Sep. 16, 1999
Poem: "Brueghel's Harvesters" by Richard Foerster, from Trillium: Poems (American Poets Continuum, No. 46), Boa Editions, 1998.
In Lodi [LOW-die], California, itís the Lodi Grape Festival and Harvest Fair, featuring many competitive exhibits and a carnival, plus grape stomps and a paraderunning through Sunday.
The National Guitar Flat-Picking Championships take place this weekend at the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas, along the Walnut River.
Itís the birthday of scholar and critc Henry Louis Gates, Jr., born in Keyser, West Virginia (1950). In 1991, he became the W.E.B. DuBois [doo-BOYZ] Professor of the Humanities at Harvard, and the head of Harvardís Afro-American Studies Program. Gates has redrawn literary history in such books as The Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1987).
Itís the birthday of short story writer James Alan McPherson, born in Savannah, Georgia (1943), author of the collections Hue and Cry and Elbow Room. His autobiographical Crabcakes: A Memoir came out in 1998.
Itís the birthday of novelist John Knowles [noles], born in Fairmont, West Virginia (1926). He is best known for his first published novel, A Separate Peace.
Itís the birthday of bluesman B.B. King (Riley B. King), born in Itta Bena, Mississippi (1925). He learned guitar as a youngster, then worked as a deejay in Memphis, using the on-air name ĎBeale Street Blues-Boy,í later shortened to B.B. He and his red guitar Lucille toured black bars and dance halls (the "Chitliní Circuit") for 20 years, playing more than 300 one-night stands a year.
Itís the birthday of one of the centuryís great music teachers, Nadia Boulanger [boo- lahn-JAY], born in Paris (1887). A talented young composer, she gave up composing after the death of her musical sister Lili. Instead she conductedeventually she conducted the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and London orchestrasand turned to teaching composition at the American Conservatory in Paris, where her students included Marc Blitzstein, Elliot Carter, Aaron Copland, Darius Milhaud and Virgil Thompson, who called her "a one-woman graduate school."
Itís the birthday of historian Francis Parkman, born in Boston (1823), author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Lifeone of the best-selling personal accounts of the 19th century.
On this day in 1620, the Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth, England, on a small ship called the Mayflower. The 102 passengers reached Cape Cod on November 21st.
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