History, Holidays & Observances on January 19

Bookworm Room | 1/19/2020 | Wolf Howling
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Toast to Edgar Allan Poe – The author and poet Edgar Allen Poe died under mysterious circumstances in Baltimore at age 40. Virtually everything about his life, death and . . . well, after life, comes with a dose of the bizarre, if not the mysterious. Quite apropos, really, for the man who invented the detective novel genre and who wrote often of the macabre.

[e]ach year, in the early hours of the morning of January 19 (Poe’s birthday), a black-clad figure carrying a silver-tipped cane, his face obscured by a scarf or hood, entered the [graveyard] . . . At the site of Poe’s original grave—which is marked with a commemorative stone—he would pour a glass of Martell cognac and raise a toast. He then arranged three red roses on the monument in a distinctive configuration and departed, leaving the unfinished bottle of cognac. The roses were believed to represent Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria Clemm, all three of whom were originally interred at the site. The significance of the cognac is uncertain, . . . Several of the cognac bottles are kept at the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore.

Group - Size - Reporters - Poe - Event

A group of varying size composed of reporters and Poe enthusiasts observed the event each year. A photograph, reputedly of the Toaster, was published by Life Magazine in 1990. . . .

The identity of the “Poe Toaster” has always been a mystery, and as befitting Poe’s audience, it has given rise to numerous theories, some supernatural. That said:

Day - Tradition - Toast - Mr - Poe

So, on this day, in keeping with tradition, a toast to the great Mr. Poe . . . .

1764 – John Wilkes is expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.

Event - Constitutional - Jurisprudence - Event

This was a major event in American Constitutional jurisprudence, as it was an event that would,...
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