No quiet desperation at Thoreau's 200th birthday observance

CONCORD, Mass. — The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. The rest are observing the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, the author who penned that line.

The U.S. Postal Service is marking the occasion Wednesday with a new postage stamp honoring the “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience” writer, philosopher and naturalist.

Thoreau was born in Concord, Mass., on July 12, 1817.

Concord Postmaster Ray White and officials from the Thoreau Farm and Birthplace will be on hand to dedicate the stamp. They say it’s in tribute to Thoreau’s “personal example of simple living, his criticism of materialism and the timeless questions he raises about the place of the individual in society.”

Fans will gather at Walden Pond, where Thoreau lived and worked, to read aloud from “Walden” and other classics.

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