Jul. 23, 2000
It's the birthday of novelist Lisa Alther, born Lisa Reed, in Kingsport, Tennessee (1944), author of Kinflicks (1976), Five Minutes In Heaven (1995), and other books.
It's the birthday of novelist John Nichols, born in Berkeley, California (1940), author The Sterile Cuckoo (1965), and his New Mexico Trilogy: The Milagro Beanfield War, (1974), The Magic Journey (1978) and The Nirvana Blues (1981).
It's the birthday of novelist Raymond Chandler, born in Chicago (1888). After he was fired from his job as vice president of an oil company for drinking and womanizing, he turned to writing. He wrote crime stories, and created the detective Philip Marlowe, the hero of all seven of his novels. His books include The Big Sleep (1939), Farewell, My Lovely (1940) and The Long Goodbye.
It's the birthday of American merchant and art collector S. H. (Samuel Henry) Kress, born in Cherryville, Pennsylvania (1863). He was the founder of the Kresge chain of five and dime stores, and gave his collection of European art to the National Gallery in Washington, in 1939.
It's the birthday of Civil War general and 18th president of the United States Ulysses S. Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant, in Point Pleasant, Ohio (1822), the son of a tanner. He worked on the family farm and developed considerable skill handling horses. He accepted an appointment to West Point at 17 because he saw no other way to get an education. He finished around the middle of his class, graduated as second lieutenant, and was stationed near St. Louis. But he resigned after he was assigned to a remote post with an unpleasant commander, and resumed his life as a farmer. When the Civil War broke out, he was appointed brigadier general, with help from an influential congressman. He went on to win the first major Union victory of the war at Fort Donelson on Tennessee's Cumberland River (1862). He met with more success at Shiloh Church in Tennessee and moved on to victory in the Battle of Vicksburg. Grant was given command over all the armies of the United States, and successfully orchestrated a campaign that immobilized Confederate General Robert E. Lee and brought the Civil War to a close. Three years later he entered the White House--at 46 years old, he was the youngest man elected to the presidency up to that time.
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