Typhoid Mary

mary

How could a seemingly healthy woman spread a potentially deadly disease?

Typhoid or Typhoid fever fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.If typhoid fever isn’t treated, it’s estimated that up to 1 in 5 people with the condition will die. However at the start of the 20th century that number would have been greater.

The main symptoms of typhoid fever are:

  • a high temperature that can reach 39 to 40C
  • headache
  • general aches and pains
  • cough
  • constipation

Additionally it can cause diarrhea and a rash.Typhoid fever is caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi. It is basically spread by poor hygiene.

Mary Mallon was an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. This means although she was infected she didn’t have any signs of the symptoms. Although she herself did not have the symptoms, she was a carrier and could infect others around her.

She  was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, in what is now Northern Ireland.Orphaned as a child, Mary lived with her grandmother. Her Grandmother taught Mary how to scrounge for food and cook with what they had, making potato cakes and nettles over a peat fire.

In 1883 or 1884, Mary immigrated  to the US  where she lived with her Aunt and Uncle.In 1900  , she found employment in Mamaroneck, New York, as a cook.

Mary ccok

Soon a number of residents of the houses where she worked developed fever and diarrhea.

In 1901, she moved 18 miles to Manhattan, where members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea, and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer and left after seven of the eight people in that household became ill.

In 1906 she moved to  Oyster Bay ,Long Island.Where again she got a job as a cook. Within two weeks, 10 of the 11 family members were diagnosed with typhoid and hospitalized. Mary moved jobs again, this time for a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren. The Warrens had rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon went along too ,where she infected  six of the 11 people in the family.

Eventually one of the families Mary had worked for hired George Soper, a typhoid researcher

soper

After his investigation Soper released his  results on June 15, 1907, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He had the believe that Mary Mallon could be the source of the outbreak.He wrote:

“It was found that the family changed cooks in August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time, and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health.”

Soper looked into the employment agencies which staffed private kitchens and retrieved the name of Mary’s employers from 1900 to 1907. He found out that typhoid had struck seven of the last eight families where she worked. He also discovered, , that in all the stricken households she had lovingly iced and nursed the victims ,even receiving a tip of $50 from  one employer.

Soper tracked Mary Mallon to a house on Park Avenue,home of Walter Bowen, where a daughter and maid had already come down with typhoid. When Soper  approached  Mary about her possible role in spreading typhoid, she was furious.

Soper reported this to the authorities  and eventually, the New York City Department of Health arranged for Mallon to be taken into custody. Doctors found typhoid bacteria in her gallbladder, but she refused to have it removed as she didn’t believe she carried the disease. Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a clinic located on North Brother Island.

hospital

In 1910 it was agreed that Mallon could be released from the Hospital if she agreed to stop working as a cook, and take precautions to ensure that she didn’t infect more people with  typhoid. She returned to the mainland and got a job as a laundress. But Sbecause this was a low paid job  she changed her name to Mary Brown and resumed working as a cook.

For the following five years, everywhere she went, typhoid followed. In 1915 she set off a major outbreak in New York in which 25 people were infected and two died. She was arrested and on March 27,1915 the health authorities  returned her to quarantine on North Brother Island,where she remained for the rest of her life.

isolation

Despite her isolation she became a minor celebrity and was occasionally interviewed by the media.Visitors  were  strongly urged warned not to accept even a glass of water from her . On November 11,1938, died of pneumonia at the age of 69.

poster

 

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Sources

Irish Times

Irish America

 

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Somewhere in Corsica

Telegram 1

In order to understand the true horrors of WWII it is important to read the accounts of survivors, or listen to the stories of those who fought on the battlefields and saw the horrors first hand. Although they survived they would have been scarred forever either physically or mentally or both.

However sometimes it takes a simple telegram to truly see the impact the war had on those who stayed behind, we often forget they were victims too.

Like the telegram above of a sister of Sgt Arthur W. Studyvin, where she asks a simple but also poignant question to her Pastor. “Please say a prayer?”

Where some see a simple telegram ,I see a birthday present but also so much pain for not only did her parents die, she did not know the exact whereabouts of her brother. All she knew he was somewhere in Corsica. I doubt also if she knew if he was still alive but clearly she hoped so ,because the prayer she asked for was the only thing she could give her brother for his birthday.

I don’t know what happened to Sgt Arthur W. Studyvin, I too hope he survived, but the telegram by his sister is a stark reminder what war does to a family.

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Harry Truman

sT hELEN

I know what you all will be thinking that this will be a blog about President Truman, possibly about the order he gave to drop the atomic bombs. Well, you’d be wrong. It is indeed a blog about some explosive events but nothing WWII related. In fact it isn’t about President Truman either.

The subject in this blog is Harry R Truman a resident of the state of Washington who lived near Mount St. Helens.

memorial

Truman enlisted in the US Army as a private in August 1917. and served in France during World War I.

On 24 January 1918, the SS Tuscania departed Hoboken, New Jersey, with 384 crew members and 2,013 United States Army personnel aboard, Harry R Truman was one of the 2,013. The destination was Liverpool in England.

Tuscania

On the morning of February 5th, 1918, the SS Tuscania was sighted by the German submarine UB 77.During that day, the U-Boat stalked the SS Tuscania until early evening. Under the cover of darkness at about 6:40 pm, the submarine′s commanding officer, Captain Wilhelm Meyer, ordered two torpedoes fired at the Tuscania.

ub 77

The second torpedo struck the ship and sank it in the Irish Sea. 210 of the crew and troops perished that day. Harry R Truman was not one of them.

He went on to live a long life, but his death was caused by another explosion of sorts.

Truman moved near to Mount St Helens where he owned a lodge on Spirit Lake ,near the foot of the mountain for more than 50 years. He became somewhat of a  celebrity during the two months of volcanic activity preceding the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. He figured the danger was exaggerated and told reporters

“I’m going to stay right here because, I’ll tell you why, my home and my f**king life’s here. If the mountain goes, I’m going with it”

Unfortunately the volcano did erupt and Harry R Truman did die on May 18,1980 aged 83. His home was hit by a mud and snow avalanche, and buried the site of his lodge under 150 feet (46 m) of volcanic landslide debris.. His remains were never found.

tRUMAN

Some people may think he was foolish not to leave while he still could. But he knew what he wanted and where he was happiest and that was where he and his wife, who died a few years earlier, had made a life for themselves. They had found their bit of paradise for that I admire him because so few find that place they can truly call home.

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Oliver Hardy

Hardy.JPG

When you think of a comedy duo the first pair that comes to mind is Laurel $ Hardy, they were and still are ,without a shadow of a doubt the most successful comedy double act of all time.

However these 2 were not always a duo, they both had long established careers before they teamed up together. On the 127th birthday of Oliver Hardy it is a good opportunity to look back at some of his work as a ‘solo’ act.

Ollie started in dozens of movies prior to his Laurel & Hardy year .His first movie was  a 1914  short movie called “Outwitting Dad”

In 1915-1916 he made films for the Vim Comedy Company in Jacksonville, for the Vim Comedy Company.He was billed as ‘Babe’ Hardy.

baba

In 1917, he moved to L.A. working as a freelancer for several Hollywood studios, and he made more than 40 films for Vitagraph between 1918 and 1923, mostly playing the “heavy” for Larry Semon.

Strangely enough he did team up for a movie with Stan Laurel before they became the legendary duo.. The movie was the 1921 short film “The Lucky Dog”

dog

During his time as part of Laurel & Hardy he did make a few movies without his comedic partner.

In 1949 he teamed up with another and even bigger Hollywood legend.No other then Marion Robert Morrison aka John Wayne was the acting partner of Oliver Hardy in the lighthearted Western

john wayne

A biopic about Oliver Hardy and Laurel Hardy is currently showing in cinema’s worldwide. Stan & Ollie a heart-warming story of what would become the pair’s triumphant farewell tour. Both men truly deserve the title Legend because they just don’t come any bigger that them.

Happy Birthday Mr Hardy

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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

 

Jeremy spoke in class today.

jermy

The title of this blog is a line from the Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” it is one of my favourite Rock tracks and by far the best track of the album “Ten”. Although I have listened to the song hundreds of times I never really paid to much attention to the history of the song.

I assumed it was a made up tale of a made up boy in a made up school, but I was wrong. The Jeremy in the song was a real boy, who tragically committed suicide on January 8, 1991.

Jeremy Delle attended Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas

He was 15 at the time. On the fateful day he was late for his second period English class.Because of this tardiness the teacher urged Jeremy to go down to the office and get an attendance slip. However Jeremy did not go to the office, he went to his locker. Took out a with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and returned to the classroom . He turned to his teacher and said “Miss, I got what I really went for,” and then shot himself in front of his classmates.

metro

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder read about the suicide in a newspaper article and decided to write a song about it, in a way as an ode to the troubled teenager.

Even though the song was well intended it does not portray an accurate picture of the situation.

One line of the song talks about a father who didn’t pay attention and a mother who didn’t care. This is however not true. Jeremy  was living with his father, his parents were divorced and he had been in counseling at the school which he was also new to. In the video of the song it is also suggested that he was struggling with his sexuality but according a friend that was not the case at all, in fact most of the video is totally inaccurate. Why Pearl Jam decided on this direction of the video, I don’t know.

king

He was a quiet boy but there wasn’t any real evidence of bullying. The fact is the teenage years in anyone’s life are complex years, Stuck between childhood and adulthood, hormones flying of the charts. If you add an uncertain future to that and new surroundings it can easily lead to bigger problems. It is not a coincidence that a a great percentage of suicides are committed by teenage boys.

His mother said in a recent interview she said ‘That day that he died did not define his life. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a friend. He was talented,’ she said.

My heart goes out to her and the family. Each time I will hear the song now, I will say a quick prayer for a poor troubled boy and his family.

Ending the blog with Pearl Jam’s video.

 

 

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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.

2018-11-12

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.

2018-11-12 (1)

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.

usa

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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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

BBC

Library of National Congress.

 

And the guns fell silent.

wwi

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.

u-202

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

8 men

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.

hoover

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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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

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.

show

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