Welcome to The Jungle

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle is published on this date in 1906. The novel exposes the unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry in the early 20th century. Public outrage over these practices ultimately led to the formation of the Food and Drug Administration.

Upton Sinclair

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Salinas’s Favorite Son Steinbeck Born on This Date

John Steinbeck

Nobel Prize award-winning American author John Steinbeck born this day in 1902. Learn more about Steinbeck and his work by visiting the National Steinbeck Center’s site at:

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Victor Hugo Born on This Date

Les Miserables

French writer Victor Hugo born on this date in 1802. Hugo is the author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Les Miserables became popular with American soldiers fighting in the Civil War. The Army of Northern Virginia began calling themselves “Lee’s Miserables” after both the novel and their commander, General Robert E. Lee. You can read Les Miserables here:

Victor Hugo

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Dystopian Satirist Burgess Born on This Date

Anthony Burgess

British novelist Anthony Burgess born on this date in 1917. Burgess is best known for his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange.

A Clockwork Orange

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Playwright Sheridan Drinks Whilst Theatre Burns


Richard Sheridan, author of The School for Scandal, stops for a drink on this date in 1809; the new Drury Lane Theatre, which he owns, is burning down nearby. Sheridan calmly states, “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.”

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

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Attend Word of Mouth this Week

Word of Mouth Logo

Word of Mouth is a weekly conversation group for international students. You can talk with native English speakers to improve

  • Spoken fluency
  • Cultural awareness
  • Social interaction

We meet Friday, February 27 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. in Sage Hall 230.

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Diarist Pepys Born on This Date

Samuel Pepys

Famed British diarist Samuel Pepys born this day in 1633. Pepys kept the diary from 1660 to 1669; it remains one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. Read Pepys’s entry about the Great Fire of London here:

Great Fire London-artist unknown

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Galileo’s Dialogue Sparks Controversy

Galileo's Dialogue, Title Page

Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published on this date in 1632. Galileo was convicted of heresy for the book, which was subsequently placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. It was not removed from this index until 1835. Read Thomas Salusbury’s 1661 translation here:

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Today Is International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day

Today is International Mother Language Day, an annual celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. You can learn more here:

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Author of “A Man for All Seasons” Dies on This Date

Robert Bolt

English playwright Robert Bolt, author of A Man for All Seasons, died on this date in 1995. Bolt won the Academy Award twice; once for his screen adaptation for A Man for All Seasons, and again for his screen adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago.

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