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On February 27, 1902, American author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California

February 27, 2025

On February 27, 1902, American author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. His most famous works include Of Mice and Men and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath. These books appealed to audiences with their focus on common men and the hardscrabble life faced by many migrant workers during the Great Depression.

Did you know? Steinbeck experienced a real life “dog ate my homework” situation. His dog, Toby, ate half of Steinbeck’s first manuscript of Of Mice and Men! The author had to rewrite a large part of the story, but he didn’t blame Toby too much, writing:

“Minor tragedy stalked. My setter pup, left alone one night, made confetti of about half of my manuscript book. Two months work to do over again. It set me back. There was no other draft. I was pretty mad, but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically… I’m not sure Toby didn’t know what he was doing when he ate the first draft. I have promoted Toby-dog to be a lieutenant-colonel in charge of literature.”

In 2023, a surviving scrap of manuscript from Toby’s “editing” sold for over $12,000!

 

John Steinbeck, McFadden Publications, 1939

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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February 27, 2025
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