Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hello to our dear readers!  We are now 50 days into the year.  That means there have been fifty of these blogs posted.  We want to know what you like and dislike so that we can make this blog better in the future. Leaves us a comment here or send us an email at villagebookshop1@gmail.com with feedback.

Some of the writers born on February 19th include:

Tiphaigne de la Roche (1722), Élie Ducommun (1833), Hovhannes Tumanyan (1869), José Eustasio Rivera (1896), André Breton (1896), Yury Olesha (1899), Kay Boyle (1902), Muiris Ó Súilleabháin (1904), Havank (1904), Carson McCullers (1917), Jaan Kross (1920), Pierre Barouh (1934), Carole Eastman (1934), Sam Myers (1936), Marin Sorescu (1936), René Muñoz (1938), Homer Hickam (1943), William Messner-Loebs (1949, Juice Leskinen (1950), Amy Tan (1952), Helen Fielding (1958), Laurell K. Hamilton (1963), Jonathan Lethem (1964), Dmitri Lipskerov (1964), Gloria Anna Perez (1974), and Andrew Ross Sorkin (1977).

The last surviving veteran of World War I was born on this day in 1901. The British veteran, Florence Green, passed away last year.

On this day in 1684, England and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transferred the Dutch colony of New Amsterdamn to England, and it was renamed New York.

Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr was arrested for treason in Alabama on February 19, 1807 and confined to Fort Stoddert.

In Austin, Texas the newly formed Texas state government was officially installed on the 19th of February in 1846. The Republic of Texas government officially transferred power to the State of Texas government following Texas’ annexation by the United States.

The first group of rescuers reached the Donner Party on February 19, 1847. The Donner Party was a group of 87 American pioneers who in 1846 set off from Missouri in a wagon train headed west for California, only to find themselves trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada. The subsequent casualties resulting from starvation, exposure, disease, and trauma were extremely high, and many of the survivors resorted to cannibalism, but research by historical archeologists now casts doubt on this part of the story. The Mexican-American War delayed rescue attempts from California, although family members and authorities in California tried to reach the stranded pioneeers but were turned back by harsh weather. Weather conditions were so bad that three rescue groups were required to lead the rest to California, the last arriving in March. Forty-eight members of the Donner Party survived to live in California. Although a minor incident in the record of westward migration in North America, the Donner Party became notorious for the reported claims of cannibalism. Efforts to memorialize the Donner Party were underway within a few years; historians have described the episode as one of the most spectacular tragedies in California history and in the record of western migration.

On the 19th of February, 1859, Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, was acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity. This was the first time this defense was used successfully in the United States.

The National Amateur Press Association (NAPA) was founded on February 19, 1876, in Philadelphia.

One of the largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history happened on this day in 1884 when more than sixty tornadoes struck the Southern United States.

On the nineteenth of February in 1942 nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attacked the northern Australian city of Darwin, killing 243 people as part of World War II. On that same day President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066, which allowed the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment camps. Exactly three years to the day later was when about 30,000 United States Marines landed on the island of Iwo Jima. Exactly 34 years to the day, the 1976 Executive Order 9066 that led to the relocation of Japanese-Americans to internment camps was rescinded by President Gerald R. Ford‘s Proclamation 4417.

Ezra Pound was awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry on February 19, 1949 by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.

Georgia approved the first literature censorship board in the United States sixty years ago today.

China successfully launched the T-7, its first sounding rocket on February 19, 1960. A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The origin of the term comes from nautical vocabulary, where to sound is to throw a weighted line from a ship into the water to gauge the water‘s depth. Sounding in the rocket context is equivalent to taking a measurement.

Fifty years ago today the publication of Betty Friedman’s The Feminine Mystique reawakened the Feminist Movement in the United States as women’s organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.

Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder became the first such patient to leave the hospital on February 19, 1985.

The Soviet Union launched its Mir spacecraft on this day in 1986. It remained in orbit for 15 years and was occupied for 10 of those years.

The Oklahoma City bombing museum was dedicated on February 19, 2001 at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
Eleven years ago today NASA’s Mars Odyssey space probe began to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.

oedipus rex

Today we bring you Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.  We have a couple different version in stock including the Dover Thrift edition.  As with a majority of the titles we have highlighted, this is often a required reading assignment at local schools. Amazon gives the following description of this tale:

One of the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies and a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Catastrophe ensues when King Oedipus discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother. Masterly use of dramatic irony greatly intensifies impact of agonizing events. Sophocles’ finest play, Oedipus Rex ranks as a towering landmark of Western drama. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
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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