Archive for August 2013

Maria Montessori: Progressive Educator

Born today was Maria Montessori. Teaching the  young was her glory. Her philosophy? Each learns at their pace In a richly stimulating sensory space. “Today, however, those things which occupy us in the field of education are the interests of humanity at large and of civilization, and before such great forces we can recognize only... Read more »

Jacques David: Revolutionary Artist

Born today Jacques David. Of the French Revolution,  best painter, indeed. He classically etched every pivotal scene* While eluding a brush with the guillotine. *Like the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat:   “The absoluteness of “The Oath of the Horatii”, intrinsically overstated but subjectively real, is what makes “The Death of Marat” a revolutionary icon. David... Read more »

John Locke: Philosophical Architect of the American Creed

Born today  philosopher John Locke, In whose ideas our founding fathers put stock. He wrote of the rights of life and liberty, whence The  Declaration of Independence.* “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit... Read more »

Lucy Hayes: She Teetotaled the White House

Born today was Lucy Hayes, The wife of Rutherford B. She wouldn’t serve liquor in White House soirees; It was lemonade, coffee, or tea. A Wetter View:  “Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great  an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as... Read more »

Charles Dawes: A Well-Tuned Statesman

Born today was Veep Charles Dawes. On a Nobel Peace Prize rests his fame. But I remember him mostly because Of the music he wrote for “It’s All in the Game”.

Lee De Forest: Grandfather of Television

Born today was a fellow  named Lee Whose invention made possible  early TV. We all  should remember, whether  richest or poorest, That once our screens showed  all  the trees for De Forest.* *He invented the Audion vacuum tube which was the key component of all radio, telephone, radar, television, and computer systems before the invention of the transistor in... Read more »

Alan Pinkerton: He Saved Abe from the Line of Fire

Born  on this day was  Alan Pinkerton, The prototype of the Private Eye. Guarded in Baltimore by him and his men, Lincoln was spared the assassin’s try.* It happened on February 23, 1861: “Allen Pinkerton, head of a private detective agency, had uncovered a plot to assassinate Lincoln when he passed through Baltimore on his... Read more »

William Wilberforce: His Voice and Pen Broke the Chains of Slavery

Born today William Wilberforce. He opposed slavery as a matter of course. The abolition case he made* Led to the end of the British slave trade. * “Let us not despair; it is a blessed cause, and success, ere long, will crown our exertions. Already we have gained one victory; we have obtained, for these poor creatures,... Read more »

Edgar Lee Masters: The American Graveyard Poet

  Born today was Edgar Lee Masters Who wrote about folks in the town of Spoon River* Where Reverend Sibley was one of those pastors Who are not what they seem in the words they deliver. *Masters wrote tombstone epitaphs for 244 people in Spoon River, the fictional name he gave to Lewistown, Illinois.  ... Read more »

Dorothy Parker: A Wit on the Distaff Side

Born today was Dorothy Parker Whose verse was light with an undertone darker. If life has you weighing the suicide way, Before you go, wayfarer, read “Resume”. Coda "There's little in taking or giving, There's little in water or wine; This living, this living, this living Was never a project of mine. Oh, hard is... Read more »