"The more Adams thought about the future of his country, the more convinced he became that it rested on education." David McCullough
So, 'twas on this day 210 years ago that the 2nd President signed off on a law that'd let the legislators order $5,000's worth of books from London. Thus, the U.S. Government acquired its first library: 740 books and three maps. (Do check out www.loc.gov for this and voluminous lists, piles, and stacks of other information - you won't be sorry!) Thank you, John Adams, who once wrote that liberty could not "be preserved without a general knowledge among the people." Thank you, brilliant, book-loving John Adams, who advised his son, JQA, to keep a poet in his pocket so he'd "never be alone."
Of course, that first "Library of Congress" was caught up in the flames when British troops torched the Capitol in the summer of 1814. www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/jefflib.htmlAnd of course, ex-President Thos. Jefferson offered to sell his personal collection of 6,487 volumes (!) in order that the nation might replace and recommence its library - and as a delightful bonus, the Bookaholic of Monticello could go buy more books. Yup. Understand that addiction. Still, must the tubby New Englander always languish in the shadow of the Virginian(s)?
A cranky, quirky, funny dame, a cronette, divided in demeanor between fizzy optimism and dispirited melancholy (I treat the latter with new projects, the latest being an early-18th century gentleman's coat that I sewed for myself out of a length of blue denim, decorated w/ brass buttons.) An entertaining speaker I am, to many a gym or library full of students, a fine writer about dead people and things historical, a middling harmonica player and illustrator of many a book, 40 or so & counting.