Jan. 7, 1999

The Sleepers

by William Henry Davies


Poem: "The Sleepers," by William Henry Davies (1870-1940).

It's the birthday of writer ZORA NEALE HURSTON, born in Eatonville, Florida, 1901, best known for her second novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), about the life and marriages of Janie Crawford, and other books that celebrate rural black culture of the South.

It's the birthday of SAINT BERNADETTE OF LOURDES, born Marie-Bernarde Soubirous in Lourdes, France in 1844. In early 1858 at the age of 14 she had a series of visions of the Virgin Mary. In her visions she was led to a spring of healing water, and thousands of sick people travel annually to Lourdes to be blessed at her shrine.

It's the birthday in 1800 of MILLARD FILLMORE, 13th President (1850-53), born in Cayuga County, central New York. In 1849 ran as Zachary Taylor's vice-president. When Taylor died in office the next year Fillmore became president. Even though he was from the North and personally opposed slavery, Fillmore argued for its continuation, saying that to end it would be to disrupt the nation.

It's the birthday in 1718, Salem (now Danvers), Massachusetts, of ISRAEL PUTNAM, the American Revolutionary War hero and one of the leaders at the Battle of Bunker Hill outside Boston. He told his men, "Don't one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

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




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