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+
by Edgar Allan Poe
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell, as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’
‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’
“Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe. Public domain. (buy now)
The first truly portable personal computer was released on this date in 1981. The 25-pound Osborne 1, sold by the Osborne Computer Company, with two floppy drives, a five-inch screen, was a big success, selling 10,000 units a month.
The Pony Express began mail delivery on this date in 1860. The first mail pouch contained 49 letters, five telegrams, and a variety of papers. A rider would switch to a fresh horse every 10 to 15 miles. Each rider rode a leg of 75 to 100 miles. Seventy-five horses were needed to make a one-way trip between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, a distance of 1,800 miles. At an average speed of 10 miles an hour, the Pony Express could cover the distance in 10 days.
The Pony Express, as it came to be known, had only been in operation for about 10 weeks when Congress authorized the construction of a telegraph line to stretch between the Missouri River and the California coast. Once the telegraph connection was completed, the Pony Express became obsolete and it folded in October 1861.
Today is the birthday of Washington Irving (books by this author), born in New York City (1783), who publicized his book A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty by pretending it was written by a man named Dietrich Knickerbocker. He put out missing person notices and posed as Knickerbocker’s landlord, threatening to publish the manuscript to cover back rent. The reading public in 1809 was intrigued by all the drama, the book sold very well, and Irving became the first person in the United States to earn a living by writing. He then wrote a collection of short stories under the name of Geoffrey Crayon, which included his stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”
It’s the birthday of Henry Luce, born to Presbyterian missionaries in the Shantung province of China (1898). In 1923, he co-founded Time magazine, and by the time he retired in 1964, he was head of an enormous publishing empire that included Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines.
Today is the birthday of novelist Leon Uris (books by this author), born in Baltimore (1924), author of the best-selling Exodus (1958). The movie was directed by Otto Preminger, who thought the book was too anti-Arab and anti-British and he rewrote much of the dialogue. Uris denounced him, saying that he had “ruined” the book.
It’s the birthday of a writer whose children’s books have sold more than 20 million copies, Sandra Keith Boynton (books by this author), born to Quaker parents in Orange, New Jersey (1953), one of whom was an English teacher. She went to Yale where she majored in English. She became a designer of humorous greeting cards. It was she who designed a Happy Birthday card with a hippopotamus, a bird, and two sheep on it that said, “Hippo Birdie Two Ewes,” which has sold over 10 million copies.
Her children’s books include Hippos Go Berserk (1996), Chocolate: The Consuming Passion (2015), and Philadelphia Chickens (2002).
It was on this day in 1968 that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final speech in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had come to support striking sanitation workers, in which he famously said, “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!”
The next day, he was assassinated.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®