Today in 1851 at New York, Harper & Brothers published Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.” It was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851, in an expurgated (or censored) three-volume edition titled “The Whale.”
The book was a flop and forgotten. Melville wrote several other novels and short stories and poetry, but writing didn’t pay the bills. He got a job as a customs inspector and held the position for 20 years. Melville died in 1891.
It would not be until the 1920′s that Moby-Dick was rediscovered and became a major literary work and staple of required reading in public schools. Melville’s last novel “Billy Budd” was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.
Today in 1776 the “St. James Chronicle” at London carried a short mention, “The very identical Dr. Franklyn, whom Lord Chatham so much caressed, and used to say he was proud in calling his friend, is now the head of the rebellion in North America.”
Ben Franklin affronted a number of British friends and colleagues when he identified himself with the patriotic cause of the colonies. He also won over a number of sympathizers. Franklin was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His son William remained loyal to the crown, a decision father and son never reconciled.
Today in 2006 Texas state officials closed the last two Pig Stand drive-in restaurants for unpaid taxes. The stores were bankrupt.
Pig Stand began in 1921 and innovated bringing food to parked cars. Teen waiters would jump on the running board of cars before they parked, eager to take an order. They became known as “car hops.”
By 1934 there were more than 130 Pig Stands in nine states. Pig Stand innovated drive-through windows for food to go, Texas Toast, and waitresses on roller skates.
In 2007 a Pig Stand reopened in San Antonio but as an inside restaurant. It remains a sentimental attraction.