Saturday, April 15

This day in history

Was reading Adel Gabot's blog yesterday and thought his 'my birthday on Wikipedia' entry was interesting, so I looked up my own birthday.

The following things took place on October 7—

1868 - Cornell University holds opening day ceremonies; initial student enrollment is 412, the most at any American university to that date
1942 - US and British government announce establishment of United Nations
1982 - Cats opens on Broadway and runs for nearly 18 years before closing on September 10, 2000

1931 - Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican archbishop and activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
1955 - Yo-yo Ma, French-born cellist

1849 - Edgar Allan Poe, American writer (b. 1809)

That was more fun than I thought it would be.

Dreaming of the White City

Finished reading Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City today—loved it! The book’s main attraction for me when I bought it was the part about getting into the head of psychopath serial killer H.H. Holmes, but once I started reading I found the story behind the building of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago just as, if not more, compelling. Larson’s account is meticulously researched and thoughtfully written, fully evoking the drama of the time. The group of architects who designed the buildings of the White City—led by Daniel Burnham, who was known as the best in the field—were among the greatest artists of their time. It’s said that every visitor to the White City could not help but be moved by its majesty. Wish I'd been alive then to see it.

PS: Daniel Burnham went on to design many other cities, Manila among them. Unfortunately his design of Manila was never fully carried out, more’s the pity.