Witchflower Days

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Montgomery Ward and Malthusian Theory

Birthday of novelist Chaim Potok, born in the Bronx, New York City (1929). He told his mother he wanted to become a writer, and she responded, "You want to write stories? That's very nice. You be a brain surgeon, and on the side you write stories." His novel The Chosen (1967) won the Pulitzer Prize.... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fidel, King Tut, and a cloned calf

On this day in 1959, Fidel Castro took over as the Prime Minister of Cuba. Son of a wealthy sugar cane farmer, Castro practiced law in Havana, but, apparently hoping to effect change, went into politics as a member of the Cuban People's Party. He ousted the reigning dictator, Fulgencio Batista, then... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Diamonds, Life in Hell, Galileo's sentence, and Gold!

Birthday of Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812) in Killingly, CT. In 1837, Tiffany and his partner, John B. young, opened a stationery and fancy goods shop. The price of special stones dropped due to political upheaval in Europe in 1848, and Tiffany was able to buy diamonds very cheaply, changing the shop... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Lupercalia, Bernstein, and Benny

Today is Valentine’s Day, originally the Roman feast of Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility. The holiday was made Christian in 270 A.D., and the date changed from February 15 to 14 to commemorate Saint Valentine, a martyr. By the late Middle Ages, the modern tradition—of exchanging paper love... Sign in to see full entry.

Weekend: Lincoln (of course), Edison, and Voltaire

Friday, Feb. 11, 2005 Birthday of inventor Thomas (Alva) Edison, born in Milan, OH (1847). Best-known for investing the light bulb and the phonograph, Edison had an inquiring and active mind. He said, "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." Birthday of novelist, short story... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dr. Zhivago, Grown to the Wood, a Reluctant President, & Physical Evidence

Birthday of the author of the novel Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, born in Moscow (1890). In Russia, Pasternak is better known for his poetry and was one of the few poets to flourish during the rule of Josef Stalin. Although he loved music, Pasternak was apparently not a good musician and... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Fiery Irish, Alice Walker, and Wisconsin's Shame

Birthday of humorist George Ade, born in Kentland, IN (1866). An early-day newspaper columnist for the Chicago Morning News, he wrote about the weather. He walked around and asked people what they thought of the weather and used it in his column. His column, featuring the speech and humor of... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Scouts and Women of Letters

On this day in 1910 Boy Scouts of America was incorporated as a youth organization in the U.S. A British Army Officer, Robert Baden-Powell, after returning from war in South Africa, felt young people in England had become soft and undisciplined. He said, "[Young people today are] without... Sign in to see full entry.

Monday, February 7, 2005

"It is a far, far better thing. . ." and Tales of the Real West

Birthday of novelist Charles Dickens, who was born in London (1812), but who grew up in a series of small towns on the southern coast of England, where his father worked as a naval clerk. Dickens loved living by the sea, and at one point wrote, "The sun, away at sea, just breaking through the heavy... Sign in to see full entry.

The Weekend: Births, Deaths, Men, Women, and Pencils

Saturday, February 5 Birthday mystery writer and novelist Margaret Millar, born in Kitchener, Ontario (1915). Her published works encompass 21 murder mysteries, including The Invisible Worm (1941) and Beast in View (1955), which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel and several... Sign in to see full entry.

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