Saturday

Oct. 7, 2000

To My Dear and Loving Husband

by Anne Bradstreet

Broadcast date: SATURDAY, 7 October 2000

Poem: "To My Dear and Loving Husband," by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672).

It's the birthday of writer Thomas Keneally, born in Sydney, Australia (1935), best known for the book Schindler's List. Although he used novelistic techniques in Schindler's List, he firmly considered it a nonfiction work, and was taken aback when it received the 1982 Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious award for fiction.

It's the birthday of psychiatrist R(onald) D(avid) Laing, born in Glasgow, Scotland (1927). Best known for his controversial book The Divided Self, he theorized that schizophrenia might be a façade behind which the true self remains intact, a form of adaptive behavior for dealing with a world that has been mechanized to the point of insanity.

It's the birthday of novelist Helen MacInnes, born in Glasgow, Scotland (1907), author of many espionage novels, including The Venetian Affair, The Double Image, Snare of the Hunter, The Hidden Target and Behold a Pale Horse.

It's the birthday of physicist Niels Bohr, born in Copenhagen (1885). As a young physicist he proposed that the laws governing the atom in its stationary state are different from those that apply when it is absorbing or emitting radiation. Einstein regarded this as one of the great discoveries of physics.

It's the birthday of labor radical and troubadour Joe Hill, born Joel Hagglund in Gavle, Sweden (1879). He came to America, worked odd jobs, and joined the Industrial Workers of the World, soon becoming its secretary. The next year his song, "The Preacher and the Slave" appeared in the IWW's Little Red Song Book. To the melody of "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," it promised, "You will eat, bye and bye/In that glorious land above the sky;/Work and pray, live on hay,/You'll get pie in the sky when you die."

It's the birthday of poet James Whitcomb Riley, born in Greenfield, Indiana (1849). He wrote many popular poems, including "When the Frost is On the Punkin," "Little Orphan Annie," "The Raggedy Man," and "An Old Sweetheart of Mine."

It's the birthday of American composer William Billings, born in Boston, Massachusetts (1746). He was a tanner by trade, self-taught in music. Nearly all of his music consists of unaccompanied choral works, usually for four voices. In 1770 he published a book called The New-England Psalm-Singer, with a frontispiece by his friend, Paul Revere. It was the first collection entirely by an American composer. He hit hard times in the late 1780s, and worked off and on as an inspector of trade and a municipal scavenger (garbage man). He died in Boston in 1800, five years after publishing his sixth and last tunebook, and was buried in an unmarked grave. He was survived by his wife, a former singing student named Lucy Swan, who had borne him nine children.

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

 









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