Nov. 4, 1998


by Wilfred Owen


Today's Reading: Selected lines from "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).

The IRANIAN HOSTAGE CRISIS began on this day in 1979, when 500 students in Teheran overran the U.S. Embassy. Ninety embassy employees were taken hostage; they were released on January 20, 1981.

The FIRST AIR CONDITIONED CAR rolled off the line on this day in 1939—it was a Packard.

It's the birthday of poet C. K. WILLIAMS, born in Newark, New Jersey in 1936. He was the author of the poetry collection, Flesh and Blood, which won the National Book Award in 1987.

The LONDON UNDERGROUND—the first subway in the world, opened on this day in 1890. The Prince of Wales was the first passenger on board.

It's the birthday of comedian WILL ROGERS, born in 1879 near the town of Claremore in northeastern Oklahoma. Rogers was part Cherokee and grew up on a ranch, and at the turn of the century started appearing in Wild West shows doing rope tricks; he later became a Broadway star. He was killed in a plane crash in 1935 near Point Barrow, Alaska.

It's the wedding anniversary of WILLIAM AND MARY, King and Queen of England, who were married in 1677. He was a twenty-seven year old Dutchman, she was 15. The marriage was to cement a union between Holland and England against the French. Members of the English nobility invited Mary to overthrow her own father, James, King of England, which she did. Although the legitimate heir to the throne, Mary insisted that William rule with her, and in 1689 they were crowned King and Queen together.

It was on this day in 1918 that the young British poet, WILFRED OWEN, was killed commanding a company of World War I British soldiers in an attack against the Germans in Belgium. Owen was only 25 years old, and had only seen a handful of his poems published in his lifetime; his poems, many of which deal with the horrors of trench warfare, were collected and published after his death.

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




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