Tuesday, February 26, 2008


1899. Two U.S. privates open fire on Filipino soldiers outside Manila on the night of February 4, beginning a 3-year war between U.S. troops and Filipino national forces led by Emilio Aguinaldo. U.S. forces secure Luzon November 24, but many Americans oppose the "imperialist" war.

1899. The Boer War begins in South Africa, October 12, as President Kruger of the Boer Republic acts to block suspected British moves toward acquiring the rich Transvalla with its gold mines.

1899. The United Mine Workers of America is organized under the leadership of Illinois coal miner John Mitchell.

1899. Capt. Dreyfus wins a pardon, September 19, after a French Army retrial forced by public opinion.

1899. U.S. auto production reaches 2,500, up from 1,000 last year.

1899. Aspirin, perfected by German researchers Felix Hoffman and Hermann Dreser, will be marketed by prescription under the trade name Bayer Aspirin.

1899. The School and Society by University of Chicago philosopher-psychologist John Dewey, 39, pioneers progressive education by challenging traditional teaching methods based on lectures, memorization, and mechanical drill. Dewey suggests that education is a process of acculturation, an accumulation and assimilation of experience whereby a child develops into a balanced personality with wide awareness.

1899. Scott Joplin's "Original Rag" and "Maple Leaf Rag" are the first ragtime piano pieces to appear in sheet music form. Joplin, 30, has developed a ragged-type style, heavily syncopated (shift in accent when normally weak beat is stressed), that publisher John Stark discovers and other pianists will soon exploit.

1899. The boll weevil crosses the Rio Grande from Mexico and begins to spread north and east through U.S. cotton fields. The weevil will destroy vast acreages of cotton, devastating Southern agriculture.

"Twenty-six Men and a Girl." Maksim Gorky. Russian. 1899. Story. Bakery workers' day is made when young girl comes to buy their buns. Disillusioned when a boor bets he can seduce her and he succeeds.

Uncle Vanya. Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1899. Play. Drudge manages estate for a scholar whom he admires. Becomes disillusioned. Love for the scholar's young wife is unreturned. Scholar decides to sell the estate. Drudge is unsuccessful in trying to kill the scholar. Becomes reconciled to his drudgery.

Resurrection. Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1899. Novel. Spiritual regeneration of a young nobleman. When he seduces a girl, she becomes a prostitute. He is determined to marry her. At first, she rejects him because of his reforming zeal. Finally, she accepts his friendship. Weakest of Tolstoy's major novels.

The Theory of the Leisure Class. Thorstein Veblen. American. 1899. Nonfiction. Two classes: wealthy employ themselves uselessly. The leisure class. Conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption. The lower classes support the whole of society. Waste - any activity not contributing to material productivity. His analysis of business cycles and emerging technocracy are increasingly prophetic.

The Awkward Age. Henry James. American/British. 1899. Novel. Emergence of an English society girl into maturity. She is a rival of her mother for the love of a young man. Disillusioned.

War Is Kind. Stephen Crane. American. 1899. Poetry. Good example of dramatic irony used by Crane in both poetry and prose.

Fables in Slang. George Ade. American. 1899. Sketches. Humorous tales illustrate the common sense of ordinary people. Rendering of contemporary American speech.

Drayman Henschel. Gerhart Hauptmann. German. 1899. Play. Man who promised to be faithful to his late wife is trapped into marriage, bullied and commits suicide.

Richard Carvel. Winston Churchill. American. 1899. Novel. One of the most popular novels ever written about the American Revolution.

McTeague. Frank Norris. American. 1899. Novel. Phony dentist kills wife and the man who has informed on his lack of credentials. However, he is handcuffed to the corpse in the desert and dies of thirst.

Stalkey and Co. Rudyard Kipling. British. 1899. Stories. Pranks and adventures of three schoolboys.

"The Blue Hotel." Stephen Crane. American. 1899. Story. Swede in the West expects violence, provokes it and is killed. Universe that cares not for man's fate?

Caesar and Cleopatra. George Bernard Shaw. British. 1899. Play. Wise, unsentimental Caesar. Cleo is a "giddy teenager." Caesar amused by Cleo, history and himself.

No comments: