Feb. 16, 1999

The Argument

by Belle Waring


Poem: Belle Waring, "The Argument," from Dark Blonde (Sarabande Books).

It's MARDI GRAS, Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, the last day of the period of carnival before Lent starts tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Big celebrations today not just in New Orleans, but in Rio de Janeiro, and Nice, France.

It was on this day in 1945 that American WWII paratroopers landed on the island of CORREGIDOR, beginning the campaign to liberate the Philippines. On March 2nd, after two weeks of ferocious battles, the Americans lifted the U.S. flag over the island.

It's RICHARD FORD's birthday, Jackson, Mississippi, 1944 — author of the novels The Sportswriter (1986), and its sequel, Independence Day, which won the 1996 Pulitzer, and the 1997 short story collection, Women with Men.

It was on this day in 1923 BESSIE SMITH cut her first record, "Down Hearted Blues," and it made her the nation's best-known blues singer. The record sold more than 750,000 copies that year.

It's the birthday of ventriloquist EDGAR BERGEN, born in Chicago, 1903. He was a high school student when he learned to do voice tricks; he had a dummy's head carved out of a block of wood and he made the body himself and called it Charlie McCarthy, and they went on the road. They were the biggest stars on the radio in the late 30s.

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




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