America First

1st

The slogan America First was not first used by Donald J Trump but by President Woodrow Wilson, and also by Warren G. Harding during the 1920 US Presidential elections.

On September 4th 1940 R. Douglas Stuart Jr., who was a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, founded the America First Committee. It would become the foremost United States  pressure group ensuring the US’s neutrality and against the American entry into World War II.

Its spokes person was Charles Lindbergh.

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President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to intervene to help the British in the fight against Germany, but Lindbergh championed the isolationist cause.

Although Lindbergh was unashamedly pro-German and an anti-Semite, historians agree that he wasn’t Pro Nazi.

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Two future US Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford initially supported the AFC.

At the outbreak of the war in Europe ,the America First Committee started  a petition with the goal to enforce the 1939 Neutrality Act and reminding and forcing President Franklin D. Roosevelt to maintain his pledge to keep America out of the war. The AFC had very little trust in Roosevelt and argued that he was untrue to the American people.

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Although the AFC was reasonably popular and had the backing of several wealthy business men, there were also some who were very cynical about the AFC movement.

Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss was a political cartoonist for the New York tabloid PM at the time. In early October 1941 he drew a series of  cartoons criticizing the nation of America First.

af seuss

December 7,1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor which drew the USA into the war therefore heralding the end of the America First Committee. Three days later after the attack on December 10,1941, the AFC was dissolved.

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Sources

BBC

Library of National Congress.

 

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And the guns fell silent.

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November 11, 1918. 10:59 am, one last volley of machine gun fire, one last soldier to die.Henry Nicholas John Gunther took one last charge with his bayonet, The enemy warned him , but he wanted to proof himself.He wanted to show his demotion from Sergeant to Private had been unjustified.

One last hoorah, one last act of bravery. The enemy warned him again but to no avail,  Henry N. Gunther kept going, the machine guns rattled, Henry N Gunther fell down,dead. But a Sergeant he was yet again.

Henry

His misguided act of bravery was more an act of madness ,because 60 seconds later the war was over. But he wasn’t to blame the so called Great War was based on human insanity.

November 11, 1918. 11:00 am the guns fell silent.

What was supposed to end before Christmas 1914 lasted 4 bloody years 40 million dead and for what?

The guns fell silent but soon they would fire again.

END OF WAR

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9/11 : 2996 minus 19

9 11

9/11 they used to be just 2 numbers until that fateful day in 2001. Ever since then it has become ingrained in the human psyche as one of the days the world changed.

Even now ,17 years later it is hard to fathom the events of that day. Even when it happened it was hard to believe even though we could see it unfold in front of our eyes on TV screens or otherwise.

It was the day where we experienced evil and ruthlessness on so many levels. I say ruthlessness for it wasn’t only displayed by the terrorist. I worked at a telecom company at the time and about half an hour after the attacks, I received a call from a Banker in Switzerland complaining about telephony and data loss between Zürich and New York. He complained even though he was well aware what had happened, to him all that mattered was money transfers.

The one thing that bothers me is the fact that the reported number of casualties is 2996. This includes the 19 who committed the attacks, as if they were victims. Those 19 evil monsters, should not be included in that number. It diminishes the respect and the memories of the real victims.

These are the numbers we should focus on

Total number killed in attacks in New York: 2,753

Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343

Number of NYPD officers: 23

Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

Total Number of people killed on United Airlines Flight 93: 40

Total Number killed at the Pentagon attack:184.

2977, each a different story of innocent lives destroyed.

I don’t know all the stories but I know a bit of the story of ‘Victim 0001’

Judge

Mychal Judge

Mychal Judge was born Robert Emmett Judge on May 11, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of immigrants from County Leitrim, Ireland. His father died when he was still a child.To earn income following his father’s death, Judge shined shoes at New York Penn Station.

After spending his freshman year at the St. Francis Preparatory School in Brooklyn, where he studied under the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, in 1948, at the age of 15, Judge began the formation process to enter the Order of Friars Minor.In 1961, he was ordained a priest.

In 1992, Judge was appointed a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. As chaplain, he offered encouragement and prayers at fires, rescues, and hospitals, and counseled firemen and their families, often working 16-hour days.

When the planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served..

At the time, French documentary filmmakers were inside the North tower. Their camera captured some of the last moments of Mychal Judge’s life. In the film, according to his friend, Father Michael Duffy, you can see the priest standing by the plate glass window, watching the bodies fall on the patio outside.

“And if you look closely at that film, you’ll see his lips moving,” Duffy stated. “Now, for those of us who know him, he wasn’t one that talked to himself. He was praying. And absolving people as they fell to their death.”

Moments later, the South Tower collapsed. The force of the explosion shattered the windows and flung the priest across the lobby. In the darkness, some firemen stumbled over his body.

Mychal Judge was designated as “Victim 0001” and thereby recognized as the first official victim of the attacks.

Judge Priest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The executions of the German invaders.

pASTORIUS

Operation Pastorius will mean not much too most people. It is one of those forgotten WWII operations. Forgotten because it was a complete failure.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, and other materials to support a prolonged career of 2 years in sabotaging  American defense-related production.

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On June 17, 1942, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.

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Two of them, Ernst Burger and Herbert Haupt, although born in Germany had obtained American citizenship as they had lived in the US, but both had returned to Germany.

 

The others, George John Dasch, Edward John Kerling, Richard Quirin, Heinrich Harm Heinck, Hermann Otto Neubauer, and Werner Thiel, had previously worked at various jobs in the United States.Their mission was to wreak havoc but it failed.

After they arrived they buried their explosives, primers and incendiaries,  along with their uniforms, and put on civilian clothes to begin an expected two-year campaign in the sabotage of American defense-related production.

Shortly after landing Dasch was discovered in the dunes by an unarmed Coast Guardsman John C. Cullen, Dasch seized Cullen by the collar, threatened him, and then gave Cullen $260 .Cullen reported the incident to his superiors after returning to his station. The area was searched and the Coast Guard then discovered German equipment buried in the beach and reported it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the FBI.

buried

A massive manhunt for the German agents was conducted; however, they did not know where exactly the Germans were going.

In the mean time Dasch had lost his nerve ,his resolution to be a saboteur for the Fatherland turned out to be too much for him,perhaps he figured the whole project so big as to be impractical and wanted to protect himself before some of his companions took action on similar doubts. He advised Burger his plansto confess everything.

On the evening of June 14, 1942, Dasch, giving the name “Pastorius” contacted the FBI office in New York claiming he had recently arrived from Germany, and he wanted to talk directly to the head of the FBI,  J. Edgar Hoover.

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When the FBI agent was trying to figure out if he was talking to a nut case, Dasch hung up. Four days later, he took a train to Washington, D.C. and checked in at the Mayflower Hotel. Dasch walked into FBI headquarters, asked to speak with Director Hoover. He alluded to his prior call as “Pastorius” (of which Headquarters was aware) and furnished his location.He eventually spoke to Assistant Director D.M. Ladd and  was immediately taken into custody.

Besides Burger, none of the other German agents knew they were betrayed. Over the next two weeks, Burger and the other six were arrested.

Thinking that a civilian court would be too lenient on the men, President Roosevelt issued Executive Proclamation 2561 on 2 July 1942 creating a military tribunal to prosecute the Germans. Placed before a seven-member military commission, the Germans were charged with the following offenses:

1) Violating the law of war;
2) Violating Article 81 of the Articles of War, defining the offense of corresponding with or giving intelligence to the enemy;
3) Violating Article 82 of the Articles of War, defining the offense of spying; and
4) Conspiracy to commit the offenses alleged in the first three charges.

From July 8 to August 4, 1942. The trial was held in the Department of Justice Building, Washington, D.C.

All were found guilty and sentenced to death. However Roosevelt commuted Burger’s sentence to life in prison and Dasch’s to 30 years because they had turned themselves in and provided information about the others.

The remaining 6 were executed by electric chair on August 8,1942.

transport

 

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Sources

History Net

FBI

 

Batman fighting the Japanese in WWII

Batman

When we think of the first TV screening of Batman we automatically think of the 1966 TV series when Adam West took on the role as the caped crusader. However it was the actor Lewis Wilson who first portrayed the Batman on the TV screens.

This day 75 years ago, July 16 1943, the Batman made his first TV appearance.

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The series from Columbia pictures  consisted of 15 episodes and were produced  by Rudolph C. Flothow, directed by Lambert Hillyer.

They were really Wartime propaganda movies.

The Batman/Bruce Wayne , and his side kick, Robin/Dick Grayson ,played by Douglas Croft, are  secret government agents following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

batman and robin

The city is still Gotham city but there is no Bat mobile but there are however bats in the Bat cave, The duo do not fight any of the villains we know from the comics and the newer Batman movies. No Joker or Riddler but instead Dr. Daka,  aJapanese mastermind of a wartime espionage-sabotage group.

Dr Daka has a death ray which is powered by radium and can pulverize walls but can also turn normal men into electronic zombies and do the work for Dr Daka.

daka

Funny enough Dr Daka is played by J. Carrol Naish  a New York born Irish-American actor.

The titles of the episodes were:  1. The Electrical Brain; 2. The Bat’s Cave; 3. The Mark of the Zombies; 4. Slaves of the Rising Sun; 5. The Living Corpse; 6. Poison Peril; 7. The Phony Doctor; 8. Lured by Radium; 9. The Sign of the Sphinx; 10. Flying Spies; 11. Nipponese Trap; 12. Embers of Evil; 13. Eight Steps Down; 14. The Executioner Strikes; 15. The Doom of the Rising Sun.

cave

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Sources

IMDB

 

James Stewart and Walter Matthau in 453rd Bombardment Group.

453

The title is not a tagline for a Hollywood blockbuster, although it should have been. I am sure it would have made a great movie.

James Stewart and Walter Matthau did serve together in the 453rd Bombardment Group during WWII.

WALTER

Prior to becoming a Hollywood icon,Walter Matthau was a radioman-gunner in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom, crewing a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber. He was assigned to the same 453rd Bombardment Group as James Stewart. When he was  based in England at RAF Old Buckenham, in Norfolk he partook in several  missions across  Europe during the Battle of the Bulge. He ended the war with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served with Jimmy Stewart, who was an operations officer giving mission briefings to the group.

Jimmy

When it comes to Hollywood greats, they don’t get any bigger than James Stewart, the list of iconic movies he made is endless. Prior to the war he already made a number of classic movies”Mr Smith goes to Washington” being one of them.

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Having learned to fly in 1935, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 as a private (after twice failing the medical for being underweight). During the course of World War II he was promoted  to the rank of Colonel in March 1945, first as an instructor at home in the United States, and later on combat missions in Europe.

On March 30, 1944, he was sent to RAF Old Buckenham in a function as group operations officer of the 453rd Bombardment Group, a new B-24 unit that had just lost both its commander and operations officer on missions. Leading as an example, he flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on several missions deep into Nazi-occupied Europe.

B 24

Two heroes, who not only fought for freedom, they also entertained us and still do .

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

IMDB

Together we Serve

Japanese attack on Fort Stevens-Oregon.

i 25

After the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7 1941, there was a fear that Japan had plans to invade the US. This never happened, although there had been a few attacks on American soil by Japan, these did very little damage.

The only military base ever to be attacked by Japan was Forts Stevens on the Oregon side of the mouth of the Columbia River.

The attack  occurred on June 21, 1942. After trailing American fishing vessels to bypass minefields, the Japanese submarine I-25 made its way to the mouth of the Columbia River. It surfaced near Fort Stevens.

Fort

The Japanese submarine I-25, commanded by Tagami Meiji, had been assigned to sink enemy shipping and attack the enemy on land with their 14 cm deck gun. Transporting a Yokosuka E14Y seaplane, it had a crew of 97.

i 25 plane

Just before midnight, the submarine used its 140-millimeter deck gun and fired 17 shells at the fort. Thinking that the return fires of the fort’s guns would only serve to more clearly reveal their position, the commander of Fort Stevens ordered his men not to return fire.  Instead a compete black out was ordered. The plan worked, and the bombardment was almost totally unsuccessful—a nearby baseball field bore the brunt of the damage.

Damage

The only significant damage was caused when one shell severed several large telephone cables.

American Army Air Corps planes on a training mission had seen the  the I-25 and called in her location,requesting  an A-29 Hudson bomber to attack. The bomber spotted the I-25, but she successfully escaped the falling bombs and submerged undamaged and got away.

Bomber

Although there were no injuries and very little damage, the Japanese attack on Fort Stevens did increase the fear of a Japanese invasion.

The Fort Stevens shelling was the only time that a continental United States military installation was attacked by the Axis Powers during World War II.

News Papaer

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Sources

Discerning History

The parts of a dismembered Lady arrive in New York.

liberty

When  214 crates containing the body parts of a Lady, arrive on a ship, in the harbor, you would expect a frantic Police investigation/ But nothing could be further from the truth, the Police just couldn’t care less.

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Well to be honest I could not blame the Police on this occasion. Because the Lady in this case was no one else then the Lady known as the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York on June 17 in 1885 aboard the French frigate Isère. She was a gift gift from the people of France.

About 250,00 onlookers lined Battery Park, while hundreds of boats pulled into the harbor to welcome the Isère.

Statue_of_Liberty_Arrives_in_New_York_Harbor

After being reassembled, the 450,000-pound statue, which was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Cleveland, who said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” Standing more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch.

ststue

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Roosevelt directives June 1941

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Although the US stayed initially neutral during WWII,it had been making preparations for an eventual war with the Axis powers.

Worsening relations with the Axis powers prompted President Roosevelt to order all German assets in the U.S. frozen on June 14, 1941. On June 16 he ordered the withdrawal of German and Italian consular staffs by July 10.

 

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The executive order was signed for  freezing all German and Italian assets.
The order was also  coupled with new regulations giving the Government complete
authority over European assets in the United States.

The executive order read in part: “It has come to the knowledge of this Government that agencies of the German Reich in this country, including German consular establishments, have been engaged in activities wholly outside the scope of their legitimate duties. These activities have been of an improper and unwarranted character. They render the continued presence in the United States of those agencies and consular establishments inimical to the welfare of this country.”

freezing

In December that year the US entered the war after the Pearl Harbor attack.

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Sources

New York Times

New York Herald Tribune

The end of Bonnie and Clyde

bonni clyde

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow, aka Bonnie & Clyde are often portrayed as some sort of Robin Hood style heroes, , in fact they were ruthless criminals with very little regard for their victims.

They were two young Texans whose early 1930s crime spree forever earned them infamy  in US and world history. Their names have become synonymous with an image of Depression-era chic.

wanted poster

They were violent criminals who were active in the Mid- and Southwest between 1932 and 1934. The FBI,then called the Bureau of Investigation, began to investigate “Bonnie and Clyde” and their fellow gang members after Barrow stole an automobile in December 1932.

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The public was fascinated by the couple and their gang, partially because it was a rarity a woman was involved in crime leave alone a murderous crime spree. A fact that is often forgotten is that Bonnie Parker was actually a married woman. when she met and teamed up with Clyde, her husband Roy Glen Thornton who she married when she was 16. He was sent to prison in March 1933 for a number of offences and was killed in 1937 in prison.

roy

Bonnie and Clyde loved posing for he camera, I suppose in 2018 terms we could call them ‘Selfie junkies’ and if social media would have been around in the 1930s I am certain the pair would have been willing participants in sharing their criminal exploits via the various social media platforms.

BonnieParkerCigar1933

 

They were seen as some sort of folk heroes however public opinion turned against Bonnie and Clyde after reports of the murder of two motorcycle cops on Easter Sunday, 1934.

On April 1, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde encountered two young highway patrolmen near Grapevine, Texas. Before the officers could draw their guns, they were shot. On April 6, 1934, a constable at Miami, Oklahoma fell mortally wounded by Bonnie and Clyde, who also abducted a police chief, whom they wounded.

A week later on   April 13, 1934, an FBI agent, through investigation in the area of Ruston, Louisiana, received  information which definitely placed Bonnie and Clyde in a remote section southwest of that community. The home of the Methvins was not far away, and the agent learned of visits there by Bonnie and Clyde. Special agents in Texas had learned that Clyde and his companion had been traveling from Texas to Louisiana, sometimes accompanied by Henry Methvin.

The FBI and local law enforcement authorities in Louisiana and Texas focused on arresting  Bonnie and Clyde, whom they strongly believed to be in the vicinity. It was learned that Bonnie and Clyde, with some of the Methvins, had staged a party at Black Lake, Louisiana on the night of May 21, 1934 and were due to return to the area two days later.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. on May 23, the posse, concealed in the bushes and almost ready to concede defeat, Bonnie and Clyde appeared in an automobile and when they attempted to drive away, the officers opened fire. Bonnie and Clyde were killed instantly.

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The Barrow Gang is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of 13 people, including nine police officers.

While the couple wanted to be buried next to each other  Bonnie’s mother, who had disapproved of her relationship with Clyde, had her daughter buried in a separate Dallas cemetery. Clyde was buried next to his brother Marvin underneath a gravestone with his hand-picked epitaph: “Gone but not forgotten.”

BONNIE AND CLYDE

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

FBI