday periods.

"The least common birthdays in this dataset were Christmas Eve, Christmas [Day], and New Year’s Day," Stiles concluded. "Dates around Thanksgiving aren’t as common. July 4 is also at the bottom of the list. Conversely, Valentine’s Day ranks relatively high, as you can see in the graphic, as are the days just before a new tax year begins."

Amazingly, though it only comes around every four years, Leap Year babies aren't as uncommon as you might think: February 29 ranked 347th out of 366 on the list.

You can play around with the interactive graphic, and see the full ranking of birthdays, here.

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