Dr. Suess birthday celebrated in region’s schools

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/03/02/dr-suess-birthday-celebrated-in-regions-schools/

Many New England elementary schools are celebrating Dr. Suess on his birthday Wednesday by reading “The Cat in The Hat” out loud.

The beloved author, who was born March 2, 1904, wrote and illustrated some 40 children’s books, including “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” and “The Lorax.”

But did you know that this famous cartoonist was also an Army captain, an Academy Award winner, and a native of Springfield, Massachusetts?

The cartoonist was born Theodor Seuss Giesel in the city on the banks of the Connecticut River. His German-American father managed a brewery and supervised Springfield’s public parks.

Dr. Suess attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and became editor-in-chief of the school humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern, often simply called the Jack-O. Already an accomplished cartoonist, some at the school suspect that a few of his drawings linger in fraternity basement corners.

It was at Dartmouth that Geisel first used his mother’s maiden name, Suess, to sign his work. After he was caught drinking with friends (this was during Prohibition and violated both the law and the school’s rules), Dean Craven Laycock prohibited Geisel from participating in extracurricular activities, including the humor magazine. Instead, he took up the pen name Suess to continue contributing to the Jack-O.

During World War II, Dr. Suess published a number of political cartoons, now in a collection entitled “Dr. Suess Goes to War.”

In 1943, the illustrator became an Army Captain in command of the First Motion Picture Unit, responsible for producing army training and propaganda films.

His Army work inspired him in 1947 to produce a documentary focusing on Japanese culture, called “Design for Death.” It won an Academy Award.

Dr. Suess added the “Dr.” to his pen name because his father wanted him to go into medicine. Theodor didn’t achieve his father’s hopes, but thanks to generous donations from his estate, Dartmouth’s medical school is called The Geisel School of Medicine (perhaps a better name than “The Dr. Suess School of Medicine”).


WATCH Jimmy Kimmel read Donald Trump a book he wrote based on Dr. Suess’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”


WATCH Justin Bieber read “The Cat in the Hat”