Today is the birthday of Samuel Pepys (London, 1633).
Thanks to Pepys and his diaries, we have a fairly clear picture of 17th-century Restoration England. Without his observations and accounts, historians would have had to rely on the single, government-run newspaper operating in London at that time, and that paper was subject to censorship. Pepys wrote about the plague of 1665, the Great Fire of 1666, and the coronation of Charles II. He recorded more mundane matters as well: his eating habits; toilet habits; intimate relationships with his wife and several other women; and social events that he had attended.