For Satchmo, a 'Rebirth'--but Hold the Fireworks

--Maybe now, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong will get a birthday party all to himself. New Orleans has long celebrated July 4 as the birthday of both the jazz legend and the United States. But music historian Tad Jones said the late jazzman not only was not born on Independence Day 1900, as he had said, but was more than a year younger than he thought. Jones has a certificate from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in New Orleans showing that Armstrong was baptized there on Aug. 25, 1901, three weeks after his birth on Aug. 4. Many poor, ill-educated people born around the turn of the century did not know their birthdays. Therefore, music scholars have long suspected that Armstrong's claim of a July 4, 1900, birth was a convenient fiction for the world-famous trumpeter and singer. Officials at Sacred Heart of Jesus were aware of the baptismal record but assumed it could not be for the musician because the date was so far from the generally accepted one, Jones said. But the parents' names on the baptismal entry matched and also fit with a 1910 census record and an earlier biographical reference saying the child was christened at Sacred Heart, Jones said.

--The outcome was up in the air as Denver Mayor Federico Pena and Albuquerque Mayor Ken Schultz made a wager on which city could do the best job of clearing its skies during the usually high pollution winter season. If Denver's anti-air pollution efforts make more progress than Albuquerque's, Pena gets a bushel of New Mexico chilies. If Albuquerque's beefed-up pollution fight produces better results, Schultz will receive tickets to a Broncos football game and to a Denver Nuggets basketball game. Schultz made the challenge after hearing criticism of his city on a television show in which Pena touted Denver's success in battling its brown cloud.

--Both his hometown of Scranton, Pa., and neighboring Wilkes-Barre saluted Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, as military bands, honor guards and various local officials participated in "Frank Carlucci Day." Along with the keys to both cities, the secretary received a model of a Civil War cannon and a bronze reproduction of the statue his grandfather had built in Scranton's square. Carlucci offered some advice to his successor at the Defense Department: "Be sure you have long days because it takes a lot of time."

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