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On This Day.

1894: Birth of American humorist James Thurber: Regarded by many as the greatest American humorist since Mark Twain, James Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of a minor politician.

Originally he worked as a clerk before becoming a journalist who joined Harold Ross's newly-established New Yorker magazine in 1927.

His first book, Is Sex Necessary? (1929) written with fellow New Yorker staff writer EB White, established his talents as a humorist and the famous magazine provided the ideal platform for his wry humour, concise prose and cartoons on life's minor events.

His celebrated cartoon caption ``All right, have it your own way -- you heard a seal bark!'' coined in 1932 demonstrated his laid-back style and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) about a meek husband escaping into another world remains his best-remembered story. Married twice, he died in 1961.

Also On This Day: 1542: Birth of Mary, Queen ofScots; 1854: Pope Pius IX settled an ancient controversy by declaring that Christ's mother, the Virgin Mary, was preserved from all sin from the moment she was born; 1864: Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon at Bristol was opened; 1914: The German fleet was sunk in the Battle of the Falklands; 1941: Britain and the United States declared war on Japan; 1980: John Lennon shot dead in New York; 1981: Arthur Scargill elected president of National Union of Mineworkers.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 8, 2001
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