It was on July 4th, 1862, that Englishman Charles Dodgson was rowing on the River Thames at Oxford with the three young Liddell sisters, daughters of family friends. To keep his young charges amused he began to tell a story which would eventually become Alice in Wonderland. Dodgson was, of course, the real name of Lewis Carroll.
The middle Liddell sister, Alice, aged 10 at the time, badgered Dodgson to continue and finish his marvelous story. For Christmas in 1864, he presented Alice with a leather-bound book of his completed story, which he had also illustrated. The following year, Alice in Wonderland was published to widespread acclaim.
To end today's blog entry, some patriotic verse. This excerpt is from one of the poems clipped by Thomas Jefferson and added to one of his four scrapbooks when he was president.
Song for July 4th, 1805
Wide o'er the wilderness of waves,
Untracked by human peril,
Our fathers roam'd for peaceful graves,
To deserts dark and sterile:
No parting pang -- No long adieu
Delay'd their gallant daring;
With them, their Gods, and Country too,
Their pilgrim keels were bearing.
All hearts unite the patriot band,
Be Liberty our natal land.
--R.T. Paine, Jun. Esq
(As quoted in Thomas Jefferson's Scrapbooks, Jonathan Gross, ed. Steer Forth Press, 2006)
And remember...home is where your books are.