Feb. 12, 1998

Part of Plenty

by Bernard Spencer


Today's Reading: "Part of Plenty" by Bernard Spencer.

JUDY BLUME, the children's author, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on this day in 1938

George Gershwin's RHAPSODY IN BLUE premiered on this date in 1924 at the Aeolian Hall in New York. Paul Whiteman's orchestra did the premiere with Gershwin at the piano

It's the anniversary of the founding of the NAACP, in 1909, New York. The group was an offshoot of the old Niagara Movement, a series of meetings begun in 1905 by activist W.E.B. Du Bois

It's the birthday in Bordeaux, France, 1857, of the photographer EUGENE ATGET C famous for his pictures of Paris at the turn of the century

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, sixteenth president, was born in a cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky on this date in 1809. All through his first presidential campaign, he held a moderate position on slavery: he said he was willing to allow it to remain in the South, but wouldn't let it spread to the new territories in the West. Secessionist fervor was heating up when he delivered his first inaugural address in March 1861, aimed in particular at the South. He said, "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend it.'"

CHARLES DARWIN was born in Shrewsbury, England. He was just 22 when he shipped out aboard the three-masted Beagle as an unpaid naturalist. The trip to the South American coasts was supposed to take two years, but it took five and when Darwin returned with his notebooks and specimens he began formulating his theories of evolution and natural selection. He was nervous about the reaction he'd get to his work, so he withheld it for 23 years, then published his landmark The Origin of Species

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