Some novels take quite a bit of time before they become popular. That was not the case of To Kill a Mockingbird published on this day in 1960. Written by Harper Lee, it was hugely successful, won the Pulitzer Prize and is considered by many to be a classic of modern American literature. Lee drew inspiration for the characters from her own family and neighbor during an event that had happened in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama when she was just ten years old. It is a young girl, Jean Louise Finch (aka Scout) who narrates the story about her father, Atticus Finch, who fought racial injustice in the court system. In 1962, the story was adapted to become an Oscar-winning movie and a play based on the novel has performed annually in Harper’s hometown since 1990. This was Harper’s only published work until July 14, 2015 when an earlier draft of the story called Got Set a Watchman was printed. She died in February 2016.
Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky Play a Game of Chess
The World Championship of 1972 began on this day. The match was between Bobby Fischer of the U.S. and the defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. Taking place in the Laugardalsholl arena in Reykjavik, Iceland, it has be been dubbed the “match of the century.” The match continued until August 31, 1972 with Fischer winning and ending a 24-year streak of winning of the Soviet Union. Spassky resigned the next day.