Monday, March 31, 2008

Bella Abzug died today – 10 years ago

Political activist (for the “Equal Rights Amendment”) Bella Savitsky Abzug was born on July 24, 1920 in the Bronx, New York City, New York. She said, “I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee." [Ya' gotta have a gimmick... or at least some identifying symbol.]... Ms. Abzug died on March 31, 1998 in New York City, New York.

Wasn’t that just “bella” – I mean “belle”?

Need more “belle”?

Charlotte Brontë died today – 153 years ago

Author (of “Jane Eyre” (1847)) Charlotte Brontë was born on April 21, 1816 in Thornton, West Yorkshire, England. She said, “It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it." [Go! Go!! Go!!!]... Ms. Brontë died on March 31, 1855 in Haworth, Yorkshire, England.

Isaac Newton died today – 281 years ago

Physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and author (of “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (1687)) Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643 in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Lincolnshire, England. He said, “We build too many walls and not enough bridges." [Did he think that before or after the apple fell?]... Mr. Newton died on March 31, 1727 in Kensington, London, England.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

John Ciardi died today – 22 years ago

Poet (of “The Birds of Pompeii” (1985)) and translator (of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”) John Anthony Ciardi was born on June 24, 1916 in Little Italy, Boston, Massachusetts. He said, “Early to bed and early to rise probably indicates unskilled labor." [Ya' think?]... Mr. Ciardi died on March 30, 1986 in Edison, New Jersey.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lorraine Malcom George died today – 4 years ago

Theatrical set designer Lorraine Malcom George was born on November 28, 1920 in Waskom, Texas. Along with his wife Johnny Nelson George, he founded Theater Inc. on Chelsea, Houston, Texas around 1952. (Theater Inc. burned in 1966). According to his second wife Jeannette (as quoted in the Houston Chronicle on April 1, 2004), Mr. George said, “If your name is Lorraine and you grow up in an East Texas town, then you learn to box.” [Or study magic.]... Mr. George died on March 29, 2004 in Houston, Texas.

John Burroughs died today – 87 years ago

Naturalist and essayist (of “Birds and bees and other studies in nature” (1896)) John Burroughs was born on April 3, 1837 near Roxbury, New York. He said, “How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." [And so could it be with us.]... Mr. Burroughs died on March 29, 1921 on a train.

John Jacob Astor died today – 160 years ago

Entrepreneur (in “fur trading”, “real estate”, and... and...“opium” (well, that’s what PBS’s Frontline said)) John Jacob Astor was born as Johann Jakob or Johann Jacob Astor on July 17, 1763 in Walldorf, Germany. He said, “The man who makes it the habit of his life to go to bed at nine o'clock, usually gets rich and is always reliable. Of course, going to bed does not make him rich—I merely mean that such a man will in all probability be up early in the morning and do a big day's work, so his weary bones put him to bed early. Rogues do their work at night. Honest men work by day. It's all a matter of habit, and good habits in America make any man rich. Wealth is a result of habit." [Unless you can just print the money.]... Mr. Astor died on March 29, 1848 in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Peter Ustinov died today – 4 years ago

Actor (in “Spartacus” (1960)) and author (of “Life is an Operetta: And Other Short Stories”) Peter Alexander Ustinov was born on April 16, 1921 in London, England. He said, “Did you know that every two hours the nations of this world spend as much on armaments as they spend on the children of this world every year?" [What a waste of resources!]... Mr. Ustinov died on March 28, 2004 in Genolier, Vaud, Switzerland.

Paul Schwartz died today – 20 years ago

Paul Schwartz was a long-time Houston resident. He died on March 28, 1988.

Mr. Schwartz would have loved this:

Marc Chagall died today – 23 years ago

Painter (of “I and the Village” (1911) and other pieces) Marc Chagall was born as Moishe Shagal on July 7, 1887 in Liozna, Russian Empire (now in Belarus). He said, “All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites." [As are all musical notes.]... Mr. Chagall died on March 28, 1985 in Saint-Paul de Vence, France.

Dwight D. Eisenhower died today – 39 years ago

U.S. President (34th, 1953-1961) Dwight David Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas. He said, “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." [We're still waiting.]... Mr. Eisenhower died on March 28, 1969 in Washington, D.C.

Christopher Morley died today – 51 years ago

Author (of “The Haunted Bookshop” (1919) and “Kitty Foyle” (1939)) Christopher Morley was born on May 5, 1890 in Bryn Mawr or Haverford, Pennsylvania. He said, “Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it." [Perhaps they could get help from the women.]... Mr. Morley died on March 28, 1957 in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, New York.

Virginia Woolf died today – 67 years ago

Author (of “Mrs Dalloway” (1925) and “Orlando” (1928)) Virginia Adeline Woolf was born on January 25, 1882 in London, England. She said, “Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life." [Sleep is not a waste of time: it is a natural and essential function of a healthy life.]... Ms. Woolf died on March 28, 1941 near Lewes, East Sussex, England.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dudley Moore died today – 6 years ago

Actor (in “10” (1979) and “Arthur” (1981)) and pianist (see below) Dudley Stuart John Moore was born on April 19, 1935 in Dagenham, London, England. He said, “The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.” [It definitely helps.]... Mr. Moore died on March 27, 2002 in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Milton Berle died today – 6 years ago

Comic actor (on “NBC’s Texaco Star Theater”) Milton Berle was born as Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He said, “A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours." [And has a lot of seconds.]... Mr. Berle died on March 27, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.

M.C. Escher died today – 36 years ago

Artist (creating “Sky and Water I”, “Ascending and Descending”, and many other works) Maurits Cornelis Escher was born on June 17, 1898 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. He said, “Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?" [It depends upon which way you’re laying.]... Mr. Escher died on March 27, 1972 in Laren, The Netherlands.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dr. Alex Comfort died today – 8 years ago

Author (of “The Joy of Sex” (1972)) Dr. Alex Comfort was born on February 10, 1920 in London, England. He said, “A meal can be an erotic experience in itself." [He wrote a book.]... Mr. Comfort died on March 26, 2000 in Oxfordshire, England.

Noël Coward died today – 35 years ago

Actor (in “Blithe Spirit” (1964)), playwright (of “Bitter Sweet” (1929) and “Cavalcade” (1931)), and composer (of “I’ll See You Again”) Noël Peirce Coward was born on December 16, 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex, England. He said, “People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what's wrong with it." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Coward died on March 26, 1973 in Blue Harbour, Jamaica.

Walt Whitman died today – 116 years ago

Author (of the poems “Leaves of Grass”) Walter Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 in West Hills, Town of Huntington, Long Island, New York. He said, “A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books." [Yep!]... Mr. Whitman died on March 26, 1892 in Camden, New Jersey.

Ludwig van Beethoven died today – 181 years ago

Composer (of “Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, op. 13, or the Pathétique”, “Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor ‘Quasi una fantasia’, Op. 27, No. 2, or the Moonlight Sonata”, and a few other works) Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn, Germany. He said, “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup." [Ain’t that the way it is: you can write great music, so you think you know who can make good soup.]... Mr. van Beethoven died on March 26, 1827 in Vienna, Austria.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Buck Owens died today – 2 years ago

Musician and singer (in “The Buckaroos” and “Hee Haw”) Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens, Jr. was born on August 12, 1929 in Sherman, Texas. He said, “I am who I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain't never gonna do it any different. I don't care who likes it and who don't." [Tell ‘em, brother.]... Mr. Owens died on March 25, 2006 in Bakersfield, California.

Nancy Walker died today – 16 years ago

Actress (in “Rhoda” and “McMillan & Wife”) Nancy Walker was born as Anna Myrtle Swoyer on May 10, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She said, “If Roseanne Barr is the new Lucille Ball, I'm the new Garbo." [We'll all have to think about that one.]... Ms. Walker died on March 25, 1992 in Studio City, California.

Claude Debussy died today – 90 years ago

Composer (of “Suite bergamasque” (“Clair de lune”), “Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune”, and many others.) Achille-Claude Debussy was born on August 22, 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. He said, “Music is the silence between the notes." [In that case, SOME of us have composed lots and lots of music.]... Mr. Debussy died on March 25, 1918 in Paris, France.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Jules Verne died today – 103 years ago

Author (of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1864), “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), and “Around the World in Eighty Days” (1873)) Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France. He said, “I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through." [Well, let’s take ‘em up in a hot air balloon and try it out... NOT!]... Mr. Verne died on March 24, 1905 in Amiens, France.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died today – 126 years ago

Author (of the poems “Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie” (1847) and “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855)) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807 in Portland, Maine. He said, “All things come round to him who will but wait." [Most of which you won’t want.]... Mr. Longfellow died on March 24, 1882 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Enjoy Easter.

It Won't Be Here Next Year. I have proof.

Zoot Sims died today – 23 years ago

Jazz tenor saxophonist and soprano saxophonist John Haley “Zoot” Sims was born on October 29, 1925 in Inglewood, California. He said, “I practice when I'm loaded.” [Maybe he didn't say much since he had that sax in his mouth.]... Mr. Sims died on March 23, 1985 in New York City, New York.

Peter Lorre died today – 44 years ago

Actor (in “Casablanca“ (1942)) Peter Lorre was born as László Löwenstein on June 26, 1904 in Rózsahegy, Austria-Hungary (now Slovakia). He said, “You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.” [Hmmm.]... Mr. Lorre died on March 23, 1964 in Los Angeles, California.

Stendhal died today – 166 years ago

Author (of “The Charterhouse of Parma“ (1839)) Stendhal was born as Marie-Henri Beyle on January 23, 1783 in Grenoble, France. He said, “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Stendhal died on March 23, 1842 in Paris, France.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Karl Wallenda died today – 30 years ago

Aerialist (in “The Flying Wallendas”) Karl Wallenda was born on January 21, 1905 in Magdeburg, Germany. He said, “Being on a tightrope is living; everything else is waiting” [I’ll stay closer to the ground, thank you very much.]... Mr. Wallenda died on March 22, 1978 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe died today – 176 years ago

Author (of “Faust”) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born on August 28, 1749 in Free City of Frankfurt. He said, “Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Goethe died on March 22, 1832 in Weimar, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Peggy Silvertooth died today – 1 year ago

Margaret "Peggy" Thelma Silvertooth was born on August 4, 1925 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She lived in Texas City, Texas. Peggy loved water aerobics and good music. Peggy said, “I love to exercise... especially to good music... and with great people.” [Well, I'm sure she thought it.]... Mrs. Silvertooth died on March 21, 2007 in Webster, Texas.

Barney Martin died today – 3 years ago

Actor (in “The Producers” (1968), “Arthur” (1981), and "Seinfeld” (1991-1998)) Barney Martin was born on March 3, 1923 in Queens, New York City, New York. He said, “Jerry, this is the most thoughtful gift you've ever given me.” [The gift – a shirt - said, “#1 dad”.]... Mr. Martin died on March 21, 2005 in Studio City, Los Angeles, California.

Isabel Burton died today – 112 years ago

Author (of “The Inner Life of Syria, Palestine, and the Holy Land” (1875)) Isabel Burton was born as Isabel Arundell on March 20, 1831 in London, England. She said, “He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool—shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple—teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep—wake him. He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise—follow him." [Wow!]... Ms. Burton died on March 21, 1896.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chet Huntley died today – 34 years ago

Telejournalist (in the “Huntley-Brinkley Report” (1956-1970)) Chester Robert “Chet” Huntley was born on December 10, 1911 in Cardwell, Montana. He said, “[I used to believe] the government was the answer to all our problems. But the ... government, I've concluded, is now an insufferable jungle of self-serving bureaucrats." [And that was at least 34 years ago.]... Mr. Huntley died on March 20, 1974 in Big Sky, Montana.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Edgar Rice Burroughs died today – 58 years ago

Author (of “Tarzan of the Apes” (1912), “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar” (1916), “Tarzan and the City of Gold” (1932), and these) Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “I write to escape; to escape poverty." [That’s a very good reason.]... Mr. Burroughs died on March 19, 1950 in Encino, California.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke died tomorrow

Author (of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)) Arthur Charles Clarke was born on December 16, 1917 in Minehead, Somerset, UK. He said, "The truth, as always, will be far stranger." [Than anything he could have made up... He must have just visited Washington, D.C.]... Mr. Clarke died on March 19, 2008 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Anthony Minghella died today

Director (of "The English Patient" (1996), "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), and "Cold Mountain" (2003)) Anthony Minghell was born on January 6, 1954 in Ryde, Isle of Wight, England. He said, "The only lesson to extract from any civil war is that it's pointless and futile and ugly, and that there is nothing glamorous or heroic about it. There are heroes, but the causes are never heroic." [So true.]... Mr. Minghell died on March 18, 2008 in London, England.

John Phillips died today – 7 years ago

Singer (in “The Mamas and the Papas”) and songwriter (of “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” (1967)) John Phillips was born as John Edmund Andrew Phillips on August 30, 1935 in Parris Island, South Carolina. He said, “If you're going to San Francisco, You're gonna meet some gentle people there." [They’re very nearly everywhere.]... Mr. Phillips died on March 18, 2001 in Los Angeles, California.

Erich Fromm died today – 28 years ago

Psychoanalyst and author (of “Fear of Freedom (UK) Escape from Freedom (US)“ (1941)) Erich Pinchas Fromm was born on March 23, 1900 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He said, “There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail." [Yup!]... Mr. Fromm died on March 18, 1980 in Switzerland.

Monday, March 17, 2008

John W. Backus died today – 1 year ago

Computing pioneer (creating “FORTRAN”) John Warner Backus was born on December 3, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “You need the willingness to fail all the time. You have to generate many ideas and then you have to work very hard only to discover that they don’t work. And you keep doing that over and over until you find one that does work." [OK.]... Mr. Backus died on March 17, 2007 in Ashland, Oregon.

Helen Hayes died today – 15 years ago

Actress (in “Airport” (1970)) Helen Hayes was born as Helen Hayes Brown on October 10, 1900 in Washington, D.C. She said, “If you rest, you rust." [But I need the rest.]... Ms. Hayes died on March 17, 1993 in Nyack, New York.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Arthur Godfrey died today – 25 years ago

Radio and TV entertainer ("Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" (1946-1958)) and actor (e.g. “The Glass Bottom Boat” (1966)) Arthur Morton Leo Godfrey was born on August 31, 1903 in New York City, New York. He said, “Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” [Well, yeah!]... Mr. Godfrey died on March 16, 1983 in New York City, New York.

William Henry Beveridge died today – 45 years ago

Economist William Henry Beveridge was born on March 5, 1879 in Rangpur, India (now Bangladesh). He said, “Unemployment is like a headache or a high temperature - unpleasant and exhausting but not carrying in itself any explanation of its cause." [Unless it’s chosen.]... Mr. Beveridge died on March 16, 1963 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dr. Benjamin Spock died today – 10 years ago

Author (think: “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” (1946)) Benjamin McLane Spock was born on May 2, 1903 in New Haven, Connecticut. He said, “I would say that the surest measure of a man's or a woman's maturity is the harmony, style, joy, and dignity he creates in his marriage, and the pleasure and inspiration he provides for his spouse.” and “Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do." [Amen and Amen!]... Dr. Spock died on March 15, 1998 in La Jolla, San Diego, California.

Aristotle Onassis died today – 33 years ago

Businessman (think: “shipping”) Aristotelis Sokratis Onassis was born on January 15, 1906 in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire (now İzmir, Turkey). He said, “To succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them." [That reminds me of my song "If You Could See As I See".]... Mr. Onassis died on March 15, 1975 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Friday, March 14, 2008

George Eastman died today – 76 years ago

Inventor (think: “roll of film”) and entrepreneur (think: “Eastman Kodak Company”) George Eastman was born on July 12, 1854 in Waterville, New York. He said, “You push the button, we do the rest." [Speaking of pushing buttons...]... Mr. Eastman died on March 14, 1932 in Rochester, New York.

Karl Marx died today – 125 years ago

Philosopher and writer (think: “Das Kapital” (1867)) Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier, Prussia. He said, “The more the division of labor and the application of machinery extend, the more does competition extend among the workers, the more do their wages shrink together." [He got it wrong there, as with so many other of his ideas.]... Mr. Marx died on March 14, 1883 in London, UK.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Maureen Stapleton died today – 2 years ago

Actress (think: “Cocoon” (1985)) Lois Maureen Stapleton was born on June 21, 1925 in Troy, New York. She said, “There are many roads to good acting. I've been asked repeatedly what the 'key' to acting is, and as far as I'm concerned, the main thing is to keep the audience awake." [That would be a great start... But sometimes, just let us sleep. We might thank you for it.]... Ms. Stapleton died on March 13, 2006 in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Clarence Darrow died today – 70 years ago

Lawyer (think: “Scopes Trial” (1925)) Clarence Seward Darrow was born on April 18, 1857 in Kinsman, Ohio. He said, “Laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they serve." [And they should be few in number, clear to understand, and apply to all equally.]... Mr. Darrow died on March 13, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois.

Susan B. Anthony died today – 102 years ago

Civil rights leader Susan Brownell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She said, “The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball - the further I am rolled the more I gain." [Like a rolling stone...]... Ms. Anthony died on March 13, 1906 in Rochester, New York.

Benjamin Harrison died today – 107 years ago

U.S. President (23rd, 1889-1893) Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio. He said, “I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Harrison died on March 13, 1901 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lynne Thigpen died today – 5 years ago

Actress (think: “Godspell: A Musical Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew” (1973), "L.A. Law" (1991-2), and "Bicentennial Man" (1999)) Lynne Thigpen was born as Cherlynne Theresa Thigpen on December 22, 1948 in Joliet, Illinois. Ms. Thigpen died on March 12, 2003 in Marina del Rey, California.

Do you think I liked that musical?

Morton Downey, Jr. died today – 7 years ago

Talk show host (think: “The Morton Downey Jr. Show” (1987-1989)), actor (think: “Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation” (1992)), and composer (maybe) Sean Morton Downey, Jr. was born on December 9, 1932 (or 1933) in Los Angeles, California. He said, “A good dog knows who the master is. A good senator, if there was one, would know that too!" [But it’s a “Topsy-Turvy” world.]... Mr. Downey died on March 12, 2001 in Los Angeles, California.

Harry Edward Rosofsky died today – 14 years ago

Harry Edward Rosofsky was a long-time Houston, Texas resident. He preferred cars with power windows. (Don't we all!) He was a close friend of Jeanne (not the one in the bottle)...Mr. Rosofsky died on March 12, 1994 in Houston, Texas.

Marilyn Maye sang in Houston at least once at the Warwick Post Oak Hotel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tommy Liddell died today – 20 years ago

Houston entertainer Tommy Liddell died on March 11, 1988 in Houston, Texas.

Philo T. Farnsworth died today – 37 years ago

Inventor (think: “electronic TV”) Philo Taylor Farnsworth was born on August 19, 1906 in Beaver, Utah. He said (about television), “There's nothing on it worthwhile, and we're not going to watch it in this household, and I don't want it in your intellectual diet." [So why invent it?]... Mr. Farnsworth died on March 11, 1971 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Richard E. Byrd died today – 51 years ago

Explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd was born on October 25, 1888 in Winchester, Virginia. He said, “Few men during their lifetime comes anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used." [One can always do more.]... Mr. Byrd died on March 11, 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lloyd Bridges died today – 10 years ago

Actor (think: “Sea Hunt” (1958-1961)) Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Jr. was born on January 15, 1913 in San Leandro, California. He said, “There's a lot to be said about what's happening to our ocean, big companies polluting it with their oil and all the raw garbage that's being spilled in there." [Oh, my!]... Mr. Bridges died on March 10, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.

Andy Gibb died today – 20 years ago

Singer (think: “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” (1977)) Andrew “Andy” Roy Gibb was born on March 5, 1958 in Manchester, England. He said, “There is nothing to compare with the instantaneous feedback a singer gets from the people sitting in front of him. That is where it all comes together - all the rehearsing and working to get everything just exactly right." [Oh, yeah.]... Mr. Gibb died on March 10, 1988 in Oxford, England.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

George Burns died today – 12 years ago

Comic actor (think: “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show” (1950-1958)) George Burns was born as Nathan Birnbaum on January 20, 1896 in New York City, New York. He said, “You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there." [Why waste a good bend?]... Mr. Burns died on March 9, 1996 in Beverly Hills, California.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

John Inman died today – 1 year ago

Comic actor (think: “Are You Being Served?”) Frederick John Inman was born on June 28, 1935 in Preston, Lancashire, England. He said, “I’m free!!!” [Well, at least reasonable.] Mr. Inman died on March 8, 2007 in London, England

Joe DiMaggio died today – 9 years ago

Baseball player Joe Dimaggio was born as Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr. on November 25, 1914 in Martinez, California. He had been married to Marilyn Monroe... He said, “I can remember a reporter asking me for a quote, and I didn't know what a quote was. I thought it was some kind of soft drink." [You just gotta get out more.]... Mr. DiMaggio died on March 8, 1999 in Hollywood, Florida.

William Howard Taft died today – 78 years ago

U.S. President (27th, 1909-1913) William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He said, “Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that to-day is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity." [And forever.]... Mr. Taft died on March 8, 1930 in Washington, D.C.

Henry Ward Beecher died today – 121 years ago

Writer (think: “Norwood, or Village Life in New England” (1868)) Henry Ward Beecher was born on June 24, 1813 in Litchfield, Connecticut. He said, “Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" [So that explains why I bought so many books.]... Mr. Beecher died on March 8, 1887 in Brooklyn, New York.

Millard Fillmore died today – 134 years ago

U.S. President (13th, 1850-1853) Millard Fillmore was born on January 7, 1800 in Summerhill, New York. He said, “It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." [But they look so much alike, don’t they?]... Mr. Fillmore died on March 8, 1874 in Buffalo, New York.

Hector Berlioz died today – 139 years ago

Composer (think: “Symphonie fantastique” (1830) and “Grande Messe des morts, Op. 5 (or Requiem)” (1837)) Louis Hector Berlioz was born on December 11, 1803 in La Côte-Saint-André, France. He said, “Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down." [So always carry a little book and pencil hanging on a cord around your neck, like Lily Tomlin did in “Murphy Brown”.]... Mr. Berlioz died on March 8, 1869 in Paris, France.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Kathryn Jane Smith died today – 7 years ago

Kathryn Jane Smith was born on September 23, 1908 in Canton, Illinois. She had worked at S.S. Kresge. (Remember it? No? Then check this out.)... Mrs. Smith said, “I have the most wonderful children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren ever!” [Well, she probably thought it and that’s just a step away.]... Mrs. Smith died on March 7, 2001 in Peoria, Illinois.

Stanley Kubrick died today – 9 years ago

Director (think: “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)) Stanley Kubrick was born on July 26, 1928 in New York City, New York. He said, “If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered." [That’s right.]... Mr. Kubrick died on March 7, 1999 in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England.

Harris Glenn Milstead died today – 20 years ago

Actor (think: “Hairspray”) and singer Harris Glenn Milstead was born on October 19, 1945 in Towson, Maryland. He said, “All my life I wanted to look like Elizabeth Taylor. Now Elizabeth Taylor looks like me." [Poor Elizabeth!]... Mr. Milstead died on March 7, 1988 in Los Angeles, California.

Thomas Aquinas died today – 734 years ago

Religious scholar Thomas Aquinas was born around January 28, 1225 in the Castle of Roccasecca, near Aquino, Italy. He said, “All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly." [But we can still swat ‘em, right?]... Mr. Aquinas died on March 7, 1274 in Fossanova Abbey, Lazio, Italy.

Aristotle died today – 2,330 years ago

Philosopher Aristotle was born in 384BC in Stageira, Chalcidice, Greece. He said, “In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme." [But I’m sure that someone will find a way around that.]... Aristotle died on March 7, 322BC in Chalcis, Euboea, Greece.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dana Reeve died today – 2 years ago

Actress (think: “Steel Magnolias” (1990 TV)) and singer Dana Reeve was born as Dana Charles Morosini on March 17, 1961 in Teaneck, New Jersey. She had been the wife of actor Christopher Reeve. She said, “Your emotional state has a tremendous amount to do with sickness, health and well-being. For years, my husband and I lived on -- and because of -- hope. Hope continues to give me the mental strength to carry on.” [Great thing, hope.]... Ms. Reeve died on March 6, 2006 in New York City, New York.

Georgia O’Keeffe died today – 22 years ago

Artist Georgia Totti O’Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She said, “I hate flowers. I only paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move." [Well, there's a special advantage to every thing.]... Ms. O’Keeffe died on March 6, 1986 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ayn Rand died today – 26 years ago

Writer (think: “We the Living”, “Anthem”, “The Fountainhead”, “Atlas Shrugged”) & philosopher (think: “For the New Intellectual”, “The Virtue of Selfishness”, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”, “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”, “The Romantic Manifesto”, “The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution”, “Philosophy: Who Needs It”) Ayn Rand was born as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She said, “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)." [Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! Amen! ... There! Did I say it enough times? Amen!]... Ms. Rand died on March 6, 1982 in New York City, New York.

Pearl S. Buck died today – 35 years ago

Writer (think: “The Good Earth”) Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was born as Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker on June 26, 1892 in Hillsboro, West Virginia. She said, “Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people. They are relentless survivors." [And they make some darn good toys, too... Well, at least they did.]... Ms. Buck died on March 6, 1973 in Danby, Vermont.

Nelson Eddy died today – 41 years ago

Actor (think: "Phantom of the Opera" (1943)) and singer (think: "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life"(1935) with Jeanette MacDonald) Nelson Ackerman Eddy was born on June 29, 1901 in Providence, Rhode Island. He said, “Let's have the music that will open the door to millions of people... the kind of music that will not make people think only of the song or even of the singer... not music that is confined to the merely personal.” [How about “The hills are alive with the sound of music”, so run for your hives?]... Mr. Eddy died on March 6, 1967 in Palm Beach, Florida.

There are more great songs

Louisa May Alcott died today – 120 years ago

Writer (think: “Little Women”) Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She said, “We all have our own life to pursue, Our own kind of dream to be weaving, And we all have the power To make wishes come true, As long as we keep believing." [Now if people would just stay out of our way.]... Ms. Alcott died on March 6, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Davy Crockett died today – 172 years ago

Explorer David “Davy” Stern Crockett was born on August 17, 1786 in Greene County, Tennessee. He said, “Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!" [Picture it.]... Mr. Crockett died on March 6, 1836 in Alamo Mission, San Antonio, Republic of Texas.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

John Belushi died today – 26 years ago

Comic actor John Adam Belushi was born on January 24, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois. He said, “I owe it all to little chocolate donuts." [And big ones, too.]... Mr. Belushi died on March 5, 1982 in Los Angeles, California.

E.Y. Harburg died today – 27 years ago

Lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg was born as Isidore Hochberg on April 8, 1896 in New York City, New York. He said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” [Hmmmm. Let’s see.].

Mr. Harburg wrote the lyrics to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (1931):

Mr. Harburg wrote the lyrics to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (1939):

Mr. Harburg also wrote the lyrics to “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” (1946):

Do you think I like that song?

Mr. Harburg died on March 5, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Patsy Cline died today – 45 years ago

Singer Patsy Cline was born as Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. She said, “I recorded a song called, I Fall to Pieces, and I was in a car wreck. Now I'm worried because I have a brand-new record, and it's called Crazy!" [Oh, my!]... Ms. Cline died on March 5, 1963 in Camden, Tennessee from a plane crash.