Oct. 13, 1999

Beach Glass

by Amy Clampitt

Broadcast Date: WEDNESDAY: October 13, 1999

Poem: "Beach Glass" by Amy Clampitt from The Kingfisher, Poems.

In England, today is the feast day of Saint Edward the Confessor, born in Islip [ICE-lip] (1003)—the son of Ethel red the Unready. He was King of England from 1042 to 1066. During his lifetime, he enjoyed a reputation for holiness. He rebuilt Westminster Abbey in the Romanesque style, and was canonized in 1161, less than a century after his death.

On this day in 1792, the cornerstone was laid for the White House in Washington, D.C.; President John Adams and his wife Abigail would become its first occupants, in 1800. Thomas Jefferson had entered the design competition, but it was won (with a $500 prize) by James Hoban of Philadelphia: a 3-floor, 100-room mansion of pale gray sandstone, which came to be called the White House because its white-gray sandstone contrasted with the red brick of nearby buildings. Teddy Roosevelt adopted "The White House" as the building's official name in 1902.

It's the birthday of novelist Conrad Richter [RIHK-tr], born in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania (1890)—who became editor of his hometown paper, the Patton, Pennsylvania Courier, at the age of 19. He turned to writing fiction—but, in an era when many American novelists soaked themselves in European culture, concentrated on researching frontier life. He's best known for his trilogy The Awakening Land, about a pioneer family in Ohio: The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), The Town (1950, Pulitzer Prize).

Today the Frankfurt Book Fair opens in Germany, for 6 days—by far the largest international trade gathering for books and the electronic media. 290,000 visitors will compare some 360,000 books and electronic products from 105 countries.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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