Mar. 4, 1999

From the Manifesto of the Selfish

by Stephen Dunn


Poem: "From the Manifesto of the Selfish," by Stephen Dunn, from Landscape at the End of the Century (W.W. Norton).

It's the OLD INAUGURATION DAY. From George Washington's first presidency in 1789 all the way until 1933, presidents were sworn in on March 4. JOHN ADAMS was sworn in as the nation's second president on this day in 1797 as the second president. He had been Washington's Vice-President for eight years. THOMAS JEFFERSON was the first president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C., in 1801.

It was on this day in 1952 that ERNEST HEMINGWAY wrote a letter to his publisher saying that he'd just finished THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, and he declared it was the best writing he had ever done and the best that he ever would do.

It's the birthday of the South African singer and activist MIRIAM MAKEBA, born near Johannesburg in 1932.

It's the birthday of British writer ALAN SILLITOE, in Nottingham, 1928, best known for his first novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958), and for the short story, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," published the next year, both of which were made into popular movies.

It's the anniversary of VERMONT'S statehood, admitted to the Union in 1791 as the first addition to the original 13 colonies.

It's the birthday in 1394 in Porto, Portugal, of PRINCE HENRY THE NAVIGATOR, who sponsored the Portuguese voyages of discovery in the 15th century, in particular opening up the west coast of Africa to the slave trade.

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




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