On This Day
1837 – In Alton, Illinois, abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy is shot dead by a mob while attempting to protect his printing shop from being destroyed a third time.
Elijah Parish Lovejoy (November 9, 1802 – November 7, 1837) was an American Presbyterian minister, journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist. After having moved his newspaper from St. Louis, Missouri to Alton, Illinois, he was fatally shot during an attack by a pro-slavery mob. They were seeking to destroy a warehouse owned by Winthrop Sargent Gilman and Benjamin Godfrey, which held Lovejoy’s press and abolitionist materials.
According to John Quincy Adams, the murder “[gave] a shock as of an earthquake throughout this country”. “The Boston Recorder declared that these events called forth from every part of the land ‘a burst of indignation which has not had its parallel in this country since the Battle of Lexington.'” When informed about the murder, John Brown said publicly: “Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery.”
Born On This Day
1878 – Lise Meitner, Austrian-Swedish physicist and academic (d. 1968)
Elise Meitner (/ˈliːzə ˈmaɪtnər/ LEE-zə MYTE-nər, German: [ˈliːzə ˈmaɪtnɐ] (About this soundlisten); 7 November 1878 – 27 October 1968) was a leading Austrian-Swedish physicist who was one of those responsible for the discovery of the element protactinium and nuclear fission. While working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute on radioactivity, she discovered the radioactive isotope protactinium-231 in 1917. In 1938, Meitner and her nephew, the physicist Otto Robert Frisch, discovered nuclear fission. She was praised by Albert Einstein as the “German Marie Curie”.
Completing her doctoral research in 1905, Meitner became the first woman from the University of Vienna and second in the world to earn a doctorate in physics. She spent most of her scientific career in Berlin, Germany, where she was a physics professor and a department head at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute; she was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. She lost these positions in the 1930s because of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, and in 1938 she fled to Sweden, where she lived for many years, ultimately becoming a Swedish citizen.
In mid-1938, Meitner with chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute found that bombarding thorium with neutrons produced different isotopes. Hahn and Strassmann later in the year showed that isotopes of barium could be formed by bombardment of uranium. In late December, Meitner and Frisch worked out the phenomenon of such a splitting process. In their report in February issue of Nature in 1939, they gave it the name “fission”. This principle led to the development of the first atomic bomb during World War II, and subsequently other nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.
Meitner received many awards and honours late in her life, but she did not share the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission, which was awarded exclusively to her long-time collaborator Otto Hahn. Several scientists and journalists have called her exclusion “unjust”. According to the Nobel Prize archive, she was nominated 19 times for Nobel Prize in Chemistry between 1924 and 1948, and 29 times for Nobel Prize in Physics between 1937 and 1965. Despite not having been awarded the Nobel Prize, Meitner was invited to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 1962. However, Meitner received many other honours, including the naming of chemical element 109 meitnerium in 1997.
The Marginalian by Maria Popova: What Makes You You Makes the Universe: Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger on Quantum Physics, Vedanta, and the Ongoing Mystery of Consciousness
The Passive Voice, From Nathan Bransford: How to research your characters
The Passive Voice, From The Economist: BookTok has passion—and enormous marketing power
By Josh Jones, Open Culture: The Awe-Inspiring But Tragic Story of Africa’s Festival In The Desert (2001-2012)
By Josh Jones, Open Culture: The 10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People, According to Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (RIP)
The Book Junction: Where Readers Go To Discover Great New Fiction!
Mystery & Thriller Most Wanted
Book Blogs & Websites:
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.
Thanks to everyone involved to keep this forum going: our blogging team, the well-read Stumper Magicians, the many referrals, and of course to everyone who fondly remembers the wonder of books from their childhood and wants to share or revisit that wonder. Isn’t it amazing, the magic of a book?