Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 6357

Collated by John Martin and Bill Hillman
With Web Design, Added Events, Links,
Illustrations and Photo Collages by Bill Hillman

DEC 15 ~ DEC 16 ~ DEC 17 ~ DEC 18
DEC 19 ~ DEC 20 ~ DEC 21



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 to ERBzine 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, 1935.
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 transcription at:
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 beneath them."
    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 Saginaw."
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."
1918 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 death of Jack London, 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 passing.
    Considering 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.
    London often 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: 8 Webpages
*** 2000:
December: Roy 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". More at "A Few Memories of Our Collecting ERB" by Dela White at: ERBzine 6001
The Whites' ERB Collection: 8-Page Tribute
Some of the Whites' Items in the McWhorter Collection
Joan Burroughs Personal Photos and Scrapbooks
*** 1930
: 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. Andy Nunez interviewed Wheatley and Carey at Ares Magazine on Dec. 16, 2017.  The book is an entry in "The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs" series being published by ERB, Inc. . . . other books in the series are featured in the ERBzine ERB Alive feature. In ERBzine 6289 we feature Andy Nunez' review of the book along with interviews with author Christopher Paul Carey and artist Mark Wheatley. We've also included much of the art that is featured in the book.
    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
ERB ALIVE: Wild Adventures of ERB
Wild Adventures Series and other books authorized by ERB, Inc.
More in our Moon Maid C.H.A.S.E.R. Coverage

Off-Site Reference:

*** 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 with her."
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 -- the 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 from overwork.
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 Florence Gilbert.
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.
    In preparation 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. Biblio
Beyond the Farthest Star: eText Edition
*** "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: "I 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 Krull"
The Pirates of Venus: C.H.A.S.E.R. History ~ Art ~ Info, etc.
Pirates of Venus Art by Fortunino Matania
***Among 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.
    Ralph C. 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 Clipping
    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 Books

Off-Site References:
New Britain Invasion
Texas Military History

*** 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 Tarzana

*** 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:
    "Put plenty 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...."
    Back in 2004, Danton Burroughs shared stacks of personal letters written by his great uncles Harry and George. These letters were sent back home to Chicago from Yale University and summer camp. I spent countless hours deciphering the handwriting and typing out the contents across seven larger ERBzine Webpages. They provide a wonderful view of history at that time and the personal thoughts of the Burroughs family. The seven Webpages start at ERBzine 1050.
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 may 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 them!
    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, 1941
Laugh It Off ~ Star-Bulletin Dec. 18, 1941
*** 1968: Today's birthday celebration
is for Casper Van Dien -- an American actor and producer who starred as Tarzan in Tarzan and the Lost City. Casper was born and raised in Milton, Florida, the son of Diane (née Morrow), a nursery school teacher, and Casper Robert Van Dien Sr., a U.S. Navy Commander and fighter pilot.
    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?
    Casper appeared in a mulitude of films since 2000. ERB fans especially liked his Starship Troopers films.
In 2015, Van Dien filed for divorce from actress Catherine Oxenberg and he married Jennifer Wenger in June 2018.
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 reprint program?

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 of Salt 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.
    Years later 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." The 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.
    Interestingly, "Tarzan" was coined on page 71 of the manuscript where Greystoke was originally Bloomstoke. In his writing ERB used both the British "grey" and American "gray."
    About a century later, two illustrated adaptations were done on it.  Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. serialized it as a Web comic on its Web site -- adapted by Tom Simmons - art by Jake BilbaoRob Hughes later adapted the story in a graphic novel entitled: The Outlaw Prince with art by Thomas Yeates and Michael Kaluta.
    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 on books!
Outlaw of Torn: History ~ Art ~ Info
Outlaw of Torn: e-Text Edition
"Outlaw of Torn" web comic from ERB, Inc.
The Outlaw Prince Graphic Novel -- full 10-page coverage in ERBzine

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, "I 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
*** 1938: 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 and Japan:

"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:
    "Dear Folks: 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:

Off-Site Reference:
"Tell 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 Rice Burroughs
    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
*** 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. We have featured this page in our Annual Online Burroughs Christmas Greetings
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.

Carl Sagan
*** 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.
Wartime Journals of Correspondent ERB :: December 1942-April 1943
"Buck Burroughs Rides Again" ~ 50 Illustrated Pages
ERB War Journals: Summaries
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:
    "Please accept 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'd like
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 financial state:
Please accept from Edgar Rice
The best he's got to give— advice.
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.
    This series opened with an opening: ". . . and now in the very words of Edgar Rice Burroughs. . ." Followed by a man introducing the show. I proudly thought that this was actually ERB speaking until I learned that he had been dead for two years :(
Tarzan on Radio: A Guide
ERB On The Air
ERB In Radio's Golden Age
Lamont Johnson: Radio Tarzan of the '50s

Off-Site References
Dream Vaults of Opar
Radio Tarzans

*** 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 Manning's
Sunday 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 in ERBzine
How Tarzan Met Jane: Title Logo Collage




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