Feb. 17, 1998
Today's Reading: Nursery rhymes from THE OXFORD NURSERY RHYME BOOK.
It's the birthday in New York, 1929, of writer CHAIM POTOK author of novels like The Chosen (1967), My Name is Asher Lev (1972) and plays and short stories.
The first issue of THE NEW YORKER hit the newsstands on this date in 1925, costing 15 cents. The founder, Harold Ross, wanted the magazine to be all about New York's social and cultural life, but most agreed the first issue was a flop.
RED BARBER, the great baseball announcer, was born on this date in 1908, Columbus, Mississippi. He started doing play-by-play with the Cincinnati Reds in 1934, and moved to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939, then to the Yankees in 1954.
It's the birthday of the French statesman, ANDRÉ MAGINOT, born in Paris, 1877. It was his idea to build a wall on France's north-eastern border to prevent any more German invasions. It was called the Maginot Line, and was an elaborate fortification of thick concrete walls with heavy guns on top ÷ living quarters, warehouses and underground rail lines connecting the whole thing underneath. It took most of the 1930s to build it. But when the Germans tanks came in the spring of 1940, they simply went around the wall, from the north through Belgium, then crossed the Somme River into France.
It's the birthday in 1781 of the French doctor, RENÉ LAENNEC, who invented the stethoscope. His instrument was a foot-long wooden stick, hollowed out with dozens of little holes drilled into it. He'd place one end on the patient's chest and his ear over the other to hear the heartbeat.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®