Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello to our dearest readers! Hope you are having a wonderful start to the work week.

Some of the writers born on February 25th include:

Friedrich von Spee (1591), Pierre Antoine Motteux (1663), Karl Ludwig (1692), Carlo Goldoni (1707), Karl Wilhelm Ramler (1725), Karl May (1842), Cesário Verde (1855), Lesya Ukrainka (1871), Frank G. Slaughter (1908), John Arlott (1914), Anthony Burgess (1917), Gérard Bessette (1920), Larry Gelbart (1928), Richard G. Stern (1928), Bob Schieffer (1937), John Saul (1942), Franz Xaver Kroetz (1946), Marc Sautet (1947), Aldo Busi (1948), Jack Handey (1949), Amin Maalouf (1949), Emitt Rhodes (1950), Kevin Skinner (1974), Chelsea Handler (1975), Niña Corpuz (1977), and Bert McCracken (1982).

Also born on this day was Peter Llewelyn Davies, in 1897. He was the middle of five sons of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, one of the Llewelyn Davies boys befriended and later informally adopted by J. M. Barrie. Barrie publicly identified him as the source of the name for the title character in his famous play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. This public identification as “the original Peter Pan” plagued Davies throughout his life, which ended in suicide. He was awarded the Military Cross after serving as an officer in World War I, and in 1926 founded the publishing house Peter Davies Ltd.

George Harrison, the English singer and guitarist best known as a member of the Beatles was born on this day in 1943. He passed on in 2001.

Grace Metalious was was an American author, best known for her controversial novel Peyton Place, which stayed on The New York Times bestseller list for 59 weeks. It sold 20 million copies in hardcover and another 12 million as a Dell paperback. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver from years of heavy drinking, Metalious died on February 25, 1964 age 39. “If I had to do it over again,” she once remarked, “it would be easier to be poor. Before I was successful, I was as happy as anyone gets.”

Thirty years ago today the world lost the American playwright, Tennessee Willliams. He also wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs. His professional career lasted from the mid-1930s until his death in 1983, and saw the creation of many plays that are regarded as classics of the American stage. Williams adapted much of his best known work for the cinema.

We also remember Philip José Farmer, who passed away four years ago today. Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his award-winning science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He is best known for his sequences of novels, especially the World of Tiers (1965-93) and Riverworld (1971-83) series. He is noted for the pioneering use of sexual and religious themes in his work, his fascination for, and reworking of, the lore of celebrated pulp heroes, and occasional tongue-in-cheek pseudonymous works written as if by fictional characters. Farmer often mixed real and classic fictional characters and worlds and real and fake authors as epitomized by his Wold Newton family group of books. These tie all classic fictional characters together as real people and blood relatives resulting from an alien conspiracy.

On February 25, 1836, Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.

Provisional Cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands was established by Lord George Paulet on this day in 1843.

On the twenty-fifty of February in 1866, miners in Calaveras County, California, discovered what is now called the Calaveras Scull. They found human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.

In 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, was sworn into the United States Senate on February 25. He was the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.

J.P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation on this day in 1901.

In 1919, Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline. This took effect February 25. They were the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

On February 25, 1928, Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission.

Eighty years ago today the USS Ranger was launched. It was the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.

On this day in 1941 the February Strike began. In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis.

In his speech on February 25, 1956, On the Personality Cult and its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

It was on this day in 1964 when the first of the two Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston fights too place. Ali took the title, Heavyweight Champion.

On February 25, 1964, U.S. Air Force launched a satellite employing a US Air Force Atlas/Agena combination from Point Arguello in California and from Cape Kennedy in Florida.

The first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station went online February 25, 1971. This was the first commercial nuclear power station in Canada.

the contender

Today we are highlighting the book The Contender by Robert Lipsyte. We have new copies of this mass market paperback in stock. This book is a required reading assignment for some students at local schools. Amazon gives the following description of the book:

Before you can be a champion,
you have to be a contender.
Alfred Brooks is scared. He’s a highschool dropout and his grocery store job is leading nowhere. His best friend is sinking further and further into drug addiction. Some street kids are after him for something he didn’t even do. So Alfred begins going to Donatelli’s Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that has trained champions. There he learns it’s the effort, not the win, that makes the man — that last desperate struggle to get back on your feet when you thought you were down for the count.

arnold lobel quote

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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