Thursday

Feb. 24, 2000

Fortune

by Jean Monahan

Broadcast Date: THURSDAY: February 24, 2000

Poem: "Fortune" by Jean Monahan from Believe It Or Not (Orchises, WA).

It's the birthday of folklorist Wilhelm Karl Grimm, born in Hanau, Germany (1786). With his brother Jakob, he compiled the collection "Kinder-und Hausmarchen" (1812-1815), translated as Grimm's Fairy Tales. Included were such stories as "Hansel and Gretel," "Cinderella," "Rumpelstiltskin," and "Snow White."

In 1809 on this date, the new Drury Lane Theater burned to the ground in London while its owner, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (author of School for Scandal), drank at a nearby coffee house. When asked how he could behave so casually, Sheridan replied, "A man may surely be allowed a glass of wine by his own fireside."

It's the birthday of painter Winslow Homer, born in Boston (1836). He worked as an illustrator for Ballou's Pictorial magazine, then Harpers Weekly. Later he settled near Scarboro, Maine, and painted many watercolors and oils of life on the sea, including "The Fog Warning," "Eight Bells," and "Mending Nets." He was accorded true recognition only well after his death.

It's the birthday of Baseball legend Honus Wagner, born in Mansfield (now Carnegie), Pennsylvania (1874). Considered by many experts to be the best all-around baseball player in history, he played mostly shortstop, but filled in at almost every other position—including pitcher—when necessary. He played during most of his long career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and had a lifetime batting average of .329. He said, "There ain't much to being a ballplayer, if you're a ballplayer."

It's the birthday of prolific author August Derleth, born in Saulk City, Wisconsin (1909), who averaged nearly 3 books a year until he died, at age 62. Best remembered are his many novels about a town he called "Sac Prairie," including Still is the Summer Night (1937), and Restless is the River (1939).

On this day in 1912, the Jewish organization Hadassah was founded in New York, by Henrietta Szold, and 11 other women at their Daughters of Zion Study Circle. It expanded into a national organization that encouraged Jewish education in America, then created public health nursing, and nurses' training, in Palestine. It is now the largest women's volunteer organization in the United States.

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