Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

“There she blows!” was the cry as the lookout sighted Moby Dick. Captain Ahab, with his chief mate Starbuck, sailed the oceans of the world to capture this great white whale. But as fate would have it, when the harpoon struck, the rope flew out so fast it entangled Captain Ahab, pulling him under. This American classic was written by Herman Mehlville, who was born this day, Aug. 1, 1819. In the opening chapters, Mehlville warned: “With this sin of disobedience … Jonah flouts at God. … He thinks that a ship made by men will carry him into countries where God does not reign.”