Dec. 28, 1998

When You Are Old

by William Butler Yeats

Lines Written on the Eve of a Birthday

by Kelly Cherry

MONDAY 12/28

Poems: Kelly Cherry, "Lines Written on the Eve of a Birthday," from A NEW PLEIADE: SELECTED POEMS (Louisiana State University Press, 1998); and "When You Are Old," by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

Itís the birthday of British actress DAME MAGGIE SMITH. She was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Ilford, just east of London, in 1934. She started her acting career in Oxford and joined the National Theater Company, where she appeared as Desdemona in Laurence Olivierís Othello in 1964. She achieved international fame in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1969.

Itís the birthday of Argentine novelist and screenwriter MANUEL PUIG, born in General Villegas, Argentina in 1932, author of The Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976).

It was on this day in 1908 that the ancient city of MESSINA on the Italian island of Sicily was destroyed by an earthquake. It was one of the worst in European history—nearly 100,000 people were killed by the quake and the resulting tidal waves.

The Lumière Brothers demonstrated the FIRST VIABLE FILM PROJECTOR in Paris on this day in 1895. It was called the "Cinématographe." The film they showed, "Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory," is considered the first motion picture.

Itís the birthday of WOODROW WILSON, 28th President of the United States, born Thomas Woodrow Wilson in Staunton, Virginia in 1856. Wilsonís presidency was dominated by World War I. The "Fourteen Points" he devised were used as a starting-point in the peace negotiations in Paris at the end of the war and outlined his idea for a "League of Nations" to mediate international disputes.

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