On This Day
1845 – Journalist John L. O’Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the USA had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country “by the right of our manifest destiny”.
Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
The special virtues of the American people and their institutions
The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of the agrarian East
An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty Historian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”. Newspaper editor John O’Sullivan is generally credited with coining the term manifest destiny in 1845 to describe the essence of this mindset; other historians believe the unsigned editorial titled “Annexation” in which it first appeared was written by journalist and annexation advocate Jane Cazneau.
Historians have emphasized that “manifest destiny” was a contested concept—Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans (such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and most Whigs) rejected it. Historian Daniel Walker Howe writes, “American imperialism did not represent an American consensus; it provoked bitter dissent within the national polity … Whigs saw America’s moral mission as one of democratic example rather than one of conquest.” Merk likewise concluded:
From the outset Manifest Destiny—vast in program, in its sense of continentalism—was slight in support. It lacked national, sectional, or party following commensurate with its magnitude. The reason was it did not reflect the national spirit. The thesis that it embodied nationalism, found in much historical writing, is backed by little real supporting evidence.
The term was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the Mexican–American War and it was also used to negotiate the Oregon boundary dispute. Manifest destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery in the United States, says Merk, and never became a national priority. By 1843, former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, originally a major supporter of the concept underlying manifest destiny, had changed his mind and repudiated expansionism because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas. Some contemporary historians have condemned manifest destiny as an ideology used to justify dispossession and genocide against Native Americans.
Born On This Day
1927 – Audrey Wagner, American baseball player, obstetrician, and gynecologist (d. 1984)
Genevieve “Audrey” Wagner [Audrey] (December 27, 1927 – August 31, 1984) was an outfielder who played from 1943 through 1949 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), 145 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.
Audrey Wagner was one of the sixty original founding members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. A two-time member of the All-Star Team, she ranks eight in the all-time list with 29 career home runs while her 55 triples rank second all-time to Eleanor Callow (60). Wagner earned Player of the Year honors in 1948, and also led several offensive categories over her seven-year career in the league. She later became an All Star outfielder in each of her four seasons in the competing National Girls Baseball League of Chicago. Following her baseball career, she graduated as Doctor of Medicine.
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Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog!
Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course. It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee. Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.
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