Feb. 16, 1998

An Old-Fashioned Song (Nous n'irons plus au bois)

by John Hollander


Today's Reading: "An Old-Fashioned Song" (Nous n'irons plus au bois) by John Hollander from TESSERAE: AND OTHER POEMS, published by Alfred A. Knopf.

It's PRESIDENT'S DAY, annually the third Monday in February, commemorating George Washington's birthday on the 22nd and Abraham Lincoln's on the 12th.

RICHARD FORD was born on this date in Jackson, Mississippi, 1944 - author of the novels The Sportswriter (1986), and its sequel, Independence Day, which won the 1996 Pulitzer. He grew up in Jackson across the street from short-story writer Eudora Welty.

Polyhexamethyleneadipamide - NYLON - was patented on this date in 1937. A team of Du Pont researchers in Delaware had been working for years on a synthetic cloth-substitute, and in 1937 finally hit on the right mixture of coal, air and water to make nylon. Their first commercial product came out a year later - toothbrush bristles - and then in 1939, women's hosiery, which stores couldn't keep in stock because of the demand.

It's the birthday of radio ventriloquist EDGAR BERGEN, born in Chicago, 1903.

It's the birthday in Pittsburgh, 1852, of CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL, who founded the International Bible Students Association - which became the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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