Jan. 27, 1999

Boy at the Window

by Richard Wilbur


Poem: Richard Wilbur, "Boy at the Window," from Things of This World (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)

It was on this day in 1967 that three astronauts—Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee—lost their lives in a cabin fire aboard their APOLLO I spacecraft as they rehearsed for a take-off in February.

It was on this day in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated the concentration camps of AUSCHWITZ AND BIRKENAU, just 30 miles west of Krakow in Poland, the largest of the Nazi death camps where over 1.5 million people—mostly Jews and Gypsies—were gassed during the war or killed in medical experiments.

It's the birthday in 1885 of the composer JEROME KERN, born David Jerome Kern in New York City, composer of many musical comedies in the 1920s and 30s including his best-known, Show Boat, which premiered in 1927.

It's the birthday in 1832 of CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON, better known as Lewis Carroll, the creator of Alice in Wonderland, born in Daresbury, England.

It's the birthday of the composer WOLFANG AMADEUS MOZART, born 1756 in Salzburg, who, in the short span of his life, 36 years, produced no less than 56 symphonies, 7 major operas, and hundreds of other piano sonatas, string concertos, and other instrumental works, including the operas The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), and The Magic Flute (1791).

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




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