May 10, 1999

Love's Emblems

by John Fletcher

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: May 10, 1999

Poem: "Love's Emblems," by John Fletcher (1579 - 1625).

On this day in 1933, the Nazis held a huge BOOK BURNING near the University of Berlin. Hitler had only been in power a few months, and his propaganda minister Josef Goebbels staged the fire to rid libraries of books he said struck "at the root of German thought." Near midnight on May 10th he and hundreds of University of Berlin students raided the library of books by authors such as Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Freud, and Einstein, threw them in a pile, and burned them.

It's the anniversary of the ASTOR PLACE RIOT, in New York City, 1849. It grew out of a feud between two actors, William Macready from England, and Edwin Forrest, an American, who had a difference of opinion about which one of them was the better actor. The feud simmered from 1836 to 1849 when, on the evening of May 10, a mob stormed the Astor Place Opera House in New York, where Macready was appearing in Macbeth. The militia was called in and in the end 23 people were killed in the melee. The Museum of the City of New York has an exhibit on the Astor Place Riot through October.

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