Category Archives: On This Day

“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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For Veterans Day: Private Presley

Sept. 23, 1958: Interview with Elvis Presley in the library of the U.S.S. Randall just before sailing Elvis had had a chaotic couple of days, taking the train up from Texas with his fellow soldiers to Brooklyn Army Terminal. He … Continue reading

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“I Hold Back Nothing.” – Anne Sexton

Today is the birthday of poet Anne Sexton. When you read the Complete Poems, you can feel her sliding off the rails at the end (I’m not talking about mentally, I’m talking about the quality of her work, although the … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ralph Macchio

Yesterday was Ralph Macchio’s birthday. I always knew Ralph Macchio was something special. I knew it before Karate Kid. I knew it from Eight is Enough. I clocked him as awesome from the beginning. I felt territorial. When everyone and … Continue reading

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On This Day: October 30, 1938

Conversation between Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles: PB: I’ve often wondered if you had any idea, before you did it, that War of the Worlds was going to get that kind of response. OW. The kind of response, yes – … Continue reading

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“Do I Terrify?”

Yes, Sylvia, you do, especially when I hear you read “Lady Lazarus.” It’s Sylvia Plath’s birthday today. Here’s a draft of “Stings,” written in the month of October, 1962, the productive (understatement) month when she wrote many of the poems … Continue reading

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