Archive for April 3rd, 2008

03
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-3-08: Pony Express

Pony Express debuts

On this day in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad

“Pony Express debuts.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2008, 10:40 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4885.

1829 – James Carrington patented the coffee mill.

1862 – Slavery was abolished in Washington, DC.

1865 – Union forces occupy Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

1882 – The American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back and killed by Robert Ford for a $5,000 reward. There was later controversy over whether it was actually Jesse James that had been killed.

1910 – Alaska’s Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America was climbed.

1933 – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt informed newspaper reporters that beer would be served at the White House. This followed the March 22 legislation that legalized “3.2” beer.

1936 – Richard Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and death of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh.

1942 – The Japanese began their all-out assault on the U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.

1946 – Lt. General Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed in the Philippines.

1948 – Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan to revive war-torn Europe. It was $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “mountaintop” speech just 24 hours before he was assassinated.

1979 – Jane Byrne became the first female mayor in Chicago.

1993 – The Norman Rockwell Museum opened in Stockbridge, MA.

1996 – An Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard.

1996 – Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski was arrested. He pled guilty in January 1998 to five Unabomber attacks in exchange for a life sentence without chance for parole.

ACLU says it will contest obscenity of HOWL

The American Civil Liberties Union announces it will defend Allen Ginsberg’s book Howl against obscenity charges.

The U.S. Customs Department had seized some 520 copies of the book several weeks earlier as the book entered the U.S. from England, where it had been printed. Poet Allen Ginsberg had first read the title poem, Howl, at a poetry reading in the fall of 1956 to enormous acclaim from his fellow Beat poets. The poem’s racy language, frank subject matter, and lack of form offended some conservative readers, but to young people in the 1960s, it sounded a call to revolt against convention. Along with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the poem served as the reference manual and rallying cry for a new generation. Ginsberg himself coined the term “flower power.”

After the seizing of Howl, American publisher and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti announced he would publish it in the U.S. After its publication, he was arrested and tried for promoting obscene material. The ACLU successfully defended both Ferlinghetti and the book at Ferlinghetti’s trial, calling on nine literary experts to render an opinion on the book’s merits. Ferlinghetti was found not guilty.

“ACLU says it will contest obscenity of HOWL.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2008, 10:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=3927.

http://members.tripod.com/~Sprayberry/poems/howl.txt

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