On this day in history, July 31st 1703 modern day journalism took its first hit. Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. Robinson Crusoe is one of the books I have my children read as a part of their home schooling book list. It is an absolute masterpiece that one should take the time to read. That being said... Daniel DeFoe has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, including a spell in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.
Today, back in 1703 he was put in the pillory or what one would know better as the Stocks, for writing a pamphlet satirizing England's High Church. He was arrested for seditious libel and locked in the pillory for 3 days. His popularity, as it is written in folklore and legend, was that he was pelted with blooms of flowers instead of rotting food.
The political ideologies and "stick it to the man" attitude Daniel often stood for reminds me a lot of what a good patriot should be, especially in this time of upheaval and lunacy. We are at a turning point and should learn history as I have said time and time again.
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