Jun. 14, 1999


by May Swenson

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: June 14, 1999

Poem: "Weather," by May Swenson, from Nature: Poems Old and New (Houghton Mifflin).

It's the birthday in Huntington, New York, 1957, of writer and historian HOWARD MANSFIELD, author of many articles on architecture and history for the New York Times, and author of the books Cosmopolis (1990), In the Memory House (1993), and Skylark: The Life, Lies, and Inventions of Harry Atwood that came out a few weeks ago.

It's the birthday of novelist CINDY BONNER, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1953, author of historical novels set in McDade, Texas, including Lily (1992), Looking After Lily (1994), The Passion of Dellie O'Barr (1996), and Right from Wrong, that came out this April.

It's writer JILL NELSON's birthday, born in New York City, 1952, for many years a writer with the Washington Post, and author of the essay collections Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience (1993), about her time at the Post, which won the American Book Award; and Straight, No Chaser: How I Became a Grown-Up Black Woman (1997).

It's novelist JOHN ARMISTEAD's birthday, born in Mobile, Alabama, 1941, who served as a Baptist preacher for over 20 years before writing his first book, A Legacy of Vengeance, that came out in 1994, which he followed with A Homecoming for Murder, and Cruel as the Grave — mysteries set in the Mississippi hill country.

The GERMAN ARMY TOOK PARIS on this day in 1940, entering the city at 6:30 in the morning, then spreading out into the neighborhoods. By 11:00 a.m. the swastika was flying from the Eiffel Tower. Nine days later, Hitler toured the city.

It's the birthday in Markbreit, Germany, 1864, of psychiatrist and pathologist ALOIS ALZHEIMER, who in 1906 performed an autopsy on a 55-year old who had died with severe dementia, and he noticed plaque and tangled fibers in the brain. The following year he wrote about it in a medical journal and his name became associated with the dementia that usually starts after the age of 60, but can begin as early as 40. More than 4 million older Americans have it.

It's the birthday in Litchfield, Connecticut, 1811, of HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, author in 1852 of Uncle Tom's Cabin, the story of the slave, Uncle Tom, and his friendship with little Eva St. Clare, the daughter of his master. Tom saves the girl's life and she asks her father to free all his slaves, but before he can do so he's killed, and Tom is eventually whipped to death. Uncle Tom's Cabin sold 300,000 copies in its first year, fueling the conflict that led to the Civil War.

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




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