Archive for January 2014

Ethan Allen: Founder of the State of Vermont

[Larkin G. Mead’s marble effigy of Ethan Allen in the National Statuary Hall. Given by Vermont in 1876] Born today was Ethan Allen. Colonial hero, but  British felon. Anathema at King George’s court After taking Ticonderoga’s fort. [The cannon seized by Ethan Allen’s forces at Fort Ticonderoga was later used effectively in the Battle for... Read more »

Richard Henry Lee: He Was For Independence, Natural-Lee!

Born today was Richard Henry Lee. The American colonies  had the right to be free And their  ties with the king  should be cut totally: His famed  resolution on independency. “Lee: My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home My name is Richard Henry Lee; Virginia is my home And may my  horses... Read more »

Edgar Allen Poe: Maven of the Macabre

Today is the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe. For mystery and horror, an author  to know. His  Raven’s a favorite I have to confess. Poe died, sad to say, broken-down, penniless. (Edward Gorey)   “No doubt I now grew very pale;—but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased—and what... Read more »

Cary Grant: The Cinema's Greatest Leading Man of All Time (And the Handsomest)

Born today was Cary Grant. Suave, debonair and elegant. It’s  easy to  see and it’s  not a long reach His changing his real name:  Archibald Leach. And so he said: “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” “My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the... Read more »

Betty White: Beloved Comedienne With Remarkable Staying Power

Born today was Betty White Who somewhere in reruns can be seen every night. Her career has been such anyone to embolden To say she is one girl who truly is golden.

Ethel Merman: The Queen of High Decibels

Born today was  Broadway’s  Ethel Merman. When she sang  “Hello Dolly” by Jerry Herman Or  “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy, Her  voice could be heard  all the way to Poughkeepsie.    

Edward Teller: The Original Dr. Strangelove

  Born today was Edward Teller. “The nuclear fusion distinctively stellar For destruction is  best,” he said with aplomb. And that’s how we got the hydrogen bomb.

Henri Fantin-Latour: In the Midst of Winter His Floral Symphonies Are Therapeutic

  Born today Fantin-Latour Flowers are what he’s noted for. He paints them with such bright profusion They fool our senses with illusion. “Fantin-Latour painted roses more than any other flower, but he also painted an enormous variety of old-fashioned cottage garden flowers, such as petunias, hollyhocks, tulips, dahlias, larkspur, forget-me-nots, peonies, sweet peas, hyacinths... Read more »

Salmon P. Chase: A High Profile in U.S. Currency

Born today was Salmon P. Chase Rival of Lincoln in a  presidential race. Decided for the Union in a landmark case. On the ten thou bill you will see his face. [Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase swearing in President U.S. Grant to a second term on March 4, 1873]

Charles Perrault: His Tales Plumb the Depths of Our Collective Memories

Today is the birthday of Charles Perrault. Children of all ages his stories do  know: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and, of course,  Mother Goose. In the court of King Louie he was Dr. Seuss.