November 22 Dallas- The aftermath

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I can’t think of any other political family who had to endure the amount of tragedies as the Kennedys did.I will not go into the details of the assassination of President KennedyLyndon B. Johnson because so much is already written about it, I will focus more on some of the events which happened in the aftermath.

But before I do that I will touch a small bit on the Kennedy history prior to November 22 1963.

JFK was not the first Kennedy who had his live cut short .On August 12, 1944 Joe Kennedy Jr was killed in action during WWII.

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Another Kennedy who is often forgotten is Patrick Bouvier Kennedy , the last child of United States President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Patrick died only a few months before his dad, on August 9 1963.

He was born on August 7  the 20th anniversary of the day the Navy had rescued his Father in World War II.

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Patrick Bouvier Kennedy only lived for 36 hours.

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The swearing in and the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson

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In the hospital, Johnson was surrounded by Secret Service agents, who encouraged him to return to Washington in case he too was targeted for assassination. Johnson wished to wait until he knew of Kennedy’s condition; at 1:20 pm he was told Kennedy was dead and left the hospital almost twenty minutes later.

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At this point arrangements were made to provide Secret Service protection of the two Johnson daughters (Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson), and it was decided that the new president would leave on the presidential aircraft because it had better communications equipment. Johnson was driven by an unmarked police car to Love Field, and kept below the car’s window level throughout the journey.

Johnson waited for Jacqueline Kennedy, who in turn would not leave Dallas without her husband’s body, to arrive aboard Air Force One. Kennedy’s casket was finally brought to the aircraft, but takeoff was delayed until Johnson took the oath of office.

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Spare a thought here, Jackie Kennedy who 3 months earlier lost a child and who still had the blood of her husband on her suit had to attend the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson on Air Force One. What an amazing woman.

I have heard people say “why couldn’t they wait until they were back at the White House” but legally in order to keep the office of the President of the United States of America in continuation, the vice president most be sworn in as soon as possible.

The Kennedy children.

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People often forget that the Children were victims too, as their mother had to deal with the grief of losing a child and husband, they had to deal with the loss of a sibling and father.

On the day of JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963, nanny Maud Shaw took Caroline and John Jr. away from the White House to the home of their maternal grandmother, Janet Lee Auchincloss , who insisted that Shaw be the one to tell Caroline about her father’s death. That evening, Caroline and John Jr. were brought back to the White House, and while Caroline was in her bed, Shaw broke the news to her.

John Jr had his 3rd Birthday 3 days after his Father’s assassination. The state funeral was held , on John Jr.’s third birthday. In a moment that became an iconic image of the 1960s, John Jr. stepped forward and rendered a final salute as his father’s flag-draped casket was carried out from St. Matthew’s Cathedral.

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr died  On July 16, 1999,when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The two passengers on board, Kennedy’s wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren, were also killed. The Piper Saratoga light aircraft had departed from Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey, and its intended route was along the coastline of Connecticut and across Rhode Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

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J.D. Tippit

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At 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes after Kennedy was shot, Tippit received a radio order to drive to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of police around the center of the city. At 12:54, Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed. By then several messages had been broadcast describing a suspect in the killing of Kennedy as a slender white male, in his early thirties, 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall, and weighing about 165 pounds (75 kg). Oswald was a slender white male, 24 years old, 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall, and an estimated weight of 150 pounds (68 kg) at autopsy.

At approximately 1:11–1:14 p.m.,Tippit was driving slowly eastward on East 10th Street — about 100 feet (30 m) past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue — when he pulled alongside a man who resembled the police description.Oswald walked over to Tippit’s car and apparently exchanged words with him through an open vent window.

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Tippit opened his car door and as he walked toward the front of the car, Oswald drew his handgun and fired four shots in rapid succession. One bullet hit Tippit in the chest, one in the stomach, another in his right temple (one bullet hit a button and did not penetrate his skin). Tippit’s body was transported from the scene of the shooting by ambulance to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 p.m. by Dr. Richard A. Liguori.

I know there are gazillions of conspiracy theories and every one is free to believe them. I however tend to stick with the facts.

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Who shot JR?

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This question will trigger 2 new questions.

The 1st one by younger generations who never experienced the anxiety that Dallas fans had, their question will be “Who is Jr?”dallas 15

The second group who belong to my generation and older, when they realize that the question in the title was answered today 37 years ago, they will ask themselves”37 year!,am I really that old?

On this day in 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers.

Not that it really mattered whodunit. What mattered was, the issue was settled. The mystery solved. Dallas fans could finally move on.

The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.

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Who thought that Bing Crosby’s daughter could so such a thing.

As J.R. had many enemies, audiences were hard-pressed to guess who was responsible for his attempted murder. That summer, the question “Who Shot J.R.?” entered the national lexicon, becoming a popular t-shirt slogan, and heightening anticipation of the soap’s third season, which was to air in the fall. After a much-talked-about contract dispute with Hagman was finally settled, the season was delayed because of a Screen Actors Guild strike, much to the dismay of “Dallas” fans. When it finally aired, the episode revealing J.R.’s shooter became one of television’s most watched shows, with an audience of 83 million people in the U.S. alone—a full 76 percent of all U.S. televisions on that night were tuned in—and helped put “Dallas” into greater worldwide circulation. It also popularized the use of the cliffhanger by television writers.

J.R.’s poor wife Sue Ellen, unsurprisingly drunk at the time, got the blame first, and was jailed, with father-in-law Jock (the sorely missed Jim Davis) turning on her with a vengeance.

But in the end, it was Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister and J.R.’s mistress, who did the deed, stealing J.R.’s gun from Sue Ellen by tempting the onetime beauty queen with liquor and later sneaking the weapon back into Sue Ellen’s closet.

When she finally confessed to J.R. and Sue Ellen, the “Dallas” writers had another twist up their sleeves. You can’t jail me, Kristin taunted, “Not unless you want YOUR CHILD born in prison.”

Cue the DUH-DUH-DUH swelling music. Yes, pregnancy, the convenient wrench thrown into all soap-opera stories.

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Kristin Shepard then went on to kill JR’s brother Bobby. Or did she?

Well yes and no, she did kill him by car but in a twist that didn’t actually happen, Because after Bobby was dead for a season he suddenly appeared in a shower again.

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But that would warrant a complete separate blog.

Although Tom(Pat Shortt) a character in the sitcom “Father Ted” claims he shot JR we can safely assume it was in fact Sue Ellen’s sister who did it.

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United Artists no more-How “Heaven’s gate” broke the studio

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This is more of a personal blog then factual although the facts are real, but when I say personal it is more a matter of taste.

In 1978 Michael Cimino directed the classic movie “the Deer Hunter” The_Deer_Hunter_posterEven though I was only 10 at the time I did recognize it to be a genuine masterpiece and it has stayed in my top 10 all time favourite movies ever since. It won the oscar for best picture and director and best supporting actor for Christopher Walken and rightfully so.

And although I would love to continue about how brilliant the performances were and the amazing cinematography and the classic sound track, I won’t.

Because this blog is not about the Deer Hunter but the movie that Michael Cimino directed 2 years later and how it stole 149 minutes of my life which I  will never get back and how it basically broke United Artists studios.

The film was “Heaven’s Gate “MV5BMjAxNDE5MzQ5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk3MTE3NA@@._V1_a 1980 American epic Western film written and directed by Michael Cimino. Loosely based on the Johnson County War, it portrays a fictional dispute between land barons and European immigrants in Wyoming in the 1890s. The film features an ensemble cast, including Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif,  Terry O’Quinn, Mickey Rourke and Willem Dafoe . It is generally considered one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, and was initially described as one of the worst films ever made.There were major setbacks in the film’s production due to cost and time overruns, negative press (including allegations of animal abuse on-set), and rumors about Cimino’s allegedly overbearing directorial style; the film resultantly opened to poor reviews, earning only $3.5 million domestically (from an estimated $44 million budget.

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The film’s subject was the Johnson County War of 1889-1893, a conflict between Wyoming’s biggest cattle ranchers and the immigrant homesteaders who challenged their monopoly. In Cimino’s version of events, the cigar-puffing patricians of the Stockgrowers’ Association compile “a death list” of 125 Central and Eastern Europeans they have classed as cattle rustlers, and they recruit a small army of mercenaries to wipe them out.

But Cimino wasn’t just planning a series of shoot-outs. Heaven’s Gate was to be a work of art: a monumental American saga encompassing roller-skating and baseball, a graduation waltz at Harvard, and a steamboat puffing through Newport. At its heart would be a tragic love triangle between Kristofferson’s noble marshal, the Association’s ruthless sharp-shooter (Christopher Walken), and the bordello madam they both adore. MV5BNTY5Yzc0ODEtZjUwMS00NGI4LWFkNjctNzUxOGNiMmViZGNjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUyNDk2ODc@._V1_

And in here lies its downfall, the movie was just to complicated. In a way I am lucky because the first cut of the movie was 229 minutes.

The movie had a major negative impact on the US film industry.

The film’s $44 million cost  and poor performance at the box office ($3.5 million gross in the United States) generated more negative publicity than actual financial damage, causing Transamerica Corporation, United Artists’ corporate owner, to become anxious over its own public image and to abandon film production altogether.

Transamerica inserted Andy Albeck as UA’s president. United had its most successful year with four hits in 1979: Rocky IIManhattanMoonraker, and The Black Stallion.

The new leadership agreed to back Heaven’s Gate, the pet project of director Michael Cimino overran its budget and cost $44 million. This led to the resignation of Albeck who was replaced by Norbert Auerbach. United Artists recorded a major loss for the year due almost entirely to this fiasco

Transamerica then sold United Artists to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which effectively ended the studio’s existence. MGM would later revive UA as a subsidiary division. While the money loss due to Heaven’s Gate was considerable, UA was already struggling after the executive walkout in 1978 and several other major box office flops in 1980, including Cruising, Foxes and Roadie.

Six days into filming, Cimino was five days behind schedule, and had spent $900,000 on a minute-and-a-half of usable footage. Two weeks into filming, the studio calculated that, at the rate he was going, Heaven’s Gate was going to cost them $1m per minute of running time. Something had to be done. But when another UA executive, Derek Kavanagh, was dispatched to Wyoming to rewrite Cimino’s schedule, the director responded by dictating and posting a memo: “Derek Kavanagh is not to come to the location set. He is not to enter the editing room. He is not to speak to me at all.” The budget grew from a proposed $7.5m to an agreed $11.6m to a total of $44m.

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Some of the tales of Heaven’s Gate are hair-raising. In a making-of documentary, Jeff Bridges, who played a local entrepreneur, recalls that when it was time to film the climactic battle scenes, the actors would be woken at 3:30am, and driven for three hours along dirt roads to the site. Once there, it was mostly actors, rather than stunt-riders, who had to race their horses full-pelt through clouds of dust, guns blazing. Bridges was terrified by the lack of safety precautions. “Even in a real battle,” he comments, “you don’t do it over and over again.”

Most of the on-set folklore, however, isn’t about a lunatic taking dangerous risks, but about an artist labouring to make the best film possible. “From someone on the outside it would look like it was almost too much,” says Bridges, “but it never appeared that way to me. It was like, oh, this guy really cares.”

Movie are one of my biggest passions and especially westerns, but Heaven’s gate made the movie experience a living hell.

It had all started so promisingly. Cimino had been an advertising whizz-kid who moved into film with the Clint Eastwood/Jeff Bridges crime caper, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, in 1974. His follow-up was an elegiac Vietnam drama, The Deer Hunter, a critical smash that went on to win five Oscars, including best picture, in 1979.

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But the ‘Heaven’s Gate’ fiasco effectively ended Michael Cimino’s career, he did direct a few more movies afterwards but he was never able to rekindle the success he had with “the Deerhunter”

Cimino died July 2, 2016, at age 77 at his home in Beverly Hills, California.Eric Weissmann, a friend and former lawyer of Cimino, said that friends had been unable to reach Cimino by phone for the last few days and called the police, who found him dead in his bed. Weissmann stated that he had not been aware of Cimino having any illness.

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Some critics have since revised their opinion on the movie and are now deeming it to be a masterpiece. I don’t subscribe to that point of view.

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Sesame Street

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On November 10  in 1969, “Sesame Street,” a pioneering TV show that would teach generations of young children the alphabet and how to count, makes its broadcast debut. “Sesame Street,” with its memorable theme song (“Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street”), went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. It has aired in more than 120 countries.

I think everyone who grew up in the 70s-90s must have seen at least one episode of Sesame Street. Who can’t remember the theme song?

Regardless you musical affiliation you will have at least whistled or hummed the tune. Many moons ago when I still had hair I was in a heavy metal band and we even covered the theme song and people would sing it when we played it.

The show was conceived in 1966 during discussions between television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Corporation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Their goal was to create a children’s television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them”,[3] such as helping young children prepare for school. After two years of research, the newly formed Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) received a combined grant of $8 million from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation and the U.S. federal government to create and produce a new children’s television show.

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The subjects tackled by “Sesame Street” have evolved with the times. In 2002, the South African version of the program, “Takalani Sesame,” introduced a 5-year-old Muppet character named Kami who is HIV-positive, in order to help children living with the stigma of a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. In 2006, a new Muppet, Abby Cadabby, made her debut and was positioned as the show’s first female star character, in an effort to encourage diversity and provide a strong role model for girls.

Since its inception, over 74 million Americans have watched “Sesame Street.” Today, an estimated 8 million people tune in to the show each week in the U.S. alone.images

 

 

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I pronounce you POTUS and first lady.

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I have to admit that the title isn’t technically correct, since at the time they were not yet a President of the US and their first wives.(with the exception of President Cleveland)But if I would have called it I pronounce you husband and wife people would not think this blog would contain wedding pictures of former US Presidents and their wives, they might just think it was a blog promoting “Say yes to the dress” Yes I know it is scary I even know the title.

The President of the USA is without a doubt the most powerful office on the globe, but before they became president they were just ‘regular’ human beings who did regular things like getting married. The above picture is a wedding photograph of Harry and Bess Truman, 1919.

Below are few more pictures o presidential wedded bliss.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter married in 1946 before Jimmy graduated from Naval school—hence his dashing uniform in their wedding photo. They lived all over the country thanks to Jimmy’s deployment, but eventually settled down in the White House

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Hillary initially rejected Bill’s proposal—but she eventually agreed to marry him and they tied the knot in 1975.

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Barbara and George H.W. Bush, First Presbyterian Church, Rye, NY, January 6, 1945.

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President George W. Bush met Laura Welch at a backyard barbecue, and they were engaged after just three months. The couple got married in 1977 and had twin girls in 1981—Barbara and Jenna.

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Drawing of President Grover Cleveland’s and Frances Folsom’s wedding, the Executive Mansion (White House), Washington, D.C., June 2, 1886.

Cleveland entered the White House as a bachelor, and his sister Rose Cleveland joined him, to act as hostess for the first two years of his administration. However, unlike the previous bachelor president James Buchanan, Cleveland did not remain a bachelor for very long. In 1885 the daughter of Cleveland’s friend Oscar Folsom visited him in Washington.Frances Folsom was a student at Wells College. When she returned to school, President Cleveland received her mother’s permission to correspond with her, and they were soon engaged to be married.On June 2, 1886, Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the Blue Room at the White House.He was the second President to wed while in office,and has been the only President married in the White House.

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Barack and Michelle put a ring on it in 1992 after meeting at their law firm. Their first date? A screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

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JFK and Jackie . got married in a 1953 Newport, Rhode Island, wedding, with 700 guests at the ceremony and a whopping 1,200 at the reception. Hope they had a big cake because that’s a lot of hungry people to feed.

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Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the Little Brown Church in the Valley, Los Angeles, CA, March 4, 1952. It was of course the 2nd time around for Reagan.

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Charles Henry, Lou Henry Hoover, Jean Henry, Herbert Hoover and Florence Henry, Monterey, CA, February 10, 1899

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The price for the most handsome couple has to go the Eisenhowers. How completely and totally iconic is this 1916 wedding portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie? These two married at Mamie’s parents’ home in Colorado after getting engaged on Valentine’s day.

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John Emil List-Murderous Sunday school teacher.

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You just never know what goes around in someone’s mind or behind closed doors. You may look at someone in admiration because he appears to be such a good and wholesome human being, but deep inside lurks a monster.

John List was an outwardly normal and successful father. A Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout troop leader, List was a strict disciplinarian who insisted his children follow extremely rigid rules.

John Emil List (September 17, 1925 – March 21, 2008) was an American multiple murderer and long-time fugitive. On November 9, 1971, he killed his wife, mother, and three children in their home in Westfield, New Jersey, then disappeared. He had planned the murders so meticulously that nearly a month passed before anyone suspected that anything was amiss.

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The larger world had never heard of John Emil List until his neighbors began to wonder why the lights in his family’s house in Westfield, N.J., were going out one by one in the fall of 1971, weeks after anyone had been seen entering or leaving. And the high school drama coach of Mr. List’s daughter had begun to worry about her absence.

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On November 9, seemingly out of the blue, List shot his mother Alma (above her lefteye),his wife Helen (in the side of the head), and two older children in the back of their heads; he shot his youngest child, a son, several times in the chest and face. He then left the murder weapon alongside their carefully laid-out corpses.

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List had methodically devised a plan so that the bodies would not be discovered for quite a while, cancelling newspaper, milk, and mail delivery to his home in the days leading up to the murder. He then called the children’s schools to say that the family was going to visit a sick relative out of town. By the time authorities discovered the bodies, List had vanished without a trace.

When police officers entered the home on Dec. 7, 1971, they heard organ music on an intercom system and found the bodies of Mr. List’s wife, Helen, 46; his daughter, Patricia, 16; his sons John, 15, and Frederick, 13, and his mother, Alma, 85. All had been shot to death.

The police also found a note from Mr. List to his pastor at a Lutheran church where Mr. List sometimes taught Sunday school. Over five pages, Mr. List wrote that he saw too much evil in the world and that he had ended the lives of his wife, mother and children to save their souls.

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Local law enforcement officials had essentially given up looking for List when the television show America’s Most Wanted began airing in the late 1980s. After a segment about the List murders aired on May 21, 1989, calls began flooding in. Although most of them proved to be unhelpful, one viewer claimed that John List was living in Virginia under the alias Robert Clark.

On June 1, 1989, 11 days after his case was broadcast on AMW, List was arrested while living under the pseudonym Robert “Bob” Peter Clark,JOHN LIST MONSTER a name he adopted based on one of his college classmates, who later strangely stated that he never knew of John List. He was identified by a friend who had seen the television feature. In the 18 years since List committed his crimes he had been living in Denver, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia, where he remarried and started a new life and a career as an accountant. On April 12, 1990 he was convicted in a New Jersey court of five counts of first-degree murder, and on May 1 was sentenced to five life terms in prison. List has never expressed any remorse for his crimes, even during an interview with Connie Chung in 2002, and has said he believes he will go to heaven.

List died of complications from pneumonia at age 82 on March 21, 2008, while in prison custody at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, New Jersey.[32] In reporting his death, the Newark Star-Ledger referred to him as “the bogeyman of Westfield”

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William Chester Minor-Is that in the Oxford English Dictionary?

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It is no surprise that the Oxford English Dictionary is the leading dictionary when it comes to the English language.As a historical dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary explains words by showing their development rather than merely their present-day usages. Therefore, it shows definitions in the order that the sense of the word began being used, including word meanings which are no longer used.

It is also no surprise that it originates from Oxford, hence the name. What will be a surprise though is that one of the main contributors was an American, and an even bigger surprise an American murderer.

William Chester Minor, also known as W. C. Minor (June 1834 – March 26, 1920) was an American army surgeon and one of the largest contributors of quotations to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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William Chester Minor, M.D., graduated from Yale University in 1863. After a short research stint, he joined the Union Army to perform battlefield medicine for wounded soldiers. His academic work laid the foundation for his field medicine and then his research for the OED.

After witnessing the horrors and atrocities of the war, Minor developed paranoid schizophrenia. Not only did the doctor see wanton death at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, but his commanding officer ordered him to brand a letter “D” on the cheek of an Irish deserter.

The mark scarred the patient’s body, but it also warped Minor’s mind because he started to have paranoid delusions about the Irish following the incident.

His military superiors believed Minor was incapacitated and could no longer perform his basic duties following schizophrenic episodes. So, Minor took his military pension and some of his family’s wealth to move to Lambeth, England, in 1871.

Haunted by his paranoia, he fatally shot a man named George Merrett, who Minor believed had broken into his room, on February 17, 1872. Merrett had been on his way to work to support his family of six children, himself, and his pregnant wife, Eliza. After a pre-trial period spent in London’s Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Minor was found not guilty by reason of insanity and incarcerated in the asylum at Broadmoor in the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire.

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As he had his army pension and was not judged dangerous, he was given rather comfortable quarters and was able to buy and read books.

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It was probably through his correspondence with the London booksellers that he heard the call for volunteers from what was to become the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). He devoted most of the remainder of his life to that work. He became one of the project’s most effective volunteers, reading through his large personal library of antiquarian books and compiling quotations that illustrated the way particular words were used. He was often visited by the widow of the man he had killed, and she provided him with further books.

The compilers of the dictionary published lists of words for which they wanted examples of usage. Minor provided these, with increasing ease as the lists grew. It was many years before the OEDs editor, Dr. James Murray, learned Minor’s background history, and visited him in January 1891. In 1899 Murray paid compliment to Minor’s enormous contributions to the dictionary, stating, “we could easily illustrate the last four centuries from his quotations alone.”

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Minor’s condition deteriorated and in 1902, due to delusions that he was being abducted nightly from his rooms and taken to places as far away as Istanbul and forced to commit sexual assaults on children, he cut off his own penis (autopeotomy) using a knife he had employed in his work on the dictionary.

His health continued to worsen, and after Murray campaigned on his behalf, Minor was released in 1910 on the orders of Home Secretary Winston Churchill.

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He was deported back to the United States and resided at St. Elizabeths Hospital where he was diagnosed with dementia praecox. He died in 1920 in Hartford, Connecticut after being moved in 1919 to the Retreat for the Elderly Insane there.

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Heroic Airmen with a difference and a bit of naked history.

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Before I go in to the blog I have to warn you that this blog contains an image of an adult nature.So if you are offended by it,get over it.

U.S. Army Air Force Staff Sgt. Alan Magee fell out of a burning plane at 22,000 feet without a parachute.

And he lived.

Magee was a ball turret gunner in a B-17 named “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” after the three mascots for Rice Krispies cereal. That plane, along with others from the 360th Squadron, was sent to bomb German torpedo stores in St. Nazaire, France on Jan. 3, 1943.

During the mission, the plane was shot by anti-aircraft guns and became a ball of flames. Magee climbed into the fuselage to get his chute and bail out, but it had been shredded by the flak. As Magee was trying to figure out a new plan, a second flak burst tore through the aircraft and then a fighter blasted it with machine gun fire.

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Magee was knocked unconscious and thrown from the aircraft. When he woke up, he was falling through the air with nothing but a prayer.

Magee told God, “I don’t wish to die because I know nothing of life,” according to reports from the 303rd Bomb Group.

Magee, struggling with a shortage of oxygen and likely in shock from the events of the past few minutes, passed out again and God seemingly answered his prayer. The young noncommissioned officer fell into the town of St. Nazaire and through the glass roof of the train station. He was later found dangling on the steel girders that supported the ceiling.

The glass had slowed his fall and he regained consciousness as German soldiers took him to medical care. Magee’s right leg and ankle were broken, he had 28 wounds from shrapnel and glass, and his right arm was cut nearly the whole way off. He had also suffered numerous internal injuries.

“I owe the German military doctor who treated me a debt of gratitude,” Magee said. “He told me, ‘we are enemies, but I am first a doctor and I will do my best to save your arm.'”magee

On the 23rd of September 1995 Alan E. Magee, accompanied by his wife Helen, returned to St Nazaire to take part in a ceremony sponsored by French citizens, dedicating a memorial to his seven fellow crewmen killed in the crash of Snap! Crackle! Pop! in the forest at La Baule Escoublac on Jan. 3, 1943.

After the war, he earned his pilot’s license and worked in the airline industry in a variety of roles. He retired in 1979 and moved to northern New Mexico. He died in San Angelo, Texas, on December 20, 2003, from stroke and kidney failure, at the age of 84.

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This young crewman of a US Navy “Dumbo” PBY rescue mission has just jumped into the water of Rabaul Harbor to rescue a badly burned Marine pilot who was shot down while bombing the Japanese-held fortress of Rabaul. Since Japanese coastal defense guns were firing at the plane while it was in the water during take-off, this brave young man, after rescuing the pilot, manned his position as machine gunner without taking time to put on his clothes. A hero photographed right after he’d completed his heroic act. Naked.

Photo taken by Horace Bristol (1908-1997). In 1941, Bristol was recruited to the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, as one of six photographers under the command of Captain Edward J. Steichen, documenting World War II in places such as South Africa, and Japan. He ended up being on the plane the gunner was serving on, which was used to rescue people from Rabaul Bay (New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea), when this occurred. In an article from a December 2002 issue of B&W magazine he remembers:

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“…we got a call to pick up an airman who was down in the Bay. The Japanese were shooting at him from the island, and when they saw us they started shooting at us. The man who was shot down was temporarily blinded, so one of our crew stripped off his clothes and jumped in to bring him aboard. He couldn’t have swum very well wearing his boots and clothes. As soon as we could, we took off. We weren’t waiting around for anybody to put on formal clothes. We were being shot at and wanted to get the hell out of there. The naked man got back into his position at his gun in the blister of the plane.”

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Juan Catalan the unlikely “Curb your enthusiasm” star.

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Some people  say that TV has a bad influence on especially younger people.Juan Catalan will wholeheartedly disagree with that.

Juan Catalan was 24 when he was wrongly charged with gunning down 16-year-old Martha Puebla on her doorstep outside her home in Los Angeles.Martha had earlier testified in a  gang-related murder case ,involving Catalan’s gangster, and police were convinced that Juan was the killer.

In the days after the murder in May 2003, he was arrested by cops who pointed a gun to his head after pulling him over in his SUV.

 

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He had apparent motive in the girl’s killing, he frequented the neighborhood where the crime took place, and a composite artist’s sketch drawn from eyewitness testimony appeared to put him at the scene as the man who pulled the trigger.

From the outset, Catalan maintained that he had an alibi: on the night of the murder, May 12, 2003, he took his six-year-old daughter to the Dodger Stadium to watch a game against the Atlanta Braves.
nintchdbpict000358349029But despite providing his ticket stubs, police weren’t convinced of his innocence and proceeded with prosecuting him, which if he had been convicted, could have seen him face the death penalty.

While awaiting trial in jail, Catalan recalled that there was a film crew shooting something during the Dodgers-Braves game on the fateful night of Puebla’s murder.

‘I wasn’t supposed to be at that game, and that would replay in my head over and over,’ Catalan says in the trailer for a new Netflix documentary about this case.

And his defense attorney Todd Melnick discovered that cameras had been at the baseball ground to film an episode of the comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm called ‘The Carpool Lane.

Convinced that Catalan didn’t fit the profile of a murderer, his defense attorney Todd Melnik pulled out all the stops to free his client and vindicate his claims of innocence. He convinced Dodger management to allow him to comb through hours of “Dodger Vision” camera footage, images of the crowd that had been shot during the game. He spent an entire day watching dozens of videotapes in slow motion, and though he was able to spot Catalan and his daughter in their seats, the image resolution wasn’t clear enough to conclusively identify them.

When pressed for other possible ways to confirm his story, Catalan remembered that there had been a crew shooting some kind of video in the stands, with a man (who Catalan didn’t recognize) walking up and down the aisle. That man turned out to be Larry David.

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As it happened David was there to shoot an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Car Pool Lane,” the one where Larry hires a hooker so he can use a freeway car pool lane to beat the traffic and get to the Dodger game on time.

Todd’s legal team then were allowed to scour hours of footage taken that night to try and find pictures to prove that Juan was part of the 56,000 crowd.

And eventually they found proof of Juan walking his young daughter to their seats inside the stadium.

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The evidence was enough for the case against Juan to be dismissed and after five and a half months in jail he was released and later received $3285,000 in compensation from the LAPD.

A year later, gang member Raul Robledo received a life term for Martha’s murder.

In September  2017 Netflix released a documentary called “Long Shot” on the Juan Catalan case.

Prior to his arrest, Juan Catalan never watched Curb Your Enthusiasm, but after his release from jail, he said became an avid fan of the series.

As for David, he quipped at the time that he was quitting his show ‘to devote the rest of my life to freeing those unjustly incarcerated.

 

That time when babies weren’t delivered by the stork but by the Postman.

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Once-upon-a-time, it was legal to mail a baby in the United States. It happen more than once and by all accounts, the mailed tots arrived no worse for wear. Yes, “baby mail” was a real thing.

On January 1, 1913, the then Cabinet-level U.S. Post Office Department—now the U.S. Postal Service—first started delivering packages. Americans instantly fell in love with the new service and were soon mailing each other all sorts of items, like parasols, pitchforks and, yes, babies.

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Yes, there were some parents who attempted — and succeeded — in sending their real, live children across the country by way of the Parcel Post. Most surprisinly? All of the children made it, unharmed.

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Just a few weeks after Parcel Post began, an Ohio couple named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle “mailed” their 8-month-old son James to his grandmother, who lived just a few miles away in Batavia. According to Lynch, Baby James was just shy of the 11-pound weight limit for packages sent via Parcel Post, and his “delivery” cost his parents only 15 cents in postage (although they did insure him for $50). The quirky story soon made newspapers, and for the next several years, similar stories would occasionally surface as other parents followed suit.
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The longest trip taken by a “mailed” child took place in 1915 when a six-year-old girl traveled from her mother’s home in Pensacola, Florida, to her father’s home in Christiansburg, Virginia. According to Pope, the nearly 50-pound little girl made the 721-mile trip on a mail train for just 15 cents in parcel post stamps.

the Postal Service in general, and especially its letter carriers had become “a touchstone with family and friends far away from each other, a bearer of important news and goods. In some ways, Americans trusted their postmen with their lives.”  Certainly, mailing your baby took a lot of​ plain old trust.

The Postal Service in general, and especially its letter carriers had become “a touchstone with family and friends far away from each other, a bearer of important news and goods. In some ways, Americans trusted their postmen with their lives.”  Certainly, mailing your baby took a lot of​ plain old trust.

The Post Office Department officially put a stop to “baby mail” in 1915, after postal regulations barring the mailing of human beings enacted the year before were finally enforced.

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It is just too tempting for me not to end with this song, so many people must have thought it once they received their parcels.