Archive for June 2013

Lena Horne: Magnificent Voice, Astonishing Beauty,and Courageous Standard-bearer for Civil Rights

  On this day in Brooklyn born The great jazz artist Lena Horne. She sang a soulful “Stormy Weather” And marched with Dr. King together.* *In the spring of 1963, before the March on Washington, Horne traveled  the south with Medgar  Evers and other civil rights campaigners, Indeed, she sang at a rally where  Evers spoke... Read more »

Bernard Herrmann: The Master of Movie Music

  Today is  the birthday of Bernard Herrmann. Composed the score of “Vertigo”. Listen  to  Scene d’amour and you will determine Of this genre of music,  he was the  maestro.*   *The “Vertigo” score vastly enriches the images it accompanies, but it has also found a life outside the film. As an excellent complete recording on the... Read more »

Henry VIII: "His Own Opinion Was His Law"

  Born today Henry VIII, Defender of the Catholic Faith. Until he left without remorse: The Pope  wouldn’t grant him a divorce. The Church of England he began So he could wed again…and again.* *”In his final years Henry became an invalid, living in a small suite of rooms, taking dozens of medicines to alleviate the... Read more »

It's Helen Keller Day!

  Born today was Helen Keller. Her autobiography is a best seller. The story of her life is special, you’ll find, In that Helen congenitally was deaf and blind. Yet she overcame both the silence and night To advocate for what is just, fair, and right.   The few own the many because they possess the... Read more »

Abner Doubleday: Mythical Founder of Baseball

                                    Born on this day was Abner Doubleday Who invented America’s pastime, some say. Of course we’re our Mom and our apple pie slice, But to symbolize us, I think, it  would suffice.* *”Baseball? It’s just a game—as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It’s a... Read more »

George Orwell: What Price Security?

  On this day was born  George Orwell. Many have pondered “1984” well. Of Big Brother today there are clear intimations As our Government monitors our conversations.      

Ambrose Bierce: Astringent and Jaundiced: The American Diogenes

  Born today was Ambrose Bierce, Gilded Ager whose opinions were fierce.* Sometimes society’s ills need a clinic From someone like Ambrose: a self-proclaimed cynic. *A sampling of Bierceisms: 1.  MIND: a mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of... Read more »

Alan Turing: Computer Genius and Victim of Homophobia

  Born today was Alan Turing Whose intellectual fame’s enduring. Devised a test for all agreeing On when a computer’s a human being.* *”When Descartes declared centuries ago that matter cannot think, he challenged his materialist opponents to construct a machine that could engage in conversation with a human being. if that could be done,... Read more »

Meryl Streep: The Grande Dame of Stage and Screen

Today’s the birthday of Meryl Streep Whose acting has  made us laugh and weep. Vivacious and so versatile, To sum her up in one word—STYLE!* *Latest film: “August: Osage County” *In her own words: 1. “If I am not confident that I can portray the character perfectly on the screen, I won’t even try.” 2.... Read more »

Henry Ossawa Tanner: He Took " The Greater Journey" To Free His Muse

[Portrait of Henry O. Tanner by Thomas Eakins] On this day born :  Henry O. Tanner. His repertoire realistic in manner.* Tired of the   bigots who often did harass. He went overseas for his art props  in Paris.*   *”Henry O. Tanner,  while studying painting at a studio in the 1890s, observed that Blacks were accepted by their peers and... Read more »