Oct. 15, 1998

326 I cannot dance upon my Toes

by Emily Dickinson


Today's Reading: "I cannot dance upon my Toes—" by Emily Dickinson.

The ARIZONA STATE FAIR starts today in Phoenix, and runs through the first of November. In Lumpkin, Georgia, the FAIR OF 1850 gets going and runs through mid-November, with demonstrations of cane grinding and syrup making, and where they run the last remaining pre-Civil War cotton gin. And through Monday, the MOUNTAIN STATE APPLE HARVEST FESTIVAL takes place in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

It's the anniversary of the CLAYTON ANTI-TRUST ACT of 1914. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) founder Samuel Gompers called it "labor's charter of freedom." The act exempted unions from anti- trust laws; strikes, picketing, and boycotting became legal; and price-setting to create monopolies became illegal.

It's the economist and writer JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH's birthday today, born in Iona Station, Ontario, 1908. He taught economics at Harvard for 30 years, 1945-75, and during that time also served as an advisor to two presidents, Kennedy and Johnson, and wrote his books espousing a liberal outlook toward economics: American Capitalism: the Concept of Countervailing Power (1952); The Age of Uncertainty (1977); and The Affluent Society (1958), in which he faulted the conventional wisdom of U.S. economics and called for more emphasis on public services than on production of goods.

It's the birthday in 1881, Surrey, of the British humorist P.G. WODEHOUSE, author of some 90 books and 20 screenplays, and best known as the creator of the fictional young bachelor, the likable but dim-witted Bertie Wooster, and his servant Jeeves. Wodehouse started the Jeeves series in a 1917 short story called The Man with Two Left Feet, and wrapped it up 54 years later in 1971 with Much Obliged, Jeeves. In The Luck of the Bodkins, Jeeves observes — quote — "that into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French."

Thirty-one-year old Thomas Edison founded the EDISON ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY on this day in 1878, his aim: to make a workable light bulb. A year and one week later, he demonstrated a lamp containing a carbonized cotton thread that glowed for 40 hours. Fourteen years later Edison merged his company with several other companies to form General Electric.

It's the birthday of poet and novelist HELEN HUNT JACKSON, 1830, Amherst, Massachusetts, one of the first writers to take the American government to task for its treatment of Native Americans. She grew up in the east, but after her husband and two sons died she moved west and began writing. She settled in Colorado Springs, and saw first-hand the life of reservation Indians. She came out in 1881 with the non-fiction book, A Century of Dishonor, an exposť about the plight of Indians; and three years later, the novel Ramona, which sold well and brought national attention to Native rights.

It's the anniversary of MANNED FLIGHT. On this day in 1783 Francois de Rozier made the first flight in a hot air balloon. It took place outside Paris, and the balloon was suspended on cables with a straw fire providing the hot air. The balloon was tethered to the ground, and it climbed to 82 feet. Over the next few days other flights got as high as 6,500 feet.

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




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