My original idea for this entry was to show an old article referring to Independence Day. Apparently the holiday didn’t become such a boisterous affair until well into the twentieth century because I checked several late-nineteenth century issues of The Chatham Record that were published on various July 4s and came up empty.
I did however happen upon this curious item on the last page of the July 4, 1895 edition:
Her Romance Ended.
“Yes, I gave him up,” sighed the young woman in the pink wrapper.
“Did he prove unworthy of your affection?” inquired the sympathetic young woman in the pale green gown.
“He-he became a spelling reformer,” rejoined the other with a shudder, “and signed his name ‘Jorj’. It took all the poetry and romance out of the name. It was more than I could endure.”
And as the hoarse night winds moaned and shrieked outside, and the lonesome and despairing cat in the back alley lifted up its voice and howled in agony of soul the two friends sat and gazed dreamily into the fire.
Okay, hive mind: Does this article indict “Jorj”, the women discussing him, or a purple-prosed writer of the time? Maybe they’re even making fun of our hero, Melvil Dewey (inventor of the Dewey Decimal System and an early champion of spelling reform).
And we kant hav that.