Oct. 21, 1999
The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna
Poem: "The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna" by Charles Wolfe.
It's the anniversary of the FALL OF AACHEN (AH-ken), 1944, the first German city to be captured by the Allies in W.W.II. Allied soldiers approached Aachen on the 7th of September and used some of their heaviest artillery to fire point-blank into houses where German soldiers were holed up. The rounds opened holes in the walls into which GI's ran and fought hand-to-hand. The battle lasted a little over a week, with 10,000 German casualties, twice that of the Americans. The entire city was destroyed except for the cathedral where Charlemagne had been crowned in the year 800.
It's the birthday of URSULA LE GUIN, born in Berkeley, California, 1929, the author of science fiction novels like The Left Hand of Darkness which came out in 1969, and four books called The Earthsea Series that she started at about the same time, intending them to be for children, but which attracted adults as well. Her most recent children's book, The Catwing Tales: Jane on Her Own, came out in January; it's the story of Jane, a flying cat who leaves her farm home for the city where she was born. Le Guin says, "Sure, it's simple writing for kids. Just as simple as bringing them up."
It's the anniversary of the LIGHT BULB, first demonstrated by Thomas Edison in 1879, in his Menlo Park, New Jersey lab.
It's the anniversary of the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR in 1805.
It's the birthday of poet and essayist SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, born 1772, Devonshire, England; whose 1798 book, Lyrical Ballads, marked the beginning of the Romantic movement in English literature, poems in praise of love, nature, and the individual, all written in everyday language.
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