Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein , commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French woman of letters of Swiss origin whose lifetime overlapped with the events of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. Known as a witty and brilliant conversationalist, often dressed in flashy and revealing outfits, she participated actively in the political and intellectual life of her times. She was present at the first opening of the Estates General and at the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Her intellectual collaboration with Benjamin Constant between 1795 and 1811 made them one of the most celebrated intellectual couples of their time. They discovered sooner than others the tyrannical character and designs of Napoleon. For ten years she lived as an exile under the Reign of Terror and under Napoleonic persecution. In 1814 one of her contemporaries observed that "there are three great powers struggling against Napoleon for the soul of Europe: England, Russia, and Madame de Staël". Her works, both novels and travel literature, with emphasis on passion, individuality and oppositional politics made their mark on European Romanticism.
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet who is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured surrealism. Born in Charleville-Mézières, he started writing at a very young age and was a prodigious student, but abandoned his formal education in his teenage years to run away from home amidst the Franco-Prussian War. During his late adolescence and early adulthood he began the bulk of his literary output, but completely stopped writing at the age of 21, after assembling one of his major works, Illuminations.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball second baseman who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.