Mar. 6, 2000

Believe It or Not

by Jean Monahan

Broadcast Date: MONDAY: March 6, 2000

Poem: "Believe It Or Not" by Jean Monahan from Believe It Or Not (Orchises Press).

It's the birthday of journalist and novelist GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ, born in Aracataca, Colombia (1928). He's the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), a story, based on his own parents, of two old lovers reuniting after 50 years. Marquez' novels are rooted in Colombian fable and history, and are usually set in towns modeled after his boyhood home on the Colombian coast. In 1982 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

On this day in 1857, in the DRED SCOTT CASE, the Supreme Court declared that "Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution" in effect making slavery legal in all the territories. This decision only added to tensions that led to the Civil War four years later.

Guiseppe Verdi's opera LA TRAVIATA premiered on this date in Venice, 1853. The beautiful heroine, Violetta, despite having terminal consumption, sings beautifully throughout the entire opera, only to die at the final curtain.

On this day in 1836, Texan insurgents — fighting for independence from Mexico — were defeated at the old ALAMO mission in San Antonio. Texas had been in a war for independence for about a year, when a band of 187 Texans, holed up in the mission, refused General Sam Houston's orders to abandon it for safer ground. Several thousand Mexican troops bombarded the Alamo for 12 days. On March 6, they swarmed over the wall and killed everyone inside — including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.

It's the birthday of poet ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, born near Durham, England (1806). She became her father's favorite among his 11 children, and he declared that she must never marry. But the poet Robert Browning fell in love with her and her poems, and two years later, when she was 40, they eloped and settled in Italy. There she wrote her best-known poems, love poems to Robert called Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850).

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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