Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1938

Judy Blume, popular young-adult author, is born

On this day in 1938, best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” is born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Blume’s books have been beloved by several generations of readers; however, the explicit subject matter of some of her novels for adolescents has made them a target for censors.

Blume, born Judy Sussman, was raised in New Jersey and attended New York University, graduating in 1961 with a degree in teaching. She married while still a college student and had two children by the time she was in her mid-20s. In 1969, Blume published her first children’s book, “The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo.” More fiction for grade-school-age readers followed, including “Freckle Juice” (1971), “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” (1972), “Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great” (1972) and “Blubber” (1974). In 1970, Blume published the young-adult novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” She went on to write other novels for adolescents, including “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t” (1971), “Deenie” (1973) and “Forever” (1975). Blume’s books, which realistically address such topics as menstruation, bullying, divorce, sexuality, friendships, family and body image, gained legions of young fans; however, their content frequently led them to be banned by school libraries. After her work was the target of an organized book-banning campaign in the 1980s, Blume became an anti-censorship activist.

In addition to writing for young readers, Blume has penned novels for adults, including “Wifey” (1978), “Smart Women” (1983) and “Summer Sisters” (1998), all of which were best-sellers. To date, her books have sold over 80 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Last emperor of China abdicates

On February 12, 1912, Hsian-T’ung, the last emperor of China, is forced to abdicate following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution. A provisional government was established in his place, ending 267 years of Manchu rule in China and 2,000 years of imperial rule. The former emperor, ...read more

Rommel in Africa

On this day, German General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli, Libya, with the newly formed Afrika Korps, to reinforce the beleaguered Italians’ position. In January 1941, Adolf Hitler established the Afrika Korps for the explicit purpose of helping his Italian Axis partner ...read more

Release of U.S. POWs begins

The release of U.S. POWs begins in Hanoi as part of the Paris peace settlement. The return of U.S. POWs began when North Vietnam released 142 of 591 U.S. prisoners at Hanoi’s Gia Lam Airport. Part of what was called Operation Homecoming, the first 20 POWs arrived to a hero’s ...read more

Abraham Lincoln is born

On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Lincoln, one of America’s most admired presidents, grew up a member of a poor family in Kentucky and Indiana. He attended school for only one year, but thereafter read on his own in a continual effort to ...read more

Ethan Allen dies

On this day in 1789, Vermont Patriot Ethan Allen dies of a stroke at age 52 on his Winooski River homestead. Allen is best remembered as the patriotic leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who took the British fort at Ticonderoga with Benedict Arnold in May 1775. He also had a ...read more