Posted from San Francisco, CA
On the occasion of Charles Henri Ford’s birthday, 10 February
I think it is safe to say that anyone reading this little announcement is someone who knew Charles Henri Ford, or who knows him through his great body of interesting work. Everyone who knew him can attest to the fact that he was an extraordinary person, someone who was not of the mainstream, and that he followed his own star throughout his long and remarkable life. So when I started looking for interesting events that shared their dates with that of Charles making his entry to the world, I was not surprised at what I found to keep him company. February 10th has seen some great moments.
On this day in 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert (and on this day in 1971, the Royal Albert Hall banned a scheduled Frank Zappa concert). In New York in 1897 on this day, the New York Times started including “All the news that’s fit to print” on its front page. February 10th in 1933 introduced the singing telegram here in New York, and in 1949 the Morocco Theatre, also in New York, opened the play, Death of a Salesman. The Tom and Jerry cartoon made its debut in 1940, and in 1946 the first black pro-baseball player Jackie Robinson married Rachel Isum. Bob Dylan released “The Times They Are a’Changin” on this day in 1964, and some of the people who share their birthday with Charles include Boris Pasternak, Jimmy Durante, Bertolt Brecht, Chick Webb, Lon Chaney, Leontyne Price, and Roberta Flack (who was Charles’s neighbor in the Dakota) and those people would have made for a good dinner party downstairs at Ruth’s.
In his diary on this day in 1928, Charles Henri wrote: “But how, how am I to know if I am famous on February 10, 1929? … Plans should be formed, must be formed. Launching a poetry magazine would help immensely…”
He did launch his poetry magazine, called Blues, and it did help. Charles has an luxurious place of residence in history.
Happy Birthday, Charles. Always remembering you, on this day especially.