Today in History, March 1

Super-soldier Steve Rogers and his vibranium shield were introduced by Marvel Comics in “Captain America Comics #1,” published 75 years ago today.

* * * *
Six Companies, Inc., the consortium of construction businesses that built Hoover Dam, formally handed control of the dam to the federal government 80 years ago today. President Frankin D. Roosevelt attended the dedication in September 1935, but it took months to work out the agreement over the control of the massive construction.

* * * *

“I hope that you will pardon me for this unusual posture of sitting down during the presentation of what I want to say, but… it makes it a lot easier for me not to have to carry about ten pounds of steel around on the bottom of my legs.”—President Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 1, 1945

On this date in 1945, President Roosevelt addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress from a chair in front of the room. He was there to discuss his recent trips abroad, which included the Yalta Conference, but his exhaustion was palpable. It was the first and only time he acknowledged his disability while President. Five weeks later, he was dead.

* * * *
Frédéric Chopin was born on this date in 1810. Glenn Miller was born on this date in 1904. David Niven was born in 1910 on this date. Harry Caray was born in 1914 on this date. Robert Lowell was born 99 years ago today. “Harpo Marx” by Robert Lowell:

Harpo Marx, your hands white-feathered the harp—
the only words you ever spoke were sound.
The movie’s not always the sick man of the arts,
yours touched the stars; Harpo, your motion picture
is still life unchanging, not nature dead.
I saw you first two years before you died,
a black-and-white fall, near Fifth in Central Park;
old blond hair too blonder, old eyes too young.
Movie trucks and five police trucks wheel to wheel
like covered wagons. The crowd as much or little.
I wish I had knelt … I age to your wincing smile,
like Dante’s movie, the great glistening wheel of life—
the genius happy … a generic actor.

Terence Cardinal Cooke was born on this date in 1921. William Gaines was born in 1922 on this date. Yitzhak Rabin was born in 1922 on this date.

* * * *
Richard Wilbur is 95 today. “The Beautiful Changes” by Richard Wilbur:

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.
 
The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.
 
Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

Robert Clary is 90 today. A recent interview with the “Hogan’s Heroes” star:

 
Harry Belafonte is 89 today. “Jump in the Line”:

 
Robert Conrad is 81 today. Roger Daltrey is 72 today. Burning Spear is 71 today. Lana Wood is 70. Alan Thicke is 69. Ron Howard is 62 today. Catherine Bach is 62 today. Will Power is 35 today. Justin Bieber is 22 today.

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