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franklin-bifocals-60 Sunday, March 9, 2014

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

Tycoon Leland Stanford    Politician & Railroad Tycoon Leland Stanford in 1890
[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 the first sea battle of ironclad ships]

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

Entertainer Eddie Foy, Sr.    Entertainer Eddie Foy, Sr.
[1856 - Eddie (Edwin Fitzgerald) Foy Sr., actor, comedian, dancer, born in New York City]

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

Writer Mickey Spillane    Mystery Writer Mickey Spillane
[1918 - Mickey (Frank Morrison) Spillane, writer, born in Brooklyn]

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin    Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
[1934 - Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut, born in Klushino near Gzhatsk, Russia]

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

Chess Champion Bobby Fischer    Chess Champion Bobby Fischer
[1943 - Bobby Fischer, World Chess Champion, born in Chicago]

Journalist Edward R. Murrow
[1954 - Ed Murrow presents his report on Senator Joseph 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 Fernandez-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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