Monday, February 25, 2008


Whoops! I made a mistake in sequence of years. I missed 1897. Here it is.

1897. The U.S. annexes the Hawaiian Islands under terms of a June 16 treaty that is ratified by the Hawaiian Senate.

1897. Queen Victoria celebrates her Diamond Jubilee June 22.

1897. The first Zionist Congress opens August 31 at Basel as Theodor Herzl arouses support for his dream of a Jewish homeland in Palestine that will provide a refuge for oppressed Jews worldwide.

1897. News of last year's Klondike gold discoveries reaches the U.S. in January and starts a new gold rush. By year's end the Klondike has yielded $22 million worth of gold.

1897. U.S. auto production rises to 100, up from 25 last year.

1897. The atom, believed by the ancient Greeks to be indivisible, turns out to have a nucleus orbited by one or more electrons.

1897. The parasite that causes malaria is carried by the Anopheles mosquito, says British physician Ronald Ross in famine-stricken India.

1897. A cathode-ray tube invented at Strassburg by German physicist Karl Ferdinand Bruan pioneers development of television and other electronic communications.

1897. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," writes New York Sun editor Francis Church in a September 21 editorial reply to reader Virginia O'Hanlon, age 8, who has written to inquire if Santa Claus really exists.

1897. A massive, ornate Library of Congress is completed at Washington, D.C.

1897. The first Boston Marathon is run April 19.

Recessional. Rudyard Kipling. British. 1897. Poetry. Celebrates the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Victoria. Warning to the British not to be overconfident in their hour of greatest glory.

What Is Art? Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1897. Nonfiction. Considered art an extension of morality. Felt it should have a morally uplifting spirit. Work of art must be simple enough for everyone, not just the well educated, to understand. Tolstoy's views became the framework for Soviet extraliterary standards by which to judge a work of art: "Socialist Realism."

The Nigger of the Narcissus. Joseph Conrad. British. 1897. Novel. Study of men's characters under stress. Black sailor dying of TB. Presence of death brings out the best and worst of the crew. Source of Conrad's famous definition of literature: "My task is by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see."

What Maisie Knew. Henry James. American/British. 1897. Novel. Twelve-year-old Maisie sees divorced parents' extra-marital infidelities. Gives her a realistic knowledge of the adult world. Chooses to live with her governess, not her parents.

The Devil's Disciple. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1897. Play. American Revolution. convention and circumstances fix one's life. In crises, people change, learn about themselves.

The Fruits of the Earth. Andre Gide. French. 1897. Poetry. Hymn to the beauty of all experience. Cast off all that is artificial or merely conventional.

"Peasants." Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1897. Story. Somber picture of peasant life in Russia. stirred debate.

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