Today is National Dictionary Day in the US. The date was chosen because it was the birthday of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster, who was born on 16 October 1758, three years after the publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary in England.
Webster was originally a schoolteacher, who wrote a phenomenally successful spelling book - by 1869 80 million copies had been sold. His primary interest was to promote a specifically American English and it is Webster who is responsible for the American spellings -or, as opposed to -our (as in color/colour), -k instead of the French -que (check/cheque, masque/mask) and -er instead of the French-influenced -re (center/centre, theater/theatre). He dropped the k from English words such as musick and magick (British English dropped it later, too) and offered wimman and wimmen as alternative spellings of woman and women. His great work, the American Dictionary of the English Language, was published in 1828.
There's not much in the British press today about Dictionary Day, but here's one article from The Independent newspaper.