Feb. 11, 1997

First Formal

by Sharon Olds


Today's Reading:"First Formal" by Sharon Olds from THE WELLSPRING, published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Mardi Gras, meaning "fat Tuesday" in French, begins today in New Orleans with a day of parades and celebrations.

South African leader Nelson Mandella was released from prison on this day in 1990 at Paarl, South Africa, after serving more than 27 years of a life sentence.

Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath committed suicide on this day in London in 1962. She was 30 years old.

It's the birthday of poet and novelist Roy Fuller, born on this day in Failsworth, England, 1912.

Screenwriter and director Philip Dunne, who wrote screenplays for HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and DAVID AND BATHSHEBA, was born in New York City on this day in 1908.

Physicist Leo Szilard, who developed the first method for separating isotopes of artificial radioactive elements, was born on this day in Budapest, 1898.

The 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary on this day in 1858 in a grotto near Lourdes, France.

Josephine Marshall Jewell Dodge, a pioneer in the concept of day nurseries for children, was born on this day in Hartford, Connecticut, 1855.

It's the birthday of inventor Thomas Alava Edison, creator of the incandescent light bulb, stock-ticker machine, automatic telegraph, and his favorite invention---the phonograph. He was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847.

Photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, who produced the first book with photographic illustrations, THE PENCIL OF NATURE, was born on this day in Melbury Abbas, England, 1800.

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




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
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