Toilet Paper

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When I first started doing my blogs I never though I would be writing about toilet paper one day, but due this upsurge in the fascination with toilet paper , caused by the Covid 19 crisis, I felt compelled to have a quick look at the history of toilet paper.

Below are just some key events in relation to the evolution of the paper that has become such a popular item recently.

Prior to the use of paper these implements were used to clean one’s behind.

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The use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China. In 589 AD the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote about the use of toilet paper:

“Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes”

During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked:

.”the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper”

The rise of publishing by the eighteenth century led to the use of newspapers and cheap editions of popular books for cleansing. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in 1747, told of a man who purchased

“a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina; thus was so much time fairly gained”

Other times political manifestos were used to wipe one’s bum as a matter of protest.

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Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.Toilet paper dispensed from rolls was popularized when the Scott Paper Company began marketing it in 1890.

The rolled toilet paper that we use today, which is perforated, was created in the 1880’s. Toilet paper varies immensely; size, roughness, weight, resistance, residues, water-absorption, etc.

The bigger companies invest time and money in surveys to figure out which requirements sell best. This can lead to the adding of aloe in the paper, for a softer feeling paper.

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The manufacturing of this product had a long period of refinement, considering that as late as the 1930s, a selling point of the Northern Tissue company was that their toilet paper was “splinter free” Imagine that up until 1935 cleaning your butt was a dangerous business.

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Eli Wallach-Is this war?

Eli

Who doesn’t know Eli Wallach? Such a great character actor, known from iconic movies like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Mystic River” or more recently “The Holiday” . He was such a versatile actor but the role he not known for was his portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Born on December 7 1915 in Brooklyn, to Polish Jewish immigrants Abraham and Bertha  Wallach.

He gained his first method acting skills  at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. But on December 7, 1941. Wallach’s 26th birthday , Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the USA into WWII.

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Like so many others Eli Wallach was drafted into the United States Army in January 1942

During World War II, Wallach first served as a United States Army staff sergeant at a military hospital in Hawaii. He then went to the Officer Candidate School in Abilene, Texas to train as a medical administrative officer and graduated as a second lieutenant, eventually rising to captain. He first was sent  to Casablanca and soon after was stationed in France.

Serving in France during the later years of the war, one of his superiors learned about his acting background and recruited him to put together a group to perform plays for the patients.

He and his unit wrote a comedy  play called “Is This the Army?”, which was  inspired on Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army. In the play, Wallach and the other actors mocked Axis dictators, with Wallach portraying Adolf Hitler.

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The unfortunate career of L. Ron Hubbard

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Most people will associate the name of   L. Ron Hubbard with the Church of Scientology and his work as an author of science fiction books. Although one may not fully understand the concept of the Church of Scientology or agree with its teachings, you would have to agree it is a successful venture, and the same can be said about his work as an author.

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But as the title suggests this blog is about his lesser known career. A career which wasn’t as  fruitful.

During WWII L. Ron Hubbard served in the US Naval and had actually commanded 2 naval vessels, the USS YP-422 and the USS PC-815. It is  the latter one I will be focusing on

The USS PC-815 was a PC-461-class submarine chaser built for the United States Navy during World War II.

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In November 1942, Hubbard was sent to the Submarine Chaser Training Center in Miami, Florida for training on submarine chaser vessels. He then went on a ten-day anti-submarine warfare training course at the Fleet Sound School in Key West .On January 17, 1943 he was posted in Portland, Oregon,where he took command of USS PC-815.

While he was in command of the vessel, Hubbard was involved in two bizarre naval incidents. In May 1943, he reported that his vessel had damaged and sank two Japanese submarines that surfaced off the coast of Oregon.

Over a duration of  68 hours, the ship dropped 37 depth charges in a “sea battle” that also involved the U.S. Navy blimps K-39 and K-33, the United States Coast Guard patrol boats Bonham and 78302, and the sub chasers USS SC-536 and USS SC-537, all were called upon to  to act as reinforcements. PC-815 was finally ordered back to base on 21 May. His superiors couldn’t find proof that any submarines had been sunk anywhere near the place which Hubbard indicated; his claims were dismissed.

In an eighteen-page after-action report, Hubbard stated  to have “definitely sunk, beyond doubt” one submarine and critically damaged another. The  submarine he claimed to have sunk was the I-76.

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However that submarine was still operational in April 1944.

Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher a decorated Navy officer, was assigned to investigate Hubbard’s sinking of a Japanese submarine.In his report dated June 8, 1943 to the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, Fletcher writes, “An analysis of all reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area.”

Admiral Fletcher’s investigation suggested that Hubbard mistakenly read a magnetic iron ore deposit on the ocean floor as two enemy submarines on their sonar.

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The second incident nearly caused a diplomatic conflict between the US  and Mexico.In June 1943, the PC-815 traveled to San Diego, which was to be the new home port  for the vessel . She arrived there on the 2nd of  June 1943, and at the end of June was ordered to sea to join an anti-submarine training exercise.The exercise, held on 28 June, ended early and Hubbard took the opportunity to order an unscheduled and improvised gunnery exercise while anchored just off the Mexican territory of South Coronado Island to the south-west of San Diego.He mistakenly believed that the islands were uninhabited and situated within U.S. territory, so he carried out gunnery practice close to the islands.The islands were actually a base to  Mexican Navy personnel during the war.The Mexican government sent an official protest to the U.S. Government, as no gunnery operations had been scheduled.

The Mexican government filed a complaint  and two days later, Hubbard had to appear before a naval Board of Investigation in San Diego. He was found to have disregarded orders by carrying out an unsanctioned gunnery practice and violating Mexican waters. He was reprimanded and removed from command, effective July 7.

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The official incident report stated that he was “unsuitable for independent duties and lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership, and cooperation,” and he was forced to perform administrative tasks for the rest of his years in service.

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The assassination of William McKinley.

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On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley,the 25th President of the USA, died, as a result of a shot in the stomach, which happened eight days earlier at the World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York. He was the third U.S. President to be assassinated.
President, McKinley became known as a protector of big businesses, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his presidency He advocated for  the protective tariff as a way of protecting U.S. business and labor from  competition abroad , and he maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver.

 

On September 6, 1901, William McKinley, , was shot on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. He was shaking hands with members of  the public when Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist and former steel worker, shot him twice in the abdomen.

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McKinley was approached by Leon Czolgosz,  carrying a concealed .32 revolver in a handkerchief. Drawing his weapon, he shot McKinley two times at close range. gunOne bullet deflected off  button on McKinley’s suit , but the other went into  his stomach, passed through the kidneys, and lodged in his back.

Dr. Matthew D. Mann and a team of other physicians were not able to find  the bullet during an operation, due to this gangrene soon spread throughout his body. McKinley died eight days later.

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Czolgosz was convicted of murder and executed on October 29, 1901. His last words were

“I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime. I am sorry I could not see my father”

The president had, had a fairly relaxed approach to security, even though two of his predecessors (President Lincoln and President Garfield) had been killed in the past half-century.

McKinley

After McKinley’s assassination, newspaper editorials across the country heavily criticized the lack of protection afforded to American presidents. Though it still lacked any legislative mandate, by 1902, the Secret Service was established and  was protecting President Theodore Roosevelt full-time.

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When should we stop pursuing justice? NEVER!

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The pursuit for truth and justice for the victims of the Holocaust should never ever stop.Even when perpetrators are brought to justice it is still just a hollow one, because what punishment can possibly cover the vile and sickening crimes committed.

However it is important that these people are pursuit regardless what age they are, or in what health condition they are.

Earlier this month US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents removed Jakiw Palij from his home in Queens, N.Y.  in order to send him back to Germany.

DEPORTATION

Jakiw Palij is a former Nazi guard, who had worked as a guard at the Trawniki Labor Camp.He immigrated to the United States in 1949, he had lied  on his immigration documentation that he claimed he  had been a simple farm-worker on his father’s land during the war. Palij entered the U.S. via Boston and became a US citizen in 1957. He bought a  home in Queens, New York in 1966.

He was Born in a part of Poland that is now modern-day Ukraine. He lived a quiet life as a draftsman in the US. In 2001 an investigator from the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations  showed up at his home  to question him about his wartime activities. Palij  admitted to federal officials  that he had been trained as a Nazi guard in spring 1943.

On November 3, 1943, more than 6,000 men, women and children imprisoned at Trawniki were shot to death in one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust.

 

By ensuring that no one was able to escape, Jakiw Palij was instrumental in the massacre of the 6000 innocent men,women and children.

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Nearly three decades ago  investigators found his name on an old Nazi roster and a fellow former guard spilled the secret that he was “living somewhere in America.” It would take until 2001 before he was found. In 2003 he citizenship was revoked,based on his wartime activities, human rights abuses and immigration fraud. An immigration judge ordered him to be deported in 2004.

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But that turned out to be more complicated as was envisaged for neither the Ukraine nor Germany, nor any other country wanted him. he therefore remained in the US until August 21 when he was finally deported to Germany.

His  case will now be part of an investigation at a Nazi crimes investigation unit in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

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July 4th, not a good day for the Founding Fathers .

founding

July 4th, Independence day, a great day for the USA, but also an important day for other nations.

However for 2 of the Founding Fathers the 4th of July  turned out  to be not such a great day after all.On July 4 1826, the 50th anniversary John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died. Just before  Adams died, his last words included an acknowledgement of his longtime rival but also  friend  “Thomas Jefferson survives”, not knowing  that Jefferson had died several hours before.

Five years later James Monroe(although he was not one of the founding fathers), the 5th President of the US, died at the age of 73 at his son-in-law’s home in New York City.

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With his death came an eerie coincidence that many people just couldn’t ignore: But I believe that is all it is a coincidence be it eerie. It is however intriguing.

 

 

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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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A spy in Hawaii-Takeo Yoshikawa

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The one thing this is for certain in history, it always repeats itself. With all the talk about spies nowadays it is a good time to look at one of WWII spies.Takeo Yoshikawa.

Because of his expertise on the U.S. Navy, Yoshikawa was sent to Hawaii under the cover of being a vice-consul named Tadashi Morimura.

On March 27, 1941, the following appeared in the Nippu Jiji, an English-and-Japanese-language newspaper in Honolulu: “Tadashi Morimura, newly appointed secretary of the local Japanese consulate general, arrived here this morning on the Nitta Maru from Japan.

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His appointment was made to expedite the work on expatriation applications and other matters.” The announcement should have drawn the attention of American intelligence agents, as there was no Tadashi Morimura listed in the Japanese foreign registry.

He rented a second story apartment that overlooked Pearl Harbor and would often wander around the island of Oahu, taking notes on Fleet movements and security measures.He rented small planes at John Rodgers Airport and flew around, observing U.S. installations as well as diving under the harbor using a hollow reed as a breathing device. He also gathered information by taking the Navy’s own harbor tugboat and listening to local gossip. He worked closely with German Abwehr agent Bernard Kuehn.

0000004141Kuehn—a member of the Nazi party—had arrived in Hawaii in 1935. By 1939, the Bureau was suspicious of him. He had questionable contacts with the Germans and Japanese.

Yoshikawa also worked with Kokichi Seki , an untrained spy who served as the consulate’s treasurer.

FBI agents were paying attention to all of Yoshikawa’s comings and goings. In fact, U.S. military intelligence suspected him of spying. One officer even commented that “Morimura” was able to go unhindered “all over the _ _ place.”

Working diligently, the FBI’s chief investigator in Honolulu was tracking the 27-year-old Japanese spy, but there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest him.

At the time, Hawaii was not-yet an American state. Officials in Washington did not want to risk antagonizing the loyalty of Hawaii’s population by arresting a “diplomat” without hard evidence of spy activities. (About 160,000 people of Japanese ancestry lived in Hawaii in 1941.) Suspicions were not enough to stop Yoshikawa from going about his business.

So … because no one did stop him … Yoshikawa’s spy charts would provide perfect routes of travel for all the comings and goings of Japanese pilots on the 7th of December, 1941.

Although he had no knowledge of a planned attack on Pearl Harbor, Yoshikawa assumed that the intelligence would help prepare for such an eventuality and worked tirelessly to that end. His reports were transmitted by the Japanese Consulate in PURPLE code to the Foreign Ministry, which passed them on to the Navy.

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Although the code had been broken by American code breakers and messages to and from Tokyo were intercepted and de-crypted, communications between Tokyo and the consulate were considered low-priority because they contained so many messages that were entirely commercial in nature.

On the morning of December 7, Yoshikawa was listening to a short-wave radio broadcast from Tokyo. During the weather forecast, he heard a reporter very slowly say these words:

East wind, rain.

East wind, rain.

Yoshikawa knew what those code words meant. Japan had decided to start a war against America.

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The weatherman’s words did not contain any other codes. That meant Japan was not declaring war on Britain or Russia.

Yoshikawa and Japan’s counsel in Hawaii knew what they had to do. Federal agents would soon search their offices, so they had to destroy every piece of incriminating evidence, including their code books.

By the time U.S. agents showed-up, every shred of spying evidence against Yoshikawa no-longer existed. No evidence against him ever surfaced, while he was in American custody. In 1942, he returned to Japan. During the rest of the war, he held his rank of ensign in Japanese intelligence.

After the war, when the U.S. occupied Japan for several years, the Pearl-Harbor spy worried that he’d be caught … and hanged. He left his wife, whom he had married after returning to Japan, and went into hiding as a Buddhist monk.

Yoshikawa never received official recognition of his services during the war. In 1955, he opened a candy business but it failed as word spread of his role in the war. The locals blamed Yoshikawa for the war. “They even blamed me for the atomic bomb,” he declared in one interview.Penniless and jobless, he was supported by his wife for the rest of his life via her position selling insurance. “My wife alone shows me great respect,” said the old spy. “Every day she bows to me. She knows I am a man of history.”He died in a nursing home.

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The bombing of a florist shop that inadvertently caused the death of 583

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On this day  42 years ago, at Tenerife-North Airport (formerly Los Rodeos), two Boeing 747’s – one KLM, the other  Pan Am – crashed on a foggy runway. 583 people were killed in what remains the biggest air disaster in history.

Neither of the planed were supposed to be there, they had both been diverted after a terrorist incident at Gran Canaria Airport,

The Canary Islands Independence Movement (CIIM), also known as the Movement for the Independence and Self-determination of the Canaries Archipelago is a defunct independent movement organization that had a radio station in Algiers and resorted to violence in attempts to force the Spanish government to create an independent state in the Canary Islands.

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CIIM terrorists bombed a florist shop in Las Palmas Airport on 27 March 1977, seriously injuring 8 people. Members then threatened to explode a second bomb in the airport, forcing police to shut down air traffic while they searched for the bomb.A small bomb was  detonated in the Canary Islands Airport, Spain only injuring one person.

However because of this all flights flying in to the Las Palmas Airport.

KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736 had both been redirected to Tenerife.Both of the 747′ s a were charters. Pan Am had come from Los Angeles, after a stopover in New York,  And the KLM boeing from its home base in Amsterdam.

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The two aircrafts were then both on the third runway when the incident occurred. The two flights both taxied onto the runway, with the KLM plane told to hold their position with the Pan Am flight told to follow.

The incident then occurred after the KLM flight took off without proper clearance from the airport.

It wasn’t the only problem, as the Pan Am flight also missed the turning off the runway after mistaking the exit C4 for exit C3 in the foggy conditionsThe KLM flight started to take off despite the runway not being clear and was unable to see the Pan Am flight until the last minute.

A recording from the Pan Am flight heard the captain exclaimed: “G******, that son-of-a-b**** is coming!” with the first officer then yelling: “Get off! Get off! Get off!”.

Despite the Pan Am plane attempting to turn off the runway while the KLM flight pulled up, the two planes then collided on the ground.

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One of the 61 survivors of the Pan Am flight, John Coombs of Haleiwa, Hawaii, said that sitting in the nose of the plane probably saved his life: “We all settled back, and the next thing an explosion took place and the whole port side, left side of the plane, was just torn wide open.”

Both airplanes were destroyed in the collision. All 248 passengers and crew aboard the KLM plane died, as did 335 passengers and crew aboard the Pan Am plane,[36] primarily due to the fire and explosions resulting from the fuel spilled and ignited in the impact. The other 61 passengers and crew aboard the Pan Am aircraft survived, including the captain, first officer and flight engineer. Most of the survivors on the Pan Am walked out onto the intact left wing, the side away from the collision, through holes in the fuselage structure.

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That time the US nuked Greenland

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On 21 January 1968, an aircraft accident (sometimes known as the Thule affair or Thule accident  involving a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 bomber occurred near Thule Air Base in the Danish territory of Greenland.

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The aircraft was carrying four hydrogen bombs on a Cold War “Chrome Dome” alert mission over Baffin Bay when a cabin fire forced the crew to abandon the aircraft before they could carry out an emergency landing at Thule Air Base. Six crew members ejected safely, but one who did not have an ejection seat was killed while trying to bail out. The bomber crashed onto sea ice in North Star Bay, Greenland, causing the conventional explosives aboard to detonate and the nuclear payload to rupture and disperse, which resulted in radioactive contamination.

The United States and Denmark launched an intensive clean-up and recovery operation, but the secondary stage of one of the nuclear weapons could not be accounted for after the operation completed. USAF Strategic Air Command “Chrome Dome” operations were discontinued immediately after the accident, which highlighted the safety and political risks of the missions. Safety procedures were reviewed and more stable explosives were developed for use in nuclear weapons.

In 1995, a political scandal resulted in Denmark after a report revealed the government had given tacit permission for nuclear weapons to be located in Greenland, in contravention of Denmark’s 1957 nuclear-free zone policy. Workers involved in the clean-up program have been campaigning for compensation for radiation-related illnesses they experienced in the years after the accident.

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