Wednesday, February 20, 2008



1896. The Supreme Court upholds racial segregation, May 18, sustaining a Louisiana "Jim Crow car law" in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The Court lays down the doctrine that states may provide blacks with "separate but equal" facilities for educaiton, transportation, and public accommodations. Justice John Harlan says, "The Constitution is color-blind" in a lone but vigorous dissenting opinon, but the majority ruling sets off a wave of new segregation measures that designate drinking fountains, public benches, rest rooms, railroad cars, hospitals and theater sections "Colored" or "Whites Only."

1896. Idaho women gainsuffrage through an amendment to the state constitution.

1896. A gold rush to Canada's Klondike near the Alaskan border begins following the August 17 strike by U.S. prospector George washington Carmack.

1896. The Stanley Steamer is introduced at Newton, Mass., by Francis Edgar Stanley and his twin brother Freeling.

1896. French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity in uranium.

1896. "The Yellow Kid" appears in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World in March. The one-panel cartoon by Richard F. Outcault will appear in strip form in Hearst's New York Journal beginning October 24 of next year in the Journal's Sunday color supplement. Pulitzer and Hearst will battle over rights to the cartoon, and the contest for readership between the two will be marked by sensationalism that will be called "yellow journalism," a term that will be applied to other sensationalist papers.

1896. The Olympic Games of ancient Greece are revived through the efforts of Greek nationalists and of French educator-sportsman Pierre de Fredy who obtained support two years ago for bringing back the games banned by the Romans in 194 A.D. The first modern Olympiad opens at Athens with 484 contestants from 13 nations to begin a quadrennial event that will be broadened to include athletic events undreamed of by the Greeks of ancient times.

1896. A Japanese earthquake and seismic wave June 15 kill an estimated 22,000.

"My Lost Youth." H. W. Longfellow. American. 1896. Poem. "A boy's will is the wind's will...," etc.

The Sunken Bell. Gerhart Hauptmann. German. 1896. Verse Drama. Artist caught between the world of nature and man, between paganism and Christianity. Experiences life of bliss on mountain with a beautiful sprite. Returns to earth. Realizes he cannot exist in either world, accepts lethal poison and dies.

The Sea Gull. Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1896. Play. Failed writer kills a seagull as a symbol of his destroyed love for an actress. She leaves him for another lover; abandoned, she returns when he is successful, but compares herself to the dead seagull, destroyed by a man's mere momentary whim. She leaves him again and he succeeds in his second attempt at suicide

Quo Vadis? H. Sienkiewicz. Polish. 1896. Novel. Rome of Nero and early Christian martyrs. Petronius represents dying paganism. Richly colorful life of ancient Rome. Christian girl eventually marries her converted seducer.

Ubu Roi. Alfred Jarry. French. 1896. Play. Satirizes tendency of successful bourgeois to abuse their authority and become complacent. Anticipates Dada movement and Theatre of the Absurd.

La Ronde. Arthur Schnitzler. Austrian. 1896. Play. Ten scenes, each ending before ten couples have sexual intercouse. Interlocking. Circular. Begins and ends with a prostitute. Symbolizes the unending, frenetic quality and sameness of erotic behavior.

Weir of Hermiston. Robert Louis Stevenson. British. 1896. Novel. Battle of wills between father and son with father, a judge, convicting his son of murder and condemning him to death. Son rescued by relatives of his lover for whom he had murdered. Unfinihsed at his death. Promised to be his masterpiece.

The Country of the Pointed Firs. Sarah Orne Jewett. American. 1896. Stories. Maine seaport town from the point of view of a summer resident. Townspeople sympathetically drawn.

An Oucast of the Islands. Joseph Conrad. British. 1896. Novel. Marries native girl and is shot by her.

"My Life." Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1896. Story. Member of intelligentsia becomes a laborer. Criticism of Tolstoy?

John Gabriel Borkman. Henrik Ibsen. Norwegian. 1896. Play. Story of a man who sacrificed love for ambition. The unforgivable sin is to murder love in a human soul.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I have a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at

Can I use some of the information from your post above if I provide a backlink back to your website?