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The Writer’s Almanac for July 19, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 19, 2019

On this day 65 years ago, the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” was published. The three complete volumes were more than 500,000 words long.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 18, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 18, 2019

It’s the birthday of journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937). After he died, per his request, his ashes were shot from a cannon.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 17, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 17, 2019

On this date in 1867, the Harvard Dental School was founded. Prior to the 19th century, people generally went to barbers or blacksmiths to get teeth pulled.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 16, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 16, 2019

In 1945 on this day, the first atomic bomb exploded 120 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Officials told citizens that an ammunitions dump had blown up.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 15, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 15, 2019

It’s the birthday of the philosopher who said “There is nothing outside the text” — Jacques Derrida, born in El Biar, Algeria, 1930.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 14, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 14, 2019

On this day in 1789, an angry mob stormed the Bastille prison in Paris and liberated the seven prisoners within: four forgers, two “lunatics,” and an aristocrat accused of incest.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 13, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 13, 2019

There was a blackout in New York City on this date in 1977. Over 25 hours, more than 1,600 stores were looted, more than a thousand fires were set, and nearly 3,800 looters were arrested.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 12, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 12, 2019

Today is the birthday of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904), who wrote under a pseudonym to avoid his father’s judgment, and always in green ink, because he believed it was the color of hope.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 11, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 11, 2019

“To Kill a Mockingbird” was published on this date in 1960. Harper Lee wasn’t sure how it would be received. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 and has sold more than 40 million copies.

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The Writer’s Almanac for July 10, 2019

The Writer’s Almanac for July 10, 2019

It’s the birthday of short story writer Alice Munro (1931), who won a Nobel Prize in 2013 as well as the 2009 Man Booker International Prize recognizing her lifetime body of work.

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