Aug. 28, 1999

Homage: Doo-Wop

by Joseph Stroud

Broadcast Date: SATURDAY: August 28, 1999

Poem: "Homage: Doo-Wop" by Joseph Stroud from Below Cold Mountain (Copper Canyon Press, 1998).

Vermont's largest fair, THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR starts today and runs through September 6.

It's the anniversary of the 1963 CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH ON WASHINGTON. On this date, about 250,000 people crowded onto the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

It's poet RITA DOVE's birthday, born in 1952 in Akron, Ohio, winner of the 1987 Pulitzer (PULL-it-sir) Prize for her collection about her grandparents, Thomas and Beulah. Her most recent book, which came out this spring, is On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems.

Ornithologist ROGER TORY PETERSON, author of A Field Guide to the Birds, was born on this day in 1908, Jamestown, New York. When he was 11 years old, Peterson got a job delivering newspapers just so he could buy a camera to photograph birds. He went to art school to learn to paint, and when he was 26 years old in 1934 came out with A Field Guide to the Birds. It could fit in your pocket; the birds were grouped by what they looked like, not by scientific classification; and he used little arrows to point to distinguishing colors or beak shapes.

LEO TOLSTOY, the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and dozens of other books and stories, was born on this day in 1828, on his family's estate about 100 miles south of Moscow. He spent most of his life right there on the estate. War and Peace, set during the Napoleonic Wars early on in the century, took him four years to write, 1865-69. Anna Karenina took two years. Near the end of his life Tolstoy lived like a hermit, developing his own religious beliefs that got him thrown out of the Russian church, and giving most of his money away to charities.

It was on this day in 1749 that the German writer and philosopher JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE was born in Frankfurt. His best known works are his plays, Faust, and Werther (vair-TAIR), but Goethe also held a cabinet post in the court of Weimar (VIGH-mar), directed the city theater, and did important research in biology, particularly the early theories of evolution. Goethe himself thought he'd be mostly remembered for his work in science, not literature.

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