Today in History: Oct. 14

Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots. As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.
“Good morning, Christopher Robin,” he called out.
“Hallo, Pooh Bear. I can’t get this boot on.”
“That’s bad,” said Pooh.
“Do you think you could very kindly lean against me, ‘cos I keep pulling so hard that I fall over backwards.”
Pooh sat down, dug his feet into the ground, and pushed hard against Christopher Robin’s back, and Christopher Robin pushed hard against his, and pulled and pulled at his boot until he had got it on.
“And that’s that,” said Pooh. “What do we do next?”
“We are all going on an Expedition,” said Christopher Robin, as he got up and brushed himself. “Thank you, Pooh.”
“Going on an Expotition?” said Pooh eagerly. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on one of those. Where are we going to on this Expotition?”
“Expedition, silly old Bear. It’s got an ‘x’ in it.”
“Oh!” said Pooh. “I know.” But he didn’t really.
“We’re going to discover the North Pole.”
“Oh!” said Pooh again. “What is the North Pole?” he asked.
“It’s just a thing you discover,” said Christopher Robin carelessly, not being quite sure himself.
“Oh! I see,” said Pooh. “Are bears any good at discovering it?”
“Of course they are.”
—A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh, “In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole”

Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of 10 short stories by A. A. Milne about a young boy, Christopher Robin, and his teddy bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh (birth name: Edward Pooh), was published by Methuen & Co. in London 90 years ago today.

The stories were first told by Milne to his son, Christopher Robin Milne, about the boy’s toys, and Milne then started to publish them in London newspapers in 1924. An instant hit with newspaper readers, Milne’s Pooh titles have remained continuously in print.

* * * *
The Battle of Hastings was fought on this date in 1066. William, the Duke of Normandy, and his forces killed the English King, Harold, in the battle, thereby beginning the Norman Conquest of England. William was crowned king in December.

* * * *
Girl Crazy, a musical by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, opened at the Alvin Theater on Broadway on this date in 1930. The musical introduced the songs “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “But Not For Me.” Ginger Rogers was the lead and became a star, and the pit orchestra included Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, and was conducted by George Gershwin himself. For all of that, the show is mostly remembered because it introduced Broadway to a featured performer named Ethel Merman, who made her debut opening night and sang “I Got Rhythm” for the first time.

* * * *
Bing Crosby died on this date in 1977.

* * * *
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on this date in 1890. E.E. Cummings was born in 1894 on this date. John Wooden was born on this date in 1910. Dr. C. Everett Koop was born 100 years ago today.

* * * *
Sir Roger Moore is 89 today. He is still making live appearances with his Q&A show, “An Evening with Sir Roger Moore.”

John Dean is 78 today. Ralph Lauren is 77. Sir Cliff Richard is 76 today. Katha Pollitt is 67. Harry Anderson is 64. Thomas Dolby is 58. Isaac Mizrahi is 55. Joe Girardi is 52. Natalie Maines is 42 today. Usher is 38.

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