Archive for March 22nd, 2008

22
Mar
08

The View From Tower Hill

May 23, 2007 045

May 23, 2007 046

May 23, 2007 051

22
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-22-08: Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour born

Louis L’Amour, the prolific author of scores of bestselling western novels, is born in Jamestown, North Dakota.

An indifferent student, L’Amour dropped out of high school at age 15. Over the next two decades, he traveled around the world working in an amazing variety of jobs. At various times, he tried his hand at being a cowboy, seaman, longshoreman, prizefighter, miner, and fruit picker. During World War II, L’Amour served time in Europe as an officer in the tanks corps.

After returning from the war, L’Amour began writing short stories and novels. His spare, flinty style caught the eyes of several editors, and L’Amour began to make a living as a writer. His big break came when a novel he wrote at the age of 46 became the basis for the popular John Wayne movie Hondo. Although L’Amour had not set out to become a writer of Westerns, he began producing more of what readers and editors clearly wanted. He wrote several other screenplay/novels, including the epic 1962 movie, How the West Was Won. By the mid-1970s, he had written 62 books, most of them Westerns.

L’Amour’s best-loved novels feature three pioneering families: the Sacketts, the Chantrys, and the Talons. L’Amour produced convincing and moving historical novels that spanned centuries and celebrated the strength and spirit of the American West. Most of his books also feature rough-hewn but intelligent men. “When you open a rough, hard country,” L’Amour once said, “you don’t open it with a lot of pantywaists.” In the tradition of classic Westerns like Owen Wister’s The Virginian, women primarily serve as love interests in need of protection.

Using extensive historical research to ensure authenticity, L’Amour avoided many of the simplistic cliches and racist stereotypes of earlier Westerns. Although he occasionally cast Indians as villains, he also offered sympathetic portraits that reflected an understanding and sympathy for different cultures and history.

Although he had written 108 books by the time he died in 1988, L’Amour considered himself a serious author and blamed the lack of critical respect on the fact that his books were Westerns. Still, having sold more than 225 million copies of his novels, L’Amour was one of the most popular and influential western authors of the 20th century. In recognition of his vivid depictions of America’s past, Congress awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal in 1983.

“Louis L’Amour born.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Mar 2008, 03:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4466.

1457 – Gutenberg Bible became the first printed book.

1638 – Anne Hutchinson, a religious dissident, was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1719 – Frederick William abolished serfdom on crown property in Prussia.

1794 – The U.S. Congress banned U.S. vessels from supplying slaves to other countries.

1872 – Illinois became the first state to require sexual equality in employment.

1882 – The U.S. Congress outlawed polygamy.

1895 – Auguste and Louis Lumiere showed their first movie to an invited audience in Paris.

1903 – Niagara Falls ran out of water due to a drought.

1904 – The first color photograph was published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill legalizing the sale and possession of beer and wine containing up to 3.2% alcohol.

1941 – The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington began operations.

1946 – The first U.S. built rocket to leave the earth’s atmosphere reached a height of 50-miles.

1972 – The U.S. Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment. It was not ratified by the states.

1988 – The Congress overrode U.S. President Reagan’s veto of a sweeping civil rights bill.

1989 – Oliver North began two days of testimony at his Iran-Contra trial in Washington, DC.

Officials confirm “non-lethal gas” was provided

The State Department acknowledges that the United States had supplied the South Vietnamese armed forces with a “non-lethal gas which disables temporarily” for use “in tactical situations in which the Viet Cong intermingle with or take refuge among non-combatants, rather than use artillery or aerial bombardment.” This announcement triggered a storm of criticism worldwide. The North Vietnamese and the Soviets loudly protested the introduction of “poison gas” into the war. Secretary of State Dean Rusk insisted at a news conference on March 24 that the United States was “not embarking upon gas warfare,” but was merely employing “a gas which has been commonly adopted by the police forces of the world as riot-control agents.”

“Officials confirm “non-lethal gas” was provided.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Mar 2008, 03:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1744.

Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.
Louis L’Amour

Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.
Louis L’Amour




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