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A Debaculous Fiasco (damninteresting.com)
34 points by ca98am79 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

If you ever wondered why Dr. Seuss took his pen name, or even if you haven't:

Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925. At Dartmouth, he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, eventually rising to the rank of editor-in-chief. While at Dartmouth, he was caught drinking gin with nine friends in his room. At the time, the possession and consumption of alcohol was illegal under Prohibition laws, which remained in place between 1920 and 1933. As a result of this infraction, Dean Craven Laycock insisted that Geisel resign from all extracurricular activities, including the college humor magazine. To continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration's knowledge, Geisel began signing his work with the pen name "Seuss". He was encouraged in his writing by professor of rhetoric W. Benfield Pressey, whom he described as his "big inspiration for writing" at Dartmouth.

In 1956, Dartmouth awarded Geisel with an honorary doctorate, finally justifying the "Dr." in his pen name.


I thought Prohibition only forbade the manufacture and sale of liquor, not the possession or consumption?

I’m no expert, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were state and local laws that went further and banned possession and consumption.

Interestingly, the version of the story told between Dartmouth students these days includes him being caught bootlegging, not just consuming. But that might be apocryphal.

More fun facts! This movie was one of Matt Groening's inspirations; the Simpsons prominently features both a Bart and a Terwilli(g/k)er.

first of all: debaculous. i mean, what a great word. even better than shambolic.

second of all, this comment on racial job discrimination in America and especially Hollywood: Narrators of Japanese ancestry were available—and most were desperate for work, having been only recently released from their internment camps on American soil—but producers hired Conried to imitate the accent instead.

Great movie, though. Watch it!

I didn't know from the title it was the "5000 fingers of Dr T"... definitely a classic of weird and metaphorical.

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