Colombine High school Shooting April 20,1999.

It is hard to believe it has been 23 years ago since the Columbine High School massacre happened.

On April 20,1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

So many articles have been written about it and books full of analysis have been published about it. Rather then going into the lives of the 2 killers, maybe it is a better ideas at this stage to read the experiences of the mother of one of the killers.

Sue Klebold’s son, Dylan, and his friend, Eric Harris, killed 13 people at Columbine high school. Sue is still haunted by one question: is there anything she could have done?

“I can be in a doctor’s waiting room and still hope they call me by my first name, rather than shout out Mrs Klebold. Every time I meet someone and give my name, there’s a moment of hesitancy where I watch their face very closely. They may say, ‘Gee, why does that sound so familiar?’”

In these cases the assumption is made in the aftermath of a shooting that the fault must lie predominantly with the parents – or, rather, with the mother. “A mother is supposed to know,” Klebold says.

Sue Klebold worked in the same building as a parole office, and often felt alienated and frightened getting in the elevator with ex-convicts. After Columbine, she writes, “I felt that they were just like my son. That they were just people who, for some reason, had made an awful choice and were thrown into a terrible, despairing situation. When I hear about terrorists in the news, I think, ‘That’s somebody’s kid.’ “

Recalling the day her son was buried, Ms Klebold said he was laid to rest in a cardboard box, and broke down into floods of tears.She was desperate to understand what drove her son to commit such an atrocious crime.

“He was just there in a cardboard box and they allowed us each to have a few minutes with him. What I remember doing was just wanting to crawl in that casket with him, he was so cold I just kept thinking, I’ve got to get him warm, I just wanted him to be warm.

“I said out loud, ‘Darling help me understand what happened, that’s all I want to understand’. And I didn’t realise until this very moment that did became my life mission, I hope Dylan has helped me understand because that’s what I’ve been seeking for 20 years, was understanding.”

Sue remembered the moment she was told that her son was one of the shooters, admitting that she prayed for her son to die after finding out he had hurt so many people.

“I got home and before long a SWAT team got there and a detective and it was just craziness. They were saying 25 people were dead and I remember thinking at one point, if Dylan is really hurting people the way they’re saying he is – I prayed that he would die.”

For months Sue was in denial about what her her son had done: “They said the boys did all these terrible things. Not only killed and hurt people, but that they would say awful racist things and sadistic things and I just shut that out of my mind. I thought, Dylan would not say anything like that. They had got so much information wrong about Dylan and our family, that I settled into the belief system that they were wrong about what Dylan did.”

“We like to feel that something like that could never happen to us. It can happen to someone else, it can’t happen to us. And that’s why I think so many people get comfort from vilifying the parents of shooters, because it makes them feel safer. I understand; but one of the frightening things about this reality is that people who have family members who do things like this are just like the rest of us. I’ve met several mums of mass shooters, and they are as sweet and nice as they can be. You wouldn’t know, if you saw all of us in a room, what brought us together.”

It took Sue six months to fully acknowledge the extent of her son’s crimes, with police having to show Sue evidence that proved the massacre was premeditated.

“For the first time I got it,’ Sue said. ‘I saw it was planned, I saw video tapes they had made, I saw Dylan in a way I had never seen him before, they were talking about what they were going to do, it showed him with weapons. It was horrifying to see him in that mode. I had been grieving so much for this lost previous child and remembering who he was and that was the point I realised who he was to the rest of the world, everything died in my world, God died, my belief in truth in what my family was.”

After the murders at Columbine, the Klebold family issued a statement through their attorney, expressing condolences to the victims families, and in May 1999, she wrote personal letters to both the families of those killed and survivors who were injured, expressing similar sentiments. The Klebold family initially refused to believe Dylan’s involvement in the massacre, but in an interview with Andrew Solomon, Sue Klebold stated that “seeing those videos was as traumatic as the original event […] Everything I had refused to believe was true. Dylan was a willing participant and the massacre was not a spontaneous impulse.”

In 2016, Sue published ‘A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy’ She donated the profits from her book to mental health charities, research, and suicide prevention, toward the goal of helping parents and professionals find more ways to detect and treat signs of mental distress.

sources

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9769349/Mother-Dylan-Klebold-breaks-recalls-funeral-son.html

https://www.britannica.com/event/Columbine-High-School-shootings

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/14/mother-supposed-know-son-columbine-sue-klebold

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The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

US President Abraham Lincoln was the third American president to die in office , and the first of four presidents to be assassinated. The other three were James Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901) and John F. Kennedy (1963). Lincoln’s death came in the closing days of the American Civil War, and a day after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an American stage actor.

Booth was the 9th of 10 children born to the actor Junius Brutus Booth. John Wilkes Booth was outspoken in his advocacy of slavery and his hatred of Lincoln.

The original plan of Booth and his small group of conspirators was to kidnap Lincoln, and they later agreed to murder him as well as Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward.

On the morning of April 14, 1865, Booth had found out that Abraham Lincoln was going to to attend an evening performance of the comedy Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in the capital. Booth quickly assembled his band and assigned each member his task, including the murder of Secretary of State William Seward. He himself would kill Lincoln. About 6:00 PM Booth entered the deserted theatre, where he tampered with the outer door of the presidential box so that it could be jammed shut from the inside. He returned during the play’s third act to find Lincoln and his guests were unguarded.

Booth shot President Lincoln once in the back of the head. Lincoln’s death the next morning completed Booth’s piece of the plot. Seward, severely wounded, recovered, whereas Vice President Johnson was never attacked. Booth fled on horseback to Southern Maryland on his horse called Peanuts. A reward of $100,000 was issued for his capture. Also rewards of $50,000 and $25,000 for some of Booth’s conspirators.

On April 26, Federal troops arrived at a farm in Virginia, just south of the Rappahannock River, where Booth was hiding in a tobacco barn. Herold gave himself up before the barn was set afire, but Booth refused to surrender. After being shot, a bullet had pierced three vertebrae and partially severed his spinal cord, paralyzing him. In his dying moments, he reportedly whispered, “Tell my mother I died for my country”. Booth was carried to the porch of the farmhouse, where he subsequently died. The body was identified by a doctor who had operated on Booth the year before, and it was then secretly buried, though four years later it was reinterred.

Booth’s conspirators were Lewis Powell and David Herold, who were assigned to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward, and George Atzerodt, who was tasked with killing Vice President Andrew Johnson. By simultaneously eliminating the top three people in the administration, Booth and his co-conspirators hoped to disrupt the United States government.

In the turmoil that followed the assassination, scores of suspected accomplices were arrested and thrown into prison. Anyone discovered to have had anything to do with the assassination or even the slightest contact with Booth or Herold on their flight were put behind bars. Among the imprisoned were Louis J. Weichmann, a boarder in Mrs. Surratt’s house; Booth’s brother Junius (playing in Cincinnati at the time of the assassination); theater owner John T. Ford, who was incarcerated for 40 days; James Pumphrey, the Washington livery stable owner from whom Booth hired his horse; John M. Lloyd, the innkeeper who rented Mrs. Surratt’s Maryland tavern and gave Booth and Herold carbines, rope, and whiskey the night of April 14; and Samuel Cox and Thomas A. Jones, who helped Booth and Herold escape across the Potomac.

All of those listed above and more were rounded up, imprisoned, and released. Ultimately, the suspects were narrowed down to just eight prisoners (seven men and one woman): Samuel Arnold, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Samuel Mudd, Michael O’Laughlen, Lewis Powell, Edmund Spangler (a Ford’s stagehand who had given Booth’s horse to “Peanuts” Burroughs to hold), and Mary Surratt.

On June 29, 1865, the Military Commission met in secret session to begin its review of the evidence in the seven-week long trial. A guilty verdict could come with a majority vote of the nine-member commission; death sentences required the votes of six members. The next day, it reached its verdicts. The Commission found seven of the prisoners guilty of at least one of the conspiracy charges. Four of the prisoners: Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, and David Herold were sentenced “to be hanged by the neck until he [or she] be dead”. Samuel Arnold, Dr. Samuel Mudd and Michael O’Laughlen were sentenced to “hard labor for life, at such place at the President shall direct”, Edman Spangler received a six-year sentence. The next day General Hartrandft informed the prisoners of their sentences. He told the four condemned prisoners that they would hang on July 7,1865.

sources

https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Wilkes-Booth

https://www.onthisday.com/photos/assassination-of-president-lincoln

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Abraham%20Lincoln%20conspirators

Poor Richard’s Almanack

December 28, 1732 — The first “Poor Richard’s Almanack” was published by Richard Saunders. He continued to publish new editions for 25 years, bringing him much economic success and popularity. The almanack sold as many as 10,000 copies a year.

Below are some quotes and little nuggets of wisdom from the series of books

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”

“There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking.”

“To all apparent beauties blind, each blemish strikes an envious mind.”

“Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”

“Wise Men learn by other’s harms; Fools by their own.”

“The World is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the Affairs of his neighbor.”

“Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.”

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.”

You might wonder was is so special about this Richard Saunders. This Richard Saunders was in fact Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the USA.

He was just 26 when he produced his almanac, then it ran for 25 years from 1732 to 1758, selling as many as 10,000 copies annually – a huge number at the time.

In 1735, upon the death of Franklin’s brother, James, Franklin sent 500 copies of Poor Richard’s to his widow for free, so that she could make money selling them.

An “almanack” – the letter ‘k’ has been dropped in modern spelling – was one of the most popular types of printed material in America during the 18th Century. In those days the main purpose of such a miscellany was to provide year-ahead weather forecasts that would help farmers decide when to plant and harvest their crops.

sources

https://www.onthisday.com/articles/benjamin-franklins-words-of-wisdom

https://www.rightattitudes.com/2011/01/17/inspirational-quotations-359/

Bridget Bishop- certaine Detestable Arts Called Witchcrafts & Sorceries.

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. More than two hundred people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging (fourteen women and five men). One other man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to plead, and at least five people died in jail.

It all began in February 1692 when a group of young girls claimed to have been possessed by the devil and accused other women of being witches. Hysteria spread through colonial Massachusetts and a special court was convened to hear trials of those accused..

Bridget Bishop was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in 1692. She was executed on June 10,1692.

On April 16, two women ‑ Bridget Bishop and Mary Warren – were newly accused by the afflicted girls. Two days later, complaints were filed against the two, as well as against Giles Corey and Abigail Hobbs. Those who claimed to be tormented were Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, and Elizabeth Hubbard. Bishop was arrested on April 19 by Salem Marshal George Herrick and taken to Ingersoll’s Ordinary in Salem Village (modern-day Danvers) where the examinations were held. The afflicted girls writhed and convulsed. “She calls the Devil her god!” said Ann Putnam Jr. Judge Hathorne accused Bishop of afflicting the girls, which she denied. “I never saw these persons before, nor I never was in this place before,” said Bishop. “I am as innocent as the child unborn. I am innocent of a witch.” Judge Hathorne accused her of bewitching her first husband to death, which she also denied. The afflicted girls’ behavior was enough to convince the examiners. Bishop was held for trial in Salem jail, a short distance from her home.

“Q: Bishop, what do you say? You stand here charged with sundry acts of witchcraft by you done or committed upon the bodies of Mercy Lewis and Ann Putman and others.
A: I am innocent, I know nothing of it, I have done no witchcraft …. I am as innocent as the child unborn. ….
Q: Goody Bishop, what contact have you made with the Devil?
A: I have made no contact with the Devil. I have never seen him before in my life.”

Bridget Bishop was married at least 3 times, possibly 4 times , but the records are a bit hazy about that.

She married her first husband Captain Samuel Wesselby on 13 April 1660, at St. Mary-in-the-Marsh, Norwich, Norfolk, England. She had two sons and one daughter from her first marriage: John, Benjamin and Mary. Her first Husband died in 1666.

Her second marriage, on 26 July 1666, was to Thomas Oliver, a widower and prominent businessman. She had another daughter from her marriage to Thomas Oliver, Christian Oliver , born 8 May 1667.Thomas Oliver died in June 1679 .Bridget was accused of bewitching Thomas Oliver to death, but was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Her third marriage in 1687 was to Edward Bishop, a prosperous sawyer, whose family lived in Beverly.[12] Her third husband, Edward Bishop, is also one of the founders of the First Church of Beverly. He was 44 at the time of the trials.

Perhaps what made her neighbors most uncomfortable about Bishop had been her relationship with her second husband. While married to Thomas Oliver, Bridget gave every sign of being an abused wife. She would appear on the streets with bruises and scratches. However, it was believed that she was equally an abusive wife. The Olivers were known to verbally fight, and in public. Even on the Sabbath! The couple was once charged for that offense, and told to pay a fine or stand in the public square as punishment. Oliver’s daughter Mary paid the fine for her father, but declined payment for her stepmother. And so, Bridget was made to stand in the public square in penance for such behavior. Bridget Bishop was clearly a person who made others uncomfortable.

Bridget ran two taverns alongside Edward. Bridget Bishop was always seen by friends, family, and guests wearing exotic clothes and bright colors, both far from the standard clothes associated with the devil.

Below is a part of the Indictment against Bridget Bishop. It is in old English but I am sure you will be able to understand the contents.

“The Jurors for our Sovereigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen
pr’sent that Bridgett Bishop als
Olliver the wife of Edward Bishop of
Salem in the County of Essex Sawyer — the Nyneteenth day of April
in the fourth year of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady
William & Mary by the Grace of God of England Scottland France
& Ireland King & Queen Defend’rs of the faith &c and Divers other
dayes & times as well before as after, certaine Detestable Arts Called
Witchcrafts & Sorceries. wickedly and felloniously hath used Practised
& Exercised at and within the Towneship of Salem in the County of
Essex afores’d in upon and ag’t one Abigail Williams of Salem Village
in the County of Essex afores’d singlewoman.. by which said wicked
Arts the said Abigail Williams the Nyneteenth Day of April afores’d
in the fourth Year aboves’d and divers other Dayes and times as well
before as after, was, and is tortured Afflicted Pined Consumed wasted
& tormented ag’t the Peace of our Said Sovereigne Lord & Lady the
King & Queen and ag’t the forme of the Statute in that Case made
and Provided”

Bishop was convicted of witchcraft in short order. On June 10, Sheriff George Corwin escorted her from Salem jail, along Prison Lane to Main Street, and finally to a spot of common pasture at the edge of town. A crowd gathered. Bridget Bishop was ‘hanged by the neck until she was dead,’ on Proctor’s Ledge at Gallows Hill, the first of 19 people to be so executed. Instead of this first execution bringing people to their senses, it was not the end, but the beginning.

Even though Bridget Bishop was the first person to die as a result of the Salem Witch Trials, she wasn’t the first accused. Her accusers also eventually retracted their claims (too little, too late much?) and in the early 1700s the Massachusetts government cleared the names of most of the people who had been wrongly accused of witchcraft, Bridget Bishop not included.

Unfortunately, Bishop wouldn’t benefit from exoneration until more than two centuries later, when in 2001, the names of the remaining accused were cleared.

But Bishop’s status as the first witch hunt martyr remains today. Her unusual situation of being a thrice-married, twice-widowed woman who also owned property is said to have made her an anomaly amongst her counterparts and may have painted the target on her back for her being accused.

sources

https://famous-tria

ls.com/salem/2043-bridget-bishop

https://museumhack.com/who-was-bridget-bishop/

https://www.thoughtco.com/bridget-bishop-biography-3530330

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Lee Harvey Oswald-36 Hours in the Netherlands.

Lee Harvey Oswald left Moscow on June 1st, 1962. Two days later on June 3,1962 he crossed the Dutch border at Oldenzaal.

From Oldenzaal he traveled to Rotterdam to board the cruise ship ‘SS Maasdam IV’ to set sail for New Yoek on June 4,1962.

From the time he crossed the Dutch border to the time he boarded the ship took 36 hours. There are very few details on what he did those 36 hours. There are some speculations that he may have Met President John F Kennedy in that time, the same President he would kill on November 22,1963 in Dallas. I don’t know where this theory originates from but JFK was not in Rotterdam in June 1962, in fact he wasn’t in the Netherlands or anywhere in Europe. He was in the USA at the time. On June 11,1962 JFK held a speech at the Yale University Commencement.

“President Griswold, members of the faculty, graduates and their families, ladies and gentlemen:
Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for the very deep honor that you have conferred upon me. As General de Gaulle occasionally acknowledges America to be the daughter of Europe, so I am pleased to come to Yale, the daughter of Harvard. It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds, a Harvard education and a Yale degree.
I am particularly glad to become a Yale man because as I think about my troubles, I find that a lot of them have come from other Yale men. Among businessmen, I have had a minor disagreement with Roger Blough, of the law school class of 1931, and I have had some complaints, too, from my friend Henry Ford, of the class of 1940. In journalism I seem to have a difference with John Hay Whitney, of the class of 1926 and sometimes I also displease Henry Luce of the class of 1920, not to mention also William F. Buckley, Jr., of the class of 1950. I even have some trouble with my Yale advisers. I get along with them, but I am not always sure how they get along with each other.

I have the warmest feelings for Chester Bowles of the class of 1924, and for Dean Acheson of the class of 1915, and my assistant, McGeorge Bundy, of the class of 1940. But I am not 100 percent sure that these three wise and experienced Yale men wholly agree with each other on every issue.”

Now one might think that there was about a week between Lee Harvey Oswald time in the Netherlands and that speech of JFK, so it may have been possible they met. However traveling in the 1960’s was a lot more cumbersome then it is nowadays, regardless who you were. Aside from that there would have been records of JFK being in the Netherlands, and there aren’t any.

Lee Harvey Oswald was there with his wife Marina and daughter . I am sure they would have done the same as any other tourist. They would have done some sightseeing.

One thing I do fin intriguing though. Lee Harvey Oswald got the money for his fare through a loan from the State Department for almost $500,via the US Embassy.

The Oswalds embarked on the SS Maasdam IV of the Holland America Line company on June 4th,1962 and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, on 13 June. Two days later they flew to Fort Worth, Texas.

sources

https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/june-11-1962-yale-university-commencement

https://renehoeflaak.com/2013/11/19/3-en-4-juni-1962-verdacht-koud-in-rotterdam/

https://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/topic/1510441-lee-harvey-oswald-and-the-maasdam/

New document Oswald on SS Maasdam

When Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali

On March 6,1964 Cassius Clay announced that he no longer would be known as Cassius Clay but as Muhammad Ali.

Clay had been linked to the Nation of Islam, although they initially had refused him entry as a member due to his boxing career. However when Clay beat Joe Liston in 1964, the Nation of Islam did accept him , I can only speculate that this was a good Public Relations move for them.

Shortly afterwards on March 6, Elijah Muhammad gave a radio address that Clay would be renamed Muhammad (one who is worthy of praise) Ali (most high).

Muhammad Ali had claimed that his old name Cassius Clay was a “slave name and a white man’s name”

Unfortunately this is what happens so often when athletes, musicians, actors or other celebrities get involved in a political movement(although the nation of Islam had religious elements, it was really a political movement) they get very enthusiastic about the cause and sometimes forget to do all the research.

Cassius Marcellus Clay had been a slave owner, but he also was a politician, and emancipationist who worked for the abolition of slavery.

He was a founding member of the Republican Party in Kentucky. It was in this same state where a certain Mr. Abe Grady from Ennis in Ireland, met a free African-American woman and married her. They had a son named John Lewis Grady. He married Birdie Moorehead and the couple had a daughter Odessa Lee Grady . Odessa married Cassius Clay Sr, who was the son of Herman H. Clay(born in 1876 after slavery had been abolished in the USA).

In 2009 Muhammad Ali visited Ennis to trace his routes.

No one can ever deny the genius of Muhammad Ali, but I do think he was a small bit blindsided by the politics surrounding the Nation of Islam.

However all in all he was a great man and a generous human being. When it comes to boxing he was without a shadow of a doubt the greatest. There probably will never be a boxer of his caliber again, especially when you look at the boxing industry nowadays, and I say industry because it is very little to do with sports anymore.

Donation

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

https://www.espn.com/sportscentury/features/00014063.html

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/muhammad-ali-irish-roots

Wyatt Earp- Boxing referee. Wait, what?

earp

It was  billed as a contest for the heavyweight championship of the world. And yet, by noon on Dec. 2, 1896, with the fight slated to take place that same evening in San Francisco’s Mechanics’ Pavilion, they had the boxers, they had the venue but they didn’t have a referee.

It was the problem promoters J.J. Groom and John Gibbs faced.

The fight was between Fitzsimmons vs. Sharkey it was held to settle a three-year question as to the rightful holder of the gloved (Marquess of Queensberry rules) heavyweight title. Boxing was illegal in San Francisco but that didn’t really matter to  the city officials and police commissioners . they even embraced the bout, Mechanics Pavilion was secured as a venue and more than 10,000 tickets were sold.

venue

Both boxers had an Irish background, Fitzsimmons parents were Irish and Sharkey was a native from Dundalk.

Earp had refereed 30 or so matches in earlier days, though not under the Marquess of Queensbury rules, and he had never refereed a match of national prominence. He was actually hired by The Hearst family, owners of the San Francisco Examiner,  to provide security to their family.  The Examiner, had suggested Earp to Gibbs , he reluctantly agreed because the Fitzsimmons camp had reservations about Earp as referee.  But with no alternative, they finally agreed for Earp to be the referee, knowing that 15,000 people had paid between $2 and $10 for tickets.

Almost immediately after agreeing to Earp, Fitzsimmons’s people heard rumors that Earp had agreed to fix the fight ,with its $10,000 prize for Sharkey, who was a heavy underdog.

Earp had  entered the ring carrying his customary .45 caliber pistol in his coat pocket. Police Captain Charles Whitman, who was at the  ringside, climbed into the ring and demanded Earp hand over his pistol, which Earp promptly complied.

Wyatt Earp awarded the match to Sharkey after Fitzsimmons knocked Sharkey to the mat. Earp ruled that Fitzsimmons had hit Sharkey when he was down, but very few witnessed the purported foul.

The angry  crowd pelted Earp with boos and taunts. He rapidly left the ring and exited the Mechanics Pavilion. But his troubles were far from over

.For weeks, fans and sportswriters who said they had never seen a below belt punch mocked the decision. Fitzsimmons’s attorney, HL Kowalsky, told the San Francisco Call that Earp’s ruling was: “Clear and dirty theft.”

boxer

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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

ESPN

The Guardian

The Veteran Boxer

The Utah POW camp incident.

utah

During World War II, Utah was home to approximately 15,000 Italian and German prisoners of war that were distributed across a number of  camps. Camp Salina was a small, temporary branch camp to accommodate overflow prisoners in Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City. From 1944 to 1945 it was home to about 250 Germans, most of whom were from Erwin Rommel’s Afrika korps.

After 1944, with the rapid advance of Allied forces in Western Europe after D-Day the need for more space to house the influx of Axis P.O.W.s grew drastically.

The US  government crated  a program to use German and Italian POW’s for agricultural labor. Therefore,the government sent out prisoners to agricultural areas to work in the fields. Such was the case in Salina, where the prisoners helped to harvest produce, such as sugar beets, on the surrounding farms.

US Soldiers unfit for front line service, such as those with behavioral problems, were typically assigned to guard duty on the camp.

Private Clarence V. Bertucci from  New Orleans was one of those soldiers. While Bertucci had been overseas in England with an artillery unit, he had not seen front line action.

clarence

On the night of July 7, 1945, Bertucci was out drinking heavily.He stopped at a cafe on Main Street to have some coffee and told a waitress,  “something exciting is going to happen tonight”, before reporting for guard duty back at the camp.

Shortly after midnight, July 8, 1945, Bertucci  went to his midnight post, manning one of the watch towers that overlooked the camp. Once there, he loaded a 250 round belt of .30 caliber ammunition into a M1919 Browning machine gun and proceeded to fire into the tents housing the sleeping prisoners.

1919

The attack lasted about 15 seconds  , killing eight and mortally wounding a ninth, who died a few days later in the hospital, Bertucci also wounded twenty other German P.O.Ws. One of the prisoners was “nearly cut in half” by the machine gun fire. After arresting Private Bertucci, the military investigation judged him mentally incompetent and thus remitted him to a mental institution. He remained institutionalized until his death in 1969.

A July 23, 1945, article from Time stated,

“Ninth Service Command officers admitted that Bertucci’s record already showed two courts-martial, one in England. His own calm explanation seemed a little too simple: he had hated Germans, so he had killed Germans”

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Source

Inter Mountain Histories

SPAM

spam ori

I am going to Spam this blog and I won’t even apologize for it.

But wait before you delete the post.

On this day in 1937 the Hormel Foods Corporation,  head quartered in Austin- Minnesota, USA,  first introduced the product SPAM The square can of pork, salt, water, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrite that first rolled off the assembly lines 82 years ago during the late depression era. it was invented .as a way to capitalize on  the then-unprofitable pork shoulder.

According to Hormel ,SPAM stands for ‘spiced ham’ and not “something posing as meat”

The product became very popular during WWII.

SPAM WWII

It is actually said that SPAM helped win the war. It went global during World War II, when the US shipped out over 100 million cans to the Pacific, where it made an inexpensive yet filling meal for U.S. troops Millions of cans of SPAM were also  sent to the Soviets and they loved it.

Khrushchev once said “SPAM was a godsend for another hungry group—Russian soldiers in World War II.”

SPAM SOVIET

But how did get SPAM such a bad name when it comes to IT?

We have Monty Python to thank for that. in the 1970s Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a sketch , which is the pop culture Spam reference most people will remember.

The sketch is about a  customer in a restaurant  who desperately tries to order something that doesn’t contain SPAM, only to find that  everything on the menu features it. In the course of his disastrous  dinner, a nearby party of Vikings( It is Monty Python)breaks into song: “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!”

 

spam spam

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White House Prom

prom

We sometimes forget that the White House is not only the residence of the President of the USA , but also the residence of the President’s family.

In 1975 Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford, was in her final year at Holton-Arms School.Her classmates, petitioned headmaster James Lewis to ask Susan if she could arrange for them to use the White House for the senior prom.Susan Ford asked  White House Chief Usher Rex Scouten that they be permitted to hold that year’s senior class prom at the White House. 

The request was granted, however there were a few terms and conditions connected to it.

  • No expenses associated with the dance could be borne by the United States Government.
  • All participants to the prom  were required to provide their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers to the United States Secret Service a minimum of thirty days prior to the event.
  • Members of the band, ‘The Outerspace Band’, selected to perform at the prom could not have any outstanding drug charges against them.

 

ourespace

The Class of ’75,  paid $1,300 for the prom out of class funds.

While the President and first lady  were thousands of miles away on a historic European diplomatic mission,  Susan Ford was making some modest history on her own back home. She played host to the first . and thus far only, high school senior prom ever held in the White House. It was held on May 31, 1975, and  it was generally well-received by those who attended.

News

style

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I am passionate about my site and I know 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

Washington Post

Vanity Fair

People Magazine

Ford Library Museum