Oh, the Places You’ll Go!: The History of Dr. Seuss


Kendall Chappell, News Editor

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Many have heard at least the ending of this quote; maybe on a bad day, or when a parent was feeling particularly philosophical. However, very few would know or would have guessed it to be spoken by the one and only Dr. Seuss.

According to the National Education Association, Dr. Seuss was born as Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2nd, 1904. He was extremely intelligent, attending both Dartmouth and Oxford University to get his doctorate in Literature. While attending Oxford, he met his future wife, Helen Palmer. According to Seussville.comhe dropped out before graduating, but he ended up receiving an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth in 1955.

The story of how The Cat in the Hat was created is both interesting and unique. The idea came from a report on child illiteracy, which was believed to be due to a lack of interesting books to choose from. As a result of this report, his publisher sent him a list of 400 words children needed to know; Geisel shortened it to 225 and, thus, The Cat in the Hat was born.

Another notable book of his is The Lorax. According to Seussville.com, he came up with the book due to his concern for the environment and its degrading state. However, he didn’t like his first draft, causing him to create The Lorax that we know and love on a trip to Kenya his wife suggested. Surprisingly, the book is on the American Library Association’s list of challenged and banned books due to many in industrious jobs opposing it.

Tenth grader Louisa Ellison, the president of the Raider Readers book club, said her favorite book of Geisel’s is The Lorax. She said she believes that “some of his books really convey deep messages about society,” like The Lorax, which “helps to educate kids to be cautious and teaches them about conservation of the environment.”

Ms. Peterson, the ERHS librarian, said that her favorite book from Geisel is Green Eggs and Ham. She also mentioned that she has “one of his books in my car.”

Quick Facts 

  • Geisel joined the army during World War II.
  • Geisel’s first published children’s story is And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street.
  • 40 out of Geisel’s 44 books are rhyming.
  • The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat are both based on Geisel himself.
  • Geisel said that he only starting writing children’s books because “it wasn’t excluded by [his] standard oil contract.”

All Quick Facts from Seussville.com.

Famous Quotes

  • “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
  • “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
  • “And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
  • “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
  • “Kid, you’ll move mountains!”
  • “Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind!”
  • “So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
  • “The more that you read, The more things you will know. The more that you learn, The more places you’ll go.”
  • “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”
  • “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
  • “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way.”
  • “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
  • “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

All quotes from The Fresh Quotes.