A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Catherine Anholt (Chimp and Z), Raymond Briggs (The Snowman), and Alan Schroeder (Ragtime Tumpie).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of lexicographer Peter Roget (1779â€“1869), Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Itâ€™s also Thesaurus Day.
- In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII, the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States. Read The Radio by Gayle Worland.
- Jazz goes mainstream! In 1944 the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz concert for the first time. Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, and Jack Teagarden played. Read If I Only Had a Horn by Roxane Orgil.
Today has been designated Winnie-the-Pooh Day. On October 14, 1926, a British playwright, who also liked to dabble in poetry and prose for children, published a book named after a stuffed toy bear: â€śHere is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.â€ť
Milneâ€™s son Christopher Robin had been, with the help of his mother, making up stories about his toys. Eventually Alan Milne joined in, writing an occasional poem and scene about Pooh and Christopherâ€™s other toysâ€”Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga and Roo, and Tigger, the tiger who liked to bounce. Milne spun these tales out, adding his own blend of whimsy and creative imagination to the material that Christopher had already provided. In the wonderful Hundred Acre Wood, these animals and Christopher Robin build a trap for a Heffalump, plan an â€śexpotitionâ€ť to the North PoleÂ¸ and engage in a variety of exciting activities.
Then, one Saturday morning, the artist Ernest Shepard, who did not have an appointment, called on Milne at home to show a portfolio of his sketches. Milne loved these drawings, and consequently Shepard provided drawings for Milneâ€™s poetry volume, When We Were Very Young, and also Winnie-the-Pooh. Milne then introduced Shepard to Kenneth Graham, who badly wanted an illustrated edition of The Wind in the Willows.
Today at New York Public Libraryâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Center at 42nd Street, the old and now battered toys of Christopher Robin Milne have found a permanent home. Preserved in cases for the delight of other children, they stand stiff and lifeless in place. Like all toys, they needed the care and imaginative power of their ownerâ€”and in this case, his fatherâ€”to bring them to life.
Iâ€™m glad a Winnie-the-Pooh Day exists; the world is a better place because of this book. It has made children and families laugh, recite poetry, and even sing together for decades.
Edward Bear, known to his friends as Winnie-the-Pooh, or Pooh for short, was walking through the forest one day, humming proudly to himself. He had made up a little hum that very morning, as he was doing his Stoutness Exercises in front of the glass: Tra-la-la, tra-la-la, as he stretched up as high as he could go, and then Tra-la-la, tra-la–oh, help!–la, as he tried to reach his toes. After breakfast he had said it over and over to himself until he had learnt it off by heart, and now he was humming it right through, properly.
Originally posted January 18, 2011. Updated for .