on this day

Remembering Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss, beloved weaver of nonsense and whimsy, passed away on this day 25 years ago. His body of work continues to serve the world in countless ways. Books like The Lorax and The Cat in the Hat teach reading skills, but also offer lessons in joy and moral philosophy. People–no matter how small–look to Suess for direction, inspiration, and lessons about shared humanity.

Many of you know Dr. Seuss for rhymes and whimsical words, but committed fans know Seuss by the name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. A glimpse at Dr. Seuss’s biography reveals his multifaceted life and incredible scope of experiences. Seuss was an academic, army captain, comic, film producer, ad-man, illustrator and above all things, a storyteller. He originally pursued a doctorate in English literature at Oxford University’s Lincoln College but left to pursue illustration. With brains in his head and feet in his shoes, he began his career drawing cartoons for advertisements, magazines, and publishers. With the onset of World War II, Dr. Seuss enrolled in the military. He worked with Hollywood director Frank Capra to produce and illustrate films and cartoons for United States servicemen. The war ended, and Seuss began an illustrious career as a children’s book author and illustrator, earning association with our most cherished memories: bedtime stories, library reading nooks, and beloved primary school classrooms.

Image Credit: Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, seated at desk covered with his books / World Telegram Sun photo by Al Ravenna, 1957, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

On this day, 25th September 1763, Fletcher Christian, of the Mutiny on the Bounty fame was born.

Fletcher Christian was born in 1763, the son of Charles Christian of Cumberland, the family had originated from the Isle of Man. He sailed with William Bligh in the Bounty in 1787 as senior master’s mate for Tahiti. In April, 1789, after leaving Tahiti, Christian and some of the crew arrested Bligh and set him adrift with 18 others in the ship’s launch. He then took command of the Bounty and eventually landed at Pitcairn Island where he died in 1792.

There is no portrait or drawing extant of Fletcher Christian that was drawn from life. Bligh described Christian as “5 ft. 9 in. high [175 cm]. blackish or very dark complexion. Hair - Blackish or very dark brown. Make - Strong. A star tatowed [sic] on his left breast, and tatowed [sic] on the backside. His knees stand a little out and he may be called a little bow legged. He is subject to violent perspiration, particularly in his hand, so that he soils anything he handles" 

His fellow crew members on the Bounty had this to say about him   “He was a gentleman; a brave man; and every officer and seaman on board the ship would have gone through fire and water to serve him.” – “I would still wade up to the arm-pits in blood to serve him.” – “As much as I have lost and suffered by him, if he could be restored to his country, I should be the first to go without wages in search of him.” – “Every body under his command did their duty at a look from Mr. Christian.” – “Mr. Christian was always good-natured, I never heard him say ‘Damn you,’ to any man on board the ship.”  (Bounty’s crew Encyclopedia)

The State Library of New South Wales holds the  Fletcher Christian family papers.


Chernobyl nuclear disaster was 30 years ago today

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened on April 26, 1986, in the city of Pripyat, Ukraine.

An explosion and fire released radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Europe.

According to www.world-nuclear.org, the accident “was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.”

Two plant workers died on the night of the accident and 28 others died within weeks from acute radiation poisoning.

Commemorations are being held in the Ukraine today, according to the BBC.


First Woman in Space, Valentina Tereshkova

The Tereshkova Crater is a small lunar crater on the dark side of the moon near the Sea of Moscow. Identified during the Soviet lunar missions the crater is named for Valentina Tereshkova, who has the distinction of being both the first female and first civilian in space as pilot of the Vostok 6 mission. Valentina Tereshkova made her historic flight on this day, June 16, 1963.


On This Day in the Phandom: 7 years ago!

On 21st February 2009, Phil brings the Amazingphil community to its knees by uploading his music video for A Static Lullaby’s cover of Toxic!

It was uploaded as part The Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2: Burry V.S. Binks Battle, which was an online contest to see who could make the best amateur music video for the songs on that album!

Many were confused by this surprise video and some wondered if Phil was actually singing the vocals!

The girl that appears at the end is Phil’s long time Youtube friend Strawburry17, who he made this video with recently.

Let’s be thankful today that emo/Myspace Phil is preserved in such a legendary video of his (and that it’s still public!).

Happy Toxicversary.



Vincent van Gogh was born on this day in 1853. Learn the story of The Starry Night, which is part of our collection and currently on view.

Fought over the first three days of July 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania was one of the most crucial battles of the Civil War. On those hills and fields, over 160,000 soldiers struggled to survive. Preserved as Gettysburg National Military Park, visitors can hear their stories and walk in their footsteps. Sunset photo by Doug Shearer (www.sharetheexperience.org).