Dove & Brush News On This Day

Friday, October 18, 2002 Happy 81st Birthday
to Harold A. Scheraga
In Appreciation, by Peter Y. Chou

Stockholm, October 18, 1962— Nobel Prize in Medicine
Awarded to J. D. Watson, Francis Crick, & Maurice Wilkins
for their Discovery of the Double Helix Structure of DNA

The discovery of the three-dimensional molecular structure of the deoxyribonucleic acid— DNA, is of great importance because it outlines the possibilities for an understanding in its finest details of the molecular configuration, which dictates the general and individual properties of living matter. DNA is the substance which is the carrier of heredity in higher organisms.

DNA is a high polymer composed of a few types of building blocks, which occur in large numbers. These building blocks are a sugar, a phosphate, and nitrogen-containing chemical bases. The same sugar and the same phosphate are repeated throughout the giant molecule, but with minor exceptions there are four types of nitrogenous bases. It is for the discovery of how these building blocks are coupled together in three dimensions that this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to James Dewey Watson, Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins, and Francis Harry Compton Crick.

Wilkins investigated DNA of various biological origins by X-ray crystallographic techniques. Such techniques are the most powerful tools which can be used to investigate the molecular structure of matter. Wilkins' X-ray crystallographic recordings indicated that the very long molecular chains of DNA were arranged in the form of a double helix. Watson and Crick showed that the organic bases were paired in a specific manner in the two intertwined helices and showed the importance of this arrangement.
(References: New York Times, October 19, 1962, pp. 1, 27, 30; The Nobel Foundation)

A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid
Original Paper: Nature 171, 737-738 (1953),
PBS: Watson and Crick describe structure of DNA
Nobel Prize in Medicine Presentation Speech,
F.H.C. Crick Biography, Crick Nobel Lecture,
J.D. Watson Biography, Watson Nobel Lecture,
M. H. F. Wilkins Biography, Wilkins Nobel Lecture,
1989 Swedish stamps honoring DNA discovery
Time 100: Watson & Crick,
Watson, Crick, Wilkins, and Franklin

Francis Crick

James D. Watson

Maurice Wilkins

Sitka, Alaska: October 18, 1867— United States Takes Formal Possession of Alaska from Russia

The Crimean war had disastrous effects on the Russian economy and domestic affairs. In 1859, the Russians tried to interest the United States in purchasing Alaska. Due to the Civil War, the purchase was not completed until March 30, 1867 when the Treaty of Purchase was signed in Washington D.C. It was affirmed by the Senate on April 9th, and signed by President Andrew Johnson on May 28th. Formal transfer of the territory was made at Sitka on October 18, 1867. The purchase price was $7,200,000. Shortly afterwards, Alaska was nicknamed Seward's Folly and Seward's Icebox.
1867 Treaty with Russia, Original First Page of Treaty,
News Reaction on Sale of Alaska, (April, 1867)
Alaska Info, Guide to Alaska, Alaska: The Last Frontier

London: October 18, 1871— Charles Babbage, Father of the Computer, Dies Near Age 80

Charles Babbage was born on December 26, 1791 in Devonshire, England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1814, and received MA in 1817. Babbage started work on his Difference Engine through funding from the British Government in 1823. He published a table of logarithms from 1 to 108000 in 1827. He was appointed to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1828, but never presented a lecture. In 1831, Babbage founded the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He published "Economy of Manufactures and Machinery" in 1832. Babbage began work on the Analytical Engine in 1833, and founded the Statistical Society of London in 1834. Some of Babbage's other inventions include the cowcatcher, dynamometer, standard railroad gauge, uniform postal rates, occulting lights for lighthouses, Greenwich time signals, and the heliograph opthalmoscope. Babbage had a fascination for fire. He once was baked in an oven at 265oF for "five or six minutes without any great discomfort." On another occasion he was lowered into Mt. Vesuvius to view molten lava. Babbage would stop to measure the heartbeat of a pig (to be listed in his "Table of Constants of the Class Mammalia"), or to affix a numerical value to the breath of a calf. In 1856 he proposed to the Smithsonian that an effort be made to produce "Tables of Constants of Nature and Art", which would "contain all those facts which can be expressed by numbers in the various sciences and arts". Babbage published Passages from the Life of a Philosopher in 1864. and argued that miracles were not, as Hume write, violations of laws of nature, but could exist in a mechanistic world. If he could program long series on his calculating machines, God could program similar irregularities in nature. He wrote that miracles are not "the breach of established laws, but indicate the existence of far higher laws".

Babbage Biography, Another Biography, Babbage the Mathematician,
Babbage Links on the Web, Analytical Engine, 1858 image of analytical engine
Babbage Home Page, Ada Lovelace (Lord Byron's daughter),

October 18, 1922— British Broadcasting Company (BBC) Established

The British Government decides to let only one company to broadcast— the British Broadcasting Company. In July 1922, one of these new stations broadcast some rather trivial local news of a garden fete. The press were quick to respond, calling it: "unconsidered trifles of the lightest type," so the Conservative Government resumed responsibility for broadcasting and formed the British Broadcasting Company Limited under the directorship of a rather dour Scotsman called John Reith. The statues above the doorway of Broadcasting House are of Ariel and Prospero, characters from Shakespeare's The Tempest. They are among the most famous works by the British sculptor and designer Eric Gill.

The aim of the BBC was to establish a national network with transmitters in all major cities, financed first in part, later entirely, by licences to operate 'wireless' receiving equipment. The first transmissions on Station 2LO took place on 22 May 1922 at Marconi House in Aldwych, London. On October 18, 1922, the British Broadcasting Company took over 2LO. There were then 50,000 listeners. Soon after, headquarters moved to Savoy Hill, and the company developed separate transmissions from Manchester and Birmingham. In 1927, a royal charter changed this company into the British Broadcasting Corporation (motto: 'Nation shall speak peace unto nation'), which moved in 1932 into Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London. It was enjoined by the charter to 'inform, educate and entertain' its listeners.

Short BBC Bio, Longer BBC Bio, The Formation of the BBC, British Broadcasting History,
BBC News, BBC-BBCi Web Site, BBC News goes 'home'
BBC Building, BBC Statues by Eric Gill, History of Broadcasting Timeline

West Orange, NJ, October 18, 1931— Thomas Edison Dies at Age 84

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in the town of Milan, Ohio. He was an active, curious child. His formal education ended at the age of 7, after only three months at school. Thanks to his mother, a former teacher, he learned to read and developed an interest in books on a variety of subjects. He began his business and science career at the age of 12, and when he was 23, he developed his first invention - an automatic telegraph system. In 1877, Edison announced his invention of the phonograph by which sound could be recorded and reproduced, and thus the era of sound recording began. At 31, he began working on a safe, inexpensive electric light bulb, to replace the gas and kerosene lamps which were in use at that time. In 1879, after a year of trials and experiments, his "invention" lighted the dark skies of Menlo Park, New Jersey (the location of his laboratory) for several hours. His invention was an incandescent light bulb with a carbonized cotton thread for which he will always be remembered. He also contributed to the development of the first large electric power station which began operating in 1882, encouraging widespread use of electricity. 1093 patents are registered in Edison's name, including the alkaline battery, a discovery known as the Edison Effect which led to the invention of the electronic tube, the silent movie projector (predecessor of current cinema), and others. Thomas Alva Edison, a great inventor, died on October 18, 1931 at the age of 84.
Short Bio, NY Times Obituary, Edison History, Edison Photos, Edison postcards & stamps,
1922 Edison's Lamp First Day Cover, 1947 Edison First Day Cover, Edison postcards

Stockholm: October 18, 1967— Hans Bethe Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics to Professor Hans A. Bethe— concerns an old riddle. How has it been possible for the sun to emit light and heat without exhausting its source not only during the thousands of centuries the human race has existed but also during the enormously long time when living beings needing the sun for their nourishment have developed and flourished on our earth thanks to this source? The solution of this problem seemed even more hopeless when better knowledge of the age of the earth was gained. None of the energy sources known of old could come under consideration. Some quite unknown process must be at work in the interior of the sun. Only when radioactivity, its energy generation exceeding by far any known fuel, was discovered, it began to look as if the riddle might be solved. And, although the first guess that the sun might contain a sufficient amount of radioactive substances soon proved to be wrong, the closer study of radioactivity would by and by open up a new field of physical research in which the solution was to be found. Even when Bethe started his work on the energy generation in stars there were important gaps in the knowledge about nuclei which made the solution of the problem very difficult. And it was by a remarkable combination of underdeveloped theory and incomplete experimental evidence, under repeated comparison of his conclusions with their astronomical consequences, that he succeeded in establishing the mechanism of energy generation in the sun and similar stars so well that only minor corrections were needed when many years later the required experimental knowledge had made considerable progress and when, moreover, electronic computers had become available for the numerical calculations.
Nobel Biography, Nobel Lecture, Nobel Presentation Speech, Bethe's Cornell Web Page

Stockholm: October 18, 1973— Wassily Leontief Awarded Nobel Prize in Economics

The 1973 Nobel Prize in Economic Science has been awarded to Professor Wassily Leontief for the development of the input-output method and for its application to important economic problems. Professor Leontief is the sole and unchallenged creator of the input-output technique. This important innovation has given to economic sciences an empirically-useful method to highlight the general interdependence in the production system of a society. In particular, the method provides tools for a systematic analysis of the complicated interindustry transactions in an economy. Professor Leontief outlined the input-output technique as early as in the 1930s. A comprehensive version of the analysis was published in 1941 in his book, The Structure of American Economy, 1919-1929. The method has proved particularly effective in the analysis of sudden and large changes, as in the case of military mobilization or other far-reaching tranformations of an economy. The method has also been applied in studies of how cost and price changes are transmitted through various sectors of an economy. Among recent developments of the method may be mentioned its extension to include residuals of the production system— smoke, water pollution, scrap, etc., and the further processing of these. In this way the effects of the production on the environment can be studied.
Nobel Press Release, Nobel Presentation Speech, Biography, Bio & Resources, Nobel Autobiography, Nobel Lecture

New York: October 18, 1977— Reggie Jackson Hits 3 Consecutive Homers
as Yankees Beat Dodgers 8-4 to Win their 21st World Series

Reggie Jackson "Mr. October" hits a record of 5 homers in the 1977 World Series, 4 of them consecutive, including 3 in today's game on 3 first pitches off 3 different Dodgers pitchers— Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa, and Charlie Hough. Reggie was awarded the World Series MVP for his 9 hits, 10 runs, 5 homers, .450 batting average, and 1.25 slugging average in six games. The Yankees wins their first World Series in 15 years (in 1962 they defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-3). "I must admit," said Steve Garvey, the Dodgers' first baseman, "when Reggie Jackson hit his third home run and I was sure nobody was listening, I applauded into my glove." Reggie was the 1973 World Series MVP when his Oakland A's defeated the New York Mets 4-3.

Baseball Hall of Fame: Reggie Jackson, HOF Plaque
ESPN: Reggie Jackson, CNN: Reggie Jackson,
Reggie Jackson's Baseball Statistics,
Red Smith on Reggie Jackson,
Sporting News: 1977 World Series
Reggie Jackson, Photo: Reggie's 3rd Homer in 1977 WS,
Photo of Reggie's Swinging 3rd Homer
World Series History: 1903-2001 & MVPs

Stockholm: October 18, 1982— Aaron Klug Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 1982 Nobel Prize for chemistry to Aaron Klug, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes. The method of Klug makes it possible to determine structures at high resolution of functionally important molecular aggregates. Klug himself has chiefly investigated complexes between nucleic acids and proteins, the key substances of life. One nucleic acid, DNA, is carrier of the traits of heredity in the chromosome of the cell nucleus, and it forms giant complexes with specific proteins, histones. Less complicated nucleic acid-protein complexes are found in viruses, which can be said to be genetic material without a cell of its own. Klug has used the whole arsenal of structural chemistry, including his own method, to investigate the structure of several viruses, e.g. tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). His structural investigations snow that TMV contains a long thread of nucleic acid which is arranged in the form of a helix through interaction with as many as 2130 identical protein molecules. Klug's structural investigations have also given a detailed picture of the formation of the virus particle from a mixture of its nucleic acid and protein constituents. In this way he has illuminated a very important biochemical principle, namely the spontaneous formation of complicated functional molecular aggregates from the molecular components.
Press Release: Oct. 18, 1982, Nobel Autobiography, Nobel Lecture,
Nobel Presentation Speech, Aaron Klug Interview, Nobel Stamps of 1988

October 18: Born on this day

1405 Pope Pius II, Italian Pope of Roman Catholic Church (1458-1464)
1595 Edward Winslow, English founder of Plymouth Colony
1632 Luca Giordano, Italian painter
1697 Canaletto Venetian, painter (Venicei A Regatta on Grand Canal)
1777 Heinrich von Kleist, Germany, dramatist/poet (Penthesilea)
1787 Robert L. Stevens, American poet
1785 Thomas Love Peacock, English novelist & poet (Headlong Hall, Nightmare Abbey)
1799 Christian Friedrich Schonbein, German chemist, discover of ozone (1840)
1859 Henri Bergson, French philosopher (Creative Evolution, Nobel 1927)
1865 Logan Pearsall Smith, British-U.S. writer
1877 Florence Dahl Walrath, humanitarian, founded Cradle society
1878 James Truslow Adams, historian ( Pulitzer 1922, Founding of New England)
1889 Fannie Hurst, novelist (Imitation of Life, Symphony of Six Million)
1893 Sir Sidney Holland, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1949-57)
1900 Lotte Lenya, Vienna, Austria, actress/singer (Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone)
1902 Miriam Hopkins, Bainbridge, Georgia, actress (Becky Sharp, Barbary Coast)
1915 Victor Sen Yung, SF California, actor (Bonanza, Bachelor Family)
1918 Bobby Troup, Harrisburg PA, pianist/actor (Emergency, Acapulco)
1919 Pierre Elliot Trudeau, 15th Canadian Prime Minister(1968-79, 1980-84)
1921 Harold Abraham Scheraga, Brooklyn, NY, physical chemist, educator
1921 Jesse Helms, Republican Senator, North Carolina
1922 Little Orphan Annie, comic strip character (birthday ring)
1922 Richard Stankiewicz, US sculptor (1974 Akston Award, 1966 Brandeis)
1924 Allyn Ferguson, San Jose Calif, orchestra leader (Andy Williams Show)
1925 Melina Mercouri, Athens Greece, actress/politician (Never on a Sunday)
1926 Chuck Berry, St Louis, rocker (Roll over Beethoven)
1926 George C. Scott, Wise VA, actor (Patton, Bible, Taps, Hardcore)
1927 Katherine Fanning, Chicago, editor (Christian Science Monitor, 1983)
1928 Keith Jackson, Carrolton Georgia, sportscaster (ABC Monday Night Football)
1930 Frank Carlucci, National Security Adviser/Secretary of Defense (1987-89)
1933 Forrest Gregg, NFL tackle (Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys)
1933 Peter Boyle, Philadelphia, actor (Joe, Candidate)
1934 Inger Stevens, Stockholm, Sweden, actress (Katy-Farmer's Daughter)
1935 John B Coleman, Boston, hotel magnate (Ritz Carlton)
1939 Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK assassin, born
1939 Mike Ditka, coach/tight-end (Bears, Cowboys, NFL rookie year 1961)
1942 Willie Horton, baseball slugger (Detroit Tigers)
1947 John Johnson, NBA (Seattle SuperSonic)
1947 Laura Nyro, Bronx, singer/songwriter (Eli's Coming, Stoney End)
1950 Merry Martin, Camden Mich, actress (Leslie-Peter Loves Mary)
1951 Terry McMillan, Port Huron, Michigan, writer
1951 Pam Dawber, Detroit, actress (Mindy-Mork & Mindy, My Sister Sam)
1956 Martina Navratilova, Prague, Czechoslovakia, tennis (Wimbledon 1978-79, 82-87)
1958 Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgium, actor (Kickboxer, No Retreat)
1961 Erin Moran, Burbank Calif, actress (Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi)
1961 Wynton Marsalis, New Orleans Louisiana, jazz trumpeter (Grammy 1983)
1962 Vincent Spano, Brooklyn NY, actor (Alphabet City, Maria's Lovers)
1966 Angela Visser, Miss Universe (1989)
1968 Michael Stitch, German tennis star (Wimbledon 1991)
1971 Karen J McNenny, Missoula, Montana, Miss Montana-America (1991)
1977 Chris McKenna, Queens NY, actor (Joey-One Live to Live)
1981 Richard Vuu, actor (Last Emperor)

October 18: Events on this day

  707 John VII ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1016 Danes defeat Saxons at Battle of Assandun (Ashingdon)
1469 Ferdinand II of Aragon weds Isabella of Castille, uniting Spain
1648 1st US labor organization forms (Boston Shoemakers)
1678 Jacob Jordaens, Flemish baroque painter, dies at 85
1685 Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes, outlaws Protestantism
1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, ends War of Austrian Succession
1767 Boundary between Maryland & Pennsylvania, the Mason Dixon line, agreed upon
1776 Colonel John Glover & Marblehead regiment meet British Forces in Bronx
1776 In a NY bar decorated with bird tail, customer orders "cock tail"
1855 Franz Liszt's Prometheus premieres
1862 Morgan's raiders capture the federal garrison at Lexington, KY
1867 US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia ($7.2 million)
1869 Henrik Ibsen's De Unges Forbund premieres in Christinaia, Oslo
1871 Charles Babbage, father of the computer, dies in London near the age of 80
1873 Columbia Princeton Rutgers & Yale set rules for collegiate football
1878 Edison makes electricity available for household usage
1887 Start of the Sherlock Holmes adventure "A Case of Identity" (BG)
1889 1st all NYC world series NY Giants (NL) play Brooklyn (AA) (World Series #86)
1890 John Owen is 1st man to run 100 yard dash in under 10 seconds
1891 1st international 6-day bicycle race in US (MSG, NYC) begins
1892 1st commercial long-distance phone line opens between Chicago & New York
1893 Charles F. Gounod, French composer (La reine the Saba)
1898 American flag raised in Puerto Rico
1904 Mahler's Fifth Symphony premieres in Cologne
1907 United States & Ireland connected by wireless telegraphy for the first time
1908 Belgium annexes Congo Free State
1909 Comte de Lambert of France sets airplane altitude record of 300 m
1912 Beginning of the 1st Balkan War
1912 Italo-Turkish war ends
1918 Czechoslovakia declares independence from Austro-Hungarian Empire
1918 NHL's Quebec Bulldogs sold to a Toronto businessman P. J. Quinn
1922 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) established
1924 Harold "Red" Grange, finest collegiate football game (4 long TD runs)
1924 Notre Dame beats Army 13-7, NY Herald Tribune dubs them (4 Horsemen)
1930 Joseph Sylvester becomes 1st jockey to win 7 races in 1 day
1931 Thomas Alva Edison dies at age 84 in West Orange, New Jersey
1932 Ruth Smith & Frankie Lane set marathon dance record at 3502 hours
1934 Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse Tung begins Long March
1943 1st broadcast of Perry Mason on CBS Radio. TV show began in 1957
1944 Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia during World War II
1946 Aaron Copland's Third Symphony premieres
1950 Connie Mack retires as manager of the Philadelphia A's after 50 years
1953 Willie Thrower becomes 1st black NFL quarterback in modern times
1954 Hurricane Hazel (3rd of 1954) becomes most severe to hit US
1955 José Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher dies at 72
1955 Track & Field names Jesse Owens all-time track athlete
1955 University of California discovers anti-proton
1956 Last trolley car ran in Brooklyn
1960 Casey Stengel retired by NY Yankees (won 10 pennants in 12 years)
1960 In Britain, the News Chronicle & Daily Mail merge,
          and The London Evening Star merges with The Evening News
1961 Henri Matisse's Le Bateau exhibited at NY's Museum of Modern Art.
          46 days later, it was discovered that the painting was hanging upside down.
1962 Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers record "Let's Dance"
1962 US launches Ranger 5 for lunar impact; misses Moon
1962 Prof. J.D. Watson (U.S.) & Drs Crick & Wilkins (Britain) win Nobel Prize for
          Medicine on work in determining double-helix structure of DNA
1963 International Olympic Committee votes Mexico City to host 1968 Olympics
1967 Hans A. Bethe awarded Nobel Prize in physics
1967 Soviet Venera 4 becomes the 1st probe to send data back from Venus
1967 Walt Disney's "Jungle Book" is released
1967 AL votes to allow Athletics to move from KC to Oakland & expand the league
          to 12 teams in 1971 with Kansas City & Seattle teams
1968 Bob Beamon of USA sets the long jump record (29'2") in Mexico City
1968 Circus Circus opens in Las Vegas
1968 John Lennon & Yoko One fined $150 for marijuana possession
1968 Lee Evans sets world record of 43.8 seconds in 400 meter dash
1968 US Olympic Committee suspends Tommie Smith & John Carlos for giving
          "black power" salute as a protest during victory ceremony
1969 Federal govt bans use of cyclamates artificial sweeteners
1969 Soyuz 8 returns to Earth
1971 After 34 years, the last issue of Look magazine was published
1973 Wassily Leontief awarded Nobel Prize in economics
1973 Walt Kelly, U.S. comic strip artist (Pogo), dies at 72
1973 Congress authorizes bi-centennial quarter, half-dollar & dollar coin
1974 Wings (Country Hams) release "Walking in the Park with Eloise"
1974 Chicago Bull Nate Thurmond becomes 1st in NBA to complete a quadruple
          double-22 pts, 14 rebounds, 13 assists & 12 blocks
1975 Simon & Garfunkel reunited on Saturday Night Live
1977 1st Islander 0-0 tie-Kings at Nassau-25th time shutout-Resch's 15th
1977 Reggie Jackson hits 3 consecutive homers tying Babe Ruth's World Series record
1977 NY Yankees beat LA Dodgers 8-4 for 21st world championship, 1st in 15 years
1978 1st daughter Susan Ford announces engagement to Charles F. Vance
1978 NY Islanders 1st scoreless tie, vs LA Kings
1979 "Beatlemania" opens in London
1980 Detroit blocks 21 Atlanta shots setting NBA record (double
1981 NY Giant Joe Danelo ties NFL record of 6 field goals in a game
1982 Aaron Klug awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry
1982 Former First Lady Bess Truman died at 97 in Independence, Missouri
1982 Pierre Mendes France, former French premier (1954-1955) dies
1984 Discovery moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 51A mission
1988 Israel's supreme court upholds ban on Kahane's Kach Party as racist
1989 US 62nd manned space mission STS 34 (Atlantis 5) launches into orbit
1989 Hungary declared a free republic on the same day as Honecker was deposed in East Germany
1992 Philadelphia Eagles Randall Cunningham sets NFL quartback scrambling record of 3683 yards
1997 Monument honoring U.S. servicewomen was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.
1997 TV newscaster Nancy Dickerson died at age 70.
2000 Julie London, 1950s-1960s singer, died at the age of 74
2000 Gwen Verdon, dancer, died at the age of 75

October 18: Quotes on this day—

I left Cento early this morning and arrived here soon after. As soon as he heard that I had no intention of staying long, an alert, well-informed guide raced me through the streets and so many churches and palaces that I scarcely had time to mark down the places I visited... But now for a few highlights. First of all, the Cecilia by Raphael. My eyes confirmed what I have always known: this man accomplished what others could only dream of. Ehat can one really say about this picture except that Raphael painted it! Five saints in a row— their names don't matter— so perfectly realized that one would be content to die so long as this picture could endure forever. But in order to understand and appreciate Raphael properly, one must not merely glorify him as a god who appeared suddenly on earth without a father or a mother, like Melchizedek; one must consider his ancestors, his masters. These were rooted in the firm ground of truth; it was their labour and scrupulous care which laid the broad foundation; it was they who vied with each other in raising, step by step, the pyramid, on the summit of which the divine genius of Raphael was to place the last stone and reach a height which no one else will surpass or equal.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Italian Journey,
        Bologna, October 18, 1786, Night

I have spent the day well just looking and looking. It is the same in art as in life. The deeper one penetrates, the broader grows the view. In the sky of art, countless new stars keep appearing, the Carracci, Guido, Domenichino, and they puzzle me. To enjoy these children of a later, happier period properly would require a knowledge and a competence of judgment which I lack and which can only be acquired gradually... I have visited the famous scientific academy called The Institute or The Studies. This large building, especially its inner courtyard, looks austere enough, although the architecture is not the best... An earlier observation came back to my mind: though Time changes everything, men cling to the form of a thing as they first knew it, even when its nature and function have changed. The Christian Churches still cling to the basilca form, though that of a temple would be better suited, perhaps, to their ritual. Scientific institutions still look like monasteries because it was in such pious precincts that study found its first quiet refuge.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey, Bologna, October 19, 1786

Today, I [Eckermann] dined for the first time with Goethe. No one was present except Frau von Goethe, Fräulein Ulrica, and little Walter, and thus we were all very comfortable. Goethe appeared now solely as father of a family, helping to all the dishes, carving the roast fowls with great dexterity, and not forgetting between the whiles to fill the glasses. We had much lively chat about the theater, young English people, and other topics of the day; Fräulein Ulrica was especially lively and entertaining. Goethe was generally silent, coming out only now and then with some pertinent remark. From time to time he glanced at the newspaper, now and then reading us some passages, especially about the progress of the Greeks.

They then talked about the necessity of my learning English, and Goethe earnestly advised me to do so, particularly on account of Lord Byron; saying that a character of such eminence had never existed before... After dinner Goethe showed me some experiments relating to his theory of colors. The subject was, however, new to me; I neither understood the phenomena, nor what he said about them. Nevertheless, I hoped that the future would afford me leisure and opportunity to initiate myself a little into this science.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Conversations with Eckermann,
        Sunday, October 19, 1823

Goethe has, for some time past, been reading the "Globe" very eagerly, and he often makes this paper the subject of his conversation. The endeavors of [Victor] Cousin and his school appear to him especially important. "These men," he said, "are quite on the way to effect an approximation between France and Germany, inasmuch as they form a language which is entirely fitted to facilitate the interchange of ideas between the two nations." The "Globe" has also a particular interest for Goethe, because the newest productions in French belles-lettres are reviewed, and the freedom of the romantic school, or rather the emancipation from the fetters of unmeaning rules, is often defended in a very animated manner. "What is the use of the whole lumber of rules belonging to a stiff antiquated time," Goethe said today, "and what is the use of all the noise about classical and romantic! The point is for a work to be thoroughly good and then it is sure to be classical."

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Conversations with Eckermann, Friday, October 17, 1828

All true greatness must come from internal growth. If it be agreed that I am always to express my thought, what forbids me to tell the company that a flea bites me or that my occasions call me behind the house?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Journals, October 17, 1832

When I see a man of genius he always inspires me with a feeling of boundless confidence in my own powers. Yesternight I talked to Mr Alcott of education. He proposes still the old recipe the illustration of humanity in the life of Jesus. I say, No, let us postpone everything historical to the dignity & grandeur of the present hour... Say the thing that is fit for this new-born and infinite hour. Come forsake, this once, this balmy time, the historical, & let us go to the Most High & go forth with him now that he is to say, Let there be Light. Propose no methods, prepare no words, select no traditions, but fix your eye on the audience, & the fit word will utter itself as when the eye seeks the person in the remote corner of the house the voice accomodates itself to the area to be filled.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 18, 1836

I went thro' the wood to Sleepy Hollow & sat down to hear the harmless roarings of the sunny Southwind. Into the narrow throat of the vale flew dust & leaves from the fields, & straggling leaves mounted & mounted to great heights. The shining boughs of the trees in the sun, the swift sailing clouds, & the warm air made me think a man is a fool to be mean & unhappy when every day is made illustrious by these splendid shows.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 18, 1837

As long as the world soul seeks an external God, it never can have peace, it always must be uncertain what may be done & what may become of it. But when it sees the Great God far within its own nature, then it sees that always itself is a party to all that can be, that always it will be informed of that which will happen and therefore it is pervaded with a great Peace.

The individual is always dying. The Universal is life. As much truth & goodness as entersinto me so much I live. As much error & sin so much death is in me. Yet Reason never informs us how the world was made. I suppose my friends have some relation to my mind. Perhaps they are its thoughts, taking form & outness though in a region above my will... 'Tis very strange how much we owe the perception of the absolute solitude of the Spirit to the affections. I sit alone & cannot arouse myself to thought, I go & sit with my friend & in the endeavor to explain my thought to him or her, I lay bare the awful mystery to myself as never before & start at the total loneliness & infinity of one man.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 19, 1837

In these golden days it behooves me once more to make my annual inventory of the world. for the five last years I have read each winter a new course of lectures in Boston, and each was my creed & confession of faith. Each told all I thought of the past, the present, & the future... What shall be the substance of my shrift?... I am to fire with what skill I can the artillery of sympathy & emotion. I am to indicate constantly, though all unworthy, the Ideal and Holy Life, the life within life— the Forgotten Good, the Unknown Cause in which we sprawl & sin. I am to try the magic of sincerity, that luxury permitted only to kings & poets. I am to celebrate the spiritual powers in their infinite contrast to the mechanical powers & the mechanical philosophy of this time. I am to console the brave sufferers under evils whose end they cannot see by appeals to the great optimism self-affirmed in all bosoms

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 18, 1839

I would have my book read as I have read my favorite books not with explosion & astonishment, a marvel and a rocket, but a friendly & agreeable influence stealing like the scent of a flower or the sight of a new landscape on a traveller. I neither wish to be hated & defied by such as I startle, nor to be kissed and hugged by the young whose thoughts I stimulate... Plutarch's heroes are my friends & relatives.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 1841

Look sharply after your thoughts. They come unlooked for, like a new bird seen on your trees, and, if you turn to your usual task, disappear; and you shall never find that perception again; never, I say— but perhaps years, ages, and I know not what events and worlds may lie between you and its return!

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, October 1872

The autumnal tints, though less brilliant and striking, are perhaps quite as agreeable, now that the frosts have somewhat dulled and softened them. Now that the forest is universally imbrowned, they make a more harmonious impression. Wooded hillsides reflected in the water are particularly agreeable. The undulation which the boat creates gives them the appearance of being terraced. Chickadees and jays are heard from the shore as in winter. Saw two or three ducks, which fly up, before and alight far behind.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Journal, October 18, 1852

With Sophia boated to Fair Haven, where she made a sketch. The red maples have been bare a good while. In the sun and this clear air, their bare ashy branches even sparkle like silver. The woods are losing their bright colors... The river is quite low now, lower than for many weeks, and accordingly the white lily pads have their stems too long, and they rise above the water four or five inches and are looped over and downward tothe sunken pad with its face down. They make a singular appearance. Returning late, we see a double shadow of ourselves and boat, one, the true, quite black, the other directly above it and very faint, on the willows and high bank.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1853

How much beauty in decay! I pick up a white oak leaf, dry and stiff, but yet mingled red and green, October-like, whose pulpy part some insect has eaten beneath, exposing the delicate network of its veins. It is very beautiful held up to the light,— such work as only an insect eye could perform... To rebuild the tortoise-shell is a far finer game than any geographical or other puzzle, for the pieces do not merely make part of a plane surface, but you have got to build a roof and a floor and the connecting walls. These are not only thus dovetailed and braced and knitted and bound together, but also held together by the skin and muscles within. It is a band-box.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1855

Rain all night and half this day... The sugar maples are now in their glory, all aglow with yellow, red, and green. They are remarkable for the contrast they afford of deep blushing red on one half and green on the other... I feel that my life is very homely, my pleasures very cheap. Joy and sorrow, success and failure, grandeur and meanness, and indeed most words in the English language do not mean for me what they do for my neighbors. I see that my neighbors look with compassion on me, that they think it is a mean and unfortunate destiny which makes me to walk in these fields and woods so much and sail on this river alone. But so long as I find here the only real elysium, I cannot hesitate in my choice. My work is writing, and I do not hesitate, though I know that no subject is too trivial for me, tried by ordinary standards; for, ye fools, the theme is nothing the life is everything. All that interests the reader is the depth and intensity of the life excited. We touch our subject but by a point which has no breadth, but the pyramid of our experience, or our interest init, rests on us by a broader or narrower base. That is, man is all in all, Nature nothing, but as she draws him out and reflects him. Give me simple, cheap, and homely themes.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1856

So many leaves have now fallen in the woods that a squirrel cannot run after a nut without being heard... the sounds of human industry and activity— the roar of cannon, blasting of rocks, whistling of locomotives, rattling of carts, tinkering of artisans, and voices of men— may sound to some distant ear like an earth-song and the creaking of crickets. The crickets keep about the mouths of their burrows as if apprehending the cold. The finged gentian closes every night and opens every morning in my pitcher.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1857

The large sugar maples on the Common are now at the height of their beauty... All children alike can revel in this golden harvest. These trees, throughout the street, are at least equal to an annual festival and holiday, or a week of such,— not requiring any special police to keep the peace,— and poor indeed must be that New England village's October which has not the maple in its streets. This October festival costs no powder nor ringing of bells, but every tree is a liberty-pole on which a thousand bright flags are run up. Hundreds of children's eyes are steadily drinking in this color, and by these teachers even the truants are caught and educated the moment they step abroad... Let us have willows for spring, elms for summer, maples and walnuts and tupelos for autumn, evergreens for winter, and oaks for all seasons... An avenue of elms as large as our largest, and three miles long, would seem to lead to some admirable place, though only Concord were at the end of it.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1858

We find ourselves in a world that is already planted, but is also still being planted as at first. We say of some plants that they grow in wet places as at first. We say of some plants that they grow in wet places and of others that they grow in desert places. The truth is that their seeds are scattered almost everywhere, but here only do they succeed. Unless you can show me the pool where the lily was created, I shall believe that the oldest fossil lilies which the geologist has detected (if this is found fossil) originated in that locality in a similar manner to these of Beck Stow's. We see thus how the fossil lilies which the geologist has detected are dispersed, as well as these which we carry in our hands to church. The development theory implies a greater vital force in nature, because it is more flexible and accommodating, and equivalent to a sort of constant new creation.

— Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 18, 1860

Delightful weather in the morning, before lunch. Drew the clumps of trees in the garden;
the morning sun gives charming effects there.

Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), Journal, Thursday, October 18, 1849

All these last days I have been working with an extreme tenacity, before sending off my paintings which are to be glued to the wall tomorrow [at the Hôtel de Ville]; I have gone without resting for seven, eitht, and nearly nine hours' work on my pictures. I believe that my system of just one meal a day is decidely the one that suits me the best.

— Eugene Delacroix, Journal, Monday, October 18, 1852

Still on the question of the use of the model and on imitation. Jean-Jaques [Rousseau] says rightly that the best way to paint the charms of liberty is to be in prison, that the best way to describe a pleasant bit of country is to live in a wearisome city and to see the sky only from an attic window and amongst the chimneys. With my nose to the landscape, surrounded by trees and charming spots, my landscape painting is heavy, too much worked out, more truthful in detail perhaps, but lacking harmony with the subject... I didn't begin to do anything passable in my trip to Africa until the moment when I had sufficiently forgotten small details, and so remembered the striking and poetic side of things for my pictures; up to that point, I was pursued by the love of exactitude, which the majority of people mistake for truth.

— Eugene Delacroix, Journal, Monday, October 17, 1853

Every evening while those gentlemen are having their interminable game of billiards, I take a walk in front of the château. At the beginning of the week I had a delightful moonlight. We had an almost total eclipse, which gave to the moon that color of blood of which one reads in the poets and which Berryer told me he did not know. It is somewhat the same thing in this question of Pariset and Hippocrates. The great men see what the vulgar do not see: that is what makes them great men. What they have discovered and many times cried from the roofs is neglected or uncomprehended by those to whom they speak. Time, but more often another man of their own temper, finds the phenomena once more and at last demonstrates it to the crowd.

I wish I could recall whether Vergil, in the description of his tempest, makes the sky turn around the heads of his sailors, as I saw it when I was on my way to Tangier, during that windstorm in the night when the sky was without clouds and when it seemed, because of the movements of the ship, that the moon and the stars were in a continuous and immense movement.

— Eugene Delacroix, Journal, October 19, 1856

Be kind enogh to accept this volume from me (a signed copy of Evangeline), in memory of pleasant hours passed in Rome, and of your kindness to me there. To me those are memorable days. Your portrait with the light hangs in my Library. It always gives me pleasure to look upon it; and not less to all who see it.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Letter to Franz Liszt, October 18, 1872

Dear Stannie: I wrote today to E.M. [Elkin Mathews] saying Symons had sent me the letter and adding that I was re-arranging the verses but would send the MS in a few days. I do not understand your arrangement: write it out clearly again. Why do you allude to hexameter in 'Sleep Now'? U — U (U) is the foot used. Do you mean 'All day' and 'I hear' to precede 'Sleep now'? That arrangement would be rather jolty, I think. Or do you mean me to end on 'I hear?' I understand hat arrangement better: namely: 'Sleep now' 'All day' and 'I hear'. Also do you mean me to include the Cabra poem? Can I use it here or must I publish it in a book by itself as, of course, my dancing days are over.

James Joyce (1879-1940), Letter to Stanislaus Joyce, October 18, 1906
        (Via Frattina 52, II, Rome)

Dear Larbaud: Of course you are to have the casting vote in all discussions [French translation of Ulysses]. I agree with every word of your letter to Miss Monnier. The German translation [Ulysses] came out on Tuesday last. I could not write a line on Svevo— or anything else. I have just finished revision of Anna Livia for transition no 8. What a job! 1200 hours of work on 17 pages. She has grown— riverwise— since the night you heard her under the sign of Ursa Minor. Her fluvial maids of honour from all ends of the earth now number about 350 I think [number of river names Joyce incorporated in the Anna Livia Plurabelle chapter of Finnegans Wake].

— James Joyce (1879-1940), Letter to Valery Larbaud, October 18, 1927
       (2 Square Robiac, 192 rue de Grenelle, Paris)

Mexico has a certain mystery of beauty for me, as if the gods were here. Now, in this October, the days are so pure and lovely, like an enchantment, as if some dark-face gods were still young. I wish it could be that I could start a little centre— a ranch— where we could have our little adobe houses and make a life... It is always what I work for. But it must come from the inside, not from the will. And when it will be it will be, I suppose... But let us watch; things, when they come, come suddenly.

D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), Letter to Catherine Carswell, October 17, 1923
        (Hotel Garcia, Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico)

A new way of approaching the subject of Nirvana has come to my mind which may be helpful in clarifying certain difficulties relative to the nature of this State... Approached from the usual standpoint of relative consciousness, the 'I' seems to be something like a point. This 'point' is one man is different from the 'I' in another man. One 'I' can have interests that are incompatible the interests of another 'I,' and the result is conflict. Further, the purpose of life seems to center around the attainment of enjoyment by the particular I-point which a given individual seems to be. It is true that in one sense the 'I' is a point, and the first objective of the discriminative practice is the isolation of this point from all the material filling of relative consciousness, and then restricting self-identity to this point... I found that the 'I' had come to mean Space instead of a point. It was a Space that extended everywhere that my consciousness might happen to move. I found nowhere anything beyond Me, save that at the hightest stage both 'I' and Divinity blended in Being. But all of this process involved both an intensifying and broadening of Consciousness, and most emphatically not a narrowing or 'pinching out' of it... Further, the Space-I is a State of infinite completeness, as compared with the consciousness of any point-I or the compound effect of any number of point-I's. Of course, such a State is one of Bliss immeasurably transcending anything possible for any point-I. It is the Space-I Consciousness which is Nirvana.

Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887-1985), Pathways through to Space (October 17, 1936)
LXXXII: The Point-I and the Space-I, (2nd Edition, Julian Press, NY, 1973, pp. 216-219)

In September, the carob trees breathe a scent of love over all Algiers, and it is as if the whole earth were resting after having given itself to the sun, its belly still moist with almond-flavored seed. On the road to Sidi-Brahim, after the rain, the scent of love falls from the carob trees, heavy and oppressive, weighed down with al its load of water. Then, as the sun sucks up the water and the colors recover their brightness, the scent of love lessens and becomes hardly noticeable. And it is like a mistress who comes out with you into the street after a whole stifling afternoon, and who, as she leans her shoulder against yours, looks at you in the midst of all the street lights and crowd.

Albert Camus (1913-1960), Notebooks 1935-1942, October 18, 1937

A visitor asked: "What is the reality of this world?"
Bhagavan: "If you know your reality first, you will be able to know the reality of the world. It is a strange thing that most people do not care to know about their own reality, but are very anxious to know about the reality of the world. You realize your own Self first and then see if the world exists independently of you and is able to come and assert before you its reality or existence."

Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), Day By Day with Bhagavan
        (Diary of A. Devaraja Mudaliar), October 19, 1945

The mind is a bundle of thoughts. But the source of all thoughts is the I-thought. So if you try to find out who this "I" is, the mind will disappear. The mind will exist only so long as you think of external things. But when you draw it from external things and make it think of the mind or "I"— in other words introvert it— it ceases to exist.

— Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), Day By Day with Bhagavan
        (Diary of A. Devaraja Mudaliar), October 18, 1946

In the middle of the night, when it was quiet after thunder and lightning, the brain was utterly still and meditation was an opening into immeasurable emptiness. The very sensitivity of the brain made it still; it was still for no cause; the action of stillness with cause is disintegration. It was so still that the limited space of a room had disappeared and time had stopped. There was only an awakened attention, with a centre which was attentive; it was the attention in which the origin of thought had ceased, without any violence, naturally, easily. It could hear the rain and movement in the next room; it was listening without any interpretation and watching without knowledge. The body was also motionless. Meditation yielded to the otherness; it was of shattering purity. Its purity left no residue; it was there, that is all and nothing existed. As there was nothing, it was. It was the purity of all essence. This peace is a vast, boundless space, of immeasurable emptiness.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986), Krishnamurti's Notebook, October 18, 1961
        (On the plane flying from Rome to Bombay), Harper & Row, NY, 1976, pp. 137-138

Born on October 18:

Harold A. Scheraga
born October 18, 1921
Brooklyn, New York
protein structure chemist,
Cornell Chemistry Professor,
Cornell Web Page,
Curriculum Vitae,
1000+ research papers,
75th Birthday Symposium
80th Birthday Symposium
Supercomputing for Drug Design

Canaletto (1697-1768)
born October 18, 1697
Venice, Italy
Painter, Etcher
Canaletto on the Web
Grand Canal, Venice
Canaletto's Cityscapes

Heinrich von Kleist

born October 18, 1777
Frankfort, Germany
Dramatist, Novelist
Biography, German stamp,
German web site;
Plays of Heinrich von Kleist,
On the Marionette Theatre,
Prince of Homburg, Drama Review

Thomas Love Peacock

born October 18, 1785
Weymouth, Dorset, England
Romantic poet, novelist,
friend of Shelley
T. L. Peacock Society,
Four Ages of Poetry

Henri Bergson (1859-1941)
born October 18, 1859
Paris, France
French philosopher
Literary Biography,
Nobel Biography,
Nobel Presentation,
Acceptance Speech

Miriam Hopkins (1902-1972)
born October 18, 1925
Bainbridge, Georgia
Biography, Filmography,
Trouble in Paradise,
A Miriam Hopkins Salute

Pierre Elliot Trudeau

born October 18, 1919
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Canadian Prime Minister
(1968-79, 1980-84)
Home Page, Timeline,
NY Times Obituary,
CBC News: Trudeau Indepth,
Web Links

Little Orphan Annie
born October 18, 1922
Comic Strip Character
Official Web Site,
Harold Gray, Books, More Books,
James Whitcomb Riley Poem

Melina Mercouri

born October 18, 1925
Athens, Greece
actress, activist
Minister of Culture,
Biography, Filmography

Chuck Berry
born October 18, 1926
San Jose, California
rock singer, songwriter
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,
Web Site, Lyrics,
Chuck Berry Page

George C. Scott (1927-1999)
born October 18, 1927
Wise, Virginia
actor, director
Films of George C. Scott
Piper Laurie Remembers,
Web Links

Mike Ditka
born October 18, 1939
Carnegie, PA
Super Bowl XX Coach
NFL Hall of Famer,
Biography, Statistics,
Top 100 Players

Martina Navratilova
born October 18, 1956
Prague, Czechoslovakia
tennis player
Wimbledon (1978-79, 1982-87)
171 Singles Titles
Biography, ESPN Bio
Martina's Home Page
Navratilova Web Site

Wynton Marsalis
born October 18, 1961
New Orleans, Louisiana
jazz trumpter
Grammy 1983:
Jazz Instrumental Soloist,
Think of One
Discography, Album Covers,

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