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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow born in Portland, Maine

February 27

On this day in 1807, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine. He is one of the best-known poets of the nineteenth century, authoring such prominent and lasting works as “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. His works appealed to the masses.

Did you know? Longfellow’s iconic beard had tragic origins. Sadly for the poet, both his first and second wives died young. When his second wife, Fanny, died in a fire, Longfellow was badly burned himself while trying to save her – he couldn’t shave for several weeks while healing and never took up the practice again.

Longfellow is the only American to be honored in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. His bust stands among those of Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Robert Browning.

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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February 27
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