Jun. 16, 1999

The Garden

by Andrew Marvell

Broadcast Date: WEDNESDAY: June 16, 1999

Poem: Lines from "The Garden," by Andrew Marvell (1621-78).

It's BLOOMSDAY today in Dublin, Ireland, the setting of James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses. The book takes place in a single day, June 16, 1904, and details the life in Dublin of Leopold Bloom, his wife, Molly, and Stephen Dedalus.

It's the birthday of AURELIE SHEEHAN, in 1963, Verdun, France, author of the short-story collection Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant (1994).

It's the birthday in 1950, Asheville, North Carolina of children's author CONNIE NORDHIELM WOOLDRIDGE, best known for her novel Wicked Jack, which came out in 1995, the story of an old blacksmith who dreams up ways of making as many people as possible miserable. One day, though, he slips up and is accidentally nice to a crippled old man who turns out to be Saint Peter. But Jack gets in so much trouble that he's kicked out of heaven. Sent down to hell, the devil can't stand him either, and Jack is told: "You take this here coal and go start a hell of your own" — which he does.

It's the birthday in 1938, in the Erie Canal town of Millersport, New York, of writer JOYCE CAROL OATES. Within the last few months alone she's come out with a book of 27 horror stories called The Collector of Hearts; a novel, My Heart Laid Bare; a children's story, Come Meet Muffin; and a mystery, Double Delight. And her next novel, Broke Heart Blues, is due out next month.

June 16, 1933, marked the end of THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT's presidency. Within those hundred days Roosevelt announced or laid the groundwork for most of the programs that became the New Deal: he closed the banks and created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, began his "fireside chats," and began creation of the Civil Works Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other programs.

It's the birthday in Hartford, Connecticut, 1902, of geneticist BARBARA MCCLINTOCK. Working at the Carnegie Institution's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, and studying kernels of corn, she discovered that genetic material doesn't stay in one place but shifts around, and when it does, it affects the gene's operation, a discovery that won her the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1983.

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