February 9: Drama and Television

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
February 9
Drama and Television

110.
Now look here, Smithers. They’s two kind’s of stealing. They’s the small kind, like what you does, and the big kind, like I does. Fo’ de small stealing dey put you in jail soon or late. But fo’ de big stealin’ dey puts your picture in de paper and yo’ statue in de Hall of Fame when you croak. If dey’s one thing I learned in ten years on de Pullman cars, listenin’ to de white quality talk, it’s dat same fact. And when I gits a chance to use it . . . from stowaway to emperor in two years. Dat’s goin’ some!
~Eugene O’Neill, The Emperor Jones (1920)

111.
If that ghost have money I tells him never to haunt you – less’n he wants to lose it!
~Eugene O’Neill, The Emperor Jones (1920)

Money Matters.05b

February 9: Physicists

Day Williams created this graphic depiction of this date.
February 9
Physicists

110.
The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.
~Sir William Bragg. Sir William Henry Bragg (1862–1942) was a British physicist, chemist, mathematician and active sportsman who uniquely shared a Nobel Prize with his son William Lawrence Bragg − the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics.

111.
We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.
~Marie Curie. Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867–1934) was a Polish physicist and chemist, working mainly in France, who is famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in Paris’ Panthéon.

February 8: “Abraham Lincoln” (3/9) by Day Williams

III.

But milksickness took Nancy Lincoln’s life
At thirty-six, Abe whittling pine wood pegs
That held together planks the men had shaped

For Nancy’s coffin, and they buried her
Beside a path where deer ran through the woods.
The boy, who would in manhood hold a house

Together as it warred against itself,
Whose words would consecrate a battlefield,
Shed tears when Tom and Dennis buried her,

His childhood dying on a winter day.
His heart alone could understand its grief.
In thirteen months Tom married Sally Bush,

Who took a liking to young Abe, acquired
New clothes for him, and prompted him to read.
Abe read the Bible–source of Lincoln’s style

And love of righteousness declared in law–
And Pilgrim’s Progress, Life of Washington,
Aesop’s Fables, history, and DeFoe.

The home-schooled boy and future President
Grew up in Indiana, and became
A storyteller and a wit who worked

On farms, on flatboats and in blacksmith shops,
A man experienced at many tasks
And comfortable with people high and low.

On Sundays people went to meeting, men
Attired in deerskin pants and moccasins,
The women dressed their best, and neighbors talked

Of hunting game, of crops and children’s growth,
Until the Baptist preacher took a text
And preached the Gospel to the backwoods folks.

God-breathed, inscribed by men in holy fear,
The Word of God is sharper than a two-
Edged sword: it penetrates to split the soul

And spirit, joints and marrow; it is judge
Of thoughts and attitudes of human hearts.
The preacher’s Word sliced through the heart and bones

Of unschooled folks who lived by faith not sight,
And made a home in Lincoln’s heart and mind.
In eighteen-thirty Abe packed up again,

Driving a wagon drawn by oxen team
North of the Sangamon in Illinois.
Now six foot four, two hundred fourteen pounds,

He won New Salem’s praise when he prevailed
Against a bully in a wrestling match.
When Chief Black Hawk rode with five hundred braves

Across the river, Lincoln volunteered,
For duty called, and he was strong and bold.
Elected captain of a company,

He led this band, this “hardest set of men,”
Into no battles, and he had to save
An Indian who wandered into camp

From frontier soldiers eager to destroy
All Indians, including friendly ones.
The man who would emancipate the slaves

Thus stood alone, as he would often stand
Alone, to guard against abuse of force,
Protecting innocence from injury,

Obedient to mercy’s higher law.
Back in civilian life, declared a Whig,
He dared to stand against the crowd,

For all the Jackson Democrats enjoyed
The popularity their President
Had gained as military superstar.

February 9: “Abraham Lincoln” (4/9) by Day Williams

IV.

Upon defeat for public office, Abe
Took different jobs: he ran a general store
And managed a post office; he split rails,

Worked at a mill, and surveyed land, then ran
Again and won in eighteen-thirty-four
And eighteen thirty-six, an able hand

At politics who linked his words to strength.
No abolitionist, he took the road
Between extremes, and made no enemies.

In his spare moments at his store, he read
On principles in Blackstone’s works,
Reciting definitions of the rights,

The wrongs, and remedies in English law,
Going at law in earnest, reading books
Until his eyes were red and glazed as though

A fire was burning under strips of ice.
In later years he told the men who asked
About a course of study in the law,

“Your resolution to succeed is more
Vital than any other single thing.”
He read and worked, and was enrolled with oath,

Attorney and a counsellor at law.
Licensed to practice law in every court
In Illinois, he rode the Circuit, learned

To pay attention to minutiae, used
The law and common sense to sway the judge,
And won respect for fairness, honesty,

And arguments abundant in their wealth
Of illustrations, principles, and wit.
Committed to the law and public life,

Where records show successes and defeats,
His life is not so difficult to trace, except
For the events behind his romances

With women: Ann, who died of fever in
Her early years, and made a mumbling ghost
Of Lincoln; Mary Owens, who refused

To marry him; and Mary Todd, ten years
His junior, who repeated vows with him
Inside her sister’s home one winter day.

“Love is eternal” said the words inscribed
Upon the ring he gave to her, whose tongue
Could terrorize delivery boys and maids,

And taught sad Abraham longsuffering
And patience, virtues leaders must acquire
To persevere through blizzards, hail and rains.

 

February 9: “Conquered” by Dorothy Day

Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be,
For Christ–the Conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under the rule which men call chance,
My head, with joy, is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears,
That Life with Him and His the Aid,
That, spite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and will keep me unafraid.

I have no fear though straight the gate:
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate!
Christ is the Captain of my soul!