Audrey and Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel. Photo via
Audrey and Ted “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. Photo via

UC San Diego Thursday will celebrate the 113th birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel in front of the campus library that bears his name.

Festivities that begin at noon will include a giant inflatable Cat in the Hat as well as free cake and Seussian musical entertainment by The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra.

UCSD is also showcasing materials from its Dr. Seuss collection. The Geisel Library in 1991 became the official repository for his original works, and the collection now includes more than 15,000 drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia.

Geisel was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and first used the pen name Dr. Seuss on a cartoon in the Saturday Evening Post in 1927.

His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was published 10 years later — after 27 rejections. After World War II, he moved to La Jolla and penned classics like “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which became staples for young readers.

Geisel died in 1991. The National Education Association launched Read Across America Day on his birthday seven years later. The program promotes the importance of reading to school children.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.