Apr. 3, 2001

The Glow-worm

by Johnny Mercer

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Poem: "The Glow-worm," by Johnny Mercer.

The Glow-worm

Glow, little glow-worm, fly of fire,
Glow like an incandescent wire,
Glow for the female of the specie,
Turn on the AC and the DC;
This night could use a little brightnin',
Light up, you li'l ol' bug of lightnin',
When you gotta glow, you gotta glow,
Glow, little glow-worm, glow.

Glow, little glow-worm, glow and glimmer,
Swim thru the sea of night, little swimmer;
Thou aeronautical Boll Weevil,
Illuminate yon woods primeval;
See how the shadows deep and darken,
You and your chick should get to sparkin',
I got a gal that I love so,
Glow, little glow-worm, glow.

Glow, little glow-worm, turn the key on,
You are equipped with tail light neon;
You got a cute vest pocket Mazda
Which you can make both slow or "fazda";
I don't know who you took a shine to,
Or who you're out to make a sign to,
I got a gal that I love so,
Glow, little glow-worm,
Put on a show worm,
Glow, little glow-worm, glow.

On this day in 1968, the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, premiered. It was written by Arthur C. Clarke, based on his novel The Sentinel (1966).

On this day in 1948, the Marshall Plan—or, the European Recovery Program—went into effect. Over four years, the plan poured nearly 12 billion dollars into the rebuilding of Europe.

Today is the birthday of zoologist Jane Goodall, born in London, England, (1934). She spent years studying a band of 100 chimpanzees in Tanganyika; then wrote her book, Primate Behaviors (1965), in which she showed that chimpanzees are omnivorous, not vegetarian, and are capable of making and using tools.

Today is the birthday of actor Marlon Brando, born in Omaha, Nebraska, (1924). He burst onto the scene with his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire.

It's the birthday of magazine publisher Henry Robinson Luce, born in Tengchow, China (1898), the son of Presbyterian missionaries. He went to Yale, and, in 1923, he and his partner, Briton Hadden, brought out the first edition of Time magazine.

On this day in 1865, the city of Richmond, Virginia fell to the Union forces after a nine month siege. General Robert E. Lee ordered that warehouses, bridges and rail lines be set afire as they fled. The fall of Richmond signaled the end of the Civil War; Lee and his troop surrendered six days later to General Grant at Appomattox Station.

It's the birthday of naturalist John Burroughs, born in Roxbury, New York (1837), the man who developed the nature essay as a literary form. He lived for many years on a fruit farm overlooking the Hudson River, where he carried on a full-time writing career—publishing 25 books in 25 years—living and writing after the manner of Henry David Thoreau.

Today is the birthday of the first American author to gain international recognition as a man of letters: Washington Irving, born in New York City, (1783). His collection of short stories, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819-1820) included "Rip Van Winkle," and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," based on legends of the early Dutch settlers in the Hudson River Valley. He published his first book when he was 26, Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York (1809), a satire on manners and politics in the United States. His final work was a five volume biography of George Washington, completed just before his death in 1859.

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