Molly McCarthy, associated director of the UC Davis Humanities Institute, will give a free talk about her new book “The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America” at noon Thursday, Oct. 17, inside The Stores Lounge at the Memorial Union.
George Washington and Civil War soldiers alike used daily planners — also called daily diaries or commercial diaries — for purposes that included tracking finances, finding an inn or planning for winter.
McCarthy’s book explores how these unassuming, easily overlooked planners are “a document that has borne witness to American lives in all of their complexity and banality,” according to a news release.
Prior to receiving doctorate in American history from Brandeis University in 2004, McCarthy worked as a journalist. She was a member of the Newsday reporting team that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the TWA Flight 800 crash in 1996.