History is what connects us to every other human being that has ever lived, and even simple stories can hold us entranced. Those little anecdotes of Bach or Beethoven as they conducted their daily lives - I'm thinking here of Bach's punchup with an unruly bassoonist - is what reminds us that these Classical Geniuses actually had human form, and had to deal with human things. Reading biographies is often the best way to approach a new or unfamiliar composer, as it provides the backdrop and the narrative to their musical work. For example, I've managed to get a better grasp of Schumann by reading Ostwald's bio, and the psychoanalysis certainly helped!
The work I'm trying to get round to in this post is "ClassicAlmanac". It's a free, online reference source that let's you pick the month and the day, and then returns a list of musically significant events. Just to pick one item, today in 1904 the London Symphony Orchestra had its first performance under Hans Richter, something I didn't know quite off hand.
Learn minutiae and trivia here