Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy National Inventors‘ Day! President Ronald Reagan, proclaimed February 11, 1983 as National Inventors’ Day. In recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world, the Congress has designated February 11, the anniversary of the birth of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who held over 1,000 patents, as National Inventors’ Day. This day is celebrated on different days in various countries.

Do you realize that Valentines day is just three days away?  Did you make reservations?  Order a gift for that special someone?

Some of the writers born on February 11th include:

Honoré d’Urfé (1568), Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657), Marie-Joseph de Chénier (1764), Lydia Maria Child (1802), Otto Ludwig (1813), The Rev. Samuel Lodge (1829), Rachilde (1860), Else Lasker-Schüler (1869), Elsa Beskow (1874), John van Melle (1887), Acharya Ramlochan Saran (1889), Philip Dunne (1908), Roy Fuller (1912), Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915), Sidney Sheldon (1917), Daniel F. Galouye (1920), Larry Merchant (1931), Bobby Pickett (1938), Gerry Goffin (1939), Jane Yolen (1939), Wesley Strick (1954), Mitchell Symons (1957), Deborah Meaden (1959), and Mo Willems (1968).

Not only was the inventor Thomas Alva Edison born on this day in 1847 but another inventor was also born on the eleventh of February. Henry Fox Talbot was born in 1800. He was an English photographer and the inventor of the calotype process, a precursor to photographic processes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Today is the 49th birthday of the American politician who ran for Vice President and was the 9th Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

Today is the anniversary of the passing of the French philosopher, mathematician and writer, René Descartes. He left us in 1650.

It is also the anniversary of the passing of the an American poet, novelist and short story writer, Sylvia Plath, who left us fifty years ago today. Plath suffered from depression for much of her adult life, and in 1963 (shortly after her marital separation from fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1962), she committed suicide. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy. Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections: The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel.

A few other authors who passed away on February 11th are: Frank Herbert who died in 1986; Bob Shaw who left us in 1996; Jack L. Chalker who passed on in 2005; and Peter Benchley who died in 2006.

One year ago today Whitney Houston passed away. The singer, actress, model, and producer was 48 years old at the time.

The first hospital in the United States, the Pennsylvania Hospital, was opened by Benjamin Franklin on February 11, 1752.

The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends, petitioned the U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery on this day in 1790.

On this day in 1826 The Shikshapatri, an important text within the Swaminaryan faith was written by Swaminarayan.

As part of the American Civil War, on February 11, 1861, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution that guaranteed noninterference with slavery in any state.

The encyclical (a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church) Vehementer nos was published on the eleventh of February 1906 by Pope Piux X. Occasioned by the French law of 1905 providing for the separation of church and state, it denounced the proposition that the state should be separated from the Church as “a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error”.

Emma Goldman was arrested February 11, 1916 for lecturing on birth control. She was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinkingrebel woman” by admirers, and denounced by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality.

A sit-down strike ended on this day in 1937 when General Motors recognized the United Auto Workers Union.

Seventy five years ago today BBC Television produced the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R. That coined the term “robot”.

The original gold record awards were presented to artists by their own record companies to publicize the achievement of 1,000,000 sales. The first of these was awarded by RCA to Glenn Miller on this day in February of 1942, celebrating 1,200,000 sales of “Chattanooga Choo Choo“.

Eighty-seven countries, including the US, UK, and USSR, signed the Seabed Treaty on February 11, 1971. This treaty outlawed nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters.

February 11, 1973, as part of the Vietnam War, the first release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam took place.

The People’s Republic of China lifted a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens on February 11, 1978.

Nelson Mandela was released 23 years ago today from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner.

On this day in 1997 the Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

roone

Today we highlight the book Roone: A Memoir by Roone Arledge.  We have brand new hardcover copies in stock of this memoir.  The book is approximately 432 pages long.  This book is normally $25.95.  Our price is much, much lower, go see yourself by clicking on the title or image. The Publisher’s Weekly editorial review posted on Amazon describes it as follows:

In his long career as an executive at ABC-TV, Roone Arledge revolutionized sports and news broadcasting by emphasizing entertainment-and his posthumous memoir (he died in December at age 71), entertains as well. Arledge, who created The Wide World of Sports and Nightline, among other shows, was known as a creative but difficult genius, and no one who reads this book will have trouble understanding why he gained that reputation. He delights in telling how people opposed his innovations-such as introducing slow-motion replays and putting three men in a broadcasting booth for Monday Night Football-only later to be proven wrong. He also relishes telling war stories of his life at the network-from Jim McKay broadcasting live at the 1972 Munich Olympics to a debate between South Africa’s foreign minister and Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the peak of the battle over apartheid. He also provides a behind-the scenes look at his four decades of wheeling and dealing with top executives and on-air personalities: Howard Cosell, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer all trace much of their stardom to Arledge’s tutelage and backing. Nor is Arledge afraid to shovel some dirt. Former ABC news anchor Max Robinson is depicted as a drunk who made accusations of racism to cover up his own shortcomings. Arledge laments corporatization of the networks and the resulting decline in the quality of their news broadcasts. Anyone interested in sports, news or television in general will have difficulty putting this valuable book down.

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Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia and Amazon.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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