It's the birthday of poet, novelist, and essayist Andrei Codrescu, (books by this author) born in an old medieval fortress city in the Carpathian Mountains of (1946). Codrescu witnessed the Communist takeover of , and he always remembered how the smell of apple strudel in his hometown was overpowered by the smell of boots. He didn't know any English when he landed in the United States. He said, "It's still a mystery to me exactly how I learned the language. [But] I was 19 years old and I had very urgent things to tell girls." When he traveled back to in 1989 to witness the democratic revolution, Codrescu watched 45 years of Communist rule undone in eight days. He is the author of Wakefield (2004) and A Bar in Brooklyn (1999).
On this day in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed for $15 million, which was roughly three cents an acre. The land, which spanned from to the port of New Orleans, doubled the size of the United States.-The Writer's Almanac