Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB'S LIFE & LEGACY :: DAILY
TO OUR FULL YEAR'S CONTENTS
A COLLATION OF THE DAILY
EVENTS IN ERB-WORLD
FROM THE PAGES OF THE HILLMANS'
Collated by John Martin and
With Web Design, Added Events,
Illustrations and Photo Collages
by Bill Hillman
BACK TO DAILY
EVENTS INTRO and CONTENTS
DECEMBER CONTENTS: WEEK THREE
DEC 15 ~ DEC
16 ~ DEC 17 ~ DEC 18
DEC 19 ~ DEC
20 ~ DEC 21
VISIT DECEMBER WEEK 3 PHOTO ALBUM
BACK TO DECEMBER WEEK 2
Click for full-size images
Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ MMA Cadet ERB ~ Swords of
Mars: Chenoweth and St. John Art
ERB WWI Propaganda: Little Door ~ ERB and Florence
~ ERB Reports on the Hickman Murder Trial
1927: William Edward Hickman kidnapped Marian
Parker, a 12-year-old girl. on December 15, 1927 by appearing at her
junior high school, claiming that her father, Perry Parker, was ill, and
that he wanted to see his daughter. The next day Hickman sent the first
of three ransom notes to the Parker home, demanding $1,500 in $20 gold
certificates. On December 19, Parker delivered the ransom in Los Angeles
but in return Hickman delivered the dismembered body of Marian.
Hickman's trial aroused nationwide
interest and led the Los Angeles Examiner to hire Burroughs to attend
the sessions and write a syndicated column giving his personal reactions.
The column, appearing January 26 to February 10 in 1928, presented Burroughs
in his most irascible and opinionated mood. ERB's 13 columns and coverage
of the Hickman affair are featured across five Webpages in ERBzine. Much
of our information came directly from members of the Hickman family.
ERB/Hickman 1928 Trial Connection: 5 Webpages
ERB LA Examiner Columns 1 - 6
ERB LA Examiner Columns 1 - 6
Hickman Family Archive Shared with ERBzine
Hickman Memorabilia Scrapbook
*** 1934: "Swords of Mars"
was written November 6 to December 15, 1934; It was met with numerous rejections
forcing ERB to return to the pulp field where it finally ran as a
six-part series, November 1934 to April 1935. Joseph Chenoweth did the
December cover art. Each issue contained six b/w illustrations by Robert
Fink. ERB was on the brink of his separation and divorce from Emma when
he finished the novel and moved out of the family home two months later.
The novel was released in hardcover by ERB, Inc. on February
15, 1936 (315 pages ~ Print Run: 4,000 ~ Heins word count: 78,000).
J. Allen St. John did the wraparound DJ and five interior plates.
Burroughs created that acrostic message to Florence Gilbert
Dearholt in Swords of Mars: "To
Florence With All My Love Ed" using the first letter of the Prologue
and each of the twenty-four chapters. They were married April 4,
Swords of Mars: History, Art, Info
Swords of Mars: Read the e-Text
"To Florence With All My Love Ed"
Swords of Mars: Cover and Interior Art Collage
1918: "The Little Door"
was firmly rejected by Collier's on this date and met the same fate
later with The People's Home Journal. Ed sought Editor Davis'
advice: "I am going to send it to you and ask you to tell me what in hell
is wrong with it if you don't want it." Once more Ed commented irritably
that he "should like to be able to write a salable short story occasionally,"
but didn't seem to know how. Davis' answer of the eighteenth pinpointed,
as usual, the story's weaknesses: "There is nothing the matter with `The
Little Door,' except that behind it is a tidal-wave of bloodshed, horror,
and suggestion. There has been so much written about the terrible Boche
and his evil impulses that there is nothing more left to the imagination."
Davis' final bit of advice was significant:
"Can the war, Edgar, and believe that I am still your peaceful friend and
ally." Despite this sound analysis, Ed stubbornly persisted in sending
"The Little Door" out again, this time to The People's Home Journal, where
it received a firm rejection. The story was never published in his
lifetime but appeared in ERBzine
5109 also in the Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder compilation.
We have also featured related Great War posters in a previous EVENTS related
to our ERB: War Years coverage.
The Little Door by ERB
Little Door: Summary and Review
Forgotten Tales in ERB C.HA.S.E.R. Biblio
Little Door Promo Splash Bar
*** 1941: Edgar Rice Burroughs
predicted that Americans would not forget the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, and he was right. Every year Americans remember by holding ceremonies
in various places, articles in newspapers and features on television. He
wrote these words in his "Laugh It Off!" column of Dec. 15, 1941:
"I listened in last night on Baron
Hee Haw of Japan, The Little Bad Wolf. After he got through, the paroness,
relieved eventually by Little Bad Wolf No. 2, repeated his entire broadcast.
It appears that they wish to inform the American public, whose President
and Press, taking orders from "Jewish warmongers," have been deceiving
us for years. Big-hearted Japan's only aim in life has been to bring peace
and prosperity to Asiatics, couple of billion of them, just as they brought
peace and prosperity to the people of Korea, Manchuria, China; only the
baron failed to mention what they had done to the people of these countries
or that the prosperity they brought was solely for Japanese consumption.
"We are not an understanding people.
We are too dense to realize that Japan was only bringing peace and prosperity
to the island of Oahu last Sunday. We may be dumb, but we remember. We
remembered the Alamo, we remembered the Maine, we shall remember Pearl
Harbor. Behind our kidding and joking, there is an iron will, and backing
up that will a splendid army, a grand navy. So talk on, little man, and
give us more laughs."
Read the column and our typed
*** 1893: Young Ed Burroughs
sent a letter home to his mother on this date describing "the duel" episode
of a few days back and his "first, last and only stage experience" as a
bewhiskered actor in the not-so-successful, cadet touring stage play, "The
End of His Tether" Both she and his father had evidently written
to mention their concern about him and the absence of any news from him.
He expressed his regret and said he was in good health, except for "that
tired feeling." Then, with pride, he proceeded to give the details of the
duel hoax, telling the story gleefully.
"Campbell, Barry and I started the joke and made all
the arrangements before hand, practiced our parts, faked some cartridges
etc.," he wrote. Toward the end of the letter he admitted that when the
hoax was revealed, "the fellows wanted to kill us both." But he added that
"The Lieut. [Commandant Strong] thought it was the best joke he had ever
heard of and laughed as much as any one."
At Orchard Lake he had what he described as his "first,
last and only stage experience." The cadets formed a company to present
a play titled "The End of His Tether." After a school performance the company
went on the road. The only impression that remained with him, outside of
the fact that the play was a "terrible flop," was a most vivid one about
the incredible whiskers he wore:
"They were a full set fastened to a wire, the ends of
which curved over my ears, thus, supposedly, holding the hirsute appendage
properly in place, a fact which they accomplished in theory only, since,
when I started to speak my lines, my breath blew the whiskers outward until
they were suspended at an angle of forty-five degrees and I was talking
Of the towns where the cadet actors
appeared, Flint, Michigan, was especially memorable. ". . . we played to
an audience consisting of the owner of the theater and a couple of members
of his family. There was not a paid admission and the only reason the owner
was there was because he had to be in order to turn out the lights and
lock the doors when we had departed."
When financial matters reached a crisis, the familiar
telegram, a duplicate of numerous others sent home by unsuccessful thespians,
was dispatched to George Burroughs: "Wire five show busted Hotel Vincent
ERB at Michigan Military Academy
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
*** 1918: Emma
was laid up with a bout of the grippe. The deadly flu epidemic was
on everyone's mind. They were planning to look for a ranch near Los
Angeles "where I expect to give up the prosaic vocation
of writing fiction for the more romantic one of raising swine."
Spanish Flu Epidemic
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
MMA Adjutant: ERB New Chief Editor and Artist ~ ERB/Jack
London Connection: Serious and Silly
Swords Against the Men Men by Carey ~ Hillmans
Tour Whites' Collection ~ Tarzana Post Office
*** 1916: Inspired by the recent
Ed considered writing articles or a biography of the author. ERB wrote
to his pulp magazine editor, Bob Davis indicating that he was thinking
writing about London. Davis replied "Just between you and me, I don't
give a whoop about Jack London's 'rough neck days on San Francisco Bay.'
. . . The people who will be interested are those who have been printing
his stuff, notably Hearst's, Cosmopolitan and the Saturday Evening Post.
I don't think you will have any trouble selling your dope. . . . London
is too big a man to be left unsung, no matter who plays the accompaniment;
and when it comes to pounding a banjo hard, Edward, you are there with
both hands. There can be no doubt about the chorus who will join in. Go
to it." Unable to stir up interest for the project among editors, ERB apparently
gave up on the idea. Burroughs was unable, however, to stir up interest
in numerous magazines since their regular contributors had already been
assigned to such a project. He gave up on the idea.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
admired fellow-author Jack London enormously. Following the amazing success
of his own early writings, ERB's ambition was to become a rancher-writer,
modeling his life on the one that Jack London had pursued and then abruptly
lost due to his sudden death in 1916. In fact, Burroughs and his family
were wintering in California when they learned of London's death. The two
authors had never met or corresponded but Ed was deeply moved by London's
the influence that each author and their common interests had upon the
other, and especially Burroughs' admiration of London, it is appropriate
that parallels between the life and works of the two men be made. I pointed
out many of these parallels in the ERBzine
series I wrote and illustrated back in 2005.
suggested that the "call of the wild" was still echoing in the inner ear
of all domesticated animals, including humans. This is very much in accord
with the view held by Burroughs, who wrote that Tarzan possessed "the best
characteristics of the human family from which he was descended and the
best of those which mark the wild beasts." Much of Burroughs' work
displays the influence of his mentor, Jack London. The affinity seemed
to grow even stronger after Burroughs arrived in London's beloved California.
ERB / Jack London Connection:
*** 2000: December:
and Dela White donated 1344 unique ERB items to the Ekstrom Library.
"Roy learned to read by going to
the library and checking out the Tarzan stories. Tarzan was his hero!
Then there was the day he went into a Denver Used Book Store and found
a large box for sale. He was only 12 or 13 at that time and was working
in a bakery for very little. The dealer named a price – said he would
hold them for him until he had enough money to carry them home. Many
weeks later he proudly took the "trolley car" carrying his new Tarzan collection".
at "A Few Memories of Our Collecting ERB" by Dela White at:
The Whites' ERB Collection:
Some of the Whites' Items in
the McWhorter Collection
Joan Burroughs Personal Photos
With the Tarzana Post Office officially established as of Dec. 12,
1930, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., on Dec. 16 of that year, sent out
notices letting the world know. The short notice announced the establishment
of the independent post office at Tarzana and the change of address for
ERB Inc. from Reseda, Calif., to Tarzana. Page 75 of "A Golden
Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs" by Henry Hardy
Heins has a reproduction of the notice. The postcard is also featured
at ERBzine 1354.
The area served by the new little post office was still so small that street
or post office boxes were not required to be a part of one's address.
ERB Memories of Tarzana
Tarzana in ERB's Bio
Tarzana Post Office Today
Our Tarzana Tribute Site
History of Tarzana
ERB Stamp Celebration in Tarzana
*** 2017: There
was buzz in December in 2017 about Christopher Paul Carey's "Swords
Against the Moon Men," with illustrations by Mark Wheatley.
Wheatley and Carey at Ares Magazine on Dec. 16,
2017. Other articles that December included a Dec. 29 interview by Jess
Terrell, co-admin of the For the Love of All Things Edgar Rice Burroughs
Facebook group, and an article about the book by Carey, posted Dec.
14 The story is an entry in "The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs"
series being published by ERB, Inc. The buzz continues about this book,
which fits neatly into the chronology established by ERB and tells a tale
at which ERB could only hint
Moon Men Interview, Review and Art
Wild Adventures of ERB Series
More in our Moon Maid C.H.A.S.E.R. Coverage
*** 1941: ERB continued writing
his Laugh It Off! columns for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu
Advertiser. In this one, he urged readers to send him information, as he
was running out of material and he might actually have to go out and dig
it up himself!! He did note that when aliens "were ordered to bring in
their firearms, a little Japanese showed up with a bow and arrow! A Japanese
woman brought in a pistol only three or four inches long. The officer in
charge said he didn't know whether she would have to turn it in or not,
but that if she ever shot him with it, and he found it out he'd raise hell
Speaking of Hell, he also quoted a little paragraph from
Time Magazine about an old Scottish woman, who said: "When the air-raid
warning sounds, I take the Bible from the shelf and read the Twenty-Third
Psalm. Then I put up a wee bit prayer. Then I take a wee drab o' whiskey
to steady my nerves. Then I get in bed and pull up the covers. And then
I tell Hitler to go to Hell."
All the 1941 Laugh It Off! Columns
*** 1895: Lieutenant
E. R. Burroughs was
chosen to head a group of 11 editors of The Adjutant
Michigan Military Academy newspaper. He wrote many articles and drew many
illustrations for the paper during his term.
Sample pages in our ERB Xmas
*** 1924: Ed was
excused from jury duty owing to heart pains and exhaustion and anxiety
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
ERB's Football Santa Cartoon ~ Poloda Diagrams and
Blue Book cover: Beyond the Farthest Star
Hooper Autograph, Arawe clipping and Insignia ~ Pirates
of Venus ~ ERB 16mm home movie clown makeup
*** 1895: The Michigan Military
Academy paper, The Adjutant,
mentioned again that Edgar Rice
Burroughs had made the championship team of the year. Ed Burroughs was
listed as: "Captain-Quarterback, Height 5-10, Weight 165, Age 20 years,
4 mos." Ed's cartoon of Santa as a quarterback bringing in a championship
for next year and kicking out the old year appeared in the paper.
ERB Football Santa Art
Ed wrote a home movie script, a silent slapstick melodrama, called "Tarzan
Pictures Presents 'Them Thar Papers." The cast included all family
members, James Pierce, and Joan's friend Miss
Edgar Rice Burroughs: Playwright
ERB's Unpublished Play
*** 1940: ERB
started writing "Tangor Returns," the second in the Poloda
series, as a 20,695-word novelette. This second part of the projected series,
"Beyond the Farthest Star," was written in only five days — December 17
to 21, 1940. Part One: "Adventure On Poloda" was written October
24 to November 5, 1940. Both parts were published in the January 1942 edition
of Blue Book.
In "Tangor Returns" Burroughs provided
more exciting adventures for Tangor, who, with the connivance of the Unisan
Commissioner of War, becames a double agent, accepting the scheme of the
traitress Morgra Sagra to flee to Kapara; there, presumably, the pair would
hand over vital military secrets to the enemy.
for this series with its new planetary setting Ed devised more than eight
pages of glossary, statistics, alphabet, and maps. The system of eleven
planets, each 7,000 miles in diameter, that were in orbit around Omos,
the sun, received the Unisan name of Canapa. Ed referred to this system
as Globular Cluster N.G.C. 7006, 220,000 light-years from the earth, and
noted that the name had been derived from a book by Sir James Jeans, the
distinguished British astronomer.
Beyond the Farthest Star: C.H.A.S.E.R.
Beyond the Farthest Star: eText
*** "The Pirates of Venus" was
serialized in Argosy Sept. 17 through Oct. 22 of 1932. After reading the
last installment, Gerhardt Krull sat down and wrote a letter and it was
printed in the Dec. 17 edition of the magazine. ERB fan Jonathan Hart transcribed
the letter for ERBzine. Perhaps other fans can appreciate Krull's frustration:
Argonotes, The Reader’s Viewpoint:
have been reading Argosy for years and I shall continue to do so. However,
I will say this, that if Burroughs writes another novel and ends it like
he did 'The Pirates of Venus,' one of his stanchest (sic) supporters will
lose some degree of faith. I have read every story he ever wrote and I
don't think he has an equal in his line.
"Whether it is his fault or yours,
I, of course, don't know. It may be and probably is to your advantage to
have a sequel to this masterpiece at some future date, but what are we
going to do in the meantime? Sit and gnaw our fingernails? Carson Napier
may be in a spot, but he isn't anywhere near as bad off as we are.
"You can rest assured that I was
utterly dumfounded when I came to the end. I hope you will let us all know
in the next issue when we can expect a sequel.
"Wishing you good luck and more
Burroughs’ works, also interplanetary and interstellar stories, I am,
"Sincerely yours, "Gerhardt
the many U.S. servicemen that Edgar Rice Burroughs met, interviewed, shot
the breeze with, drank coffee with, and dined with was Major Philip
L. Hooper. ERB was always eager to have his new aquaintances sign the
autograph books he carried and if the potential signers lacked a pen or
pencil, he was a World War II correspondent who had one he would provide
for the occasion. Next to Hooper's signature, ERB glued a one-paragraph
item from a newspaper that stated:
"WITH AMERIAN FORCES ON ARAWE,
New Britain, Dec. 17. At noon Lt. Col. P.L. Hooper of Dallis, [sic]
Tex., one of the senior officers, announced that the Yanks had taken all
of their first objectives on the peninsula."
ERB may have
clipped this paragraph from a newspaper such as Stars and Stripes,
which covered the armed forces, or perhaps found it in one of the Honolulu
newspapers. The Battle of Arawe itself began Dec. 15, 1943, and
was part of the larger New Britain Campaign known as Operation Cartwheel.
It was partly a diversionary action to focus Japanese resistance in that
area rather than at Cape Gloucester where the major operation was planned.
The Allies had complete control of the island after a month of sporadic
fighting. The operation was successful in enabling Marines to make a surprise
landing at Gloucester on Dec. 26.
Teatsorth, a colleague of ERB, was a reporter for United Press and
the only U.S. war correspondent to accompany the troops who landed on Arawe.
In his original report, dated Dec. 15, he described the landing and concluded
it with the paragraph about Hooper. The U.P. article would have appeared
in numerous newspapers so the one clipped by ERB was in a slightly different
format than one which appeared as part of a larger story in The Brooklyn
Daily Eagle, shown here at: Arawe
The item clipped
by ERB may not have actually appeared in a newspaper to which he had access
until Dec. 20, since he rubber-stamped that date below the article which,
itself, was dated a few days earlier. In any case, dates aside, ERB's purpose
in clipping the article and pasting it in his book was to help him remember
something about Hooper.
Hooper was later
promoted to full colonel and became commander of the unit, the 112th
Cavalry Regiment, which was a National Guard unit assigned to the 56th
Cavalry Brigade of Texas. It was activated for the war, where its exploits
earned it the title of "Little Giant of the Pacific." This
website tells the story of the outfit and notes that after the war
it was deactivated on Jan. 17, 1946. Hooper was the commanding officer
at that time and officially returned the regimental colors to the governor
of Texas. In the many wars fought to defend America, there were many brave
men and women, and each have a story. ERB's autograph book contains the
signature of many whose deeds would make compelling reading, and to whom
it can be said, even at this late date, "Thank you for your service."
ERB's Autograph Book: 1942 ~
Part IV December
ERB: The War Years
All of ERB's WWII Autograph
*** 1913: Metcalf
made an offer for first refusal for all of Ed's 1914 output at 2 1/2 cents
per word. Ed showed some reluctance and tried to up the offer to 3 1/2
cents. All-Story was planning to change into a weekly.
*** 1925: Ed submitted a proposal
for doing a Hollywood gossip column to the Newspaper Enterprise
Association of Cleveland - nothing came of it.
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
ERB: 15-Year-Old Idaho Cowboy
and Photographer ~ Brother Harry and wife Ella~ Burroughs Bar-Y Ranch
at Yale plus Dredger and Tug
on Snake R. ~ Casper Van Dien and Lydie Denier under ERB Burial Tree in
*** 1929: ERB wouldn't have minded if others in his family
had become well-known writers like him. In fact, he strongly urged his
brother Harry to take up the pen.
From 1923 on, Harry had been employed by insurance companies
in Chicago. One of Ed's repressed hopes was to have Harry and his wife
Ella living close by in California. In 1927 Ed tried to arrange a position
for Harry as West Coast representative for the Rothacler Industrial
Film Corporation, but the plan did not materialize. He had often urged
Harry to try writing in his spare time, believing that his brother's colorful
experiences in Idaho could provide a rich source of material. On Dec. 18,
1929, Ed wrote:
"You are the
one who should have been the writer, not I. You have every qualification,
nearly all of which I lack, but for God's sake do not try to write fiction,
unless it comes to you very easily. There is today a better market for
nonfiction than there ever has been in the history of writing."
Ed suggested that Harry begin by describing informally
his early days on the Bar-Y cattle ranch:
of Sam Land and Mac Harberson in it, of cattle thieves and reminiscences
of old timers, a description of Blanco and all of the interesting characters
you knew in Idaho. Get Lew (Sweetser) in with his get-rich-quick schemes....Do
not forget Emma the cow, nor the red Irish setter you nearly killed with
a neck yoke...."
Harry and Ella Burroughs
The Burroughs / Sweetser Connection I
The Burroughs / Sweetser Connection II
ERB In The Wild West
Brother Harry Burroughs Photo
ERB/Idaho Connection Collage
*** 1941: Edgar Rice Burroughs
have slept in a bit on the morning of Dec. 18, 1941, but he was also a
self-starter, so it didn't keep him arising by mid-morning and busying
himself with his pen that day. First, he met a deadline for his Laugh
It Off! colums in the Honolulu newspapers, and the lead item in one
would explain why he may have slept late. He had spent a good part of the
previous evening riding around on night patrol with a couple of Honolulu
police officers. Since the town was under mandatory blackout and there
were few on the streets, there wasn't much going on for ERB to observe.
Apparently, though, the blackout didn't apply to vehicles,
which needed their headlights to navigate the city. The cops did find one
conscientious but poorly informed fellow trying to make it home without
In consideration of the fact that
newspapers compete with each other for subscribers and don't like it when
competitors publish stories identical to theirs, ERB provided different
information in Laugh It Off! columns to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
and the Honolulu Advertiser.
Laugh It Off ~ Honolulu Advertiser ~ December 18,
Laugh It Off ~ Star-Bulletin Dec. 18, 1941
*** 1968: Today's birthday celebration
is for Casper Van Dien, who starred as Tarzan in Tarzan and the
Lost City. IMDB Plot Summary: On the eve of his wedding, John Clayton,
Lord of Greystoke (better known as Tarzan), receives a message from the
witch doctor Mugambe that his homeland is in danger. It turns out that
a treasure hunter named Ravens is searching for the lost city of Opar,
and is destroying the jungle and desecrating the villagers' burial grounds
in the process. Only Tarzan can stop Ravens and set things right in the
African jungle, but will Jane (Jane March) stand for her fiance
being away for so long?
Tarzan and the Lost City: Potpourri of Reviews
Tarzan and the Lost City: Lobby Display
*** 1941: The other writing ERB
did that day was a humorous fiction piece titled "From a Devonshire
Lass." Unfortunately for us, it is still one of the master's unpublished
works. Will it finally be published as ERB Inc. goes through its ambitious
Lost Words of ERB
*** 1915: Death
of Caroline Studley (born November 12, 1843) in Chicago. She was
sister to Major George Tyler Burroughs.
*** 1918: Ed wrote to Howard Platt
Lake City, asking for assistance or advice in finding a rural property.
He was planning a move to California and was looking for a country place
close enough to Los Angeles so that he and Emma and the kids could make
regular visits to the city. He had always wanted to live on a farm and
to raise livestock. Since he wanted to raise hogs he wanted a farm suited
to growing alfalfa. One option might be to rent a place for five years
with option to buy but he needed a modern house as they'd had their fill
of roughing it over the years. He was hoping that when he had plans in
order that he can present the idea to brother Harry and that he could join
him in the enterprise. His big concern was money -- he admitted that he
had champagne tastes but only beer financial resources with only about
$20,000 in bonds and cash and a projected annual income of $25,000.
*** 1918: Ed wrote a second letter to a company
in Tampa, Florida in which he indicateed that the was looking for land
in Florida or Southern California on which he can start a hog raising venture.
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
Christmas With Meriem: Mike Grell Tarzan strip
~ Outlaw of Torn in New Story, McClurg 1st,
ERB, Inc Comic ~ ERB's "Tell It To Sweeney" reference
~ ERB on Radio ~ Many Faces of Adolf
*** 1911: Thomas Metcalf, editor of
The All-Story pulp magazine, rejected Outlaw of Torn.
With the rejection of Torn Ed had become dubious about his
writing ability. As a result, he had little faith that a Tarzan
sequel that he had started writing after his first draft of Torn,
would be accepted. ". . . When I finished
it I knew that it was not as good a story as The Outlaw of Torn,"
he commented, "and that, therefore, it would not sell...." ERB
soon started serious revisions on Torn.
he stated: "I think it is the best thing I
ever wrote, with the possible exception of Tarzan of the Apes, and
next to it, I believe will rank "The War Chief of the Apaches."
story was eventually serialized in five parts in New Story Magazine
in 1914, but didn't see book publication until McClurg released it in 1927.
"Tarzan" was coined on page 71 of the manuscript where Greystoke was
Bloomstoke. In his writing ERB used both the British
"grey" and American "gray."
About a century later, an illustrated
adaptation was even done on it when Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. serialized
it as a Web comic on its Web site.
A major reason for the success of
Edgar Rice Burroughs was that he didn't give up easily. We all know of
his trials and tribulations getting his first stories published. If he'd
given up early in the game, a lot of us would be spending a lot less money
Outlaw of Torn: History ~ Art ~ Info
Outlaw of Torn: e-Text Edition
"Outlaw of Torn" web comic from ERB, Inc.
There were other Dec. 19 rejections:
*** 1936: ERB had a long-running interest
with radio. On this date he submitted an idea for a radio show to be called,
See by the Papers." Ed planned to play the part of a columnist
for the show at the Tarzana Tribune. Two sample programs were
recorded on one demo disc and Burroughs prepared a script to go with each.
The idea never reached fruition as a series.
Quiet, Please! from
1939 was another failed radio proposal. ERB saw this as a weekly, fifteen-minute,
one-character show in which he would comment on, and present listener responses
about news events, jokes and verses. The emphasis was on quiet -- ERB vehemently
expressed his objections to noise. His ramblings on the topic would include
verse, such as:
"The saddest sound that ere did
cut ~ The silence and disturb: ~ The traffic coppers 'putt-putt-putt' ~
That pulls you to the curb." He couldn't interest anyone in sponsoring
the show and nothing came of it.
ERB On The Air
Radio's Golden Age
Ed offered a one-page synopsis for "Heil Hitler!" -- a "Suggestion
for a story of what a humanitarian Hitler might accomplish for Germany
and the World." A Hitler "double" was used in the plot. Studios
appeared afraid to touch it. ERB had added a 1936 American Edition of Mein
Kampf to his personal library while researching this story idea.
About 20 before, ERB had experienced
a similar rejection of his antitotalitarian story,"Under the Red
Flag," He no doubt viewed this as a second example of editorial
cowardice and that the editors were being intimidated once again by radical
forces in the country.
So, not all of ERB's ideas were necessarily
good ideas, and certainly not all panned out. But he never gave up. He
kept coming up with new ideas and kept submitting them to the appropriate
people and, as a result, enough of them "took" that we have the ERB legacy
to enjoy. There was another man who echoed ERB's philosopy, saying in 1941:
"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing
great or small...." That man was Winston Churchill.
ERB's Personal Library: Shelf H2
Under the Red Flag 1919: (Moon Men)
*** 1941: Edgar Rice Burroughs's
"Laugh It Off!" column of Dec. 19, 1941, contained a story which
was light-hearted at the time but may have actually had an extremely sad
ending from what is known nowadays about Nazi detention camps. But here's
what ERB wrote during the first month that the U.S. was at war with Germany
"Here is an old story, that will bear repeating: A Jewish
boy from New York interned in a German concentration camp, wrote a letter
to relatives at home that not only passed the censor but greatly pleased
the German authorities. Here it is:
I am writing to tell you that I am alive and well in a German concentration
camp, and I want you should know that I am happy and comfortable. You can't
imagine how well they are treating us. We get the best of food, live in
clean sanitary quarters, and are shown every courtesy by the guards. In
fact, I really haven't a thing in the world to complain about. Please pass
this on to all my friends. Tell everyone you meet how swell the Germans
are treating me; and, particularly, TELL IT TO SWEENEY!"
"Tell It To Sweeney" is a sentence
that is not so much in use anymore, but was quite well-known back then.
It was a descendant of the British Navy's "Tell it to the Marines,"
which, like the Sweeney sentence, was considered derogatory, implying that
British Marines were gullible enough to believe anything, and so were Irishmen,
Sweeney being generally an Irish name. So the little boy (if the story
is even true) was telling his correspondents not to believe a word he said.
As for "Tell it to the Marines," that took on a more positive nature in
the U.S. and was even used for Marine Corps recruiting posters, implying
that if enemy actions were told to the Marines, they would be eager to
take action against that enemy.
ERB's "Laugh It Off" Dec. 19, 1941, column:
it to Sweeney"
*** 1982: Mike Grell, as part
of his 12 part Tarzan Sunday strip, Christmas With Meriem,
had Tarzan, Korak and wives give a Christmas greeting and a wish for world
peace after decorating their tree.
Christmas With Meriem
Tarzan and Jane: Celebrate Christmas in Wisconsin:
Mike Grell ~ Cadet ERB's Adventures at Military Academy:
Desertion Telegram, Cavalry, Commandant Charles King
~ Apache Devil: Studley Burroughs cover art
*** 1893: The Michigan Military Academy
reported Ed's continuing improvement in ERB's studies: Average 89.4%.
Back in April 1892, Ed, a new cadet, rebelled against
the strict military discipline at MMA and experiencing a fear of the extreme
hazings from senior cadets, deserted. "I crept fearfully
through the woods, for all the time I heard the cavalry pursuing me...
In Pontiac I hung around the railroad yards waiting for the Chicago train.
Every man I saw was a detective searching for me and when the train pulled
in and the inspectors passed along it with their flares, I knew they were
looking for me, but I hid out between two freight cars until the train
started." ~ ERB
Ed was forced to return to the Academy
after his father received an April 16, 1892 telegram from Commandant King
informing him of his son's desertion. "I think it
was the word 'deserted' in the telegram that got me, and the next day I
was back at Orchard Lake walking punishment. But walking punishment has
its compensations, one of which was that the old boys could not subject
us to any of the refined and unrefined torture of hazing, which was carried
on to an exaggerated extent at Orchard Lake at that time.” ~ Edgar
In an April 18, 1892 follow-up letter,
Commander Charles King wrote: “Cadet Burroughs’ offenses have been
most serious, but not irretrievably so. He has been reckless; not vicious.
He has found friends here including the Commandant, who best knew the boy
in the Cavalry squad and on drill, and it is not impossible for him to
return and wipe out his past.” ~ Charles King
Soldier Author and Master of Adventure by Brian Bohnett
The ERB / Charles King Connection
*** 1926: Apache
Devil was rejected by Popular
Magazine. It eventually was serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly
(May 19, 26 - June 2, 9, 16, 23, 1928) with a Paul Stahr cover
for first issue. Roger B. Morrison ("Mori") drew one b/w interior
for each installment. It finally saw book publication in ERB, Inc. on February
15, 1933 (310 pages ~ Print Run: 5,238 ~ Heins word count: 73,000) which
featured a dust jacket and five b/w interiors by Studley Oldham Burroughs.
Apache Devil: History ~ Art ~ Info
Mike Grell wrote and illustrated a Tarzan and Jane Christmans Sunday
page on this day. . . Part 1 of the 12-part series that ran from December
20, 1981 - March 7, 1982: Tarzan and the Wisconsin Christmas
Tarzan and the Wisconsin Christmas
The Mike Grell Tarzan Sunday Pages
Featured at our ERBzine Christmas
ERBzine Comics Archive
*** 2006: Carl Sagan died
in Seattle at the age of 62, of complications arising from bone marrow
cancer. Sagan was the world's best known astronomer as a result of hosting
"Cosmos" a 1980 series on public television which had an estimated audience
of 400 million people. He was a prolific writer with 600+ papers and articles
and a distinguished scientist. Research interests included the origins
of life, nuclear winter, the possibility of life in other locations in
the universe. He often cited Edgar Rice Burroughs as a source of early
inspiration and his interest in the planet Mars.
*** 1912: In a letter to Metcalf,
ERB discussed his problems with revising The Outlaw of Torn and
his progrress in writing the Tarzan sequel. He was working 25 hours a day.
Letter to Metcalf
*** 1920: Herman Newman
wrote to All-Story Weekly in a letter dated Dec. 20, 1916, and one
month later they published a notice telling the world that Herman was organizing
a Tribe of Tarzan in Staunton, Va., and wanted to hear from others interested
in starting clubs. See the notice here:
Tribe of Tarzan
*** 1941: An officer at Hickam
Field on Oahu was answering the call of nature while reading the Sunday
funnies when a bomb went off and he found himself rather exposed. Later,
he was exposed again, though not by name, in the "Laugh It Off!" column
by Edgar Rice Burroughs. See how ERB described the incident here:
ERB's Laugh It Off!: Dec.20, 1941
ERB: The War Years
*** 1951 and 1952: Congo Christmas
In the isolated village of the Karmiki, Reverend Collier has established
a mission school and a small church. He is opposed by the High Priest of
the Moon God and must constantly struggle against the heathen rites practiced
in the Temple of Neomopo, the Moon God. Tarzan sees what he is up against
and comes to his aid. Starring Lamont Johnson as Tarzan.
Tarzan Commodore Radio Series
Tarzan Episode 51: Congo Christmas
Lamont Johnson: Radio Tarzan of the '50s
ERB's Hand-drawn Christmas Cards: Lean Times ~ More
prosperous greetings from Tarzana
War Correspondent ERB in New Caledonia ~ How Tarzan
Met Jane: Strips by Russ Manning
*** 1942: Years ago, Danton Burroughs shared his grandfather's
war journals with me. I spent many days going through them and edited
and condensed them for my Daily Events projects that I've featured through
the years. Ed's description of his December 1942 exploits in New Caledonia
were particularly interesting. Today's entry included:
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Lt.
Ramsey explored New Caledonaia's east side with its unusual
scenery of jungle and bare volcanic hills. He picked up hitchhikers along
the way: a Free French soldier and two Melanesians. During their drive
along the bay to the south side of the island they had to get gasoline
from a passing army truck. There were free fuel dumps alongside the highways
all over the island. During supper, groups of visiting nurses all wanted
to meet the famous creator of Tarzan.
Ed interviewed the island governor,
Col. Henri Montchamp with aid of an interpreter. He later got permission
to fly out on a plane leaving Tontouta on the 24th. The next visit was
to the construction site of a new mess and was fascinated by the extensive
use of bamboo and thatch in the building structure and contents.
ERB War Journals
ERB in New Caledonia Photos
1909: The end
of the year brought no change in Ed's financial problems. He had no money
to purchase the few Christmas cards he wished to send to his family
and friends, and in these circumstances decided to use his own imagination
and skill. Ed drew the cards in ink and created his own verses. Even those
somber times could not repress his sense of humor. His Christmas card to
F.C.B. (Frank Coleman Burroughs) read:
this little token It would be more were I not broken." In the drawings
of two men on the card, one man is presenting the other with a paper containing
the words, "Lease to 25th floor of any 24 floor bldg." This was Ed's comical
idea of the only "little token" he could afford.
On another card
he printed "Merry Christmas to Mother" and in one corner drew a picture
of a woman in joyous pose, while in the opposite corner, next to a "Merry
Christmas to Father," Ed outlined a child's speckled rocking horse.
His verse reads:
To giving you the things
We cannot come a mile
But its purpose will be wellfiilfilled
If this card brings a smile.
It is signed "Emma & Ed."
Ed's card addressed
to his nephew Studley Oldham Burroughs at 1418 Jackson Boulevard
has verse headed in large capitals "St.O.B." Again, he jokes about his
Please accept from Edgar
The best he's got to give—
In the illustration the "advice" being
handed out is simple: "Start a Bank Account."
*** 1907: Ed sent out personally-drawn
Christmas cards with a picture of himself as Santa being treed by
a snorting reindeer with the typed greeting: "Uncertainty as to the
movements of a certain stock has decided Santa Claus to remain where he
is for an indefinite period. We are therefore sending you only our best
wishes for A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. A poor excuse is better
than none. ~ Emma and Ed"
ERB Bio Timeline and Journals
ERBzine Christmas Greetings
*** James Pierce wasn't
the only radio Tarzan. Lamont Johnson starred as the ape man in
the Commodore Productions series after the company and Edgar
Rice Burroughs, Inc., signed a contract on Dec. 21, 1950, several months
after ERB himself passed away.
Robert Barrett told the story in "Tarzan on
Radio, An Anecdotal Guide to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan on Radio,"
featured in ERBzine.
Barrett wrote: "The early 1930s Tarzan
radio serials, those produced by American Radio Syndicate and Edgar Rice
Burroughs, Inc. tried to portray the character of Tarzan as he was created
by Burroughs. The half-hour Commodore shows seem to try and create a character
based on Burroughs' Tarzan books and the MGM and RKO Tarzan films. Lamont
Johnson portrays Tarzan as articulate rather than speaking in the "Me Tarzan,
you Jane!" kind of gutturals from the movies; he notes that he was raised
by the apes and prefers the jungle to civilization. The jungle background,
as well as the cities and villages that are featured in the half hour shows,
owe more to the movie than to Ed's stories." Read the full article for
many other interesting tidbits. The page also includes links to many other
ERBzine Tarzan radio pages.
Tarzan on Radio: A Guide
ERB On The Air
ERB In Radio's Golden Age
Lamont Johnson: Radio Tarzan of the '50s
Vaults of Opar
*** Woodrow Edgar Nichols would
have to tell us himself if he woke up on Dec. 22, 2012, the way he wished
to, but we do know that Nichols -- and everyone else who is reading this
-- did survive past Dec. 21, 2012. That was the date that many feared the
world would end, because that's all the further the Mayan Calendar went.
Nichols made his prediction, that the world would somehow survive, at the
conclusion of an article he wrote on "The Seven Wonders of Barsoom."
Seven Wonders of Barsoom: Wonder #1
Read all of the Nichols ERBzine Articles
*** 1969: Russ
page on this date pictures how Tarzan first met Jane by rescuing her from
a ferocious bull ape. Part of the 11-week series "How Tarzan Met Jane"
How Tarzan Met Jane
Read All The Manning Strips
How Tarzan Met Jane: Title Logo
VISIT DECEMBER WEEK 3 PHOTO ALBUM
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