Jul. 24, 1999
When Earth's Last Picture is Painted
Poem: "When Earth's Last Picture is Painted," by Rudyard Kipling from The Seven Seas.
It's the birthday in France, 1802, of ALEXANDRE DUMAS (dew-MAH) who first made his reputation as a playwright and then came out with two popular novels: The Three Musketeers in 1844, and a year later, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Writer ROBERT GRAVES was born on this day in London, 1895. He fought in W.W.I and was severely wounded in the trenches. He became famous for his 1929 war memoir Good-Bye to All That.
It was on this day in 1897 that a group of 23 bicycle riders the ARMY'S 25th INFANTRY rode into St. Louis having pedaled 1,900 miles from Missoula, Montana. The bicycle and pneumatic tires were fairly recent inventions, and the army wanted to see if bikes would be better than horses for moving soldiers or messages in the field. So, the 25th Infantry was ordered to conduct a field test. The riders started out from Missoula on June 14th and averaged 50-60 miles a day over dirt roads, the Continental Divide, the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a blizzard in the mountains and 110-degree days out on the Plains; each rider carrying a tent, a set of underwear, two pairs of socks, a handkerchief, and toothbrush in a luggage carrier in front of the handlebars; with bacon, bread, canned beef, baked beans, coffee, and sugar in leather cases attached to the bike frame about 60 pounds of gear in all. Of the 1,900 miles, the men had to push their bikes about 400 miles. But they all made it and on July 24 crowds greeted them as they made their way into St. Louis. The 25th Infantry was an all-black unit.
It's the birthday in Montgomery, Alabama, 1900, of ZELDA FITZGERALD, author of Save Me the Waltz.
It's the birthday of the author of the Travis McGee mystery series, JOHN D. MACDONALD, born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, 1916.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®