Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Simon Myers Bainbridge died today – 4 years ago

Travel agent Simon Myers Bainbridge was born on December 16, 1958 in Yorkshire, England. He liked to produce musicals like the one below. Mr. Bainbridge died on April 30, 2004 in Houston, Texas.

Muddy Waters died today – 25 years ago

Blues singer and guitarist (in the “Hoochie Coochie Man”) Muddy Waters was born as McKinley Morganfield on April 4, 1913 in Issaquena County, Mississippi. He said, “If you got something you don't want other people to know, keep it in your pocket." [Don’t be writin’ a tell-all song..., unless you really want to tell all.]... Mr. Waters died on April 30, 1983 in Westmont, Illinois.

A.E. Housman died today – 72 years ago

Author (of the poem “A Shropshire Lad”) Alfred Edward Housman was born on March 26, 1859 in Fockbury, Worcestershire, England. He said, “The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in." [Yep!]... Mr. Housman died on April 30, 1936 in Cambridge, England.

Édouard Manet died today – 125 years ago

Painter (of “Music in the Tuileries” and “The Luncheon on the Grass”) Édouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 in Paris, France. He said, “Black is not a color." [But I saw a crayon labeled “black”.]... Mr. Manet died on April 30, 1883 in Paris, France.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

John Kenneth Galbraith died today – 2 years ago

Economist and author (of “The Great Crash: 1929” – be sure to read Murray N. Rothbard’s “America’s Great Depression” – and “The New Industrial State” (1967)) John Kenneth Galbraith was born on October 15, 1908 in Iona Station, Ontario, Canada. He said, “It would be foolish to suggest that government is a good custodian of aesthetic goals. But, there is no alternative to the state." [What? Did he ever hear of a free market? Well, I’m sure that he did, but it didn’t give him what he wanted.] Mr. Galbraith was critiqued here by Murray N. Rothbard... Mr. Galbraith died on April 29, 2006 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Alfred Hitchcock died today – 28 years ago

Author (of “Champagne” (1928)), actor (in “Rebecca” (1940)), director (of “The Birds” (1963)), and producer (of “Family Plot” (1976)) Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, London, England. He said, “Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn't change people's habits. It just kept them inside the house." [But both did allow people not to walk very far to get what they wanted. And I'm so grateful for at least one of them.]... Mr. Hitchcock died on April 29, 1980 in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California.

Ludwig Wittgenstein died today – 57 years ago

Philosopher and author (of “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”) Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was born on April 26, 1889 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. He said, “Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open." [So, when's it all going to be in place?]... Mr. Wittgenstein died on April 29, 1951 in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Francis Bacon died today – 16 years ago

Painter (of “Painting (1946)” and many other pieces) Francis Bacon was born on October 28, 1909 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint.” [Well, you gotta start somewhere.]... Mr. Bacon died on April 28, 1992 in Madrid, Spain.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vickie Sue Robinson died today – 8 years ago

Singer (of the dis-co song “Turn the Beat Around” (1976) and more songs) Vickie Sue Robinson was born on May 31, 1954 in Harlem, New York City, New York. She said, “Your violins keep movin' to the nitty gritty”. [Well, she sang it.]... Ms. Robinson died on April 27, 2000 in Wilton, Connecticut.

Carlos Castaneda died today – 10 years ago

Anthropologist and author (of “A Separate Reality”, “Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan”, and these) Carlos Castaneda was born on December 25, 1925 in Cajamarca, Perú. He said, “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” [Probably so.]... Mr. Castaneda died on April 27, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.

Edward R. Murrow died today – 43 years ago

Broadcast journalist (in the “CBS World News Roundup” and “This I Believe”) Edward R. Murrow was born as Egbert Roscoe Murrow on April 25, 1908 near Greensboro, in Guilford County, North Carolina. He said, “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." [Still so true.]... Mr. Murrow died on April 27, 1965 in Brooklyn, New York.

Ralph Waldo Emerson died today – 126 years ago

Author (of “Self-Reliance”, “Compensation”, and the “Concord Hymn”) Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts. He said, “Earth laughs in flowers." [And waves back with butterflies.]... Mr. Emerson died on April 27, 1882 in Concord, Massachusetts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lucille Ball died today – 19 years ago

Comic actress (in “I Love Lucy”, “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”, “The Lucy Show”, and “Here’s Lucy”) Lucille Désirée Ball was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. She said, “I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." [O.K.]... Ms. Ball died on April 26, 1989 in Los Angeles, California.

Broderick Crawford died today – 22 years ago

Actor (in “Beau Geste” (1939), “Eternally Yours” (1939) “Born Yesterday” (1950), and “Human Desire” (1954)) William Broderick Crawford was born on December 9, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “When people tell you they saw your last picture - well, the way they say it sounds like they hope it was." [Could be.]... Mr. Crawford died on April 26, 1986 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Count Basie died today – 24 years ago

Bandleader (of the Count Basie Orchestra) William James “Count” Basie was born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. He said, “If you play a tune and a person don't tap their feet, don't play the tune." [Yep!]... Mr. Basie died on April 26, 1984 in Hollywood, Florida.

Gypsy Rose Lee died today – 38 years ago

Entertainer (in “Minsky's Burlesque”) and actress (in the “Screaming Mimi” (1958), “The Trouble with Angels” (1966), and many other films) Gypsy Rose Lee was born as Rose Louise Hovick on February 9, 1911 in Seattle, Washington. She said, “Praying is like a rocking chair - it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere." [She said it.]... Ms. Lee died on April 26, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The problem is hidden.

The recent verdict - clearing the three New York City policemen of all charges in the shooting-death of Sean Bell – reveals, again, the problems with secrecy.

Consider Mexico. (OK. Perhaps not the best example, but let’s go with it.) On a recent visit to Merida, I saw policemen on street corners, directly observing activities in the area. I knew that someone was watching. And I was grateful.

If there are behaviors that – a majority of the people agree – should not occur on “public property”, then it would be much better to have clearly identified individuals watching those areas. That way, there would be no ambiguity about who is whom and much less doubt about whose testimony is more credible, since there would be many more witnesses.

Jane Jacobs died today – 2 years ago

Author (of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” (1961)) Jane Jacobs was born on May 4, 1916 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She said, “The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.” [And they’ve got it... and sometimes too much.]... Ms. Jacobs died on April 25, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ginger Rogers died today – 13 years ago

Actress (in “Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman” (1940)) and dancer (in “Top Hat” (1935) and “Shall We Dance” (1937)) Ginger Rogers was born as Virginia Katherine McMath on July 16, 1911 in Independence, Missouri. She said, “My mother told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months." [You just wanted to get out of there, didn't ya'?]... Ms. Rogers died on April 25, 1995 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Anna Sewell died today – 130 years ago

Author (of “Black Beauty”) Anna Sewell was born on March 30, 1820 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. She said, “My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt." [Wow!]... Ms. Sewell died on April 25, 1878 in Old Catton, Norfolk, England.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Estée Lauder died today – 4 years ago

Cosmetician (creating the Estée Lauder Companies) Estée Lauder was born as Josephine Esther Mentzer on July 1, 1906 in Corona, Queens, New York. She said, “When you stop talking, you've lost your customer. When you turn your back, you've lost her." [Stand up straight, shoulders back, look forward, and keep speaking.]... Ms. Lauder died on April 24, 2004 in Manhattan, New York.

Pat Paulsen died today – 11 years ago

Comedian (in the “Smothers Brothers” TV shows) and U.S. Presidential contender (in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996) Patrick Layton Paulsen was born on July 6, 1927 in South Bend, Washington. He said, “Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles." [Good one... No! Great one!]... Mr. Paulsen died on April 24, 1997 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Willa Cather died today – 61 years ago

Author (of “O Pioneers!” (1913), “My Ántonia” (1918), and “Death Comes for the Archbishop” (1927)) Willa Sibert Cather was born on December 7, 1873 near Winchester, Virginia. She said, “I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do." [Discover your nature and live that way.]... Ms. Cather died on April 24, 1947 in New York City, New York.

Daniel DeFoe died today – 277 years ago

Author (of “Robinson Crusoe” (1719), “Captain Singleton” (1720), “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders” (1722), and “Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress” (1724)) Daniel DeFoe was born in 1659 or 1661 in London, England. He said, “It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions." [Hmmm!]... Mr. DeFoe died on April 24, 1731 in Ropemakers Alley, Moorfields, London, England.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boris Yeltsin died today – 1 year ago

Russian president (1991-1999) (of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931 in Butka, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. He said, “We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. Freedom is like that. It's like air. When you have it, you don't notice it." [He really said that?]... Mr. Yeltsin died on April 23, 2007 in Moscow, Russia.

Howard Cosell died today – 13 years ago

Sportscaster Howard William Cosell was born as Howard William Cohen on March 25, 1918 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He said, “What's right isn't always popular. What's popular isn't always right." [He was such the philosopher.]... Mr. Cosell died on April 23, 1995 in New York City, New York.

Otto Preminger died today – 22 years ago

Director (of “Laura” (1944), “The Man with the Golden Arm” (1955), and many other films) Otto Ludwig Preminger was born on December 5, 1906 in Czernowitz, Austria-Hungary. He said, “Directing her [Marilyn Monroe] was like directing Lassie. You need 14 takes to get each one of them right.” [Poor Lassie.]... Mr. Preminger died on April 23, 1986 in New York City, New York.

William Wordsworth died today – 158 years ago

Author (of the poem “The Prelude”) William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770 in Cockermouth, England. He said, “The ocean is a mighty harmonist." [And then there are these Harmonists.]... Mr. Wordsworth died on April 23, 1850 in Ambleside, England.

Miguel de Cervantes died today – 392 years ago

Author (of “La Galatea” (1585), “Don Quixote” (1605, 1614), the poems “Al túmulo del rey Felipe en Sevilla” and “Viaje al Parnaso” (1614), and the plays “El trato de Argel”, “The Siege of Numantia” (1582) and “Lope de Vega”) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born on September 29, 1547 in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. He said, “A closed mouth catches no flies." [But if you talk fast enough, the air flow keeps them out.]... Mr. Cervantes died on April 23, 1616 in Madrid, Spain.

William Shakespeare died today – 392 years ago

Author (of “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Merchant of Venice, “Venus and Adonis”, and many other thingsor did he?) William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. He said, “To be, or not to be: that is the question." [For some, that is the answer.]... Mr. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Erma Bombeck died today – 12 years ago

Humorist and author (of “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank”, “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?”, and “When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home”) Erma Louise Bombeck was born as Erma Fiste on February 21, 1927 in Dayton, Ohio. She said, “Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, ‘A house guest,’ you're wrong because I have just described my kids." [Perhaps you never asked them.]... Ms. Bombeck died on April 22, 1996 in San Francisco, California.

Richard M. Nixon died today – 14 years ago

U.S. President (37th, 1969-1974) Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. He said, “I am not a crook." [That depends upon the definition of the words “I”, “am”, “not”, “a”, and “crook”. Right?]... Mr. Nixon died on April 22, 1994 in New York City, New York.

Ansel Adams died today – 24 years ago

Photographer (creating “Monolith, The Face of Half Dome” (1927), “Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox at Canyon de Chelly” (1937), and “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” (1941)) Ansel Easton Adams was born on February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California. He said, “No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit." [A-men!]... Mr. Adams died on April 22, 1984 in Carmel, California.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nina Simone died today – 5 years ago

Singer (of “I Put a Spell on You” and “Strange Fruit”), songwriter (of “Sinner Man”), and pianist Nina Simone was born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina. She said, “Jazz is a white term to define black people. My music is black classical music." [OK.]... Ms. Simone died on April 21, 2003 in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.

John Maynard Keynes died today – 62 years ago

Economist and author (of “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” (1919) and “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” (1936) – critiqued by Henry Hazlitt in “The Failure of the ‘New Economics’” (pdf here)) John Maynard Keynes was born on June 5, 1883 in Cambridge, England. He said, “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens." [He got that one right.]... Mr. Keynes died on April 21, 1946 in Tilton, East Sussex, England.

Mark Twain died today – 98 years ago

Humorist, satirist, and author (of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876), “The Prince and the Pauper” (1881), the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884), “The War Prayer” (1905), and “Is Shakespeare Dead?” (1907)) Mark Twain was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He said, “The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives." [While some lies live on forever.]... Mr. Twain died on April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Benny Hill died today – 16 years ago

Comic actor (in “The Benny Hill Show”) Benny Hill was born as Alfred Hawthorn Hill on January 21, 1924 in Southampton, England. He said, “Roses are reddish/ Violets are bluish/ If it weren't for Christmas/ We'd all be Jewish.” [Or something else.]... Mr. Hill died on April 18 (or 19), 1992 in Teddington, England.

Archibald MacLeish died today – 26 years ago

Author (of the poem “Ars Poetica”) Archibald MacLeish was born on May 7, 1892 in Glencoe, Illinois. He said, “What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice." [And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.]... Mr. MacLeish died on April 20, 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Daphne du Maurier died today – 19 years ago

Author (of “Rebecca”) and playwright (of “The Years Between” and “September Tide”) Daphne du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907 in London, England. She said, “Women want love to be a novel, men a short story." [Now don't generalize too much there.]... Ms. du Maurier died on April 19, 1989 in Cornwall, England.

Charles Darwin died today – 126 years ago

Naturalist, scientist, and author (of “On the Origin of Species” (1859)) Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Mount House, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. He said, “The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic." [As you wish.]... Mr. Darwin died on April 19, 1882 in Down House, Downe, Kent, England.

Lord Byron died today – 184 years ago

Author (of the poems “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage” and “Don Juan”), inspiration for some musical things, and name-giver (of the Bridge of Sighs) George Gordon Byron was born on January 22, 1788 in London, England. He said, “Shakespeare's name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down." [He must have been a competitor.]... Mr. Byron died on April 19, 1824 in Messolonghi, Greece.

Albert Einstein died Friday – 53 years ago

Physicist (creating the “Theory of Relativity”, the theory of “mass-energy equivalence”, the “Special Theory of Relativity”, and the “General Theory of Relativity”) Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. He said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." [Oh, my! Does that explain this or not?]... Mr. Einstein died on April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Piet Hein died Thursday – 12 years ago

Inventor (of a perpetual calendar), poet (of “Grooks” and “Grooks”), and creator (of the games Hex, Tangloids, TacTix, and the Soma cube) Piet Hein was born on December 16, 1905 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He said,

“People are self-centered

to a nauseous degree.
They will keep on about themselves
while I'm explaining me.”

[He was so clever.]... Mr. Hein died on April 17, 1996 in
Funen, Denmark.

Benjamin Franklin died Thursday – 218 years ago

Author (of Poor Richard's Almanack) and inventor (of the lightning rod, the glass harmonica, the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, and... and... the urinary catheter) Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. He said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." [And sometimes much sooner.]... Mr. Franklin died on April 17, 1790 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Now check out the glass harmonica:

And don't miss

Edna Ferber died Wednesday – 40 years ago

Author (of “Cimarron” (1929) and “Giant” (1956)) Edna Ferber was born on August 15, 1885 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She said, “Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way." [But there might be money in it.]... Ms. Ferber died on April 16, 1968 in New York City, New York.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Joey Ramone died tomorrow – 7 years ago

Vocalist and songwriter (in the Ramones) Joey Ramone was born as Jeffry Ross Hyman on May 19, 1951 in Queens, New York. He said, “Hang in there. If you believe what you're doing is unique. Otherwise give up or sound like Nirvana or Pearl Jam." [Thanks for the advice.]... Mr. Ramone died on April 15, 2001 in New York City, New York.

Greta Garbo died tomorrow – 18 years ago

Actress (in “Grand Hotel” (1932) and “Anna Karenina” (1935)) Greta Garbo was born as Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905 in Stockholm, Sweden. She said, “Life would be so wonderful if we only knew what to do with it." [I think most of us know, but just don’t do it, selling out for so little.]... Ms. Garbo died on April 15, 1990 in New York City, New York.

Jean-Paul Sartre died tomorrow – 28 years ago

Philosopher (in “Existentialism”), playwright (of “Les Mains Sales”), and author (of “Les jeux sont faits” (1943)) Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was born on June 21, 1905 in Paris, France. He said, “When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die." [And the soon-to-be-poorer, too.]... Mr. Sartre died on April 15, 1980 in Paris, France.

Jean-Paul says, “Enjoy Paris.”

Abraham Lincoln died tomorrow – 143 years ago

U.S. President (16th, 1861-1865) Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky. He said, “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." [Especially on the makers.]... Mr. Lincoln died on April 15, 1865 in Washington, D.C.

Simone de Beauvoir died today – 22 years ago

Author (of “The Mandarins” (1954)) Simone de Beauvoir was born on January 9, 1908 in Paris, France. She said, “All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them." [And just what idols would that be?]... Ms. de Beauvoir died on April 14, 1986 in Paris, France.

Fredric March died today – 33 years ago

Actor (in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1931)) Fredric March was born as Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel on August 31, 1897 in Racine, Wisconsin. He said, “Keep interested in others; keep interested in the wide and wonderful world. Then in a spiritual sense you will always be young.” [Yep.]... Mr. March died on April 14, 1975 in Los Angeles, California.

Rachel Carson died today – 44 years ago

Author (of “Silent Spring” (1962)) Rachel Louise Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania. [Maybe that’s why she thought so much about Spring.] She said, “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled by / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” [Would that be an expressway?]... Ms. Carson died on April 14, 1964 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

George Frideric Handel died today – 249 years ago

Composer (of the “Messiah” and “Water Music”) George Frideric Handel was born as Georg Friedrich Händel on February 23, 1685 in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia. He said, “Hallelujah!" [Many times. I counted 23 here.]... Mr. Handel died on April 14, 1759 in London, England.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Muriel Spark died today – 2 years ago

Author (of “The Ballad of Peckham Rye” (1960) and “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1961)) Muriel Spark was born as Muriel Sarah Camberg on February 1, 1918 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She said, “One should only see a psychiatrist out of boredom." [No “problem” there.]... Ms. Spark died on April 13, 2006 in Florence, Italy.

Wallace Stegner died today – 15 years ago

Author (of “Angle of Repose” (1972)) and teacher Wallace Earle Stegner was born on February 18, 1909 in Lake Mills, Iowa. He said, “A teacher enlarges people in all sorts of ways besides just his subject matter." [Hopefully.]... Mr. Stegner died on April 13, 1993 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Abbie Hoffman died today – 19 years ago

Author (of “Steal This Book” (1970)) Abbott Howard "Abbie" Hoffman was born on November 30, 1936 in Worcester, Massachusetts. He said, “Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger." [Please pass the turkey.]... Mr. Hoffman died on April 12, 1989 in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Josephine Baker died today – 33 years ago

Entertainer (in “La Revue Nègre” (1925)) Josephine Baker was born as Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. She said, “I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely." [After all, Nice is in France.]... Ms. Baker died on April 12, 1975 in Paris, France.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt died today – 63 years ago

U.S. President (32nd, 1933-1945) Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. He said, “Remember you are just an extra in everyone else's play." [So create your own play.]... Mr. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia.

Clara Barton died today – 96 years ago

Teacher, nurse, and organizer (of the American Red Cross) Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She said, “Everybody's business is nobody's business, and nobody's business is my business." [Very clever indeed. It sounds like Peter McWilliams' Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do.]... Ms. Barton died on April 12, 1912 in Glen Echo, Maryland.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. died today – 1 year ago

Author (of “Cat’s Cradle” (1963) and “Breakfast of Champions” (1973)) Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born on November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He said, “Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." [Then I'll just pretend to be wealthy and famous... It ain't working yet.]... Mr. Vonnegut died on April 11, 2007 in New York City, New York.

June Pointer died today – 2 years ago

Singer (in “The Pointer Sisters”) June Pointer was born as June Antoinette Pointer Whitmore on November 30, 1953 in Oakland, California. She said, “Jump (for my love).” [Well, she sang it here... You think she thought of bungee jumping?]... Ms. Pointer died on April 11, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.

Luther Burbank died today – 82 years ago

Botanist (creating the “Shasta daisy”, “Fire poppy”, and “Burbank potato”) Luther Burbank was born on March 7, 1849 in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He said, “If we had paid no more attention to our plants than we have to our children, we would now be living in a jungle of weed." [So that explains it.]... Mr. Burbank died on April 11, 1926 in Santa Rosa, California.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Henry van Dyke died today – 75 years ago

Author (of “The Whole Family” (1908)) and lyricist (of "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" (1907)) Henry van Dyke was born on November 10, 1852 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He said, “Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." [Yup.]... Mr. van Dyke died on April 10, 1933 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hesketh Pearson died today – 44 years ago

Actor and author (of “Tom Paine. Friend of Mankind: a Biography” (1937)) Edward Hesketh Gibbons Pearson was born on February 20, 1887 in Hawford, Worcestershire, England. He said, “A man's character never changes radically from youth to old age. What happens is that circumstances bring out characteristics which have not been obvious to the superficial observer." [Hmmm.]... Mr. Hesketh Pearson died on April 9, 1964 in London, England.

Frank Lloyd Wright died today – 49 years ago

Architect (of “Fallingwater”, “Robie House”, and “Rosenbaum House”) Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin. He said, “Get the habit of analysis - analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind." [Take it apart so that you can put it back together... in a new way.]... Mr. Wright died on April 9, 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Francis Bacon died today – 382 years ago

Author (of “Novum Organum” (1620)) Francis Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 in Strand, London, England. He said, “The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses." [Talk about coincidence.]... Mr. Bacon died on April 9, 1626 in Highgate, London, England.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Marian Anderson died today – 15 years ago

Singer (of “Deep River”) Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She said, “There are many persons ready to do what is right because in their hearts they know it is right. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the make the first move - and he, in turn, waits for you." [So true!]... Ms. Anderson died on April 8, 1993 in Portland, Oregon.

Pablo Picasso died today – 35 years ago

Painter (of “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon)” (1907)) and sculptor (of “Chicago Picasso” (1967)) Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born as Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito on October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain. He said, “Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?" [Oh, who cares? Just paint it!]... Mr. Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Henry Ford died today – 61 years ago

Inventor and industrialist (creating the Ford Motor Company) Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in Detroit, Michigan. He said, “A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it." [Very clever indeed.]... Mr. Ford died on April 7, 1947 in Dearborn, Michigan.

P. T. Barnum died today – 117 years ago

Entrepreneur and showman (of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus) Phineas Taylor Barnum was born on July 5, 1810 in Bethel, Connecticut. He said, “Every crowd has a silver lining." [Now, it would be plastic.]... Mr. Barnum died on April 7, 1891 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Need more circus? OK.

Need still more circus? Go here.