Feb. 17, 1999
Poem: Shirley Ensrud, "Country Haircuts," from Buckwheat Cakes and Cornmeal Mush (SME Books).
It's ASH WEDNESDAY, the first day of LENT and the seventh Wednesday before Easter. The name comes from placing ashes on the foreheads of worshipers to symbolize sorrow for sin.
It's the birthday in New York, 1929, of writer CHAIM POTOK, author of novels like The Chosen (1967), My Name is Asher Lev (1972) and plays and short stories.
The first issue of THE NEW YORKER hit the newsstands on this date in 1925, costing 15 cents.
It's the birthday of the French statesman, ANDRÉ MAGINOT, born in Paris, 1877, known as the creator of the "Maginot Line" the elaborate concrete fortifications built on the French-German border in the 1930s to prevent the Germans from invading France. When the Germans tanks came in the spring of 1940 they simply went around the wall from the north through Belgium.
It was on this day in 1864 that the Confederate submarine H.L. HUNLEY sank the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
It was on this day in 1801 that the U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral college tie and chose THOMAS JEFFERSON for President over AARON BURR.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®