Welcome to the blog for Lighthouse Books, ABAA. My name is Michael Slicker. We are a family-owned and operated antiquarian bookstore that has been open more than thirty-five years, located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Please have a look around the blog. Bookmark us or subscribe to an RSS feed so that you will be alerted when we make updates. Please follow the links to our spot on AbeBooks and our online bookstore for listings of some of what we have available. Thank you for visiting us online. You can visit us in person at 1735 First Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg. We specialize in rare books, unusual books, antique maps, vintage photographs and more.
It is the birthday of Irish dramatist and writer John M. Synge (1871), whose best-known play, The Playboy of the Western World (1907), caused riots when it was first performed in Dublin. The play concerned a young man who runs away from his father’s farm. In a tavern, he claims to have killed his father, and attracts the attention of the barmaid and the townspeople, becoming something of a local hero. Audiences considered the work immoral and staged protests. Synge was a co-founder of the famous Abbey Theatre, where the show was performed, and was a leading figure in the Irish literary revival in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It is the birthday of civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph (1889), who is credited with forming the first predominantly black labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. The union succeeded to winning better working conditions and pay for workers. In 1941, he organized a march on Washington to seek an end to discrimination in war industries. However, the march never took place because President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order that became known as the Fair Employment Act. Later, Randolph led a protest seeking to end segregation in the armed forces, following which President Harry Truman issued an executive order to do just that. Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida, and raised in Jacksonville.
It is the birthday of writer James Branch Cabell (1879), whose books of humorous fantasy captivated readers in the 1920s but fell out of favor by the 1930s. His best-known book was Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice (1919), in which the medieval protagonist seeks chivalrous courtly love but instead seduces women everywhere he goes. It contains parodies of the Arthurian legend as he encounters Queen Guinevere and The Divine Comedy as he dallies with the Devil’s wife. Filled with double entendres, the book attracted the attention of self-appointed censors. After two years, the publisher won an obscenity trial, which had the effect of gaining the book and the author a much wider audience. Cabell published 52 books, including short story collections, poetry, genealogies, and novels.
It is the birthday of journalist Francis P. Blair, Sr. (1791), editor of the Washington Globe newspaper and a staunch supporter of Andrew Jackson. His residence in Washington is known as the Blair House and serves today as the President’s guest house. Blair also was a member of Jackson’s so-called Kitchen Cabinet group of unofficial advisors. Blair also was an unofficial advisor to Abraham Lincoln and served as the go-between in an unsuccessful bid to get Robert E. Lee to head the Union Armies at the beginning of the Civil War. Blair, originally a Democrat, helped found the Republican Party. Blair had a summer home in Maryland near a spring he called Silver Spring. The city took its name from Blair’s estate. The town of Blairsville, Georgia, is named for him. It is in Union County, named for the Union Party that helped get Andrew Jackson elected president.
It is the birthday of Italian industrialist Adriano Olivetti (1901), who is credited with transforming his father’s business machine company from a shop environment into an efficient manufacturing operation. Shortly after graduating from Polytechnic University of Turin, Olivetti visited a Remington plant in the United States and returned with ideas for reorganization that eventually doubled his company’s output. Olivetti typewriters, calculators, and computers are known and used around the world. Adriano Olivetti was devoted to utopian philosophy and put it into practice by reinvesting profits in increased salaries, fringe benefits, and services. In the late 1950s, Olivetti workers were the most productive in the industry and the highest paid.
Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.
We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.
This blog is your online connection to Lighthouse Books, ABAA, offering updates on our activities and an insider's look at some of our offerings. We hope you'll enjoy it and visit often. We'd love to hear from you.