Happy Tuesday. Hope your week is going well so far. The month is almost over. Are you looking forward to March?
Some of the writers born on February 26th include:
Christopher Marlowe (1564), James Hervey (1714), Victor Hugo (1802), Stefan Grabinski (1887), Jean Bruller (1902), Leela Majumdar (1908), Fanny Cradock (1909), George Barker (1913), Jackie Gleason (1916), Theodore Sturgeon (1918), Lucjan Wolanowski (1920), Mark Bucci (1924), Sharyn McCrumb (1948), Elizabeth George (1948), Michel Houellebecq (1956), James Allodi (1967), Sharon Van Etten (1981), and Nate Ruess (1982).
The American cartoonist Tex Avery was born on this day in 1908. He was an American animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation. He did his most significant work for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, creating the characters of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, and developing Porky Pig, and Chilly Willy into the personas for which they are remembered. Avery’s influence can be seen in almost all of the animated cartoon series by various studios in the 1940s and 1950s. Avery’s style of directing encouraged animators to stretch the boundaries of the medium to do things in a cartoon that could not be done in the world of live-action film. An often-quoted line about Avery’s cartoons was, “In a cartoon you can do anything.”
On this day in 1946, Finnish observers reported the first of many thousands of sightings of ghost rockets. Ghost rockets were rocket- or missile-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries. About 2,000 sightings were logged between May and December 1946, with peaks on August ninth and eleventh 1946. Two hundred sightings were verified with radar returns, and authorities recovered physical fragments which were attributed to ghost rockets. Investigations concluded that many ghost rocket sightings were probably caused by meteors. However, most ghost rocket sightings did not occur during meteor shower activity, and furthermore displayed characteristics inconsistent with meteors, such as reported maneuverability. Debate continues as to the origins of the unidentified ghost rockets. In 1946, however, it was thought likely that they originated from the former German rocket facility at Peenemünde, and were long-range tests by the Russians of captured German V-1 or V-2 missiles, or perhaps another early form of cruise missile because of the ways they were sometimes seen to maneuver. This prompted the Swedish Army to issue a directive stating that newspapers were not to report the exact location of ghost rocket sightings, or any information regarding the direction or speed of the object. This information, they reasoned, was vital for evaluation purposes to the nation or nations performing the tests. However, some investigators for the Swedish military apparently believed the objects could not be conventionally explained, and instead hypothesized an extraterrestrial origin.
As part of the Iran-Contra affair, the Tower Commission rebuked President Ronald Reagan on February 26, 1987 for not controlling his national security staff. The Iran–Contra affair, also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or the Iran-Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
As part of the Gulf War, the United States Army forces captured the town of Al Busayyah on February 26, 1991.
It was on this day in 1993 when the World Trade Center bombing occurred. In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center exploded. Six people died and over a thousand people were injured.
The United Kingdom’s oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapsed February 26, 1995 after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts.
Today we bring you The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. We have new copies of this Perennial Classic. This paperback is about 138 pages long. Amazon gives the following description:
This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary material, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder.
“On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.” With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.
By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death — and to the author’s timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.
This new edition of Wilder’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize winning novel contains a new foreword by Russell Banks.
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.