Monday, June 5, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for June 5

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" was First Published in a Newspaper on June 5.

‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ Serial Story is Published in Newspaper

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous anti-slavery story, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or Life Among the Lowly), was first published as a 40-week serial in The National Era, an abolitionist periodical beginning on this day in 1851. The story depicted the realities of slavery why also promoting the ideal that Christian love could overcome it. It is credited for helping start the beginning of the Civil War. The story was to only run for a few weeks, but Stowe ended up expanding the story a lot and it was a very popular read. Later, Publisher John P. Jewett approached Stowe about the possibility of printing the whole story as a book. She wasn’t convinced that anyone would read it in book form. The published book came out on March 20, 1852 and sold 3,000 copies on that day alone. Later, 300,000 copies of the book were sold during the first year. Upon meeting Stowe, Abraham Lincoln described her as “the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.”

The Broadway musical "Cats" won a Tony award for best musical on June 5, 1983.

‘Cats’ Wins Tony for Best Musical

Though mocked by many, on this day in 1983, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats won the Tony Award for best musical. It was the second longest running show on Broadway history (the longest was Webber’s Phantom of the Opera). It ran on Broadway from 1982 until 2000 with Betty Buckley and Elaine Page in notable roles. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed during the entire run of the show! The show has been translated into more than 20 languages (how many ways can you say “meow?”) and in 1998 it was made into a made-for-television film. The show was based on a collection of poems by “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T. S. Eliot.