The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

April 26, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Frederick Law Olmstead

Frederick Law Olmstead was the first director of the organization that was to become the Red Cross. He masterminded the medical relief needed to take care of the wounded in the Civil War. He was instrumental in establishing the national park system and the U.S. Forest Service. He personally designed Yosemite National Park and 13 college campuses, including Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. But he is best remembered as the man who designed and built the greatest park in the world, Central Park in New York City. In 1857, when his design for New York's Central Park was accepted, no American city provided large open spaces for public relaxation, because the poor conceived of parks as aristocratic preserves where royalty rode their horses, and because the rich thought of parks as refuges for idlers and hoboes. To Olmstead, however, a democracy worth its name needed places where persons of all classes and occupations could come together for enrichment and regeneration. In Manhattan, however, where the population is most dense -- a particular city block in Manhattan at 8th Avenue and 94th Street, now holds a population as big as Hartford, Connecticut -- the need for breathing space is most urgent. New Yorkers have that space today because of the foresight (and the political doggedness) of Fred Olmstead. Imagine, putting a park right in the middle of the most expensive real estate in the world! A park that is 51 blocks long and almost a half-mile wide! Business interests were appalled. But Olmstead overcame them, had squatters removed, drained the swamps, cleared and regraded the land, put in thousands of trees, and created a dozen artificial lakes.

MODEL: Olmstead had a good, descriptive name. He was steadfast. If you know you are right, don't let people bully you. You be steadfast, too.

Your Birthday Today:

April 26
Day of the Shepherd Taurus

Sturdy, Self-reliant, Reasonable

Isolated, Immovable,

Up and running. If you were born on April 26, you have a yen for creating new systems and maintaining them as well. This demonstrates a patience and stamina to last the long haul. You will go to the ends of the earth to protect the social organizations and personal relationships you hold dear. Ruled by the number 8 and the planet Saturn, you tend to be cautious and conservative.

Like a rock. You can be very stubborn and unwilling to give up on established projects or ideas. Though you will listen to reason and constructive criticism, you will not listen if the advice is to abandon the endeavor altogether. Your dedication to preserving your ordered world may lead to loneliness. You may alienate others by having little tolerance for what you consider "oddball" ideas.

Philosophy. Though realistic, you can be contemplative and need little encouragement to spell out your conservative philosophy on life. You are usually on the side of the existing social system except for certain items you don't find reasonable. Removing unnecessary rules and bureaucratic deadwood, you feel, is part of maintaining the social system.

Efficiency. You enjoy serving others, even if maintenance is not the most glamorous job in the world. The challenge of keeping an office or operation running smoothly is its own reward. You can be quite unrelenting in your management but still leave room for a little fun on the job.

Here's some advice: Avoid being abrasive and blunt. It only turns people off. Watch your tendency toward prejudice and bigotry. Learn to listen to the wishes and ideas of others. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and walk away.

Also born on this day: David Hume (Scottish philosopher) John James Audobon (ornithologist, painter) Carol Burnett (comedienne, actress) Anita Loos (scriptwriter) Rudolf Hess (Hitler deputy) Ma Rainey (blues singer, composer) Donna De Verona (gold medal-winning swimmer) Alfred Krupp (19th c. industrialist) Jules Stein (MCA founder) Bobby Rydell (rock & roll singer) I.M. Pei (Chinese architect)