Apr. 12, 2000

Meditation 8

by Philip Pain

Broadcast Date: WEDNESDAY: April 12, 2000

Poem: "Meditation 8" by Philip Pain (?-1666).

On this day in 1961, Russian cosmonaut YURI GAGARIN BECAME THE FIRST HUMAN SPACE TRAVELER when he rode the Soviet spacecraft "Vostok" once around the Earth and landed safely on Soviet territory. He reached an apogee of 187 miles above the Earth.

On this day in 1955, the announcement was made that SALK VACCINE AGAINST POLIO actually worked, and the process of vaccination began.

It's the birthday of writer SCOTT TUROW, born in Chicago (1949). His parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he went to Law School instead. While a prosecutor for the United States Attorney's General Office in Chicago, during his train commute to and from work, he wrote the novel Presumed Innocent, which was a huge success. He followed it with The Burden of Proof (1990), and, most recently, Personal Injuries (1999).

It's the birthday of singer EMMYLOU HARRIS, born in Birmingham, Alabama (1949), who started out as a folksinger in New York City, in 1967).

On this day in 1945, PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT DIED in Warm Springs, Georgia, killed by a stroke at 63, just 4 weeks before the war ended in Europe (May 7). At his inaugural 3 months earlier—the start of his fourth term in office—his haggard appearance had shocked onlookers. While an artist sketched his portrait and his cousin crocheted nearby, Roosevelt pressed one hand to his forehead, said, "I have a terrific headache," and then lost consciousness.

It's the birthday of jazz pianist HERBIE HANCOCK, born in Chicago (1940). An album he released when he was 21 included his tune "Watermelon Man."

It's the birthday of prolific playwright SIR ALAN AYCKBOURN, born in London (1939), author of over 50 plays. His first London success, Relatively Speaking, was produced in 1967. His play Intimate Exchanges (1985) has 2 first acts, 4 second acts, 8 third acts, and 16 fourth acts; each episode concludes with a choice.

It's the birthday of playwright JACK GELBER, born in Chicago (1932), whose play, The Connection (1959) was a sensation Off-Broadway.

On this day in 1914, George Bernard Shaw's play PYGMALION OPENED IN LONDON. Eliza Doolittle was played by Mrs. Patrick Campbell; Sir Herbert Tree played Professor Higgins.

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




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