What I See ~

It’s a Wonderful Life Premiers

Its-a-wonderfu

December 20, 1946: It’s a Wonderful Life Opens

It’s a Wonderful Life premiered at the Globe Theatre in New York on December 20, 1946.

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Considered one of the most popular and beloved films in American cinema, it was produced and directed by Frank Capra based on a short story, “The Greatest Gift” written by Phillip Van Doren Stern in 1939.

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Although it didn’t do well at the box office, the film was nominated for five Academy Awards winning the Technical Achievement award for the development of a new method of simulating falling snow on motion picture sets.

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The movie is recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made placing 11th and would place number one on its list of most inspirational American films of all time. Capra stated that is it his personal favorite of all the films he has directed and screens it for his family every Christmas.

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Jimmy Stewart claimed that of all the movies he’s made, It’s a Wonderful Life is his favorite.

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Frank Capra

Frank Capra

Wonderful Life wasn’t made as a Christmas staple but became so decades after its release. This was a “wonderful” surprise to Frank Capra and the others involved in the production. Capra told the Wall Street Journal in 1984, “It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. The film has a life of its own now, and I can look at it like I had nothing to do with it. I’m like a parent whose kid grows up to be president. I’m proud… but it’s the kid who did the work. I didn’t even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it. I just liked the idea.” He described the theme as “the individual’s belief in himself”.

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On a side note, even in 1946 the movies used product placement. Mr. Grower’s drugstore gives us a peek at what was its_a_wonderful_life14trending in 1946. Some of the products include Coca-Cola, Peterson tobacco pipes, La Unica cigars, Camel cigarettes, Lucky Strike cigarettes, Chesterfield cigarettes, Sweet Caporal cigarettes (there is a sign that says “Ask Dad he knows” that will play a role in the plot), Vaseline hair tonic, Penetro cough syrup, Pepto-Bismol, Bayer Aspirin (“for colds and influenza”), and The Saturday Evening Post.

It’s A Wonderful Life – Final Scene, Tell me you can watch this without your eyes glassing up…

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What Do Sinatra and Neil Young Have in Common

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December 19, 1960: Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

Sinatra wanted freedom. Total artistic freedom to record what he wanted to record and how he wanted to record it; arrangements, mixes, complete artistic autonomy. He wanted to own his work, screw the labels retaining his art. So he created his own label, Reprise Records, and began recording his first sessions today on December 19, 1960.

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logo_Large_90224One of the company’s founding principles under Sinatra’s leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom and eventually complete ownership of their work, including publishing rights. Hell, he was Chairman of the Board… he made the calls. How do you think he got the nickname, “Chairman of the Board”?

Frank called on his Vegas pals, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. to work with him. Others joined, the original roster from 1961 to 1963 included: Bing Crosby, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Esquivel and stand-up comedian Redd Foxx.

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Sinatra’s first album released on Reprise was Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

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Consider Reprise’s roster which grew to include:  Jimi Hendrix

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Early Joni Mitchell recordings

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Neil Young

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The Electric Prunes ~ Lee Hazlewood ~ Arlo Guthrie ~ Tiny Tim ~ Ry Cooder ~ Captain Beefheart ~ Frank Zappa and The Mothers

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Nancy Sinatra ~ Gram Parsons ~ Emmylou Harris ~ Nico’s Desertshore ~ The Fugs ~ Jethro Tull ~ T. Rex ~ The Meters ~ John Cale ~ Little Feat ~ Gordon Lightfoot ~ Richard Pryor ~ Al Jarreau ~ Fleetwood Mac ~ The Beach Boys, and others.

Sinatra eventually sold the label to Warner Bros and in 1976, the Reprise label was deactivated. All of its roster was moved to the main Warner Bros. label except for Sinatra and Neil Young. Sinatra wanted to be the only artist on Reprise and Young refused to agree to change labels.

Today, in addition to Young, it is home to such artists as Devendra Banhart ~ Green Day

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Deftones ~ Michael Bublé ~ Iyaz ~ Enya ~ Mastodon ~ Eric Clapton ~ Fleetwood Mac ~ Serj Tankian ~ Josh Groban ~ Charice ~ Cavo ~ Taking Back Sunday ~ HIM (also on Sire) ~ My Chemical Romance ~ Disturbed. Reprise was also the North American label for British bands Depeche Mode and Oasis.

Sinatra’s first album on Reprise was Ring-a-Ding-Ding! The initial concept was “an album without ballads” that included only up-tempo swing numbers. Ring-A-Ding-Ding! managed a 35 week stay on the charts.

Track listing:

  1. “Ring-a-Ding Ding!” (Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn)
  2. “Let’s Fall in Love” (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)
  3. “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” (Irving Berlin)
  4. “A Foggy Day” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
  5. “A Fine Romance” (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields)
  6. “In the Still of the Night” (Cole Porter)
  7. “The Coffee Song” (Bob Hilliard, Dick Miles)
  8. “When I Take My Sugar to Tea” (Irving Kahal, Sammy Fain, Pierre Norman)
  9. “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” (Berlin)

If you’re wondering who Esquivel is, “he was sometimes called “The King of Space Age Pop” and “The Busby Berkeley of Cocktail Music.” Esquivel is considered one of the foremost exponents of a style of late 1950s-early 1960s quirky instrumental pop that became known (in retrospect) as “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music”.[1]

[1] Wikipedia

Over 5 Million Murdered

eichmannThis Man Engineered the Mass Murder of Over 5 Million People

Adolf Eichmann was a German Nazi SS-Lieutenant Colonel and a major engineer of the mass murder of Jewish people. He was found guilty on this day in 1962 for his crimes against humanity.

10361282867854149921Eichmann was an unremarkable student, to the point where his father sent him to a vocational school. He worked for a while for his father’s mining company, then as a traveling oil salesman. Turns out, when motivated, he was really good at gathering Jews and killing them in large numbers.

In 1941 the policy of emigration changed to extermination. Eichmann and his staff organized the deportation and exterminations of Hungary’s Jewish community after Germany invaded in 1944. Most of them went to Auschwitz where they were killed immediately after they arrived.

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“Historian Richard J. Evans estimates that between 5 12 and 6 million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. Eichmann said towards the end of the war that he would “leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”[1] 

Eichmann fled to Austria after Germany’s defeat in 1945. In 1950 he moved to Argentina using false documents believed to be supplied by German Bishop Alois Hudal. Wanting to save them from embarrassment, documents showing Vatican and German officials colluded in helping German war criminals escape from Europe had a 50 year secrecy order attached to them.

In Argentina: Eichmann in exile managing a small rabbit farm in Joaquin Gorina

In Argentina: Eichmann in exile managing a small rabbit farm in Joaquin Gorina

On May 11, 1960, a team of Mossad captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial. On this day of 1961 he was sentenced to death for his crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against the Jewish people.

He was executed by hanging on May 31, 1962.

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Lest we forget.

Rows of bodies of dead inmates fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp.  This photo shows less than half of the bodies of the several hundred inmates who died of starvation or were shot by Gestapo men.  Germany, April 12, 1945.  Myers.  (Army) NARA FILE #:  111-SC-203456 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #:  1121

Rows of bodies of dead inmates fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. This photo shows less than half of the bodies of the several hundred inmates who died of starvation or were shot by Gestapo men. Germany, April 12, 1945. Myers. (Army) NARA FILE #: 111-SC-203456 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 1121

1. Shirer 1960, Footnote, p. 978.

 

Sittin On The Dock…

December 10, 1967: Otis Redding’s Plane Crashes

Six days before his plane crashed into Lake Monona, Otis Redding recorded “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay”. article1 Redding and his band, the Bar-Kays, were flying into Madison from Cleveland for a performance at The Factory. One band member, 20-year-old Ben Cauley, survived the crash.

Ben Cauley

Ben Cauley

Otis started writing “Sittin” in August ’67 while sitting on a rented houseboat in Sausalito, on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Steve Cooper a producer at Stax Records and guitarist with Booker T and the M.G.’s, helped Redding complete the song. otis5 In a 1990 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Cropper explained the origins of the song:

Otis was one of those kind of guys who had 100 ideas. Anytime he came in to record, he always had 10 or 15 different intros or titles, or whatever. He had been at San Francisco playing The Fillmore, and he was staying at a boathouse, which is where he got the idea of the ship coming in. That’s about all he had: “I watch the ships come in and I watch them roll away again.” I took that and finished the lyrics. If you listen to the songs I wrote with Otis, most of the lyrics are about him. He didn’t usually write about himself, but I did. “Mr. Pitiful,” “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”; they were about Otis’ life. “Dock of the Bay” was exactly that: “I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay” was all about him going out to San Francisco to perform.

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Redding was 26 when he died today in 1967. “Sittin on the Doc…” was his biggest hit released posthumously in 1968. Engineers overdubbed the sound effects of the mournful cries of seagulls and the singer’s lonesome whistling, after his death. otis-studio-a-at-stax Even though the weather was bad, heavy rain and fog, and despite several warnings, the plane took off from Cleveland. Four miles from Truax Field in Madison, WI, the pilot radioed for permission to land. That was it, shortly after the plane crashed into the lake. Ben Cauley, the only surviving member, was sleeping at the time, he woke to his bandmate exclaiming, “Oh no!” Next thing, he found himself in the frigid water grasping a seat cushion to keep afloat.

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The cause of the crash was never determined.

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Sittin on the Dock…

0000278500091December 10, 1967: Otis Redding’s Plane Crashes

Six days before his plane crashed into Lake Monona, Otis Redding recorded “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay”.

article1

Redding and his band, the Bar-Kays, were flying into Madison from Cleveland for a performance at The Factory. One band member, 20-year-old Ben Cauley, survived the crash.

Ben Cauley

Ben Cauley

Otis started writing “Sittin” in August ’67 while sitting on a rented houseboat in Sausalito, on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Steve Cooper a producer at Stax Records and guitarist with Booker T and the M.G.’s, helped Redding complete the song.

otis5

In a 1990 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Cropper explained the origins of the song:

Otis was one of those kind of guys who had 100 ideas. Anytime he came in to record, he always had 10 or 15 different intros or titles, or whatever. He had been at San Francisco playing The Fillmore, and he was staying at a boathouse, which is where he got the idea of the ship coming in. That’s about all he had: “I watch the ships come in and I watch them roll away again.” I took that and finished the lyrics. If you listen to the songs I wrote with Otis, most of the lyrics are about him. He didn’t usually write about himself, but I did. “Mr. Pitiful,” “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”; they were about Otis’ life. “Dock of the Bay” was exactly that: “I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay” was all about him going out to San Francisco to perform.

Otis_Redding_1967

Redding was 26 when he died today in 1967. “Sittin on the Doc…” was his biggest hit released posthumously in 1968. Engineers overdubbed the sound effects of the mournful cries of seagulls and the singer’s lonesome whistling, after his death.

otis-studio-a-at-stax

Even though the weather was bad, heavy rain and fog, and despite several warnings, the plane took off from Cleveland. Four miles from Truax Field in Madison, WI, the pilot radioed for permission to land. That was it, shortly after the plane crashed into the lake. Ben Cauley, the only surviving member, was sleeping at the time, he woke to his bandmate exclaiming, “Oh no!” Next thing, he finds himself in the frigid water grasping a seat cushion to keep afloat.

OTIS REDDING article-2540752-1ABE11DA00000578-801_634x485

 

 

 

 

The cause of the crash was never determined.

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Human Struck by Extraterrestrial!

throwback-thursday-the-day-a-meteorite-hit-a-sylacauga-woman-78f3d0671298c241Human Being Struck by Extraterrestrial!

Ann Hodges was just taking a nap in Sylacauga AL, when a 3.8kg (just over 8 pounds) meteor crashed through her roof, bounced off a large wooden console, smashing her Philco radio and hit her in the hip… OUCH!

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On November 30th 1954, when her husband Eugene got home from work, his house was crawling with strangers. Word spread quickly and so had the rumors. It was part of an alien spacecraft, something had fallen off of an airplane, it was a soviet invasion. The mayor, Ed Howard, called in a geologist who established it as a meteorite and handed it off to the US Air force that helicoptered in and took possession of the rock.

meteorite2_72The Sylacauga meteor was visible from three states as it streaked across the sky even though it was early in the afternoon. The meteor is a chondrite H4 group (mostly iron, some iron oxide and silicates).

Hodges Meteorite

Get this, astronomers actually think they know where the meteorite came from. Based on orbit estimations the best candidate is asteroid 1685 Toro. Because of its unusual orbit is sometimes called “Earths second satellite”.

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Ann became the first human confirmed and documented to have been hit by an extraterrestrial object. There are reports of other instances like the Milanese friar killed by a meteorite in 1677 and a small meteorite fragment hitting a young Ugandan boy in Mbale in 1992. It was stated that the meteorite had been slowed down by a tree and caused no injury to the boy.

A slice of the meteorite, the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, DC

A slice of the meteorite, the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, DC

Mr. Hodges was pissed that their meteorite had been filched. He hired a lawyer to get it back. The landlord also laid claim to the meteorite, claiming damage to his house. At that time is was thought to be worth about $5000.00, a lot of money in 1954. In 2014 dollars that would be around $43,317.00!!

Director Walter B. Jones (left). She is also pictured with her attorney, who helped her secure ownership of the meteorite.

Director Walter B. Jones (left). She is also pictured with her attorney, who helped her secure ownership of the meteorite.

It was such an ordeal and with all the public attention Ann Hodges had had enough… she donated it to the Alabama Museum of Natural History where it resides today.

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Kennedy ~ Huxley ~ Lewis

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November 22, 1963 Kennedy Assassinated…

…barely noticed that same day, C.S Lewis died of renal failure (loss of kidney function). Lewis, a prolific novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, and Christian apologist is perhaps best known for the series of seven books, ”The Chronicles of Narnia”.

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No that's not his dog!

No that’s not his dog!

C.S. Lewis stands for Clive Staples Lewis. When he was four he declared that his new name would be Jacksie (his beloved dog Jacksie had recently died). From then on his family and friends called him Jacksie and eventually Jack.

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A Taste of Jack:

  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

Illistrations (13)

  • Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
  • Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Illistrations (5)

  • Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
  • Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

Illistrations (3)

  • Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.
  • If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

Illistrations (10)

  • Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.
  • We are what we believe we are.

Illistrations (15)

Narnia illustrations by Pauline Baynes

Joy Davidman

Joy Davidman

Later in Lewis’s life he first corresponded with and ultimately met Joy Gresham, an American writer and poet. Initially he regarded her as an equally intelligent companion and friend. He married her in a civil marriage contract April of 1956 so she could continue to live in England. Lewis was the kind of guy who would go to extraordinary lengths to help his friends, and he considered Joy a friend.

Lewis’s brother Warren wrote: “For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met … who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humor and a sense of fun.”

The couple fell deeply in love and greatly desired a Christian marriage. There were some glitches as the Church of England frowned on a divorcee being married in the Church. Lewis enlisted help from his friend, the Rev. Peter Bide who agreed to perform the marriage ceremony from her bed side in March of 1957. Tragically she died of bone cancer July of 1960.

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Steeped in sorrow and pain he wrote Grief Observed under the pseudonym N W Clerk. Ironically many friends recommended the book to help him deal with his own grief.

Epitaph C. S. Lewis placed on Joy’s grave:davidman_memorial_plaque

Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hope that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.

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Re-adjustment ~ C.S. Lewis

I thought there would be a grave beauty, a sunset splendor
In being the last of one’s kind: a topmost moment as one watched
The huge wave curving over Atlantis, the shrouded barge
Turning away with wounded Arthur, or Ilium burning.
Now I see that, all along, I was assuming a posterity
Of gentle hearts: someone, however distant in the depths of time,
Who could pick up our signal, who could understand a story. There won’t be.

Between the new Hembidae and us who are dying, already
There rises a barrier across which no voice can ever carry,
For devils are unmaking language. We must let that alone forever.
Uproot your loves, one by one, with care, from the future,
And trusting to no future, receive the massive thrust
And surge of the many-dimensional timeless rays converging
On this small, significant dew drop, the present that mirrors all.

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Snow in Madrid lotte-joy-davidman- Joy Davidman
Softly, so casual,
Lovely, so light, so light,
The cruel sky lets fall
Something one does not fight.
How tenderly to crown
The brutal year
The clouds send something down
That one need not fear.
Men before perishing
See with unwounded eye
For once a gentle thing
Fall from the sky.

Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, & C.S. Lewis all died on November 22, 1063

Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, & C.S. Lewis all died on November 23, 1963

…Of the People, By the People, For the People…

LincolnGivingGettysburgAddressFour score and seven years ago…

November 19, 1863: After a 2 hour speech by one of the most famed orators of the era, Abraham Lincoln made a few “appropriate remarks” that became one of the most brilliant and powerful expressions of the democratic vision ever written (spoken), the Gettysburg Address. It took him only 272 words, just a bit over 2 minutes to reflect on his belief that the Civil War was not only a fight to save the Union but a declaration of freedom and equality for all. [above: Lincoln giving his Gettysburg Address – painting by Fletcher Cransom]

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One of the only two confirmed photos of Abraham Lincoln (sepia highlight) at Gettysburg, taken about noon.

More than 45,000 men were killed, captured or injured during the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. 45,000… that’s a lot of blood.

DavidWillsAn attorney, David Wills (left) bought 17 acres of pasture land to turn it into a cemetery for more than 7500 Gettysburg dead. Wills invited the famed orator, Edward Everett, to deliver a speech and almost as an afterthought asked Lincoln requesting, “a few appropriate remarks” to concentrate the grounds.

Wills invitation to Lincoln

Wills invitation to Lincoln

Everett

Everett

Afterward Everett sent a letter to the President praising his speech for its eloquence and concision saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

Lincoln replied that he was glad to know the speech was not a “total failure”.

Often referred to as the "Gettysburg Portrait," it was taken in Washington D.C. eleven days prior to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Often referred to as the “Gettysburg Portrait,” it was taken in Washington D.C. eleven days prior to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Sarah A. Cooke Myers, an eye witness to the ceremony (she was 19 when she attended) recollected that the response from the crowd was hushed. When he stopped speaking there was initially no applause, “the applause was delayed, scattered, and “barely polite”. Pennsylvania Governor Curtin said, “He pronounced that speech in a voice that all the multitude heard. The crowd was hushed into silence because the President stood before them … It was so Impressive! It was the common remark of everybody.”

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Close up of Lincoln

Regarding the above picture, from author,Craig Heberton, his ebook- ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG: A REVIEW OF ALEXANDER GARDNER’S STEREOSCOPIC PHOTOGRAPHS (2012).

An eyewitness to the event, Professor Henry E. Jacobs, then a student at Gettysburg’s Lutheran Seminary, recollected that:

“As Mr. Everett was closing his oration, Mr. Lincoln, I thought, was showing some of that nervousness, which, according to Cicero, characterizes all successful oratory. His mind evidently was not on what Mr. Everett was saying, but on his own speech. He drew from his pocket a metallic case and adjusted a pair of steel glasses near the top of his nose. Then, reaching into the side pocket of his coat, he produced a crumpled sheet of paper, which he first carefully smoothed and then read for a few minutes. By this time Mr. Everett had reached his final periods.”

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Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

drinkJoinesActually it was grape flavored Flavor-Aid…

…laced with cyanide and Valium, placed in barrels for members of the Peoples Temple to drink. This way, Jim Jones told them, they wouldn’t have their children and elderly tortured by those crazy, government people.

Don’t mean to bring you down, just a reminder, “he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.” On this day in 1978 the Jonestown Massacre was the single deadliest non-natural disaster in the history of the United States. Not until September 11, 2001 (9/11) were more people killed. It is also the only time in our history that a U.S Congressman was killed in the line of duty.

2771_final-report-jonestown-1_04700300-tmActually it was George Santayana (1863-1952), who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Jim Jones played off the concept of humanitarianism which his followers had initially been attracted to, used the cause of Civil Rights, and preached equality rooted in communism to feed on people’s fears and guilt’s. He promised to create a ‘rainbow family’ where everyone was truly equal.

JONESTOWN 25TH

Teri Buford O’Shea, who escaped just weeks before the mass murders and suicides, recalled, “The first time I met him, I was convinced he could read minds, cast spells, do all kinds of powerful things, both good and evil. I was afraid of him and stayed afraid of him for seven years.”

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After all was said and done many of Jones’ followers still believed in his vision. A note from one woman who drank the Flavor Aid was found on his body, the note reads, “I agree with your decision — I fear only that without you the world may not make it to communism.”

jonestown-map

gal-assassinated-ryan-jpgU.S. Congressman Leo Ryan (left) from San Mateo, CA heard some reports of weird things going on in Jonestown so he, an advisor, an NBC film crew and some Peoples Temple relatives set out for Jonestown located in the South American country of Guyana.

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Ryan on the right

Initially everything looked fine but later that first evening someone slipped a note to one of the film crew saying some members wanted out.

The following day, November 18, 1978, Ryan announced that he was willing to take anyone who wished to leave back to the United States. Being terrified of the wrath of Jones, only a few people accepted.

When it was time to leave, a group of people scrambled to get on the truck. Ryan stayed back to see if anyone else wanted to go. Before the truck was out of sight a Temple member attacked Ryan trying to cut his throat.

Remembering Jonestown

The assailant failed, but it became obvious that the whole group was in danger as they picked up Ryan and raced off to the airport. They arrived safely at the airport but the planes were not ready to go. As they waited a truck and trailer pulled up and Temple members started shooting, killing Ryan and four others. Many others were severely injured. The rest escaped into the jungle.

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Back in Jonestown Jones gathered members and told them what had happened, that Ryan was dead. He was in a panic (he was nuts, IMHO) and pushed everything to happen quickly. He told them the U.S Government was going to send paratroopers to shoot and torture innocent babies and the elderly, saying, “If these people land out here, they’ll torture some of our children here. They’ll torture our people, they’ll torture our seniors. We cannot have this.”

syringes & cups

Now this M-F-er told everyone to hurry. Large kettles were filled with the Flavor-Aid spiked with cyanide and Valium. They brought their babies and children up first using syringes to squirt death down the throats of the innocents. Then the mothers drank.

The rest of the sheep congregation was next. Many were dead before the others even got their punch. If anyone was a little hesitant, guards with guns and crossbows were around to encourage them. It took about five minutes for each person to die.

Syria-massacre-of-children

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All in all 918 died, 276 of them were children. A handful of people survived by either escaping into the jungle or hiding somewhere in the compound. The coward Jones died by taking the easy way out with a gunshot to the head. It’s unclear whether he did it himself or not.

http://www.history.com/topics/jonestown/videos/jonestown-massacre

Lest we forget.

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Thar She Blows…

Boom-Big

Nov 12, 1970: Thar She Blows

Guys like to blow things up right, and George Thornton couldn’t wait to blow up a whale beached on a Florence OR, shoreline. Whoo-Hoo!

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Fin Whale

Fin Whale

Residents of Florence  found a dead 45-foot whale on their local beach. Originally thought to be a gray whale, then a humpback, or a sei whale, biologists now believe it to be a fin whale.

They figured it was too big to bury so decided to blow it up thinking it would disintegrate into pieces small enough for scavengers to clear up.

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George Thornton

George Thornton

A HALF TON of dynamite was lined along the shoreward side of the whale hoping it would blast the blubber back out to the sea. Frankly, Thornton had no idea how much dynamite they would need for the job so guessed more was better.

Laying Dynamite

Laying Dynamite

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It just so happened that Walter Umenhofer was on the scene looking for a manufacturing site for his employer. Umenhofer, a military veteran with explosives training, warned Thornton that the amount of dynamite he was planning to use was very, very wrong. Instead of 20 cases he suggested 20 sticks of dynamite. Thornton wasn’t interested in his advice.

An Odd Coincidence

Umenhofer had just recently bought a new Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regence from Dunham Oldsmobile in Eugene, OR. He bought the Olds during their “Get a Whale of a Deal” promotion. His 98 Olds was flattened by a chunk of falling blubber from the blast.

smashed-car

Paul Linnman

Paul Linnman

The blast was caught on film by cameraman Doug Brazil, with reporter Paul Linnman of KATU-TV Portland, OR. The explosion blew large pieces of smelly blubber up to a quarter mile away landing near buildings, parking lots and businesses in the vicinity.

Most of the whale remained on the beach to be cleared away by highway workers. Ironically, the scavenger birds they hoped would eat the remains of the carcass were all scared away by the blast.

In ending his report, Linnman noted that, “It might be concluded that, should a whale ever be washed ashore in Lane County again, those in charge will not only remember what to do, they’ll certainly remember what not to do.”

Charlize Theron Gets Hit By Exploding Whale

wilbur_the_washed-up_whale_607835 scientific-research large funny-pictures-auto-comics-spaceavalanche-364282 d9f180681ffa7d0 'Hey, nice hammock, Gary.' Whale Watch Tours. 'Call me paranoid if you like, but I feel as if people are watching me all the time...'

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