Centennial Celebration Quotes

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She was a big blonde woman with more curves than the highway out front and just the right number of hills and valleys.
Max Allan Collins (Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe: A Centennial Celebration)
The man who accepts Western values absolutely, finds his creative faculties becoming so warped and stunted that he is almost completely dependent on external satisfactions; and the moment he becomes frustrated in his search for these, he begins to develop neurotic symptoms, to feel that life is not worth living, and, in chronic cases, to take his own life.
Paul Robeson (Paul Robeson Speaks: Writings, Speeches, and Interviews, a Centennial Celebration)
Was it only that explosion of atavism which is now evasively called "the cult of personality" that was so horrible? Or was it even more horrible that during those same years, in 1937 itself, we celebrated Pushkin's centennial? And that we shamelessly continued to stage those self-same Chekhov plays, even though the answers to them had already come in? Is it not still more dreadful that we are now being told, thirty years later, "Don't talk about it!"? If we start to recall the sufferings of millions, we are told it will distort the historical perspective! If we doggedly seek out the essence of our morality, we are told it will darken our material progress! Let's think rather about the blast furnaces, the rolling mills that were built, the canals that were dug... no, better not talk about the canals.... Then maybe about the gold of the Kolyma? No, maybe we ought not to talk about that either.... Well, we can talk about anything, so long as we do it adroitly, so long as we glorify it....
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV)
News of the disaster at Little Bighorn reached the Eastern Seaboard shortly after July 4, and not just any ordinary July 4 but the grand celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Republic. A country feeling its oats, flexing its muscles, vigorous and rich, cocksure and confident, has seen the impossible happen, the unthinkable become fact. Sitting Bull has spoiled their glorious Centennial, pissed on Custer's golden head, the head of a genuine Civil War hero, the head of someone who has recently been touted as a future President of the United States. Somehow a wedding and a funeral got booked for the same hour in the same church.
Guy Vanderhaeghe (A Good Man)
This interpretation of the Gold Rush as a fun-filled and affirmative adventure survived through numerous celebrations, including the 1949 centennial. It lingered in the movies (Gabby Hayes playing the comic prospector) and continues to sustain the ongoing revelry of a flourishing antiquarian drinking fraternity, the Ancient Order of E Clampus Vitus, founded in 1857 and revitalized in 1931 by historian Carl Wheat, which places plaques at historic Gold Rush sites before adjourning to a nearby saloon.
Kevin Starr (California: A History (Modern Library Chronicles Series Book 23))
On 14 September 1869, one hundred years after his birth, Alexander von Humboldt’s centennial was celebrated across the world. There were parties in Europe, Africa and Australia as well as the Americas. In Melbourne and Adelaide people came together to listen to speeches in honour of Humboldt, as did groups in Buenos Aires and Mexico City. There were festivities in Moscow where Humboldt was called the ‘Shakespeare of sciences’, and in Alexandria in Egypt where guests partied under a sky illuminated with fireworks. The greatest commemorations were in the United States, where from San Francisco to Philadelphia, and from Chicago to Charleston, the nation saw street parades, sumptuous dinners and concerts. In Cleveland some 8,000 people took to the streets and in Syracuse another 15,000 joined a march that was more than a mile long. President Ulysses Grant attended the Humboldt celebrations in Pittsburgh together with 10,000 revellers who brought the city to a standstill. In New York City the cobbled streets were lined with flags. City Hall was veiled in banners, and entire houses had vanished behind huge posters bearing Humboldt’s face. Even the ships sailing by, out on the Hudson River, were garlanded in colourful bunting. In the morning thousands of people followed ten music bands, marching from the Bowery and along Broadway to Central Park to honour a man ‘whose fame no nation can claim’ as the New York Times’s front page reported. By early afternoon, 25,000 onlookers had assembled in Central Park to listen to the speeches as a large bronze bust of Humboldt was unveiled. In the evening as darkness settled, a torchlight procession of 15,000 people set out along the streets, walking beneath colourful Chinese lanterns. Let us imagine him, one speaker said, ‘as standing on the Andes’ with his mind soaring above all. Every speech across the world emphasized that Humboldt had seen an ‘inner correlation’ between all aspects of nature. In Boston, Emerson told the city’s grandees that Humboldt was ‘one of those wonders of the world’. His fame, the Daily News in London reported, was ‘in some sort bound up with the universe itself’. In Germany there were festivities in Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden, Frankfurt and many other cities. The greatest German celebrations were in Berlin, Humboldt’s hometown, where despite torrential rain 80,000 people assembled. The authorities had ordered offices and all government agencies to close for the day. As the rain poured down and gusts chilled the air, the speeches and singing nonetheless continued for hours.
Andrea Wulf (The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World)
The first event, which looked back but also forward like a kind of historical hinge, was the centennial of the birth of Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who, in 1943, accidentally found that he had discovered (five years earlier) the psychoactive molecule that came to be known as LSD. This was an unusual centennial in that the man being feted was very much in attendance. Entering his second century, Hofmann appeared in remarkably good shape, physically spry and mentally sharp, and he was able to take an active part in the festivities, which included a birthday ceremony followed by a three-day symposium. The symposium’s opening ceremony was on January 13, two days after Hofmann’s 100th birthday (he would live to be 102). Two thousand people packed the hall at the Basel Congress Center, rising to applaud as a stooped stick of a man in a dark suit and a necktie, barely five feet tall, slowly crossed the stage and took his seat. Two hundred journalists from around the world were in attendance, along with more than a thousand healers, seekers, mystics, psychiatrists, pharmacologists, consciousness researchers, and neuroscientists, most of them people whose lives had been profoundly altered by the remarkable molecule that this man had derived from a fungus half a century before. They had come to celebrate him and what his friend the Swiss poet and physician Walter Vogt called “the only joyous invention of the twentieth century.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)