Day 31: Password and Barney Miller

Wow, the last day of March already! It’s truly been a month of fun days! A lot of admirable people were born in March, and a lot of cool inventions, words, TV shows, and events were created in 1962! I had fun exploring the month, year, and day of my birth…so maybe next year? Who knows!

Word of the Day: Password

Password is an American television game show which was created by Bob Stewart for Goodson-Todman Productions. The host was Allen Ludden, who had previously been well known as the host of the G.E. College Bowl.

Password originally aired for 1,555 daytime telecasts each weekday from October 2, 1961 to September 15, 1967 on CBS, along with weekly prime time airings from January 2, 1962 to September 9, 1965 and December 25, 1966 to May 22, 1967. An additional 1,099 daytime shows aired from April 5, 1971 to June 27, 1975 on ABC.

The show’s announcers were Jack Clark and Lee Vines on CBS and John Harlan on ABC.

Two revivals later aired on NBC from 1979 to 1982 and 1984 to 1989, followed by a prime time version on CBS from 2008 to 2009.

In 2013, TV Guide ranked it #8 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.


Famous March Birthday: Hal Linden

Hal Linden (born March 20, 1931) is an American stage and screen actor, television director and musician.

Linden began his career as a big band musician and singer in the 1950s. After a stint in the United States Army, he began an acting career where he first worked insummer stock and off-Broadway productions. Linden found success on Broadway when he replaced Sydney Chaplin in the musical Bells Are Ringing. In 1971, he won a Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Mayer Rothschild in the musical The Rothschilds.

In 1975, he landed his best-known role as the title character in the television comedy series Barney Miller. The role earned him seven Primetime Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Award nominations. During the series’ run, Linden also hosted two educational series, Animals, Animals, Animals and FYI. He won two specialDaytime Emmy Awards for the latter series. Linden won a third Daytime Emmy Award for a guest-starring role on CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1995. Linden has since continued his career on the stage, in films and guest-starring roles on television. He released his first album of pop and jazz standards, It’s Never Too Late, in 2011.


Poem of the Day: Cider Apples, 1962

Cider Apples, 1963

One of them was just a smudge
a hint of red left in the brown mud as if I’d erased it from the scene

it was watercolor, come on

and the shiny dead ones that remained
are too far gone for cider, really

just like me

We were all too far gone
for the thing we’d been designed to do

I was a canvas
left out in the rain

and whether or not I had been painted on before
I wasn’t now

It was watercolor, come on



Inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s Cider Apples, 1962


Day 30: McHale’s Navy

Word of the Day: McHale’s Navy

McHale’s Navy is an American sitcom starring Ernest Borgnine that aired 138 half-hour episodes over four seasons, from October 11, 1962, to April 12, 1966, on the ABC television network. The series was filmed in black and white and originated from an hour drama entitled Seven Against the Sea, broadcast on April 3, 1962. The series is seen, as of 1/6/2016, on American television on Antenna TV.

The series spawned three movies: McHale’s Navy (1964), a sequel McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force (1965) and a film that served as a sequel to the series, also entitled McHale’s Navy (1997).

Academy Award-winning dramatic actor Ernest Borgnine first appeared as Quinton McHale in a one-shot drama called ‘Seven Against the Sea’, which aired as an episode of Alcoa Premiere in 1962, an ABC dramatic anthology also known as Fred Astaire’s Premiere Theatre and hosted by Fred Astaire, who introduced television audiences to the Quinton McHale character. It is considered the pilot show for the series.


Famous March Birthday: Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau

Marcel Marceau, born Marcel Mangel on 22 March 1923  was a French actor and mime most famous for his stage persona as “Bip the Clown”. He referred to mime as the “art of silence,” and he performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years. As a youth, he lived in hiding and worked with the French Resistance during most of World War II, giving his first major performance to 3000 troops after the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Following the war, he studied dramatic art and mime in Paris.

In 1959 he established his own pantomime school in Paris, and subsequently set up the Marceau Foundation to promote the art in the U.S. Among his various awards and honours, he was made “Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” (1998) and was awarded the National Order of Merit (1998) in France. He won the Emmy Award for his work on television, was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, and was declared a “National treasure” in Japan. He was friends with Michael Jackson for nearly 20 years, and Jackson said he would use some of Marceau’s techniques in his own dance steps.


Poem of the Day: Moonlight and Boats, 1871

Moonlight and Boats, 1871

This one’s a seascape:
like the moon froze halfway up
above the harbor

Those bright flecks on the water aren’t gold­
more like oil on canvas
slivers of the Dutch moon

And so this is what life is like
to an impressionist like me

glimpses of life
instead of life itself

shadows and cold strokes
to make the boats and the clouds

and just a sense
of the church and the drawbridge
in the distance

Just like the life I remember

bleak shadows of what really happened
and all under dark skies–

Inspired by Johan Barthold Jongkind’s Moonlight and Boats, 1871


Day 29: The King of Cool

Word of the Day: James Meredith

James Howard Meredith is a Civil Rights Movement figure, writer, political adviser and Air Force veteran. In 1962, he became the firstAfrican-American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, after the intervention of the federal government, an event that was a flashpoint in the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy‘s inaugural address, Meredith decided to exercise his constitutional rights and apply to the University of Mississippi. His goal was to put pressure on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans.

In 2002 and again in 2012, the University of Mississippi led year-long series of events to celebrate the 40th and 50th anniversaries of Meredith’s integration of the institution. He was among numerous speakers invited to the campus, where a statue of him commemorates his role. The Lyceum-The Circle Historic District at the center of the campus has been designated as a National Historic Landmark for these events.


Famous March Birthday: Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen 1959.jpg

Terence Steven “Steve” McQueen was born March 24, 1930. He was an American actor. Called “The King of Cool”, his “anti-hero” persona, developed at the height of the counterculture of the 1960s, made him a top box-office draw of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other popular films include The Cincinnati Kid, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, and Papillon, as well as the all-star ensemble films The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he became the highest-paid movie star in the world, although he did not act in films again for four years. McQueen was combative with directors and producers, but his popularity placed him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.


Poem of the Day: New England Country School, 1871

New England Country School, 1871

It was in this vast space
canvas white all ’round
and wood below
like a frame

it was here that I learned
all I know

how long, for instance,
it took that warm, yellow day
to slide across the open pages
then across the floor
then up the opposite side:

the goin’ home time

a barefoot scholar no less I

was always first out the door and down the road

those bouncing books
as good as forgotten–

Inspired by Winslow Homer’s The Country School, 1871

Day 28: Telstar

Word of the Day: Telstar


Telstar is the name of various communications satellites. The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, and fax images, and provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 launched May 7, 1963. Telstar 1 and 2—though no longer functional—still orbit the Earth.


Famous March Birthday: Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor.jpg

Sandra Day O’Connor (born March 26, 1930) is a retired associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from her appointment in 1981 by Ronald Reagan until her retirement in 2006. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Court.

Prior to O’Connor’s appointment to the Court, she was an elected official and judge in Arizona serving as the first female Majority Leader in the United States as the Republican leader in the Arizona Senate. On July 1, 2005, she announced her intention to retire effective upon the confirmation of a successor. Samuel Alito was nominated to take her seat in October 2005, and joined the Court on January 31, 2006.

Her unanimous confirmation by the Senate in 1981 was supported by most conservatives, led by Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, and liberals, including Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and women’s rights groups like the National Organization for Women.

O’Connor was Chancellor of The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and served on the board of trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Colonial Williamsburg. Several publications have named O’Connor among the most powerful women in the world. On August 12, 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States, by President Barack Obama.


Poem of the Day: Like Life for Spring

Like Life for Spring

Of time, and lofty blooms, I’ve often cared;
Yet, seldom-wares as these now fail to shine,
As life at dusk. Must fishermen unline
Such catch, to wander, aimless, only paired
With dreams? Though you, I’ve noticed, never guard
These minstrels, justly sure that they’ll return
Someday—not even fear at what they’ll turn
Upon you: truly, wisdom in your cards
Breeds naught but optimistic days; and time,
A willing tribute, seeks merely to save
Your cambric tones, your lively dancer’s style—
While futile suitors capture you in rhyme
And thoughts, for nothing stands a road unpaved
So well, as feet once lightened by your smile!


Day 27: Silent Spring

Word of the Day: Silent Spring

Silent Spring is an environmental science book written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962. The book documented the detrimental effects on the environment—particularly on birds—of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims unquestioningly.

In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to the American public. Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Famous March Birthday: Eric Clapton

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009.

In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”. Furthermore, he formed blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. For most of the 1970s, Clapton’s output bore the influence of the mellow style of JJ Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” helped reggae reach a mass market. Two of his most popular recordings were “Layla“, recorded with Derek and the Dominos; and Robert Johnson’sCrossroads“, recorded with Cream.

Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.


Poem of the Day: A Rose in Tanzania

A Rose in Tanzania

Here, in the midst of the Savannah,
the land of hot grass
Is a rose,
an enduring beauty surrounded by thorns—

and what is strength
but beauty, fiercely protected?

She strolls through this land
as bold as Bathsheba

She is finely-tuned
With a mind as rich
and deep, and colorful

and satisfying

as the Song of Solomon

She is a friend and a warrior
a Knight of the Round

fiercely protected

Day 26: “They’re creepy and they’re kooky…”

Word of the Day: Glucose Meter

The glucose meter was invented in 1962. Leland C. Clark Jr. (1918– 2005) presented his first paper about the oxygen electrode, later named the Clark electrode, on 15 April 1956, at a meeting of the American Society for Artificial Organs during the annual meetings of the Federated Societies for Experimental Biology. In 1962, Clark and Ann Lyons from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital developed the first glucose enzyme electrode. This biosensor was based on a thin layer of glucose oxidase (GOx) on an oxygen electrode. Thus, the readout was the amount of oxygen consumed by GOx during the enzymatic reaction with the substrate glucose. This publication became one of the most often cited papers in life sciences. Due to this work he is considered the “father of biosensors,” especially with respect to the glucose sensing for diabetes patients.


Famous March Birthday: John Astin

John Allen Astin (born March 30, 1930) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows, as well as a television director and voice artist and is known for the roles of Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, Evil Roy Slade, and other similarly eccentric comedic characters.

Astin was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for his directorial debut, a comedic short film entitled Prelude (1968).


Poem of the Day: Stevedore


The Stevedore is bringing winter, I see—
A little early: an October wind smells
like rain.

This harvest evening, when a lone yellow lamp
On the porch
Brings light, I see the maples,
Red by name, gold tonight,
Twisting in the wind
almost cold, and dark
Like Scheherezade, and for
the same reason.

There’s sharp lightning in the wind, too,
So I know it’s a storm soon.

But the Stevedore just delivers
and picks up, of course

Day 25: Pepperidge Farm Remembers

Word of the Day: Goldfish 

Goldfish are fish-shaped biscuits manufactured by Pepperidge Farm, a division of the Campbell Soup Company. Originally invented by Oscar J. Kambly at Swiss biscuit manufacturer Kambly in 1958, Goldfish snacks were introduced to the United States in 1962 by Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin.


Famous March Birthday: Descartes

Frans Hals - Portret van René Descartes.jpg

René Descartes  was born March 31,  1596. He was a French philosopher,mathematician, and scientist. Dubbed the father of modern western philosophy, much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. He spent about 20 years of his life in the Dutch Republic.

Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes’s influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system — allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two- or three-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations) — was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, used in the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the scientific revolution.


Poem of the Day: Christina’s World, 1948

Christina’s World, 1948

A mysterious child, she surveys
Her rural nursery, and a young
Wind drifts past, lifting a strand,
Or two, of hair as she sits

In a most regal manner, and she
Observes, hidden by distance,
Her kingdom; a stray thought,
Or two, rushes past, towing hair.

Perhaps, with such grey goals in sight,
She pauses, ignorant of their occupants;
Maybe she must choose to spum one,
Or two, suitors, and hesitates;

Perhaps she is merely Christina,
Merely sitting in a simpler summer
Waiting for autumn, or winter,
Or for the wind to die


Inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World

Day 24: It was a graveyard smash!

Word of the Day: Monster Mash

Monster Mash” is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton’s Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The “Monster Mash” single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20–27 of that year, just before Halloween. It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since. It was on the top 50 in November 2014.


Famous March Birthday: Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh (born March 30, 1853), Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist.


Poem of the Day: Here’s Sunrise

Here’s Sunrise
Here’s sunrise over the lake
As if I’d never been here before:

You’ve met my old friends,
The rainbow’s warming half,
The reflecting pool,
deep enough to hold
the entire sky

And loons, finally, where loons belong
above it all

And there! There I am
bringing it all to life

Day 23: “Live long and prosper…”

Word of the Day: Match Game

Match Game is an American television panel game show that premiered on NBC in 1962 and was revived several times over the course of the next few decades. The game featured contestants trying to come up with answers to fill-in-the-blank questions, with the object being to match answers given by celebrity panelists.
The original Match Game ran on NBC until 1969. The show returned with a significantly changed format in 1973 on CBS and became a hit due to the looser nature of the questions. The CBS series, which was referred to on air as Match Game ’73 to start and changed every new year, ran until 1979 and spawned two separate series for local syndication. The first, called Match Game PM, premiered in 1975 and ran weekly until 1981. The second, simply titled Match Game, premiered in 1979 and aired daily until 1982.
Match Game returned to NBC in 1983 as part of a sixty-minute hybrid series with Hollywood Squares, then saw a daytime run on ABC in 1990 and another for syndication in 1998.


Famous March Birthday: Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston on March 26, 1931. He was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He was known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance released in 2013.

Nimoy began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.

In December 1964, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot “The Cage“, and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series. The character has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters. After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of…, narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe.

Nimoy’s profile as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character. On June 2, 2015, an asteroid, discovered in 1988, was named 4864 Nimoy in his honor.


Poem of the Day: Boots


There are mountains in Virginia, I say-­-

Titan’s playground, where any kid
Could rock-toss and king-o-the-hill

And if there were any kudzu-eaters around,
Even giants, they’d be immortal if they could climb

I can climb, with popping ears
And eyes! you might see me there someday,
Wearing friends like rugged boots,
On my way to a campfire song…

There are valleys, of course
In-between and waiting–
They know that the king-o-the-hill
Must pass through them
So they smile

And I smile–
I have rugged boots

Day 22: Captain Kirk

Today we look at one of my favorite books, and the world’s greatest actor!


Word of the Day: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L’Engle, first published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1962. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract. The book won a Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. It is the first in L’Engle’s series of books about the Murry and O’Keefe families. This book is also a traditional literature book.


Famous March Birthday: William Shatner

William “Bill” Shatner (born March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor, singer, author, producer, director, spokesman, and comedian. He became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise, in the Star Trek franchise. He has written a series of books chronicling his experiences playing Captain Kirk and being a part of Star Trek, and has co-written several novels set in the Star Trek universe. He has also written a series of science fiction novels called TekWar which was adapted for television.

Shatner also played the eponymous veteran police sergeant in T. J. Hooker (1982–86). Afterwards, he hosted the reality-based television series Rescue 911 (1989–96), which won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Dramatic Series. He has since worked as a musician, author, director and celebrity pitchman. He also starred as attorney Denny Crane in the television dramas The Practice (2004) and its spin-off Boston Legal (2004–08), for which he won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.


Poem of the Day: Appalachia Again

I see Appalachia again–
The Catskills, and Adirondacks–
Baby-sleeping in white blankets

If there is more than one
I do not want to know

Leave me with my mountains

When I climbed, I brought along my coloured robes–
Well, shaman ways, and tambourines, to stand
Above it all again, and far away
low clouds, low rain

Hermits, hermitage,
I seek castaways from some outrageous time

Like when pirates ruled the sea