Nov. 27, 1998


by Paul Muldoon

FRIDAY 11/27

Poem: "Symposium," by Paul Muldoon, from HAY (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998).

It's the birthday of journalist and author GAIL SHEEHY, in 1937, Mamaroneck, town on Long Island Sound northeast of New York City. She writes for a number of magazines, but is best known for her books, including her study of menopause called The Silent Passage, which was named by the Library of Congress one of the most influential books of our time.

It's writer JAMES AGEE's birthday, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1909, author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, and his autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family.

It was on this day in 1826 that JEBEDIAH SMITH'S expedition reached San Diego, becoming the first American settlers to cross the southwestern part of the continent. Smith was a 28-year-old fur trader and his party had left Great Salt Lake earlier that year, crossing the Mojave Desert. Afterward, he made two more trips from Great Salt Lake to California, then journeyed up the west coast all the way to Oregon, effectively opening up the coast for settlers and traders.

It's the birthday of the man who devised the Celsius, or centigrade, scale, ANDERS CELSIUS, born in Uppsala, Sweden, 1701.

It was on this day in 43 BC that OCTAVIAN, ANTONY, AND LEPIDUS formed THE SECOND TRIUMVIRATE of Rome. Within a few years, Octavian became the sole leader—he took the name Caesar Augustus, and his rule marked the peak of the Roman Empire.

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




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