Aug. 30, 1998

Wedding in the Rockies

by E. B. White


Today's Reading: "Wedding in the Rockies" by E.B. White from POEMS AND SKETCHES OF E.B. WHITE, published by Harper & Row.

It's the birthday of writer JOHN GUNTHER, born in 1901, Chicago, and author of Death Be Not Proud, and a series of "Inside" books based on his journalistic work for the Chicago Daily News, and NBC. The first came out in 1939, just as WWII started, called Inside Europe, and it was followed by Inside Asia, and Inside Africa.

HUEY P. LONG, the Kingfish, was born on this day in 1893, in the town of Winnfield, Louisiana. In the late 1920s and early '30s he ran the Louisiana political machine, serving as the state's governor, then U.S. senator. The rich people of Louisiana didn't care much for him, but the poor did because of his social service and public works programs which he called "Share the Wealth." But he was also notorious for corruption and squandered millions on extravagant personal projects.

It's the birthday of the British physicist ERNEST RUTHERFORD, 1871, Nelson, New Zealand, who discovered that the basic structure of the atom is a central nucleus surrounded by electrons, and that radiation is produced when atoms disintegrate, research that was ultimately used to build the nuclear bomb. He said, "All science is either physics, or stamp collecting."

It's the anniversary in 1862, of the SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN, sometimes called Second Manassas because it was fought near the town of Manassas, Virginia. The first Bull Run Battle was short, only a day, and had been the Civil War's first real battle of any kind. It was a Confederate victory. Second Bull Run was two days long, and it also went to the Confederates. There were about 15,000 Union casualties, twice that of the South; and by winning it, General Robert E. Lee canceled all the gains made by the North during that first year of war.

It's the birthday of writer MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT SHELLEY, author of Frankenstein, born in 1797, London. She was the only daughter of the philosopher William Godwin and the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. She married the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1814. Though she wrote several novels — Valperga, The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck, and The Last Man — Frankenstein made her famous. It was written in 1816 when she was 19 years old, the product of a contest between herself and her husband and two friends to see who could write the best ghost story.

It was on this day in 1637 that ANN HUTCHINSON was banished from Massachusetts and went with her family to settle Rhode Island. She was a liberal-minded woman in the Puritan community of Boston, and she had invited other women to stop by her house one afternoon a week to discuss the previous Sunday's sermon. The town elders accused her of advocating a religion that had no moral law to it, and threw her out of town.

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




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