This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for June 4, 2017: For No Good Reason

June 4, 2017: on this day: first Pulitzer Prizes awarded

The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on this day in 1917. Laura Richards and Maude Elliott won the prize for biography, with their book about the 19th-century writer and suffragist Julia Ward Howe. Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the United States from 1902 to 1925, won the prize for history: With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope of the New York World won the prize for journalism, and when he picked up his award, said: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula of failure — which is try to please everybody.”