June 26, 1997: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published.
Fifteen years ago, the book series that defined a generation began. So have some quotes!
There will be books written about Harry. Every child in the world will know his name. (How right you were, Professor McGonagall.)
Sunshine daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid fat rat yellow.
Always the innocent are the first victims, so it has been for ages past, so it is now.
‘The truth.’ Dumbledore sighed. ‘It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.’
Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe.
There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.
To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: ‘To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!’
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
June 12, 1967: The Supreme Court declares anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.
For forty-three years prior to this landmark civil rights case, Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act made marriage between white and non-whites a crime punishable by law. To circumvent this law, Mildred Dolores Jeter (a woman of Native American and African descent) and Richard Loving traveled in 1958 to Washington, D.C., where they were able to marry legally (though technically this was also a violation of the Virginia Code). Upon returning to Virginia, however, the Lovings were arrested and charged with “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth”, to which they pled guilty.
Fortunately, with the help of the ACLU, the Loving case made it to the state court and then to the Supreme Court as Loving v. Virginia. By this time, most mainstream American churches had already affirmed their support for interracial marriage. Finally, in, 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that, under the Fourteenth Amendment, the Racial Integrity Act (and any other anti-miscegenation laws) were unconstitutional:
To deny [marriage] on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.
This has a familiar sound.
The first Times Square Ball - 1907.
December 23, 1908: Photographer Yousuf Karsh is born.
Karsh, an ethnic Armenian, was born in southeast Turkey (at the time still the Ottoman Empire) during the Armenian Genocide. At the age of 20, he began apprenticing as a photographer in the United States before returning to Canada four years later, where he set up his own studio. In 1941, Karsh took a photograph of Winston Churchill that solidified his reputation as a photographer and brought him to international fame. To this day, it remains one of the most recognizable photos of all time - and certainly the most famous of Churchill. The Prime Minister’s scowl, according to an oft-told story, resulted from an audacious young Karsh’s attempt to forcibly remove his cigar from his mouth.
After his Churchill portrait, Karsh apparently then decided to try and photograph as many famous 20th century figures as possible - from Humphrey Bogart to Helen Keller to Muhammad Ali to Fidel Castro. On the art of portraiture, he remarked:
It should be the aim of every photographer to make a single exposure that shows everything about the subject.
… advice that Karsh followed to a T in his own work, which is why he is regarded by many as one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time.
October 27, 1858: President Theodore Roosevelt is born in New York City.
What is there to be mentioned about Teddy Roosevelt that is not already well-known? His term as twenty-sixth president was only one of his numerous accomplishments; outside of the presidency, he:
- was an ornithologist, taxidermist, and naturalist
- had a photographic memory
- was a respected historian
- was the first president to ride in both a plane and a submarine
- was a rancher in North Dakota, later deputy sheriff
- reformed the New York Police Commission as Commissioner
- was a Colonel in the Army
- was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and later the Medal of Honor
- was an avid big game hunter
- created his own political party, the “Bull Moose” Party
- explored tributaries of the Amazon River
- was arguably the most well-read of all the American presidents
- wrote twenty-six books and over a thousand magazine articles
- was a boxer, tennis player, horseback rider, rower, hiker, and judo brown-belt
- apparently rode moose
Sickly and weak as a child, young Theodore rose to become one of the most famous, charismatic, and greatest of American politicians- a fighter of corruption, military hero, and embracer of the “strenuous life”. Even Roosevelt’s would-be assassin, John Schrank, called him “a great American”.