Wednesday, March 6, 2013

 “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain

Today is National Frozen Food Day, Oreo Cookie day, Dentist’s Day, Sofia Kvalevskaya Math Day, and Learn What your Name Means Day.

Some of the writers born on March 6th include:

Luigi Alamanni (1495), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619), Francis Atterbury (1663), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806), George du Maurier (1834), Ring Lardner (1885), Henri Jeanson (1900), Stanisław Jerzy Lec (1909), Lewis Gilbert (1920), Gabriel García Márquez (1927), Keith Spicer (1934), Adam Osborne (1939), John Stossel (1947), Stephen Schwartz (1948), Jan Kjærstad (1953), Jeff Greenwald (1954), Skip Ewing (1964), and Sarah De Bono (1992).

Also born today was Ed McMahon in 1923. He was an American comedian, game show host and announcer. He is most famous for his work on television as Johnny Carson’s sidekick and announcer on The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992. He also hosted the original version of the talent show Star Search from 1983 to 1995. He co-hosted TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes with Dick Clark from 1982 to 1998. He also presented sweepstakes for the direct marketing company American Family Publishers (not, as is commonly believed, its main rival Publishers Clearing House). He annually co-hosted the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and performed in numerous television commercials, most notably for Budweiser. In the 1970s and 1980s, he anchored the team of NBC personalities conducting the network‘s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. McMahon appeared in several films, including The Incident, Fun With Dick and Jane, Full Moon High, and Butterfly, as well as briefly in the film version of Bewitched. He passed away in 2009.

Today we remember Lousia May Alcott who passed away on this day in 1888 at the age of 55. She was an American novelist best known as author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. Nevertheless, her family suffered severe financial difficulties and Alcott worked to help support the family from an early age. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard. Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. Never married, she died in Boston.

We also remember Pearl S. Buck today. She passed away 40 years ago today when she was 80. Also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (Chinese: 賽珍珠; pinyin: Sài Zhēnzhū), was an American writer who spent most of her time until 1934 in Zhenjiang, China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”

The First Fleet arrived on March 6, 1788 at Norfolk Island in order to found a convict settlement.

The Missouri Compromise was signed into law by President James Monroe on this day in 1820. The compromise allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state, but makes the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

York, Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto on March 6, 1834.

After a thirteen day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo were killed and the fort was captured on March 6, 1836 in the Battle of the Alamo as part of the Texas Revolution.

The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery opened March 6, 1840. It was the first dental school.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case on this day in 1857. Also known as the Dred Scott Decision, it was a landmark decision which held that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the territories, and that people of African descent (both slave and free) were not protected by the Constitution and were not U.S. citizens. Since passage of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the decision has not been a precedent case, but retains historical significance as it is widely regarded as the worst decision ever made by the Supreme Court.

Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society on March 6, 1869.

Bayer registered aspirin as a trademark on March 6, 1899.

A hundred and one years ago the Oreo cookie was introduced by Nabisco.

International Unemployment Day demonstrations were globally initiated March 6, 1930 by the Comintern.

Ho Chi Minh signed an agreement on this day in 1946 with France which recognized Vietnam as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.

The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg began on this day in 1951.They were convicted of conspiracy to comit espionage during a time of war and executed on June 19, 1953. Their charges were related to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. This has been the only case in the history of the United States in which those accused of espionage were executed as a result. In 1995, the U.S. government released a series of decoded Soviet cables, codenamed VENONA, which confirmed that Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets but which were ambiguous about Ethel’s involvement. The other atomic spies who were caught by the FBI offered confessions and were not executed, including Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents to Julius from Los Alamos.

On March 6 the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 began on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States.

Nation of Islam‘s Elijah Muhammad officially gave boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali on March 6, 1964.

Joseph Stalin‘s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defected to the United States on this day in 1967.

The East Los Angeles Walkouts or Chicano Blowouts were a series of 1968 protests against unequal conditions in Los Angeles Unified School District high schools. The first protest took place on March 6. While the students who organized and carried out the protests were primarily concerned with the quality of their education, they were also motivated by the high minority death toll in the Vietnam War and the ongoing civil rights campaigns of the Chicano Movement.

Three black males were executed by Rhodesia on March 6, 1968. These were the first executions since UDI, prompting international condemnation. The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom was signed on November 11, 1965, by the administration of Ian Smith, whose Rhodesian Front party opposed an immediate transfer to black majority rule in the self-governing British colony.

For the first time, ever, the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy was shown in motion to a national audience on March 6, 1975 by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

On March 6, 1975, Iran and Iraq announced a settlement of their border dispute, the Algiers Accord.

After 19 years of presenting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time on March 6, 1981.

The first United States Football League game was played thirty years ago today.

The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized on March 6, 1987 in about 90 seconds and killed 193 people.

anthem of a reluctant prophet

Today we bring you Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx. We have Like New copies in stock. Amazon gives the following description of this novel:

When seventeen-year-old Luke Hunter foretells the death of his friend with freakish accuracy, his life gets complicated. Everyone in Stokum, Michigan, his rank little pinprick of a hometown, knows about the premonition and wants to know more. But Luke holds everyone—the local news crew, his parents, his buddy Fang—at arm’s length, telling no one that the death premonitions keep happening. Terrified, he lurches through a personal minefield studded with previously unconsidered existential ponderings, Christian fundamentalists, and a dream girl who his dead friend left behind. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is a darkly comic coming-of-age novel that nails contemporary youth culture.

nerd girl confession 22

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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