On May 20, 1964 the American Academy of Arts and Letters gave John O'Hara the Award of Merit Medal for the Novel. Excerpts from his acceptance speech:

"At least some of the liberties that the younger writers enjoy today were paid for by me, in vilification of my work and abuse of my personal character .... The fully rounded irony is that I can expect the same degree of abuse from the new critics for my 1964 conservatism that I got from my critics for my lack of restraint in 1934. But as long as I live, or at least as long as I am able to write, I will go to the typewriter with love of my work and at least a faint hope that once in a great while something like today will happen to me again. We all know how good we are, but it's nice to hear it from someone else."

On May 20, 1920, Alfred Eaton and Mary St. John were married in Wilmington. (From the Terrace).

   The wedding went off according to schedule and as rehearsed. The weather was warm, as it is likely to be in Delaware late in May, and Sage Remmington, a bridesmaid who had been born and brought up in Delaware, fainted in the bridesmaids' car on the way from the St. John residence to the church, but was revived by the smelling salts that in their cut-glass bottle were standard equipment in that model limousine. A fox terrier belonging to the wedding guest found its way to the   church and marched up the middle aisle until Donald Tinkham, one of Alfred's ushers, picked it up and carried it out to the street. Zilph du Pont, the only bridesmaid who was taller than Mary St. John, tore off the heel of her right shoe getting out of the second limousine  and had to go through the entire ceremony pretending nothing was wrong. James McCready, now without a school, told an usher he was a friend of the bride's in order to be seated on the du Pont side of the church and thereby missed being seated in the pew with Charles M. Schwab, whom he never did recognize. Rowland Culpeper, a second cousin of Mary's mother, let out a loud, double-sneeze as the clergyman was uttering the crucial let-him-come-forth warning, to the unanimous amusement of the assemblage. Cynthia Grosscup, whom Mary had picked because there was no way out of it, refused to walk out as briskly as the other couples preceding her and thus divided the exiting wedding party into two parts. One McCallen, chauffeur to James Arthur Hinchcliff of 23 Wall Street, flooded the carburetor of the Hinchcliff Rolls-Royce, causing the Hinchcliffs to accept a lift to the country club in Donald Tinkham's Dodge phaeton, and to sit down heavily on the tire pump which lay on the back seat.
An hour before the ceremony Mary's father, Eugene St. John, had informed Alfred that his father Samuel Eaton had died.

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