It is also Ratification Day here in the United States. This is an observance of the anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris that occurred on the fourteenth of January in 1784 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress. This is the act that official ended the American Revolution and established the U.S.A. as a sovereign entity.
Elvis Presley set a record on this date in 1973 with his concert “Aloha from Hawaii” that was broadcast live via satellite and set the record for the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history.
Some of the writers that were born on January 14 include:
Zacharias Topelius (1818), Pierre Loti (1850), J.F. Archibald (1856), Hendrick Willem van Loon (1882), Hugh Lofting (1886), John Dos Passos (1896), Carlos Romulo (1899), Emily Hahn (1904), Anatoly Rybakov (1911), Tillie Olsen (1912), Andy Rooney (1919), Yukio Mishima (1925), Lars Forssell (1928), J. Bernlef (1937), Nina Totenberg (1944), Taylor Branch (1947), John Lescroart (1948), Mary Robison (1949), Sydney Biddle Barrows (1952), Maureen Dowd (1952), Rosina Lippi (1956), Anchee Min (1957), and Leonardo “Leo” Ortolani (1967).
Today marks the anniversary of the passing of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name, Lewis Carol. The English writer and mathematician was born in 1832 and passed away on this day in 1898. He is best known for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He is noted for his talent with word play, logic, and fantasy.
Lewis Carol had several health issues to deal with in his life. He was deaf in one ear due to a fever as a very young child. He also had a severe attack of whooping cough at the age of seventeen which left him with lasting effects later in life. He had a stammer since early childhood which he was far more acutely aware of than most people he met. It is said that he caricatured himself as the Dodo in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, referring to his difficulty in pronouncing his last name. He recorded his experiences with migraine auras in his diaries. He very accurately described the process of “moving fortifications” that are a manifestation of the aura stage of the syndrome. A form of the migraine aura has been named after the heroine in Dodgon’s most famous work. They call this aura Alice in Wonderland Syndrome because its manifestation can resemble the sudden size-changes in the book. It is also known as micropsia and macropsia, this is a brain condition that affects the way objects are perceived by the mind. Charles Dodgson may also have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy in which sometimes consciousness is lost but other times it is altered, and in which the symptoms mimic many of the same experiences as Alice in Wonderland. Most of the standard diagnostic tests we have today were not available during his life so there is not definitive answers on exactly all that he suffered from.
Today’s highlighted title is Holy Cow! by Jerry Miles. This 90 page long book was published in 2008 and is good for anyone age nine and up. We have copies of it for $8.42. Amazon gives the following description:
It is October 1988; the seventh game of the World Series. Rookie pitcher Rocky Malone – that is, thirty-three year-old rookie pitcher Rocky Malone – is on the mound at Wrigley Field, living out his dream as the ace reliever for the Chicago Cubs. Not only is he faced with saving the game and winning the World Series for the Cubs, he must do so by retiring the Yankees’ two best hitters, who are also his two best friends. The stage is set for Rocky’s biggest challenge. Holy Cow!