Apr. 29, 2000

Sonnet 94: They that have power to hurt and will do none

by William Shakespeare

Broadcast Date: SATURDAY: April 29, 2000

Poem: Sonnet 94, by William Shakespeare 1564-1616.

On this day in 1975, the final 1,000 AMERICANS WERE EVACUATED FROM SAIGON, SOUTH VIETNAM, using 81 American helicopters. Eleven marines, waiting atop the roof of the American Embassy, were the last to leave, ending the American military involvement in Vietnam.

It's the birthday of American poet YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, born in Bogalusa, Louisiana (1947). He won a number of awards for poetry including a Pulitzer Prize for Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems.

It's the birthday of French-Canadian author and editor GILBERT La ROCQUE, born in Rosemont, Quebec (1943). He's the author of the novel Les Masques (1980).

It's the birthday of conductor ZUBIN MEHTA, born in Bombay, India (1936). His father was a musical genius who taught himself how to play the violin and founded the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. Zubin learned to play the violin and the piano by the age of seven, and by the age of sixteen was conducting full orchestral rehearsals. At the age of twenty-six, he was offered the post of musical director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic - the youngest man ever to hold that title.

It's the birthday of editor ROBERT GOTTLIEB, born in New York City (1931). As an editor at Simon & Schuster he made his mark with his first major project, a Joseph Heller manuscript titled Catch 18. He accepted the book on the strength of a few chapters, but because Leon Uris had a book in the works called Mila 18, Gottlieb suggested the now famous title: Catch-22. In 1987 he succeeded William Shawn as editor of The New Yorker magazine.

It's the birthday of conductor, composer and bandleader DUKE ELLINGTON, born in Washington, D.C. (1899). He began to study the piano when he was seven and was much influenced by ragtime pianists. In his early twenties he formed the Washingtonians, a ten-piece orchestra. During the late 20s and early 30s, the band grew to 12 musicians, and played at the Cotton Club in Harlem. The success of Mood Indigo, which he wrote in 1930, brought Ellington worldwide fame, and he began to experiment with more extended composition -- Creole Rhapsody, Reminiscin in Tempo and Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue.

It's the birthday of American chemist HAROLD UREY, born in Walkerton, Indiana (1893). He discovered heavy hydrogen, which opened the possibility of the nuclear bomb. Urey did wartime research for the Manhattan Project, but he strongly opposed nuclear weapons. He said he thought that heavy hydrogen might eventually have practical use in " something like neon signs."

It's the birthday of publishing baron William Randolph Hearst, born in San Francisco, California (1863). Hearst bought the failing New York Morning Journal when he was in his thirties. He added daily black-and-white comic strips and colored Sunday supplements to his paper as well as sensational reporting of crime, sex, scandal, sports, and human-interest stories. " A Hearst newspaper is like a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut," one of his writer's said. Within a year the circulation had risen from 77,000 to over a million.

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