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Today

Robert Frost (1874)
Perhaps the most popular and beloved of 20th-century American poets, Frost wrote of the character, people, and landscape of New England. Rooted in the New England landscape, yet deeply symbolic, his work is concerned with human tragedies and fears, the complexities of life, and the ultimate acceptance of one's burdens. Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times—in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. He recited a poem at the inauguration of which US president? Discuss

Béla Bartók (1881)
Bartók was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, and collector of folk music. In 1904, having discovered that the folk-music repertory generally accepted as Hungarian was in fact largely urban Roma—Gypsy—music, he set about researching Hungarian folk music. He worked folk themes and rhythms into his own music, achieving a style that was at once nationalistic and deeply personal. What surprising discoveries did he make in his study of folk music?

Ub Iwerks (1901)
After starting an unsuccessful art studio with Walt Disney, Iwerks continued working on film animation until Disney brought him to Hollywood in 1923 to help draw Alice in Cartoonland. Together, Disney and Iwerks created Mickey Mouse—drawn by Iwerks, with Disney providing the voice. Iwerks went on to develop many special effects for animated movies, winning Academy Awards in 1959 and 1965 for his technical contributions to motion pictures. What other cartoon characters did Iwerks create?

Quote of the Day

Gustave Flaubert
Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this. Discuss

John F. Kennedy
In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and to our country.

Alexander Hamilton
When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.

This Day in History

Heaven's Gate Cult Members Found Dead (1997)
Established in 1972, Heaven's Gate was a cult that advocated self-renunciation, to the point of castration, as preparation for the "transition" to a new life on a spaceship, which adherents believed was trailing behind the comet Hale-Bopp. As the comet made its closest approach to Earth, 39 members of the group committed suicide. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their bunk beds, dressed identically and wearing armbands that read "Heaven's Gate Away Team." How did the group fund itself? Discuss