Letters: Where's George?

Scott Simon reads letters from listeners. This week: a correction on the whereabouts of George Washington, and compliments to a singer jailed in Philly for his sidewalk crooning.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

(Soundbite of music)

SCOTT SIMON, host:

First, thank you so much to those of you who wrote this past week to say you enjoyed my account of the welcome our older daughter gave our new daughter when we picked her up in China. It's nice to have them both back home, and it's nice to be back with you.

Now in an interview last week with A.J. Jacobs, I referred to a famous painting of George Washington standing in the prow of a boat before his Christmas Eve attack on Trenton. We had General Washington embarking from Valley Forge, but as Nelson Camp(ph) of Southampton, Pennsylvania, reminded us: the boat was not at Valley Forge where the nearest river was the Schuylkill but at Taylorsville, later renamed Washington's Crossing on the Delaware.

John Pasheto(ph) of Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania, adds that crossing is what's depicted in the famous painting. The crossing and the battle all took place in late December of 1776. Valley Forge, on the other hand, was not occupied by Washington's forces until the winter of 1777-78. My apologies for the mistake.

We got scads of letters about our conversation with Anthony Riley. He was arrested for singing without a permit in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square.

Warren Hadlick(ph) of Atlanta wrote: We should all be thankful that singing is a crime in the Philadelphia parks, otherwise we would not have been treated to Anthony Riley's truly fantastic voice on your program.

Lois Henry(ph) of New York City told us after hearing Mr. Riley sing, I have to wonder what the residents of Rittenhouse Square would rather be listening to. Please send him to the pavement beneath my window. But we noticed Ms. Henry didn't pass along her address up in Manhattan.

And we heard from several residents of Rittenhouse Square, including Max Manns(ph) and Arthur Newmark(ph), who wanted us to know that they liked the singing in the park and never complained about Anthony Riley. No, maybe we should hear some of his singing again.

(Soundbite of song "A Change Is Gonna Come")

Mr. ANTHONY RILEY (Singer): (Singing) It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die because I don't know what's up there beyond the sky. It's been a long, a long time coming. But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will.

SIMON: We welcome your comments and corrections, just come to our Web site npr.org and click on Contact Us. And please remember to tell us where to live and how to pronounce your name.

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