Feb. 26, 1999

Sins of the Fathers

by Mark Vinz

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: February 26, 1999

Poem: "Sins of the Fathers," by Mark Vinz, from Mixed Blessings (Spoon River Poetry Press).

It's the birthday today of "The Man in Black"—singer and songwriter JOHNNY CASH, born 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, known for his songs "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line."

It's the birthday of Antoine Domino—"FATS" DOMINO—born in New Orleans in 1928, known for his rhythm and blues tunes in the 1950s such as "Ain't That a Shame," "Blueberry Hill" and "I'm Walkin'." He hit the big time in 1955 with "Ain't That a Shame."

It's the birthday today of the physician JOHN HARVEY KELLOGG, born 1852 in Tyrone, Michigan. He was a vegetarian who took up the post of superintendent in 1875 of the Seventh-Day Adventist Western Health Reform Institute at Battle Creek, and started to develop nut and vegetable products for his patients, including a flaked wheat cereal and cornflakes. His brother W.K. Kellogg founded a cereal company, as did one of John Kellogg's patients, C.W. Post.

Today's the birthday of cartoonist RUDOLPH DIRKS, born 1877 in Heide, Germany, creator of the comic strip "The Katzenjammer Kids," featuring the two prankster brothers Hans and Fritz, Mama Katzenjammer, and The Captain, who was the target of most of the jokes.

It's the birthday of the inventor of blue jeans, LEVI STRAUSS, born Loeb Strauss in 1829 in Buttenheim, Bavaria. In the Gold Rush he moved to San Francisco, where he sold the copper-riveted trousers called "waist overalls," and eventually Strauss opened two factories to produce them.

It's the birthday today of writer VICTOR HUGO, born 1802 in Besançon, France, author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862), although in France he is mostly known for his poetry. He took up politics in the 1840s and was a member of the National Assembly, but was forced into exile because of his opposition to Emperor Louis Napoleon, and lived for 15 years on the island of Guernsey, where he wrote Les Misérables. He said, "One can dream of something more terrible than a hell where one suffers; it's a hell where one would get bored."

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