Jul. 16, 1999


by Carl Sandburg

Sunset From Omaha Hotel Window

by Carl Sandburg

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: July 16, 1999

Poems: "Limited" and "Sunset From Omaha Hotel Window," by Carl Sandburg from The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (Harcourt Brace & Company).

On this day in 1951, Little, Brown published J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye. It was an instant best seller, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and among the most highly praised books that year. Salinger was 31 years old.

Early in the morning of this day in 1945, in the New Mexico desert, the first atomic bomb was detonated 125 miles south of Albuquerque, powered by a sphere of plutonium the size of an orange. It produced a fireball that rose 8,000 feet in a fraction of a second, pushing a mushroom cloud 41,000 feet high. The Manhattan Project was top secret in 1945, and nearby residents were told an ammunition dump had exploded.

It's the birthday of the Cuban novelist novelist Reinaldo Arenas, born in the Oriente Province of Cuba (1943). He joined the revolution of Fidel Castro (1959). But, like many Cuban homosexuals, he was branded a "social misfit" and was imprisoned for several years during the 1970s. He immigrated to New York, and there, dying of AIDS, he committed suicide, 47 years old. He wrote Hallucinations (1969), The Doorman (1991), and Singing from the Well (1967).

It's the birthday of novelist and art historian Anita Brookner, born in London (1928), author of Hotel Du Lac.

In 1918 on this day, Czar Nicholas the Second, his family, the family doctor, their servants and their pet dog were shot by the Bolsheviks, who had held them captive for 2 months in the basement of a house in Ekaterinberg, Russia.

It's the birthday of Mary Baker Eddy, born in Bow, New Hampshire (1821)—founder of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, also known as the Christian Scientists.

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