Archive for September 14th, 2022


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John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (1902 – 1968)

Writer John Steinbeck was presented the U.S. Medal of Freedom
on September 14, 1964. Steinbeck had already received numerous
other honors and awards for his writing, including the 1962 Nobel
Prize and a 1939 Pulitzer Prize for Grapes of Wrath.

Steinbeck, a native Californian, studied writing intermittently at
Stanford between 1920 and 1925 but never graduated. He moved
New York and worked as a manual laborer and journalist while
writing his first two novels, which were not successful. He married
in 1930 and moved back to
California with his wife. His father, a government official in Salinas County, gave the couple a house to
live in while Steinbeck continued writing.

His first novel, Tortilla Flat, about the comic antics of several
rootless drifters who share a house in California, was published
in 1935. The novel became a financial success.

Easton Press Works of John Steinbeck in 8 Volumes image 1

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"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United
. The lyrics came from the "Defence of Fort M’Henry", a
poem written on September 14, 1814, by 35-year-old lawyer and
amateur poet
Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment
Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Outer
Baltimore Harbor in the Patapsco River during the Battle of
in the War of 1812 (below). Key was inspired by the large
U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled
Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.        

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by
John Stafford Smith.

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Francis Scott Key   (1779 – 1843)

Francis Scott Key was born at Terra Rubra, his
family’s estate in Frederick County (now Carroll
County), Maryland.

He became a successful lawyer in Maryland and
Washington, D.C., and was later appointed U.S.
attorney for the District of Columbia.



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