Feb. 4, 2000

How to Cook Rice

by Koon Woon

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: February 4, 2000

Poem: "How to Cook Rice" by Koon Woon from The Truth in Rented Rooms published by Kaya.

Thornton Wilder's play OUR TOWN opened on Broadway on this day in 1938. The story is set in turn-of-the-century Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, and centers on the story of George Gibbs and Emily Webb — their courtship and marriage, and then her death in childbirth. The play's great innovation was to place a narrator at the side of the stage, explaining the action. Some of the characters, including Emily, describe their sense of the world after their own deaths. It brought Wilder his second Pulitzer Prize.

It's the birthday of BETTY FRIEDAN, born in Peoria, Illinois (1921) — the founder and first president of the National Organization for Women (1966), but best known as the author of The Feminine Mystique (1963).

It's the birthday of ROSA PARKS, born in Tuskegee, Alabama (1913); she’s 87 years old today. On December 1, 1955, she was arrested for failing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. This led an organized boycott, headed by Martin Luther King Jr., of the city's bus system. She said, "I had felt for a long time, that if I was ever told to get up so a white person could sit, that I would refuse to do so."

Novelist MacKINLAY KANTOR was born on this day in Webster City, Iowa (1904). His 30 novels include Andersonville (1956 - Pulitzer Prize), a Civil War story set in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp in Georgia. He also wrote scripts in Hollywood, including an adaptation of his own 1945 novel Glory For Me, about 3 servicemen returning from World War Two. The movie version, called The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), won 7 Oscars.

It was on this date in 1826 that James Fennimore Cooper's novel THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS was published — the story of a little group of Americans caught in the French-Indian Wars in upper New York State, and of the rivalry between two Indians, Magwa and Uncas, the last of the Mohican chiefs. The book's central character is Natty Bumppo — also called 'Hawkeye' — the hero in all 5 of Cooper's "Leather-Stocking Tales."

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