Mar. 7, 1999

Why We Are Afraid

by Clemens Starck


Poem: "Why We Are Afraid," by Clemens Starck, from Journeyman's Wages (Story Line Press).

It was on this date in 1945 that American troops seized a crucial bridge over the Rhine River at REMAGEN and began pouring into Germany. With the Soviet army closing in on Berlin from the east, the war in Europe would be over in a few months.

MONOPOLY was invented on this day in 1933. It came out at the height of the Great Depression and was a big hit because each player got $1,500 and tried to bankrupt the others by buying, selling, and trading properties and by charging exorbitant rent.

Robert Frost's poem, "STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING," was published in the New Republic magazine on this date in 1923. He was proud of the poem, and said the lines, "Whose woods these are, I think I know, his house is in the village though..." contained everything he ever knew about how to write.

THE FIRST JAZZ RECORD went on sale on this day in 1917. The Victor Company released a tune called "The Dixieland Jazz Band One-Step" recorded by Nick La Rocca and his Original Dixieland Jazz Band who had traveled all the way from New Orleans to New York to make the record.

It's the birthday of the Norwegian poet ROLF JACOBSEN, born in Oslo in 1907.

It's the birthday of HELEN PARKHURST, the founder of the Dalton Plan of Education, born in Durand, Wisconsin in 1887.

It's the birthday in 1872, Holland of PIET MONDRIAN, the abstract painter famous for geometric pictures of black lines and colored rectangles on white backgrounds.

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