Tennessee Williams was Born


English: Tennessee Williams, American playwrig...

English: Tennessee Williams, American playwright; cropped from photo of Williams with cake for 20th anniversary of “The Glass Menagerie” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III was born on March 26, 1911 to Edwina (née Dakin) and Cornelius Coffin (C.C.) Williams in Columbus, Mississippi. His father was a salesman and a drinker, his mother a music teacher and a southern belle, and his grandfather, local Episcopal priest. His was the middle child, the second of three children.


When Tennessee was eight they moved to Missouri because his father was promoted to a position at the home office. He showed a gift for writing even at a young age with essays which he wrote in high school which was published entitled “Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?” Soon he entered in contests for writing and sport, looking to make extra money. In August of 1928 he had a short story published in Weird Tales.
He attended University of Missouri, in Columbia, where he majored in journalism. He was still more interested in writing short stories, poetry, and essays and entering in contests. He tried joining a fraternity, but still was not that interested in college as much as he was interested in entering in writing contests. He even tried joining the military; soon his father pulled him out of school. Tennessee ended working for his father’s company, selling shoes at the International Shoe Company. Life at the shoe company wasn’t much better. It was the monotony and the drudgery. So Tennessee did the only thing he could think of doing, he sat down at his typewriter and wrote A Street Car Named Desire.

By 1936, he was ready to go back to college and enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis and then he went to the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in English. In 1939, Tennessee Williams officially took on the name Tennessee Williams. Dramatics became his next interest.
Tennessee did many odd jobs between then and when he graduated where obviously he was also writing. In 1940 he was able to get a grant to put on his first play Battle of Angels in 1940 in Boston. The Glass Menagerie was produced on stage between 1944 and 1945. In 1947 A Street Car Named Desire was produced on stage.
Many of the stories he wrote were created around characters of his life growing up and of his family.
Tennessee William passed away in 1983.

But for many of u he is remembered through his works of art, when produced in the theater, on television, or in the movies. Many high school students in the 1980s were reading his works as part of class study. He found his way by constantly writing and entering in contests, and following his hearts’ desire.





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Uncle Tom’s Cabin was Published

A movie poster from Kroger Babb's 1965 product...

A movie poster from Kroger Babb’s 1965 production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly was published on March 20, 1852 as a serial by (The National Era & John P. Jewett and Company (in two volumes)). The book was written by Connecticut born author Harriet Beecher Stowe, a teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist. The book became the best seller of that century as it was written, following the bible. She wrote the book while she and her husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, were in Maine, when she heard about the Fugitive Slave Act which penalized officials who did not arrest runaway slaves.

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 14, 1811. Her parents sent her to a seminary school growing up where she received a traditional “male” education. Her father was Harry Ward Beecher, a well known abolitionist. Growing up she supported the Underground Railroad. She was also interested in writing,

She believed it was her duty to bring money into the house just as her husband did. She worked at raising their two daughters. She could be looked at as a Martha Stewart of her generation. The publishing of this one novel made her and her family very well off.
Did you know that her neighbor was Mark Twain.




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Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie was Born Today

Stamp Frédéric Joliot-Curie 2 retouched

Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie was born March 19, 1900 in Paris, France. His parents were, Henri Joliot, a merchant, and his mother was Emilie Roederer. He earned a doctorate degree in Science in 1930. He was a graduate of École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris and an assistant to Marie Curie at th

e Radium Institute. He fell passionately in love with her daughter Irène Curie and convinced him when they married they should take on the name Joliot-Curie as he did on October 4, 1926.
He gave lectures at the Paris Faculty of Science on the atom. That is what he and is what were both working on. They discovered artificial radioactivity and in 1935 they were awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Albert Einstein mentioned Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie in a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the leading scientists of the nuclear fission in 1937.
After the war in 1945, Joliot-Curie became France’s first High Commissioner for Atomic Energy. He had [passed information onto to the Soviets about nuclear energy. In 1948 the first French atomic reactor was built. He was a devote communist. In 1950 he was absolved of almost all his duties except for professorship at the Collège de France. His wife passed away in 1956.
They had two children, Hélène, born in 1927, who became a physicist, and Pierre, a biologist, born in 1932.
Frédéric Joliot died on August 14, 1958.



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Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was Born

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experienc...

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder used her experiences growing up near De Smet as the basis for four of her novels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was born February 7, 1867 to Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake (Quiner) Ingalls. She was the second of five children, the eldest Mary Amelia, who became blind as a teenager, Caroline Celestia; Charles Frederick, who died when he was an infant; and Grace Pearl.

Laura documented her life in Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. Living the life on the prairie they ran into Indians and other settlers. Her father took odd jobs when possible. As a young girl I read the books she was to have published, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silvery Lake, The Long Winter, and These Happy Golden Years.

Laura studied and became a teacher. She later met her love, Almanzo Wilder or Manly as she called him. They married on August 25, 1885 in De Smet, South Dakota.

On December 5, 1886, she gave birth to Rose. After a severe drought and debt along with illness that left Manly walking with a cane. Laura took a paid position as a columnist for the Missouri Ruralist in 1911. She wrote a column called, “As a Farm Woman Thinks,” capturing many farmers in the area and gaining regular readership. In the 1920s she started working for the Farm Loan Association on the side. In 1929 they were wiped out with the stock market crash, but thankful Laura was writing. In 1932 her first book was published.

Cover of

Cover of These Happy Golden Years (Little House)

More books were published about her life, an autobiography. Her life was later televised by Michael Landon in the series, Little House on the Prairie. Melissa Gilbert played Laura Ingalls. There was a more detailed movie of her life named, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (but parts were still fictional).

Her life touched ours for many years. For me this show was a constant. I grew up reading the books. She lead a hard life, but times were definitely different. It was a time of discovery. Laura became a teacher because she knew she may be needed to help bring money into the home. She had to be able to survive if she were by herself or be able to take care of her family. She took odd jobs just as her father did. But when she was able to take a chance to do what she loved, she took it, and if she hadn’t when the stock market crashed, maybe they not have survived. I can’t really say, it was a different time. She managed.




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Mary Rudge was Born

English: The first Ladies’ International Chess...

English: The first Ladies’ International Chess Congress, organized by the Ladies’ Chess Club of London, was held in London from 23 June to 3 July, 1897. The tournament was part of the 60th anniversary of the reign of queen Victoria, who was a chess player herself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Rudge was born on February 6, 1842. She was born in Leominster, a small town in Herefordshire, England and she grew up to be a master cheese player. She won the first international women’s chess tournament in London, 1897 with 18.5/19 ahead of Louisa Matilda Fagan.*

Growing up she would play chess with her father. She began playing chess in 1872 by correspondence and she joined the Bristol Chess Club. She was the first female member. After the death of her father she began playing seriously and moved to Bristol. She had an older sister Caroline, and older brother Henry. She and her sister went to live with her brother after the passing of their father. Caroline and Mary helped her brother teach school until the school closed. When the school closed her brother moved to North Meols, but Mary stayed behind. By this time she had established herself at the game of chess.

In 1889, she became the first woman in the world to give simultaneous chess exhibitions and she was being hailed as the leading lady chess player in the world. In 1898, she played against world champion Emanuel Lasker in a simultaneous display in London. Lasker was unable to finish the game and conceded defeat because he would be lost with Rudge best play.

To be a master at chess she had to understand the game, and understand strategy. She knew when to strike, but also when to fall back, so to speak. She was one of many women to take up the game of chess, and Rudge definitely showed she had the courage and the wit to play against her male counterpart. If she could best him at chess, at this time, didn’t it show that women were meant for more? Her heart and spirit definitely proved that she was in the game.


Click to access MaryRudge.pdf



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Henry Morton Stanley was born

Portrait of Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), ...

Portrait of Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), Explorer (Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)

Sir Henry Morton Stanley GCB, born John Rowlands was born on January 28, 1841 to Elizabeth Parry as a bastard in Denbigh, Denbighshire. He didn’t know his father. His father passed away weeks after his birth and his mother shunned him, he was sent to live with relatives. At age 5 he was sent to St Asaph Union Workhouse for the Poor. The workhouse was a horrible place for him to live, but he lived there until the age of 15. He was able to get an elementary education and go work as a pupil teacher in a National School.

When he was 18 he decided to go to the United States, and when he did that he changed his name to Henry Hope Stanley after a friendly gentleman he met. He was able to get a job working for him at his shop, and after the man passed away he took over the shop and the accent and denied being a foreigner.

He then became a journalist during the Civil War. He made his first expedition to the Ottoman Empire. The expedition did not go at all as planned, as they were jailed and imprisoned but thanks to restitution they were soon let go.

It was 1869 when James Gordon Bennett, Jr. asked Stanley to go on an expedition in search for David Livingstone, the explorer and missionary in Africa. He travelled near and far across Africa and to Zanzibar over 700 miles. Stanley found Livingstone on November 10, 1871 and uttered those timely words, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”

His travels took him to the Congo River for further research. Then he went on further expedition such as the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.

He wrote about his travels in his book Through the Dark Continent.

He as much proved he could become mould himself to fit where need be. His lived a great expedition growing up, and wanted a better life, although very unconventional, he was sort of able to find an adoptive family since the original Stanley had no children. It was just amazing that he behaved like he belonged. He was always the traveler.




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Lewis Carroll was Born

Description: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis C...

Description: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known as Lewis Carroll was born January 27, 1832 to Charles Dodgson and Frances Jane Lutwidge. His father was a country parson and mathematician at Croft-on-Tees in North Yorkshire. Carroll was born in Daresbury in Cheshire near the towns of Warrington and Runcorn. He was the eldest of three brothers. Carroll was influenced by

his father, and very intelligent, following the religious views of the time which were dividing Anglo-Catholicism.

Carroll loved to read and often had reading lists. He read such books as The Pilgrim’s Progress. He and his siblings suffered from a vocal stutter. He was also deaf in one year. At age 17 he had developed a whooping cough that made his chest very weak. Later on it is said he also suffered from migraines and epilepsy. He attended Oxford College in 1850 He was able to obtain first-class honors in Mathematics Moderations and nominated to a Studentship as well as various other awards because he was exceptionally gifted.

While he was at Oxford in 1854 he had started submitted some of his writing to be published. He worked to prefect his writing. He submitted his writing under the name of Charles Lutwidge which his name translated in Latin. In 1856 his first poem was published under the name of Lewis Carroll.

He also met Alice Liddell, Henry Liddell’s daughter and dean of the Christ Church who was the influence for his published in 1865 after numerous rejections, with the help of George MacDonald, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published under the name of Lewis Carroll.

There is much talk of the relationships that Carroll had with little girls, since he wrote about them in books. In some ways I think he had a hard time connecting with adults as opposed to children or he liked the wonderment of children. He was so intelligent, and so sickly, dealing with his stutter, that he probably met more time with himself that with other adults. Children were then easier to reach out and talk to.

Français : Illustration d'origine (1865), par ...

Français : Illustration d’origine (1865), par John Tenniel (28 février 1820 – 25 février 1914), du roman de Lewis Carroll, Alice au pays des merveilles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1876 The Hunting of the Snark, a poem was published.

When Carroll was writing he was doing work in the field of math. He worked in geometry, matrix algebra, mathematical logic and recreational mathematics.

When he wasn’t writing books of fiction he was writing books on math.

In 1889 he published his last novel, Sylvia and Bruno. This book did not do as well as Alice in Wonderland.

Carroll is one of my favorite writers and Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There are one of my favorite books. I love the poems he wrote. I recently found the poem Rhyme? And Reason? And a Tangled Tale and they have such imagination. He is indeed one of my all time favorites.




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The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is Played at the Marriage of Queen Victoria’s Daughter and Friedrich of Prussia

English: Theme of the Wedding March, from Mend...

English: Theme of the Wedding March, from Mendelssohn’s incidental music Ein Sommernachtstraum, Op. 61. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On January 25, 1858, The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia, and becomes a popular wedding recessional. This is the best known of all the of Mendelssohn’s pieces. Mendelssohn usually played for Queen Victoria and her family when he was visiting Britain.
The works of William Shakespeare was very popular. In 1826, Mendelssohn saw A Midsummer’s Night Dream and was so inspired he wrote an overture for his employer, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. He was later commissioned to write accompanying music for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was to be staged in 1843 in Potsdam for Marius Petipa for a ballet. The earlier music he had written was incorporated into concert music. Petipa had worked with Tchaikovsky on Swan Lake. This was the period of musical Romanticism which was between 1815 and 1910 and this particular piece of music is a monument to the period as well as the genre.
The creation of the recessional that is used today was done by both Franz Liszt and Vladimir Horowitz who both at one time both transcribed the “Wedding March and Dance of the Elves” to be played for piano in to what it is today. Shakespeare’s creativity inspired other artists, and helped bring out their out creativity that changed the world.

Here is the Wedding March by Mendelssohn from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.




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Edith Wharton was Born

English: Photograph of writer Edith Wharton, t...

English: Photograph of writer Edith Wharton, taken by E. F. Cooper, at Newport, Rhode Island. Cabinet photograph. Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edith Wharton was born nee Edith Newbold Jones on January 24, 1862 in New York City to George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander. She was related to the Rensselaer family who were thought of to be of high class and prestige. Have you ever heard the saying “Keeping up with the Joneses“? That was based on her family. She met many public figures like Theodore Roosevelt.

She married Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton in 1885 and they lived in Philadelphia, at his estate, The Mount. She married into the same social class; Edith loved to be creative and designed the gardens around the estate and well as the interior design of the house. Teddy Wharton was twelve years older then she, and a regular sportsman. In 1897 she co-authored and wrote her first book with Ogden Codman called The Decoration of Houses. In 1905 she wrote The House of Mirth. She had been writing many short stories during this time including ghost stories. Unfortunately in 1908 her husband suffered from depression which was discovered to be incurable. She divorced him in 1913.

In her spare time when she wasn’t working on the house or gardens she was writing. Sometimes she would write short stories, other times, books on design. She wrote about the world and society she knew about. She moved to Paris, France after the divorce.

She assisted in the war effort with the relief effort. She was a supporter of French imperialism. In 1920 she wrote The Age of Innocence which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1921.

In 1923 she received an honorary doctorate degree from Yale University. That was the only time she returned to the states.She returned to France. In 1937 she died of a stroke. She died leaving over 85 stories and many books for us to read. She found the irony in life. 




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Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the First Female Doctor

English: portrait of Elizabeth Blackwell

English: portrait of Elizabeth Blackwell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the United States’ first female doctor on January 23, 1849.
She was born in Bristol, England; her family owned a sugar refinery. She was the youngest of three girls. Her father was a Congregationalist or separatist so they were considered later on to be Puritans. In 1828 they moved to America, and by 1836, they had established the sugar refinery in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father did not survive the trip, and died three weeks later. The move put them into tremendous debt.
Blackwell and her sisters opened a school called The Cincinnati English and French Academy for Young Ladies. They provided room and board for the girls, and taught them the most important subjects for girls at that time. The tuition became their source of income for their family. The school didn’t last and she ended up private tutoring.
Blackwell became involved with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1838 due to her sister’s influence. In 1839 she met William Henry Channing who was a Unitarian minister and she became interested in her education and other areas of reform. She studied art, wrote short stories, went to lectures, and other intellectual pursuits.
She didn’t decide to study medicine until one of her dear friends was in the hospital. Her friend was uncomfortable with her male doctors and their bedside manner. The disease was very painful and thought to be perhaps uterine cancer. Her friend liked when her friend was in attendance.
Although Blackwell’s interest in intellect and education were powerful, they didn’t help her feel teaching feel very rewarding. By October 1847 she was accepted to Geneva Medical College, now part of Upstate Medical University, in upstate New York, as a medical student. In order to be accepted they put it to a vote to 150 male students. Her education later took her to Europe.
After she graduated she set up practice in New York City. She did have some patients. She published a book called The Laws of Life with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls in 1852, and gave lecturers. She set up a small dispensary near Tompkins Square in 1853. Her sister Emily also obtained a medical degree, and she assisted other women pursuing careers in the medical field including Marie Zakrzewska.
When Civil War broke out in the United States she assisted the North and the nurses, and worked alongside Dorothea Dix in training nurses. She was working for social reform. She was friends with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Florence Nightingale. Blackwell stuck to her beliefs, and when she reached out, she found others that would help her in her pursuit to help others.




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