Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. We have some more history of this day trivia for you today.

Some of the writers born on February 23rd include:

Samuel Pepys (1633), Simon Knéfacz (1752), Frederick Wicks (1840), Erich Kästner (1899), Miljenko Smoje (1923), Mary Francis Shura (1923), Donna J. Stone (1933), Bernard Cornwell (1944), John Sandford (1944), John McWethy (1947), Doug Moench (1948), Tom Bodett (1955), Tony Barrell (1958), and Skylar Grey (1986).

Today we remember John Robert Gregg who passed away 65 years ago today. He was an educator, publisher, humanitarian, and the inventor of the eponymous shorthand system Gregg Shorthand. Gregg initially set out to improve the English adaptation by John Matthew Sloan of the French Prévost Duployé Shorthand, while working with one of Sloan’s sales agents, Thomas Malone. The who men developed a system called Script Phonography, of which Malone took sole possession. Gregg resigned in anger. Encouraged by his older brother he then published and copyrighted his own system of shorthand in 1888. It was put forth in a brochure entitled Light-Line Phonography: The Phonetic Handwriting which he published in England. He moved to the U.S. in 1893 and published Gregg Shorthand. The method met with great success in the new country, and he settled in Chicago where he authored numerous books for the Gregg Publishing Company on the subjects of shorthand and contemporary business practices.

We also remember James Herriot who passed away on this day in 1995. James Herriot was the pen name of James Alfred Wright, also known as Alf Wright. He was a British veterinary surgeon and writer who used his many years of experiences as a veterinary surgeon to write a series of books of stories about animals and their owners. He is best known for these semi-autobiographical works, which are often referred to collectively as All Creatures Great and Small, a title used in some editions and in film and television adaptations.

The traditional date for publication of the Gutenberg Bible is February 23, 1455. This was the first Western book printed with moveable type.

It was on this day in 1836 that the infamous Battle of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

After the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington, D.C. on February 23, 1861.

Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on this day in 1870 in the United States when post-Civil War military control ended.

Alabama became the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law when it did so on February 23, 1883. Also known as a competition law, an antitrust law is a law that promotes or maintains market competition by regulating anti-competitive conductive by companies. The history of competition law reaches back to the Roman Empire.

On February 23, 1886, Charles Martin Hall produced the first samples of man-made aluminum, after several years of intensive work. He was assisted in this project by his older sister Julia Brainerd Hall.

The Tootsie Roll was invented on this day in 1896.

Cuba leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity” on February 23, 1903. The 1903 lease agreement, while it recognized that the Republic of Cuba held ultimate sovereignty over Guantánamo Bay, gave to the United States “complete jurisdiction and control” of the area for coaling and naval stations. The lease is controversial.

On February 23, 1905, the Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three businessmen who were his law clients met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the worlds first service club.

President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill on this day in 1927 by Congress that established the Federal Radio Commission which would regulate the use of radio frequencies in the United States. The Federal Radio Commission was later replaced by the Federal Communications Commission.

German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli on February 23, 1927. In this letter he described his uncertainty principle for the first time. In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously. The more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa. It is sometimes called the Heisenberg Principle.

In 1945 the 23rd of February was a very eventful day for World War II. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and were photographed raising the American flag. On the same day the 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, freed the captives of the Los Baños internment camp. The capital of the Philippines, Manila, was liberated by combined Filipino and American forces on this same day. Capitulation of German garrison in Poznan. The city was liberated by Soviet and Polish forces. Also, the German town of Pforzheim was completely destroyed on this day in a raid by 379 British bombers.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded on this day in 1947. The ISO is an international standardsetting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. The organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

On February 23, 1954 the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

The first meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) occurred on February 23, 1955. SEATO was an international organization for collective defense in Southeast Asia created by the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, or Manila Pact, signed in September 1954 in Manila, Philippines. Primarily created to block further communist gains in Southeast Asia, SEATO is generally considered a failure because internal conflict and dispute hindered general use of the SEATO military; however, SEATO-funded cultural and educational programs left long-standing effects in Southeast Asia. SEATO was dissolved on 30 June 1977 after many members lost interest and withdrew.

On February 23, 1983, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.

Twenty-two years ago today ground troops crossed the Saudi Arabian border and entered Iraq. This was the beginning of the ground phase of the Gulf War.

On this day in 1998 Osama bin Laden published a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders”. The term Crusaders is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

On February 23, 1999, an avalanche destroyed the Austrian village of Galtür. Thirty-one people died.

Five years ago today a United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashed on Guam. It was the first operational loss of a B-2.
Three years ago today unknown criminals poured more than 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, which caused an environmental disaster.

the pearl

Today we highlight The Pearl by John Steinbeck. We have new copies of this classic in stock. Wikipedia gives the following synopsis:

The Pearl is a novella by American author John Steinbeck, published in 1947. It is the story of a pearl diver, Kino, and explores man’s nature as well as greed and evil. Steinbeck’s inspiration was a Mexican folk tale from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, which he had heard in a visit to the formerly pearl-rich region in 1940.[1] In 1947, it was adapted into a Mexican film named La perla. The story is one of Steinbeck’s most popular books and has been widely used in high school classes.


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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