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.
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.
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.