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franklin-bifocals-60 Sunday, March 9, 2008

Explorer Amerigo Vespucci
[1451 - Amerigo Vespucci, merchant, explorer, born in Florence, Italy]

Leland Stanford
[1824 - Leland Stanford, Governor, Senator, railroad baron,
university founder, born in Watervliet, New York]

Amistad Broadside
[1841 - US Supreme Court frees Joseph Cinquez and 35 survivors of the Amistad mutiny]

USS Monitor vs. CSS Virginia (ex. Merrimac)
[1862 - USS Monitor & CSS Virginia engage in first battle of ironclad ships]

Modest P. Mussorgsky
[1839 - Modest P. Mussorgsky, composer, born in Karevo, Russia]

Actor Will Geer
[1902 - Will Geer (William Auge Ghere), actor, born in Frankfort, Indiana]

Actor Raul Julia
[1940 - Raul Julia (Raul Rafael Carlos Julia y Arcelay), actor, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico]

Edward R. Murrow
[1954 - Edward R. Murrow presents his report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy]

Amerigo, Amerigo

O bountiful and specious lies,
You flew the flag of Spain.
Used them all to cloud mens eyes;
It left a lasting stain.

Amerigo, Amerigo,
God gave a place to thee.
To crown thy name, with lasting fame,
You sailed across the sea.

A cartographic accident,
That happened in St. Dié.
Gave name to our new continent,
For all the world to see.

We could have been Columbians,
'Twas Chris who found us first.
Instead we are Americans,
For better, or for worse.

Now for this we thank the man,
Our gratitude is boundless.
We might have been Vespuccian,
Which surely would have clowned us.

Amerigo, Amerigo,
God gave a place to thee.
To crown thy name, with lasting fame,
You sailed across the sea.

William's Whimsical Words:

This piece was inspired by the NY Times review of Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America By Felipe Fernández-Armesto, reviewed by Nathaniel Philbrick. See NY Times review of Amerigo.
Special thanks to Bill Nipper for sending me this link.

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