This Day in Jewish History / Allen Ginsberg Gives First Public Reading of ‘Howl’

At 29, Beatnik poet recites those words that have since become iconic: ‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.’

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On October 7, 1955, Allen Ginsberg read his poem “Howl” before an audience for the first time. Appearing as the penultimate of six poets who read at Six Gallery in San Francisco that night, the 29-year-old...