July 4

Amber pages

An interesting day for liberties, or the limitation thereof, or simply the fantasy thereof:

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of "The Scarlet Letter", born today in 
1804 - click here for my piece about it, and its banning, in "Private Collection".

The very first edition of "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman went on sale, today in 
1855. Re-issued in revised versions innumerable times as he went on working on it; and banned, innumerable times, ditto (see January 8). A piece about him too, in "Private Collection" - click here.

Charles Dodgson first told of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, today in 
1862 (see also February 8).

The Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States, in Paris, today in 
1884 (see my piece on this in "Private Collection" by clicking here). Maybe it's just another issue of American spelling, and they think that a Statue and a Statute are the same thing, so they never bothered to endorse that liberty by writing a statute in scarlet letters, or enwtining it in leaves of grass. But live in the Wonderland of the American Dream, oh that they can do.

And then there is the greatest liberty of them all, the self-bestowed right to explore the very farthest reaches of the cosmos (the first MacDonalds on the moon was opened, today in 2073; intelligent life-forms on Jupiter were declared an endangered species, today in 2145). Today in 
1976 the spacecraft Viking landed on Mars. Lucky there wasn't a Russian spaceship there already, named Fresian, Jute or Anglo-Saxon!

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