Happy Birthday to Hans Christian Andersen
April 2nd 1805
Hans Christian Andersen was born on the second of April 1805 in the town of Odense, Denmark. As a youth King Frederick VI took a special interest in Andersen and he even paid for a part of his education. Despite the fact that he had royal support, Andersen was still forced to support himself. He worked as a weaver's apprentice and later a tailor. Andersen was even a part of the Royal Danish Theatre however when his voice changed so did his focus- from acting to writing.
It was in 1835 that Andersen published his first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales - the other installments were published in 1836 and 1837. His most popular works include Thumbelina, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea.
Andersen died on the 4th of August 1875 as a result of injuries from falling out of bed in the spring of 1872. At the time of his death, Andersen was an internationally renowned and treasured artist and he was even proclaimed as a "national treasure" by the Danish Government.
Today is also celebrated as International Children's Book Day - a yearly event that takes place on Andersen's birthday and that is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. . Activities include writing competitions, announcements of book awards and other events with authors of children's literature.