Aug. 8, 1999
Poem: "I Remember," by Anne Sexton, from All My Pretty Ones (Houghton Mifflin).
It's the birthday in St. Louis, 1884, of poet SARA TEASDALE. She received the first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry when the awards started up in 1918. Her "Heart's House" was written ten years earlier:
My heart is but a little house
With room for only three or four,
And it was filled before you knocked
Upon the door.
I longed to bid you come within,
I knew that I should love you well,
But if you came the rest must go
Elsewhere to dwell.
And so, farewell, O friend, my friend!
Nay, I could weep a little too,
But I shall only smile and say
Farewell to you.
It's the birthday in Washington D.C., in 1896, of writer MARJORIE KINNAN RAWLINGS. She went to school in Wisconsin, was a journalist in Louisville and Rochester, New York, and finally settled in Cross Creek, Florida in 1928, where she said, "I felt I had come home when I came here. The people so charmed me I determined to write about them and, if I failed, not to write anymore." It was in Cross Creek that she wrote The Yearling, the story of young Jody Baxter's coming of age in the big scrub country which is now the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The book came out in 1938 and won the Pulitzer Prize. Besides The Yearling, Rawlings wrote another popular novel about the area called Cross Creek.
The GERMAN LUFTWAFFE began its attack of the British Isles on this day in 1940. The BATTLE OF BRITAIN was intended to wipe out the Royal Air Force before Germany invaded England. Twenty-two hundred German fighters and bombers made daily runs over southern England for weeks on end. The R.A.F. was outnumbered four-to-one, but they had the new invention of radar which allowed them to concentrate their defenses. The R.A.F. knocked down three times as many German aircraft as it lost, and Hitler called off the invasion. It was Germany's first major defeat.
It's the birthday in Beaufort, South Carolina, 1952, of writer VALERIE SAYERS, whose comic novels Due East, Who Do You Love?, and How I Got Him Back, are all set in the fictional coastal town of Due East, South Carolina.
It's the birthday in Washington, D.C., 1954, of short-story writer and novelist, ELIZABETH ANN TALLENT. She began writing stories, selling her first one, "Ice," to The New Yorker when she was twenty-six years old, then following that up with "Why I Love Country Music."
RICHARD NIXON, facing the prospect of impeachment over Watergate, resigned from the presidency twenty-five years ago today.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®