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It was on this day in 1870 that the novelist Charles Dickens died he had a stroke and fell off his chair at the dinner table.
Dickens asked to be buried “in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner,” so even though he was buried in Westminster Abbey, it was a secret funeral, early in the morning, with only 12 mourners. But the grave was left open for a week and thousands of people, all types of people, came to throw in flowers for the man whose tomb is inscribed with the words “He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”
Taken from writer’s Almanac.
Don’t know why, but my Flash Fiction novel, ” 30 Stories 1,000 Words or Less” volume 1 Oct 1, 2011
by Joe DiBuduo
Then a picture of my book cover. And the price is $182.00 And the seller says he has 24 new and used.
I saw another of my books where the owner asked over $200.00
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote.
The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.
Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote, but it took them decades to accomplish their purpose. Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state—nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.
By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and President Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift.
On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorate forever.
For more information, visit the National Archives’ Digital Classroom Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment
This is taken from The Writer’s Almanac.
Allen Ginsberg, the poet who coined the term “flower power,” which became the catchphrase to describe the social and political revolution of the 1960s. He’s best known for his landmark poem, “Howl” (1956), which kick-started the youth revolution in America and gave voice to a group of writers known as the “Beat Generation.”
Ginsberg grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. His father was a high school teacher and his mother a former member of the Communist Party. They taught Ginsberg and his brother, Eugene, to recite Poe, Dickens, and Keats aloud. Ginsberg once called his parents “old-fashioned delicatessen philosophers.”
At Columbia University, he met a scruffy poet named Lucien Carr who introduced him to fellow writers Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Neal Cassady. They introduced him to drugs, free love, and the writings of William Blake and Ezra Pound. Ginsberg was expelled from Columbia for minor infractions and ended up working as a merchant seaman, welder, and dishwasher. After he finally graduated from Columbia, he was arrested for possession of drugs. Rather than go to jail, he pleaded insanity and spent eight months in a psych ward at Columbia. He went back to Paterson for a time, where he met poet William Carlos Williams, who became his mentor.
Ginsberg’s mother suffered from paranoia and slit her wrists. She was committed to Pilgrim State Hospital in Long Island and Ginsberg signed a letter authorizing her lobotomy. A few days after she died in 1956, Ginsberg received letters from her, which he used for an epic poem called “Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg 1895-1956,” which many consider his poetic masterpiece. One of her letters said, “Get married Allen don’t take drugs love, your Mother.”
After writing copy on Madison Avenue for five years, Ginsberg moved to San Francisco, where he got a room around the corner from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore, took a lot of peyote, and wrote a long poem called “Howl” (1955), which begins, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.” He read the poem, which included references to homosexuality, at the Six Gallery to a cheering crowd, a scene that Jack Kerouac later used for his novel The Dharma Bums (1958). Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights later published the poem, which was promptly seized by U.S. Customs and San Francisco police for obscenity. The trial judge dismissed the charge, saying, “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms?”
“Howl” made Allen Ginsberg famous. He went on to become a Buddhist and to study with Zen masters and gurus; he was expelled from Cuba for calling Che Guevara “cute” and kicked out of Czechoslovakia in 1966. He smoked pot with Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and claimed he’d found a new method for writing poetry. He said, “All you have to do is think of anything that comes into your head, then arrange in lines of two, three, or four words each, don’t bother about sentences, in sections of two, three, or four lines each.” James Dickey called Ginsberg “a problem,” because Ginsberg made it seem like anyone could write a poem.
He protested against the Vietnam War and amassed a lengthy FBI dossier. He spoke out in favor of gay rights and the legalization of drugs and posed in an Uncle Sam costume for a very popular 1960s poster. He once said, “It occurs to me that I am America.”
Allen Ginsberg died in 1997. His books include Howl and Other Poems (1956), Reality Sandwiches (1963), Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1984). He won the National Book Award (1974) for The Fall of America: Poems of These States 1965-1971 (1973).
On this day in 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law. It was the first legislation to diverge from the previous official U.S. policy to respect Native Americans’ legal and political rights. Jackson announced his policy by saying, “It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation.” He also said, “Toward the aborigines of the country no one can indulge a more friendly feeling than myself, or would go further in attempting to reclaim them from their wandering habits and make them a happy, prosperous people.”
The policy primarily affected five tribes: the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole nations of the southeastern United States. In 1823, the Supreme Court ruled that the white settlers’ “right of discovery” superseded the Indians’ “right of occupancy.” The five nations resisted nonviolently at first, and tried to assimilate into Anglo-American practices of education, large-scale farming, and slave-holding, but to no avail, and about 100,000 Indians were forcibly marched thousands of miles – sometimes in manacles – to lands west of the Mississippi, most of which were deemed undesirable by white settlers. As many as 25 percent died en route.
The Cherokee nation battled the Removal Act in courts of law, and the Seminoles of Florida battled it literally; Chief Osceola said: “You have guns, and so have we. You have powder and lead, and so have we. You have men, and so have we. Your men will fight and so will ours, till the last drop of the Seminole’s blood has moistened the dust of his hunting ground.”