May 17, 1999
Poem: "Elegy #5," by Ovid, translated by Christopher Marlowe (1564-93).
It's SYTTENDE MAI, NORWEGIAN CONSTITUTION DAY, when Norwegians celebrate their independence from Sweden in 1814.
It's the anniversary of the 1954 Supreme Court decision known as BROWN VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION, in which the judges overturned an 1896 decision that had allowed "separate but equal" public facilities. They ruled unanimously that it was unconstitutional for the public schools of Topeka to be segregated by race, and this eventually led to public facilities of all kinds being integrated.
It's the birthday in 1936, in the eastern-Sweden city of Västerås, of LARS GUSTAFSSON, the novelist and playwright best known in the U.S. for his poems that appear in the New Yorker.
It's the birthday in Madison, Wisconsin, 1908, of novelist and poet FREDERIC PROKOSCH, best known for a series of four books he called "journey-novels," part-travelogue, part-fiction, that came out in the 1930s and '40s, like The Asiatics, The Seven Who Fled, and Night of the Poor.
It's the birthday in Berkshire, England, 1873, of writer DOROTHY RICHARDSON, famous in her day for being the first to write a novel in a "stream-of-consciousness" style.
It's the birthday in 1749, Gloucestershire, of the physician who found a cure for smallpox, EDWARD JENNER. In the mid-1790s Jenner discovered that a mild inoculation of cowpox warded off the smallpox virus.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®