Wednesday

Oct. 11, 2000

Broadcast date: WEDNESDAY, 11 October 2000

Poem: "Night," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In medieval England, today was celebrated as Michaelmas Day, the day on which St. Michael expelled Satan from heaven.

On this date in 1975, the television program Saturday Night Live debuted.

On this day in 1968 the United States launched Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo space mission, and the first space flight to broadcast live on television from orbit.

On this day in 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, aimed at renewing and modernizing the Catholic Church. Vatican II introduced a number of sweeping changes, including mass in the native language of the congregation (rather than Latin), and facing the priest toward the parishioners, rather than away from them.

It's the birthday of novelist Elmore "Dutch" Leonard, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (1925). Leonard started his career writing westerns while supporting himself with advertising work. But he didn't achieve commercial success until he switched from westerns to crime novels, which he did with The Big Bounce (1969). He made the bestseller lists in 1983 with Stick. Since then, a number of his books have been adapted for the screen, including Get Shorty (1995). Leonard is known for his lean style and his tough, wise-cracking characters who can be summed up with one word: cool.

It's the birthday of choreographer Jerome Robbins, born Jerome Rabinowitz in New York City (1918). Robbins joined Ballet Theater in 1940 and choreographed his first ballet in 1944. In 1949, he joined the New York City Ballet, where he stayed for ten years, leaving in 1959 to form Ballet: USA. He is best known as the choreographer of such Broadway shows as West Side Story (1957) and Fiddler on the Roof (1964).

It's the birthday of French novelist, playwright, poet and essayist François Mauriac, in Bordeaux, France (1885). Mauriac's work was influenced by his upbringing in Bordeaux and his devout Roman Catholicism. At the heart of each of his works is a soul grappling with the problems of sin, grace, and salvation. His novel Viper's Tangle (1932), is often considered his masterpiece.

On this date in 1881, David Henderson Houston, of Cambria, Wisconsin, patented the first roll film for cameras. Houston's invention made it possible for the first time to take a series of photographs in quick succession.

It's the birthday of Parson Mason Weems in 1759. It was Parson Weems who invented and popularized the story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree in his 1800 biography, The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington.

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

 









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