Nov. 5, 1998
Today's Reading: "Gathering Leaves" by Robert Frost (1874-1963).
It's the birthday in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, of playwright and actor SAM SHEPARD, born in 1943. He grew up on military bases around the country. The family finally settled in California and he tried college for a year, and then took off for New York to act in and write plays. He had his first successes in Off-Off-Broadway productions, writing a series of one-act plays like Chicago, Icarus's Mother, and Red Cross. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for Buried Child.
It was on this day in 1930 that writer SINCLAIR LEWIS became the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. When Lewis got the call from Sweden telling him that he'd won the prize, he thought it was a hoax, and he started mimicking the caller's Swedish accent.
It's the birthday of ROY ROGERS, born Leonard Frankly Slye in Duck Run, Ohio in 1911. He grew up in a house that stood right about where second base of Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium is today. Roger's first movie came out in 1938, "Under Western Stars", and he went on to make nearly 100 more.
It's the birthday in 1885 of philosopher and historian WILL DURANT, born in North Adams, Massachusetts. Durant was the author with his wife Ariel of the 11-volume Story of Civilization, which began as a series of lectures he gave in New York.
It's GUY FAWKES DAY, the anniversary of the "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the Parliament building in London in 1605. Guy Fawkes and eight other conspirators secretly loaded 36 barrels of gunpowder into the basement of Parliament in an attempt to assassinate King James I. The plot was discovered on the evening of November 4th, the day before the intended explosion. The conspirators were arrested, tried, and beheaded for the conspiracy, and the next year Parliament enacted a law decreeing November 5 a day of public thanksgiving. It is still observed in Britain and the old verse is repeated: "Remember, remember the fifth of November Gunpowder treason and plot; I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot."
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