Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet
If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.
“To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet. Public Domain. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of dime novelist Ned Buntline, (books by this author) born Edward Zane Carroll Judson in Stamford, New York (1813). As a boy, he got in a fight with his father and ran away to sea. He started out as a cabin boy, but as a teenager he rescued the drowning crew of a boat, and President Van Buren was so impressed that he appointed the young man a midshipman, a low-rank officer.
After a few years at sea, he decided to take up writing sensational adventure stories. He started out writing about gangs and violence in New York — he had firsthand knowledge of that world, being involved in gang wars himself.
After years of setting his popular dime novels in the seedy underbelly of New York, he took a trip out West and realized that it was the ideal setting for the type of stories he wanted to tell. He met Buffalo Bill Cody and adapted his adventures into wildly popular and exaggerated stories, a series called Buffalo Bill Cody — King of the Border Men. He made the stories into a play, Scouts of the Prairie, and he managed to convince the reluctant Buffalo Bill to play a cameo role, as himself. Buffalo Bill and Ned were terrible actors, and the play was critically disparaged, but Scouts of the Prairie was a commercial and financial hit, and it toured all over the country. Ned Buntline and Buffalo Bill parted ways after that, but Buntline had made the Western hero so famous that he was able to open his own show, “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West,” and Bill’s story had set Buntline on his path to earn more money from his writing than any other author in the country, though what he wrote was trash.
Buntline’s life was one big adventure, and he didn’t slow down even after he became wealthy and famous. He fought in the Everglades in the Second Seminole War, and was an officer in the Civil War until he was given a dishonorable discharge for drunkenness. He went around preaching temperance at lectures, usually while drunk. He incited several riots. He got in plenty of trouble with women too — he was married seven times and was jailed for bigamy. At one point, he was flirting with a married teenager named Mary Porterfield. Her husband, Robert, challenged Buntline to a duel, which of course he accepted, and he killed Robert Porterfield. The angry townspeople attempted to lynch Buntline, and in fact they strung him up hanged him from an awning post. At the last minute, his friends cut the rope and he managed to survive.
It was on this day in 1854 that the Republican Party was founded. The name “Republican” was first used many years before by Thomas Jefferson’s political party, the Democratic Republican Party. That name was shortened to the Democratic Party, which is what we call it today. The present-day Republican Party was formed by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and by members of other parties, like the Democratic and Whig parties, who disagreed with their parties’ positions on slavery. By 1855, the Republican Party was thriving in the North, while it had almost no following in the South. The Republican Party’s first successful candidate for president of the United States was Abraham Lincoln, who was elected in 1860.
It was on this day in 1852 that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published (books by this author). She lived with her husband in Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, a slave state. She was upset by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which forced both authorities and private individuals in the Northern free states to cooperate with the slave states to track down and return slaves. So she decided to write a book about slavery. She couldn’t figure out a plot, until one day, while she was in church, she had a vision of an old slave. He became Uncle Tom, and she started writing. In 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published, selling 10,000 copies in its first week, and about 2 million copies by 1857.
It’s the birthday of the Roman poet Ovid (books by this author), born Publius Ovidius Naso in what is now Sulmo, Italy (43 B.C.) He became a famous, beloved poet in Rome, privy to the inner circles of the court. He published erotic poems, including his Ars Amatoria (2 C.E.), which instructed people on the arts of seduction and lovemaking. And he wrote Metamorphoses (8 C.E.), for which he is best remembered today, which traces Greek and Roman mythology through the lens of humans’ metamorphoses into other objects — plants, stones, stars, and animals.
But then suddenly, in 8 C.E., he was exiled, and nobody today knows why. In his writings, he talks about Emperor Augustus’ anger toward him, and he alludes to having seen something he shouldn’t have seen, but nothing more specific. Whatever the reason, Ovid was sent to Tomi, in what is now Romania, and he was isolated and lonely, longing for his beloved Rome. But even after Augustus died, the next emperor, Tiberius, did not allow Ovid back, and he died in Tomi after about 10 years in exile.
It was on this date in 1916 that Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity (books by this author). He began working on this theory shortly after he published his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, which is centered on the famous equation E=mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared) and explains that both time and motion are relative to the observer.
Einstein said: “When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®