Jan. 7, 2000

The Face in the Toyota

by Robert Bly


by Louis Simpson

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: January 7, 2000

Poems: "The Face in the Toyota" by Robert Bly from Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems published by Harper Flamingo; and "Ed" by Louis Simpson from his Collected Poems published by Paragon House.

On this day in 1894, Thomas Edison Studios filmed comedian Fred Ott sneezing as part of an experiment in making moving pictures.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook debuted on this day in 1896, written by the woman called "the mother of the level measure," Fannie Merritt Farmer.

On this day in 1927, the first transatlantic phone service was installed, allowing telephone customers to call from New York to London for the first time.

"Buck Rogers," the first American Sci-Fi comic strip, debuted on this day in 1929, as did one of the first American adventure comic strips, "Tarzan."

It's the birthday of German-American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt, born in Solingen, Germany in 1830, and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Bierstadt went abroad in his twenties to study painting. He was a student in Dusseldorf, Germany and Rome in the 1850s, then returned to the United States. He joined a survey team in the American western frontier in 1859, and sketched the majestic landscapes he saw there—the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite Valley, the Merced [mer SED] River. He then settled to work in a studio in New York City, and created huge realistic panoramas based on his sketches of Western scenery.

It's the birthday of Saint Bernadette, born Marie Bernarde Soubirous [mah-REE burr-NAR soo-bee-ROO] in Lourdes [Loord], France (1844). She was a quiet peasant girl known to family and neighbors by her pet name, Bernadette. The oldest child of six, she was a fragile youth, suffering asthma and other ailments, including cholera. At the age of fourteen, Bernadette claimed she saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Massabielle [mahss-ah-BYAY] near the River Gave [GAHV]. In eighteen separate visions, the Virgin instructed Bernadette to have a chapel built at the Grotto where healing waters from the spring would perform miracles for the sick.

It's the birthday of American cartoonist Charles Addams, born in Westfield, New Jersey, (1912), best known for his macabre humor and the Gothic settings of his cartoons, which regularly appeared in the New Yorker.

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