"Read Across America" to Celebrate Dr. Seuss's 110th Birthday

Library board Vice President Christine Faustini accepts a proclamation from Mayor Matt Anesh for "Read Across America."  The event marks the 110th birthday of children's-book legend Dr. Seuss. Credits: Photo by Bob Jones

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Mayor Matt Anesh declared March 3rd "Read Across America" day during Tuesday night's council meeting.  The resolution making the declaration is the first of many events scheduled as part of the annual celebration that marks the birthday of legendary children's-book author Dr. Seuss.

Events in South Plainfield include readings at the elementary schools during the first week of March, with guest readers like the mayor, council members, school-board members, and principals.  To kick things off, the library will be having its annual birthday celebration on March 1, 2014, which will include stories, songs, live readings by special guests, and birthday cake. 

Theodor Seuss Geigel, known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904.  In 1925 he published his first cartoon under the pseudonym “Seuss.”  After his wife Helen learned she could not have children, Dr. Seuss decided to begin writing children’s books.  “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” his first, was published in 1937.

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A year later Dr. Seuss wrote “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” the first book that showed the author’s interest in hats.  He followed it up in 1939 with “The King’s Stilts,” a story in which cats for the first time—but not the last—played a major role. 

But success wasn’t immediate.  Over the next few decades, Dr. Seuss wrote in his spare time while working in advertising, where he was successful writing ads for some of the giants in consumer products and retail.

Over the next few decades, Dr. Seuss continued to write books.  In 1954 he wrote one of his most famous, “Horton Hears a Woo.”  In 1957 he wrote two of his most famous, “The Cat in the Hat,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  Three years later he wrote another favorite, “Green Eggs and Ham.”

In 1966 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” hit TV screens, and over the next few years he wrote about a half-dozen more books, including “The Lorax” in 1971 and “Oh the Places You’ll Go” in 1990. 

Theordor Seuss Geisel died on September 24, 1991 and would have been 110 this year.  “Seuss wrote books that make people think and imagine,” said biographer Philip Nel.  Next week in South Plainfield a new generation of kids will have the chance to see that for themselves. 

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