Category Archives: On This Day

Happy Birthday to “the Ploughman Poet” of Scotland

In other words: Robert Burns. Or perhaps I should say “Rahbbie Barrrrrrrrns.” Right now in Scotland, and around the world, wherever Scottish people gather, people are standing up and proclaiming his verses into crowded pubs, everybody chanting along in unison. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Patricia Highsmith

It’s Patricia Highsmith’s birthday today. I wrote a gigantic piece about her here. He wouldn’t have killed someone just to save Derwatt Ltd. or even Bernard, Tom supposed. Tom had killed Murchison because Murchison had realized, in the cellar, that … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Jack London

Jack London was born on this day, January 12, 1876. Happy birthday to the man who wrote: The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I … Continue reading

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“Animals Don’t Hate, and We’re Supposed To Be Better Than Them.” – Elvis Presley, the Twin Who Lived

Elvis was born on this day in 1935, Tupelo, Mississippi From Elvis and Gladys by Elaine Dundy On the chill afternoon of Tuesday, January 8, 1935, Catherine Hall was walking briskly home. At the end of Lake Street she slowed … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India on December 30, 1865. “I woshipped Kipling at 13, loathed him at 17, enjoyed him at 20, despised him at 25, and now again rather admire him.” – George Orwell, 1936 Michael Schmidt, … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

Dame Rebecca West is the grand dame on my very short list of “intellectual idols”. It is her birthday today. It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their … Continue reading

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“But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you.” – Happy Birthday, Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne, Irish revolutionary, feminist, radical, and lifelong poetic muse of William Butler Yeats, was born on December 20 in 1865. She married John MacBride (after a couple of notorious affairs and illegitimate children). John MacBride was an Irish nationalist … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to the Belle of Amherst

Emily Dickinson was born on this day in 1830. It is not known why she withdrew from society so completely. Theories abound, the latest being that she was epileptic. Books have been written. The mystery remains. What we have are … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, John Milton

Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour: England hath need of thee: she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, Have forfeited their ancient English dower Of inward … Continue reading

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On This Day: “December 7, 1941 – A Date Which Will Live In Infamy.”

Here is a cool fact about my home state, little Rhode Island: There are only a handful of newspapers in the United States that come out on Sunday afternoon, (as opposed to Sunday morning) and one of them is the … Continue reading

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