FYI December 19, 2019

On This Day

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled “The American Crisis”.
The American Crisis, or simply The Crisis, is a pamphlet series by eighteenth-century Enlightenment philosopher and author Thomas Paine, originally published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution.[1] Thirteen numbered pamphlets were published between 1776 and 1777, with three additional pamphlets released between 1777 and 1783.[2] The first of the pamphlets was published in The Pennsylvania Journal on December 19, 1776.[3] Paine signed the pamphlets with the pseudonym, “Common Sense”.

The pamphlets were contemporaneous with early parts of the American Revolution, when colonists needed inspiring works. The American Crisis series was used to “recharge the revolutionary cause.”[4] Paine, like many other politicians and scholars, knew that the colonists were not going to support the American Revolutionary War without proper reason to do so. Written in a language that the common person could understand, they represented Paine’s liberal philosophy. Paine also used references to God, saying that a war against Great Britain would be a war with the support of God. Paine’s writings bolstered the morale of the American colonists, appealed to the British people’s consideration of the war, clarified the issues at stake in the war, and denounced the advocates of a negotiated peace. The first volume famously begins: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

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Born On This Day

1875 – Grace Marie Bareis, American mathematician (d. 1962)
Grace Marie Bareis (December 19, 1875 – June 15, 1962) was an American mathematician and educator who became the first person to receive a doctorate degree in mathematics from Ohio State University. Bareis was an assistant professor at Ohio State University where she taught for 40 years until her eventual retirement in 1946.[1]

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