Jan. 9, 2000


by Charles Goodrich

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: January 9, 2000

Poem: "Ladybugs" by Charles Goodrich from Insects of South Corvallis published by Knot House.

On this day in 1956 Abigail Van Buren's advice column "Dear Abby" first appeared in print after a young housewife, Pauline Friedman Phillips, convinced the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle that she could write a better advice column than the one the paper already ran. She was right. The column became so popular that it was nationally syndicated within two months.

It's the birthday of American novelist Henry (Blake) Fuller, born in Chicago, Illinois (1857), the son of a wealthy and established Chicago family. He spent most of his career writing realistic novels set in well-known Chicago locales, and is credited with writing what was called "the first important American City novel, The Cliff Dwellers (1893), about the tenants in a Chicago skyscraper.

It's the birthday of American women's suffrage leader Carrie (Clinton) (Lane) Capman Catt, born in Ripon, Wisconsin (1859). In 1900 she became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and later the president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (1904). When women won the right to vote (1920), Catt founded the League of Women Voters.

It's the birthday of American cartoonist "Chic" (Murat Bernard) Young, born in Chicago (1901). Young's drawings of "Dumb Dora"(later renamed "Blondie"), a Roaring Twenties flapper, and her playboy husband "Dagwood Bumstead" first ran as the comic strip "Blondie" on September 8, 1930, when Young was just 29. The cartoon became widely popular and was soon syndicated in over 1,600 American newspapers as well as some foreign publications. In time, the comic couple's antics became known in most American households, and the huge sandwiches Bumstead created in the strip appeared on diner menus as "Dagwoods."

It's the birthday of the 37th American President, Richard Milhouse Nixon, born in Yorba Linda, California (1913), to poor parents. His father was a grocer and strict man who urged his children to excel. A gifted student, Nixon graduated second in his class at Wittier College (1934) where he studied Law. He practiced for a short time, then during World War Two, enlisted in the Navy (1942), where he served as an officer in the South Pacific. When he returned from the war, Nixon entered politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1947) and, while serving on the "House Un-American Activities Committee," was a key witness in the trial of Alger Hiss, a State Department official accused of spying for the Russians.

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