“Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”
That Gentle Readers, was the first intelligible message transmitted by Alexander Graham Bell’s invention, the telephone. The patent was issued on this day in 1876 and the message came just three days later. Bell was issued his patent just 2 hours before Elisha Gray, sparking multiple lawsuits over the years. Bell would survive and his patent would be upheld in all of them. His company would grow to the become the telecommunications giant, American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T), that we know today.
Hollywood gave us two great events on this day in history. In 1988 the Writer’s Guild of America went on strike, creating panic on televisions everywhere. While a side deal allowed Roseanne to skyrocket to No. 2 on the ratings during this time, the glut in programming perhaps gave rise to reality TV as we know it today. Shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Cops gained market share otherwise reserved for sitcoms. It would seem this would give lead to the rise of shows I greatly enjoy now, such as Criminal Minds and Law & Order, as well as CSI. Thanks Hollywood for arguing over money so that I could watch some great shows. I could do without things like Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Duggar family and their shows, Kate and her 8 as well. American Idol wasn’t too bad in its first few seasons, but it has sadly run its course, ending this year. I haven’t really watched much of it since Simon Cowell’s departure. His acidic tongue made it worth watching.
The second of Hollywood’s contributions to March 7th came in 2010 when Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar for Best Director for her work with ‘The Hurt Locker’. In her acceptance speech, Kathryn said, “I hope I’m the first of many [women], and of course, I’d love to just think of myself as a filmmaker. And I long for the day when that modifier can be a moot point.” Here’s to you Kathryn. May you truly be the first of many. The film also took in Oscars for best picture, film editing, sound editing, sound mixing and original screenplay.
In the Literary world, Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by the Woods” was published on this day in 1923 by The New Republic. This poem has been an introduction to poetry for many decades of English students with its iconic first line, “Whose woods these are, I think I know. His house is in the village though,”. Frost’s career was launched in 1913 after moving to England when he published A Boy’s Will, a collection of poems. This critically acclaimed work would garner him a publishing deal in his native United States. He would return stateside when World War I broke out. He would continue publishing while he taught at many prestigious universities such as Amherst, University of Michigan, Harvard, and Dartmouth. I think my favorite of his is:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
My English class in middle school did a lot of poetry reading and this was a popular one then as it is now. Strive to take the path less traveled my Gentle Readers, for it will make all the difference. Until next time. Live well, write well, be well.