May 10 Birthday: Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire, dancer

May 10, 1889-June 22, 1987

Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch (Candlewick, 2007)

As young children, Adele was tapped as the “real dancer” but in time it was clear that Fred had an affinity for dancing, too. On the road with the vaudeville circuit, Fred and Adele were popular performers. After a two-year break, they returned to the stage and the act got better and better. Eventually Adele left and Fred went to Hollywood where he danced into the hearts of movie-goers everywhere.

Time.com offers this tribute: Fred Astaire: 1899-1987: The Great American Flyer.

May 10 Birthday: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, astronomer
May 10, 1900-Dec. 7, 1979


Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy (Charlesbridge, 2005)

“Stellar Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Observational Study of High Temperature in the Reversing Layers of Stars” anyone? That was the title of Payne-Gaposchkin’s dissertation, who excelled at Harvard as a student and a professor.

On a site about notable astronomers, read more about Payne-Gaposchkin.