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Showing posts from January, 2021

Edgar Allan Poe, Born in Boston on January 19, 1809

Photo Courtesy of Boston National Park Service   Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the famous 19th century writer of short stories and novels, was born in Boston on January 19, 1809, to parents who were actors at the Federal Street Theatre in Boston.   On his father's side, “The poet’s ancestors were of the same Scotch-Irish stock that produced Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor. His great-great-grandfather came over and settled in PA in 1945 and his grandfather, David , was commissary general in the continental army and an intimate friend of Gen. Lafayette,” wrote the Boston Globe.   His mother was the daughter of an English actress. Edgar’s father David, Jr and his mother Elizabeth were an ill-fated pair who were part of a traveling troupe of actors, stopping in Boston, New York and other East Coast cities.  When Poe was just three,  his father died of consumption and his mother died a month later, and Poe was adopted by the Allan family in Richmond, VA. He was educated

John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

Sixty years ago, on January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave his inauguration speech on a wintry day in Washington, DC.  Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren administered the oath of office.  Also on the podium: former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry Truman, former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, and Kennedy's wife Jacqueline and family, and other notable citizens. See the entire video of the speech from The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum website .   Here are some passages from the speech: "We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom--symbolizing an end as well as a beginning--signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters. "The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revoluti

Four Mezzo-Rilievo Adorn Martin Milmore's Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Boston Common

The Soldiers and Sailors monument on Boston Common, unveiled in September 1876, was the masterpiece of sculptor Martin Milmore, who emigrated from County Sligo in 1851 with his widowed mother and four brothers, all of whom became noted artists and sculptors.  Milmore was recognized as a gifted artist as a schoolboy when he attended the Brimmer School and Boston Latin School. He apprenticed to noted Boston sculptor Thomas Ball, famous for the George Washington Statue in the Boston Public Garden and the Daniel Webster statue in Central Park, New York. Shortly after Milmore received the commission and the cornerstone was laid by city officials in September 1871, Milmore moved to Rome, Italy, where he spent the next five years modeling his designs, inspired by classical Italian sculpture.   The contract stipulated that the statues and the body of the monument should be granite, and the bas-reliefs marble white.   Milmore wrote to the commission from Rome, asking and receiving their permis