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Ohio Literary Timeline

1788-1875
1876-1900
1901-1920
1921-1930
1931-1940
1941-1950

1951-1960
1961-1970
1971-1980
1981-1990
1991-2000
2001-Present

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1951

Louis Bromfield's novel Mister Smith is published.

Herbert Gold's first novel, Birth of a Hero, is published.

Conrad Richter's novel The Town, published in 1950, is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Robert McCloskey's book Centerburg Tales is published.

John Crowe Ransom receives the Bollingen Prize for Poetry.

Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) publishes the Nancy Drew Mystery Story book The Clue of the Black Keys.

1952

Award-winning poet Rita Dove is born August 28 in Akron, Ohio.

Two novels are published by Louis Bromfield: The Wealth of the Soil and New York Legend.

A book of Langston Hughes's short stories, Laughing to Keep From Crying, is published.

Lois Lenski publishes Peanuts for Billy Ben.

Dawn Powell publishes a collection of short stories titled Sunday, Monday and Always.

James Wright wins the Robert Frost prize in poetry.

Andre Norton's science fiction novel Star Man's Son: 2250 A.D. is published.

Two books by Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) are published: a Nancy Drew Mystery Story titled The Mystery at the Ski Jump, and a Dana Girls Mystery Story titled The Clue in the Ivy.

The United States detonates the first thermonuclear device on November 1.

1953

Louis Bromfield's novel Up Ferguson Way is published.

The Complete Works of O. Henry is published.

Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) publishes the Nancy Drew Mystery Story book Clue of The Velvet Mask. This is the last Nancy Drew book (in a series of 30) written by Benson with the pen name of Keene. Also this year, Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) publishes a Dana Girls Mystery Story titled The Secret of the Jade Ring.

Jack Schaefer publishes another novel for young adults titled First Blood.

Conrad Richter's most famous novel, The Light in the Forest, is published. Some of the setting for this fictional work is the state of Ohio. The novel is also made into a motion picture by Walt Disney Studios.

The United States Congress discovers that Ohio's statehood was never officially recognized! Congress then passes a formal resolution that declares March 1, 1803, as Ohio's date of statehood.

1954

May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court declares that segregated schools violate the 14th Amendment.

Louis Bromfield's book A New Pattern for a Tired World (The Right Wing Individualist Tradition in America) is published.

James Cross Giblin's first play, My Bus is Always Late, is published.

The Wicked Pavilion, a novel by Dawn Powell, is published.

Lois Lenski's book Project Boy is published.

Jack Schaefer's adult novel, The Pioneers, is published.

Cynthia Rylant, author of books and poems for children and young adults, is born on June 6, in Hopewell, Virginia.

Lynda Durrant, author of historical novels for young adults, is born on December 17 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) publishes a Dana Girls Mystery Story titled The Mystery at the Crossroads.

1955

Louis Bromfield's biographical book, From My Experience: The Pleasures and Miseries of Life on a Farm, is published. Two other Bromfield works are published this year: Animals and Other People and You Get What You Give.

Langston Hughes's The First Book of Jazz is published.

Harlan Ellison's book Memo from Purgatory, his nonfiction account of two months in the mid 1950s he spent with a gang in Brooklyn, is used for the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Inherit the Wind, the second collaborative effort between playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and their best-known play, opens in Dallas. The immediate success of the play led the producers to take it to New York City just a few months later.

Zane Grey's novel Black Mesa is published.

The Sweet Flypaper of Life, a nonfiction book about life in Harlem written by Langston Hughes and illustrated with photos by Roy DeCarava, is published.

Andre Norton's book Yankee Privateer is published.

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee receive the Ohioana Award of Merit for their collaboration on Inherit the Wind.

Conrad Richter's novel The Mountain on the Desert is published.

1956

Louis Bromfield dies in Columbus, Ohio, and is buried at Malabar Farm. The farm is now owned by the state of Ohio and is called Malabar State Park.

Zane Grey's novel Stranger from the Tonto is published. This year, he also publishes several comics, including: The Menace of Half-Moon Island, Thundering Herd, The Outlaw and the Ranger, and The Dude Ranger.

Rod Serling receives an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for Best Single Program of the Year for Requiem for a Heavyweight.

A Pictorial History of the Negro in America, written by Langston Hughes and Milton Meltzer, is published.

Inherit the Wind, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, collects a slew of awards, including the Donaldson Award and the Variety New York Drama Critics Poll Award, and it was nominated for a Tony Award. Also this year, Lawrence and Lee collaborate on another book, this one for the play Auntie Mame.

Langston Hughes's autobiograhical I Wonder As I Wander is published. This is the second book by Hughes that describes his life as a writer.

The John Jakes novels A Night For Treason and Wear A Fast Gun are published.

Lois Lenski's book Berries in the Scoop is published.

1957

Louis Bromfield's book Strangers in the Valley is published.

Rod Serling receives a George Foster Peabody Award for Requiem for a Heavyweight. Also this year, Serling submits his first science fiction script, The Time Element, to network television.

Herbert Gold's novel The Man Who Was Not With It, published in 1956, receives this year's Ohioana Award in the field of fiction.

Zane Grey's novel The Dead Ringer is published. He also publishes several comics, including The Trail Driver, The Wilderness Stallion, and Twin Sombreros.

Simply Heavenly, with book and lyrics by Langston Hughes and music by David Martin, opens on Broadway.

Robert McCloskey's book Time of Wonder is published.

James Thurber publishes his last fairy tale, The Wonderful O.

James Wright publishes his first book of poems, The Green Wall.

Conrad Richter's novel The Lady is published.

Mildred A. Wirt Benson's novel Dangerous Deadline is published and wins the Boys' Life - Dodd Mead Competition.

1958

Tambourines to Glory, a gospel musical by Langston Hughes, is published.

Thomas Berger's book Crazy in Berlin is published.

Sherwood Anderson's novel Winesburg Ohio is adapted into a play that had a ten-day run at the National Theatre in New York.

Harlan Ellison's novel Web of the City is published.

Zane Grey's novels Fugitive in Fur and Arizona Clan are published, along with comics The Rainbow Trail, The Return of Nevada, and Wild Horse Mesa.

John Jakes publishes the novel The Devil Has Four Faces under his own name. He also publishes three other novels, Murder He Says and This'll Slay You, both under the pseudonym of Alan Payne, and The Seventh Man, using the pen name Jay Scotland.

Lois Lenski's book Little Sioux Girl, the last book in her Roundabout series for younger children, is published.

Noted children's author Tracey Dils is born in Cincinnati.

Poet Ann E. Michael is born on June 3.

Robert McCloskey's book Time of Wonder is awarded a Caldecott Medal, making McCloskey the first artist to receive this honor twice.

1959

Ohio adopts a state motto: "With God All Things Are Possible."

The first episode of The Twilight Zone, titled "Where is Everyone?" airs, launching the sci-fi writing career of Rod Serling.

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee adapt their play Auntie Mame for film.

Zane Grey's novel Horse Heaven Hill is published.

Daniel Keyes short story, "Flowers for Algernon" is published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Herbert Gold's novel The Optimist is published.

The Years with Ross, James Thurber's biographical work of Harold Ross, founder and editor of The New Yorker, is published.

Saint Judas, poet James Wright's second collection of traditional verse, is published.

The John Jakes novel I, Barbarian is published.

Mildred A. Wirt Benson's novel Quarry Ghost is published.

The Sound of Music, believed to be the world's most popular musical, is released. The musical was the final collaboration between Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, and was written by Ohio-born Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay. On Broadway, The Sound of Music played for over 1400 performances.

1960

Harlan Ellison's novel The Sound of a Scythe is published, and his story "A Gift For a Warrior" is used for the television series Route 66.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) awards Rod Serling an Emmy for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama for The Twilight Zone.

Zane Grey's collection of stories The Ranger and Other Stories is published.

Daniel Keyes's novelette Flowers for Algernon wins the Hugo Award. The Hugo Award, which is also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award, is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society.

James Wright receives the Ohioana Book Award for Saint Judas, his collection of poems.

Langston Hughes's anthology An African Treasury is published. Treasury includes articles, essays, stories, and poems by African Americans chosen for inclusion by Hughes himself.

The Jack Schaefer novel Old Ramon, which is illustrated by Harold West, is published.

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee adapt Inherit the Wind to be produced as a major motion picture.

The John Jakes novel Johnny Havoc is published.

Conrad Richter's trilogy The Awakening Land: The Trees, The Fields, The Town wins the National Book Award.

The Sound of Music, based on the book written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, wins a handful of Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

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