Evil science

No mater how you twist or turn it, when you are complicit to a crime, you are just as guilty as the perpetrator, and perhaps even more guilty because you were an enable of that crime.

Hermann Stieve was Director of the Berlin Institute of Anatomy from 1935 to 1952, which was from the early days of the Third Reich until 7 years after the war.

His research on the female reproductive system is controversial, as some of his scientific insights derived from histological investigations on the genital organs of executed women. These investigations were made possible by the sharp increase in executions during the “Third Reich.” Stieve’s research was methodologically accurate and contributed significantly to contemporary scientific debates. Nevertheless, his use of the organs of execution victims, some of them resistance fighters, benefited from the Nazi justice system. He thus indirectly supported this system of injustice.

Charlotte Pommer , a young physician, who had been an assistant to Dr Stieve, reported after the war.

“On 22nd of December 1942 eleven men were hanged and five women decapitated. Fifteen minutes later they were laid out on the dissection tables in the anatomical institute. [She] lay on the first table, […] on the third table the big lifeless body of her husband […] I felt paralyzed and could hardly assist Professor Stieve, who – as always- carried out his scientific exploration with great care and uncommon diligence […] After the impressions of that night I resigned from my position”

Stieve wanted to study human organs. He was able to get some donated uteruses and ovaries from the bodies of accident victims, or from surgeons who had removed them. One of the best historical sources of organs for research, the bodies of executed criminals, had not been available during the early years of his research as the Weimar government made very minimal use of the death penalty, and did not execute any women. In a 1931 letter Stieve complained that it was difficult to get a set of ovaries from a healthy woman.

After the National Socialist regime came to power in January 1933, one of its first goals was the reorganization of the universities. Leadership of the universities was taken away from the individual German states and centralized within the Ministry of Education in Berlin, which was also responsible for the anatomical institutes. This included research funding, recruitment of faculty, and the professional society, the Anatomische Gesellschaft. In terms of the body procurement, the Ministry of Education shared this responsibility with the Ministry of Justice, when bodies from prisons and executions were concerned. All science was to be aligned with NS doctrine and to be utilized for war purposes.

Stieve, who had accepted a professorship at what is now Humboldt University of Berlin as well as the directorship of its anatomical institute, reached an agreement with administrators at Plötzensee Prison outside the city to accept all bodies of those shot, hanged or beheaded, many of them political prisoners. Others were “Polish and Russian slave laborers executed for such acts as socializing with German women,” according to Seidelman. Over the entire Nazi era that came to around 3,000 victims, many more bodies than Stieve needed for research purposes. It is alleged that during his research he claimed the corpses of 182 victims of the Nazi regime, 174 of whom were women at the age rank from 18 to 68, two thirds of victims were of German origin.

I just want to focus n 2 of his subjects.

Liane Berkowitz, a German resistance fighter and was most notable for being was a member of the Berlin-based pro-soviet resistance group that coalesced around Harro Schulze-Boysen, that was later called the Red Orchestra by the Abwehr. Arrested and sentenced to death, she was executed shortly after she gave birth to a daughter in custody.

The young mother was executed in Plötzensee Prison at 7.45 p.m on 5 August 1943, two days before her 19th birthday.

Liane’s daughter Irina was born on 12 April 1943 in the women’s prison on Barnimstraße.[The grandmother took care of the child from July 1943. As the Reichskriegsgericht pronounced the sentence recommendation when checking with Adolf Hitler to dismiss the pregnant Liane Berkowitz from prison, he expressly rejected any reprieve. The death sentence was confirmed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and countersigned. Her body was delivered to Hermann Stieve to be dissected for research. Her final resting place is unknown. Her daughter Irina died on 16 October 1943 in hospital in Eberswalde under unclear circumstances.

Mildred “Mili” Elizabeth Fish-Harnack was an American literary historian, author, translator, and resistance fighter, born in Wisconsin. After marrying Arvid Harnack, she moved with him to Germany, where she began her career as an academic. Fish-Harnack spent a year at the University of Jena and the University of Giessen working on her doctoral thesis. At Giessen, she witnessed the beginnings of Nazism. In 1930, the couple moved to Berlin and Fish-Harnack became an assistant lecturer in English and American literature at the University of Berlin. In the early 1930s, the couple became increasingly interested in the Soviet communist system. Harnack established a writers’ group that studied the Soviet planned economy, and the couple were able to arrange a visit to the Soviet Union during August 1932 and by 1933 they were fully committed to Soviet ideology. Through contacts at the American embassy, Fish-Harnack became friends with Martha Dodd, who became a part of her salon where they discussed current affairs. In 1936, Fish-Harnack’s translation of Irving Stone’s biography of Vincent van Gogh, Lust for Life, was published.

In 1938, the couple began to resist Nazism. They became friends with Louise and Donald Heath, who was First Secretary at the embassy, and to whom Harnack passed economic intelligence from his position at the Reich Trade Ministry. By 1940, the couple came into contact with other anti-fascist resistance groups and cooperated with them. The most important of these was run by German air force officer Harro Schulze-Boysen. Like numerous groups in other parts of the world, the undercover political factions led by Harnack and Schulze-Boysen later developed into an espionage network that collaborated with Soviet intelligence. Fish-Harnack became a resistance fighter as a member of a Berlin anti-fascist espionage group, later called the Red Orchestra (Rote Kapelle) by the Abwehr. The couple were arrested in September 1942 and executed shortly after.

On 7 September 1942, the Harnacks were arrested by the Gestapo at the seaside village of Preila on the Curonian Spit.

Harnack was sentenced to death on 19 December after a four-day trial before the Reichskriegsgericht (“Reich Military Tribunal”), and was executed three days later at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. Fish-Harnack was initially given six years in prison, but Adolf Hitler refused to endorse the sentence and ordered a new trial, which resulted in a death sentence on 16 January 1943.She was beheaded by guillotine on 16 February 1943. While she was imprisoned, She was the only American woman executed on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler.

After her execution, her body was released to Hermann Stieve to be dissected for his research into the effects of stress, such as awaiting execution, on the menstrual cycle. After he was finished, he gave what was left to a friend of hers, who had the remains buried in Berlin’s Zehlendorf Cemetery.

Unlike the research of Nazi scientists who became obsessed with racial typing and Aryan superiority, Stieve’s work didn’t end up in the dustbin of history. The tainted origins of this research, along with other studies and education that capitalized on the Nazi supply of human body parts—continue to haunt German and Austrian science, which is only now fully grappling with the implications. Some of the facts, amazingly, are still coming to light. And some German, Austrian, and Polish universities have yet to face up to the likely presence of the remains of Hitler’s victims, their cell and bone and tissue, in university collections that still exist today.

sources

https://web.archive.org/web/20150715183928/http://www.gedenkstaette-ploetzensee.de/zoom/09_6_dt.html

https://slate.com/human-interest/2013/11/mildred-harnack-was-executed-by-hitler-for-resisting-the-nazis-now-we-know-what-happened-to-her-remains.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48215894

https://www.timesofisrael.com/microscopic-remains-of-nazi-victims-studied-by-german-doctor-buried-in-berlin/

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/history/2013/11/nazi_anatomy_history_the_origins_of_conservatives_anti_abortion_claims_that.html?via=gdpr-consent

https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/jbc/article/view/10848/10058

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19173259/

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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.

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Sources

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

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

The first recorded aircraft hijack.

ford

Although there had been aircraft hijacks going back to the 1920s none of those were recorded as such.

The first recorded aircraft hijack occurred on February 21,1931 in Arequipa,Peru.On that day, Captain Byron Rickards flew his Ford Tri-Motor aircraft from Lima to Arequipa where he was approached on landing by armed revolutionaries wanting the aircraft to distribute propaganda leaflets over the region. Rickards refused to move at all. He was held captive for 10 days and was only released when he agreed to fly one of the revolutionaries back to Lima.

captain

Rickards also had also the dubious honor  to be the first Captain to be hijacked twice. On 3 August 1961, Leon Bearden and his son Cody entered the cockpit of Rickard’s Continental Airlines flight preparing to depart from El Paso and demanded to be taken to Cuba. The FBI shot the aircraft’s tyres and the hijackers surrendered.

continntal

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Sources

Former Torrance man becomes first person imprisoned for airplane hijacking

https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/first-hijack-of-an-aircraft/

https://www.asi-mag.com/80-years-of-avsec-from-arequipa-to-domodedovo/

Richard Ira Bong- WWII Hero

Richard Bong

I could do a very lengthy blog about Richard Ira Bong but I decided to stay with the facts that really matter. For everything else I urge you to look up his name, so much has already written about him.

Today would have been his 99th birthday. He is credited with shooting down 40 enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

The citation on his Medal of Honor descried him best.

“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Major (Air Corps) Richard Ira Bong (ASN: 0-433784), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 49th Fighter Group, V Fighter Command, Fifth Air Force, in action in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Major Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down eight enemy airplanes during this period.”

Ironically  though he didn’t die in combat but  he died in California while testing a jet aircraft.

But even the date of his death is significant because it was also the date that the Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

enola

But despite that massive historic event , Richard Bong’s death was featured prominently in national newspapers,

paper

Happy Birthday Major Bong, may you rest in peace.

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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

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Sources

ESPN

The Guardian

The Veteran Boxer

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

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

Washington Post

Vanity Fair

People Magazine

Ford Library Museum

 

US registered patent No. 6,469

PATENT

On March 10,1849, a 40 year old inventor filed  an application for a patent relating to an invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river.

The patent was registered today 170 years ago on May 22,1849. The inventor was none other than Abraham Lincoln.

abe

“Be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the county of Sangamon, in the state of Illinois, have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steam boat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes;”

Lincoln’s patent ends with this claim,

“What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by letters patent is the combination of expansible buoyant chambers placed at the sides of a vessel with the main shaft or shafts C by means of the sliding spars or shafts D which pass down through the buoyant chambers and are made fast to their bottoms and the series of ropes and pullies or their equivalents in such a manner that by turning the main shaft or shafts in one direction the buoyant chambers will be forced downwards into the water and at the same time expanded and filled with air for buoying up the vessel by the displacement of water and by turning the shaft in an opposite direction the buoyant chambers will be contracted into a small space and secured against injury.”

signature

The invention was never produced for practical use.There were doubts it would have actually worked.

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The opinions after the Pearl Harbor attack.

pearl harbor

There is not much I can add to the narrative of the Pearl Harbor attack. So much haS already been written about it.

But something we didn’t get to hear a lot of, was the reactions of the ordinary US citizen after the attack. Following are some recordings of interviews of a few civilians either being interviewed in the street or directing their interview directly to the President.

Also included are parts of the transcripts of the inteRviews. I do apologize for some of the sound quality.

The difference of opinions are intriguing though.

“Man-on-the-Street”, Bloomington, Indiana, December 10, 1941″

“Paul Martin: This is Wednesday, December 10th, 1941. Last Sunday, December 7th, the United States
of America was attacked by armed forces of the Japanese Empire. The Radio Department of Indiana
University, in cooperation with the Library of Congress of the United States has arranged to record
some of the opinions of four people concerning the war at this point. They believe that these four
people represent a well-balanced cross-section of the citizenry at our disposal.
First, Mr. Merritt A. Calvert, a merchant. Mr. Calvert, could you tell us just as nearly as possible, what
your immediate mental reaction was when hearing of the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
Merritt A. Calvert: Well, Mr. Martin it seemed here in the Middle West, that we couldn’t quite realize
the . . . the greatness of this project that the Japs had started. We all felt that there was maybe
propaganda, newspaper talk. After all, when we heard of the bombing, the reaction we can hardly
express. Everyone in this locality and around the university with as many young people as we have,
was first depressed and then disgusted and now it seems that we are ready to do anything that is
necessary to stop this Japanese invasion.”….(click on link below for full interview)

 

War

“Man-on-the-Street,” Austin, Texas, December 9, 1941″

“John Henry Faulk: Mr. Jirosik, what do you think about Japan’s action last Sunday?
Joe Jirosik: I think they were all wrong.
John Henry Faulk: Well, for what reason? Do you think it was any justification whatever on the part of
Japan in making that attack?
Joe Jirosik: I don’t think there’s any.
John Henry Faulk: What do you think the United States should have done then?
Joe Jirosik: Declare war on them.
John Henry Faulk: In other words, you’re behind Roosevelt’s resolution?
Joe Jirosik: Hundred percent.”…..(click on link below for full interview)

harbor

“Dear Mr. President,” Nashville, Tennessee, January or February 1942″

“A. J. Steel: Dear Mr. President, this is A. J. Steel, a salesman from Nashville, Tennessee. Now that we
are at war we are very anxious to do our part for the defense of democracy. We’re anxious to serve
where we can do the most good. In my opinion, we can do this best by holding government positions
that our training fits us best for. There are many efficient Negroes who could do so much for their
country in these capacities. Such would not only help the United States directly, but indirectly as well
by showing the world that we have a democratic government with all of its people living together,
working together, and willing to die together if need be for the common good. Then we can truly
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity.”…(click on link below for full interview)

FDR

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Sources

Library of Congress

https://www.loc.gov/collections/interviews-following-the-attack-on-pearl-harbor/about-this-collection/