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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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.

 

June-41-U.S.-ousts-Germany-2

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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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.

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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.

car

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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Gallup poll April 28 1941-Asking the same question, getting 2 different outcomes.

Map_28_April_1941_worldwartwo.filminspector.com_1 (1)

Opinions polls are a useful toll to check the sentiments in the country, an indication of what people think.

In the recent future some polls got it spectacularly wrong. But the key to a good opinion poll is how the question is worded.

On April 28 1941 Gallup released the results of a poll,which they had conducted between the 10 and 15 April 1941, on the war in Europe.They asked 2 questions, but if you dissect the questions you can conclude it actually is the same question but just worded slightly different. The question really is “Would you vote the US to go to war?”

By rearranging some words and adding a few the outcomes were completely different.

EUROPEAN WAR

Interviewing Date 4/10-15/41

Survey #234-K Question #8a

If you were asked to vote today on the question of the United States entering the war against Germany and Italy, how would you vote — to go into the war, or to stay out of the war?

Go in………………………… 19%

Stay out………………………. 81

Interviewing Date 4/10-15/41

Survey #234-K Question #8b

If it appeared certain that there was no other way to defeat Germany and Italy except for the United States to go to war against them, would you be in favor of the United States going to war?

Yes………………………….. 68%

No………………………….. 24

No opinion……………………. 8.

How you ask a question really can make a difference.

Kalamata_28_April_1941_worldwartwo.filminspector.com_6

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I pronounce you Mr and Mrs Dougherty-a slightly different WWII story.

Monroe_and_James_Dougherty (4)

A young couple in love,neighborhood sweethearts getting married. It was just like a fairy tale, what could possibly go wrong.

Well WWII for one, but not in the usual World War 2 drama sense, but  there were more reasons. one being fame.

They began dating in January 1942 and were married in June of that year, just 18 days after she  celebrated her 16th birthday.The she was Norma Jeane Baker.On June 19, 1942, she got married to James Dougherty, a 20 year old Los Angeles police officer .The wedding was officiated by a minister, Norma Jean wore an embroidered lace wedding dress with long sleeves and veil.

Monroe_and_James_Dougherty (3)

James’ family lived next door to Grace Goddard, a friend of Norma Jean’s mother, Gladys, who was frequently in psychiatric hospitals. After living in a handful of foster homes, Norma Jeane was taken in by Grace and her husband, who wanted to move across the country and couldn’t take her with them. To prevent Norma Jean from having to go back into the foster care system, Grace suggested that James marry the teenager.

Norma Jeane and her Jimmie had a near idyllic first one or two years as a married couple and seemed destined to spend their lives together in marital bliss.

But after Jimmie enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1943, things were to change.Monroe_and_James_Dougherty (6)

He was soon called up for overseas duty. Norma Jeane would dutifully write her husband letters several times a week, but soon she became bored without him. She got a job at the Radioplane factory, inspecting parachutes and preparing planes for flight. Photos of the pretty brunette taken at work landed her modeling gigs around LA, and it wasn’t long before she caught the fame bug.Norma Jeane

While James was still stationed overseas in September 1946, Norma Jean filed for divorce.“I was on a ship in the Yangtze River getting ready to go into Shanghai when I was served with divorce papers,” James said in a 2002 interview. They divorced in 1946.

Norma Jeane Baker of course went on to become Marilyn Monroe, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.

How things could have been for these tow if it hadn’t been for WWII, we will never know.

Monroe_and_James_Dougherty (5)

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Rare historical photos

 

 

 

American-Dutch diplomacy

embassy

On April 19, 1782, John Adams was received by the States-General and the Dutch Republic as they were the first country, together with Morocco and France, to recognize the United States as an independent government. John Adams then became the first U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and the house that he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague, became the first U.S. embassy anywhere in the world.

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In July 1780 Adams replaced Laurens as the ambassador to the Dutch Republic, then one of the few other republics in the world, ironically less then 3 decades later it became a monarchy. With the aid of the Dutch Patriot leader Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, Adams secured the recognition of the United States as an independent government at The Hague on April 19, 1782. In February 1782 the Frisian states was the first Dutch province to recognize the United States, while France had been the first European country to grant diplomatic recognition in 1778. He also negotiated a loan of five million guilders financed by Nicolaas van Staphorst and Wilhelm Willink. By 1794 a total of eleven loans were granted in Amsterdam to the United States with a value of 29 million guilders. In October 1782, he negotiated with the Dutch a treaty of amity and commerce, the first such treaty between the United States and a foreign power following the 1778 treaty with France.The house that Adams bought during this stay in the Netherlands became the first American-owned embassy on foreign soil.(Medallion given to John Adams in 1782 by Johann Georg Holtzhey to mark United States as an independent nation by the Netherlands)800px-Erkenning_onafhankelijkheid_Verenigde_Staten_foto2

 

Adams liked the country. At an earlier visit to the Netherlands in 1780, Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:

“The country where I am is the greatest curiosity in the world. This nation is not known anywhere, not even by its neighbours. The Dutch language is spoken by none but themselves. Therefore they converse with nobody and nobody converses with them.

The English are a great nation, and they despise the Dutch because they are smaller. The French are a greater Nation still, and therefore they despise the Dutch because they are still smaller in comparison to them.

But I doubt much whether there is any nation of Europe more estimable than the Dutch, in proportion. Their industry and economy ought to be examples to the world.

They have less ambition, I mean that of conquest and military glory, than their Neighbours, but I don’t perceive that they have more avarice. And they carry learning and arts I think to greater extent. The collections of curiosities public and private are innumerable.”

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RIP Barbara

Barbara_Bush_portrait

This is one of those cases where you don’t agree with someone#s politics but yet admire and respect that person.

I am not going to say too much about Barbara Bush except for although I didn’t necessarily agreed with the politics of her husband, her son or herself, I have to admit to me she seemed like a decent human being and at the end of the day that is all you can ever expect of a person.

She also came across like a person who could unify rather then divide.

Mrs._Bush_visits_patients_at_Children's_Hospital_in_Washington,_D.C_-_NARA_-_186426.tif

Below just a few pictures of her long and fruitful life.

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George_and_Barbara_Bush_in_Houston,_Texas_on_the_night_which_George_Bush_was_elected_to_Congress_-_NARA_-_186373.tif

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Barbara Pierce on was born in New York City on June 8, 1925. She graduated from Ashley Hall School in Charleston, South Carolina. She met George Herbert Walker Bush at age 16, and the two married in Rye, New York, in 1945, while he was on leave during his deployment as a Naval officer in World War II.

Wedding of George and Barbara Bush

former-president-george-h-w-bush-and-his-wife-barbara-bush-are-pictured-in-houston-methodist-hospita_589973_

Capture

RIP Barbara

New York city, can be so pretty from a bird’s eye view.

Manhattan_from_Weehawken,_NJ

The title is from the song “When I first kissed you” by Extreme. A song I used on my wedding day. A bit of a lie really because I never been in New York, but I hope to go there someday soon. It is a beautiful song though

New York has captured the imagination of many people on the globe, whether you have been there or not its rich history  and influence will interest anyone. Therefore following below some historical aerial  pictures of the city that never sleeps.

The Hindenburg flies over New York City, just hours before meeting its fateful end. 1937.

hindenburg

The sun sets over the smog, clouds, and skyscrapers of New York. 1932.

sunset-over-new-york

The Carnegie Hill section of New York, long before skyscrapers. 1882.

carnegie-hill-new-york

Smog obscures New York’s Chrysler Building. 1952.

chrysler-building

Aerial view of Manhattan from New York Harbor, with the then-new World Trade Center’s Twin Towers looming above Wall Street buildings. Circa 1970.

manhattan-skyline-seventies

Aerial view from Upper New York Bay, looking north over Battery Park and the lower Manhattan skyline. 1923.

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View of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

aerial-worlds-fair

A Canadian plane flies over New York’s George Washington Bridge as it makes its way up the Hudson River en route to Montreal, Canada. 1939.

aerial-canada-airplane

New York’s Woolworth tower pokes through the clouds. 1928.

aerial-woolworth

An aerial view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Circa 1912

aerial-bk-bridge


 

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All that is interesting

Library of congress

Walter C. Wetzel-Fallen Hero

800px-Walter_Wetzel_grave

Dear Sir, you don’t know it but I owe you so much,possibly my life.

Often have I visited the cemetery where your final resting place is. I may have even stood at your grave, contemplating why you and your band of brothers that surround you,sacrificed their lives in a land that was not theirs.

Margraten

It couldn’t have been for money because your salary wasn’t enough to sustain you. No it was for something noble,Freedom, and not just an freedom but my freedom and that of my generation and the generation before me and future generations. For that I thank you.

Today I hang my head in shame. for someone who calls himself a warrior and is hailed as a hero, a multi-millionaire,this “hero” displayed all the signs of a thug,hooligan and criminal. This is not what you gave your life for.

Wetzel joined the Army from Roseville, Michiganwetzel_port in July 1941,and by April 3, 1945 was serving as a private first class in the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. On that day, in Birken, Germany, Wetzel smothered the blasts of German-thrown grenades with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on February 26, 1946, by President Harry S. Truman.

 

CITATION:
“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Walter C. Wetzel, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Private First Class Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Anti-Tank Company of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, was guarding his platoon’s command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, two of which landed in the room where Private First Class Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Private First Class Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Private First Class Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army’s highest traditions of bravery and heroism.”

Dear Sir I salute you.