On This Day, October 23

The the remains of 4 unknown American soldiers who died in World War I, arrived at the Hotel de Ville in Chalons-sur-Marne on October 23, 1921. At 10 o’clock the next morning, French and American officials entered a hall where the four caskets were displayed, each draped with an American flag. Sergeant Edward Younger, the man given the task of making the selection, carried a spray of white roses with which to mark the chosen casket. According to the official account, Younger “entered the chamber in which the bodies of the four Unknown Soldiers lay, circled the caskets three times, then silently placed the flowers on the third casket from the left. He faced the body, stood at attention and saluted.” Bearing the inscription “An Unknown American who gave his life in the World War,” the chosen casket traveled to Paris and then to Le Havre, France, where it would board the cruiser Olympia for the voyage across the Atlantic. Once back in the United States, the Unknown Soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. Inscribed on the marble sarcophagus of the tomb is “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” Find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Library and on hoopla.


On October 23, 1942, author Michael Crichton was born in Chicago. During his final year of medical school, the 6’9″ Crichton published The Andromeda Strain (1969) and decided to write full time instead of practicing medicine. Many of his bestselling novels, including The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, Congo and The Great Train Robbery, became films. He directed the film version of his novels Binary (1972) and Westworld (1973). By 1993, he had four books on the bestseller list and two blockbuster films in the theater (Jurassic Park and Rising Sun). Crichton won the Edgar Award, the mystery writers’ “Oscar,” in 1968 and 1980. Find Michael Crichton at the library and OverDrive.


Children’s author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, who  grew up on a steady diet of ghost stories and science fiction, was born on October 23, 1964.  The author of the Suddenly Supernatural series, Elizabeth lives in Cold Spring, New York, with her daughter, Emma, and their possibly telepathic beagle, Henry.Find Kimmel at the library

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