The Tragic Life of the Feminist Writer of Frankenstein

On this day in 1818, novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece “Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus” is published in England. The book by the 21-year-old is frequently called the world’s first science fiction novel wherein a scientist animates a creature constructed from dismembered corpses. The work’s […]

Did Czechoslovakia’s Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk Commit Suicide?

In 1947 Masaryk made a fateful error in strongly endorsing the US offer of millions in aid under the Marshall Plan. When the US unveiled the brilliantly cunning and generous plan, the Soviets and their Czech lackeys demurred, and by strange coincidence a full-on communist coup was staged in February of ’48. Masaryk was one of the few non-communists left in place, a man largely alone.

Operation Meetinghouse Launched

On this day in 1945, the Army Air Corps launches Operation Meetinghouse, generally referred to as the Tokyo Firebombing. The night of March 9-10, 334 B-29 Superfortress bombers took off for Japan, with 279 of them dropping 1,665 tons of bombs on Tokyo; the effects were devastating and it is regarded as the single most […]

The New Orleans Mint

On this day in 1838, operations at the New Orleans Mint commence with the deposit of the first shipment of Mexican gold bullion. The first coins, 30 dimes, were struck on May 7. Until it was taken over by the Confederacy in 1861, the mint produced many different denominations, all of which were either silver […]

The Creation Of Dixieland Jazz

On this day in 1917, the Original Dixieland Jass Band releases the first-ever jazz recording, “Livery Stable Blues,” for the Victor (not yet RCA) label. ODJB billed itself as the “Creators of Jazz,” and while a couple of other New Orleans bands had passed through New York City slightly earlier, they were part of vaudeville […]