Feb. 28, 2000
579 I had been hungry, all the Years --
Poem: "I had been hungry, all the Years" by Emily Dickinson.
It's the birthday of historical novelist DONALD COLDSMITH, born in Iola, Kansas (1926). While practicing medicine in Emporia, Kansas, he wrote a syndicated newspaper column for 25 years. After he retired he wrote a series of novels set in the West, during the age of Spanish exploration. His titles include Daughter of the Eagle (1984), Thunderstick (1993), and Bearer of the Pipe (1995).
It's the anniversary of the KRONSTADT REBELLION, in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1921. During the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the sailors of Russia's Baltic Fleet helped Trotsky and Lenin come to power. But by early 1921, the sailors were disillusionedthere was no freedom of speech, no free press, no trade unionsand they proclaimed Communism "a nightmare." Lenin sent 20,000 Red Army troops across the ice of the frozen St. Petersburg harbor with orders to shoot the rebelling sailors "like partridges."
It's the birthday of poet STEPHEN SPENDER, in London (1909), author of dozens of books of poetry, and a memoir, World Within World (1951).
It's the birthday of writer BEN HECHT, born in New York City (1894) but brought up in Racine, Wisconsin. The Chicago Daily News hired him as a teenager, and he eventually wrote a column which turned into his best-known book, A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago (1922). He said his reputation as a reporter was "somewhat undeserved, for it was not my talents as a news gatherer that I offered my paper, but a sudden fearless flowering as a fictioneer. Tales of prodigals returned, hobos come into fortunes, families driven mad by ghosts, vendettas that ended in love feasts, and all of them full of exotic plot turns involving parrots, chickens, goldfish, serpents, epigrams and second-act curtains. I made them all up."
On this day in 1849, the ship California docked in San Francisco, carrying THE FIRST GOLD-SEEKERS in the Gold Rush. A year earlier, John Sutter had found gold on his property near the Sacramento River.
On this day in 1827, COMMERCIAL RAILROADING began in America, when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company was incorporated to carry passengers and freight.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®