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               Miscellaneous Film Clips

Winston Churchill and the Mesopotamia Occupation (The Spectator, 1921)

"Mesopotamia should be placed in the same file as Gallipoli, along with all the other various assorted fantasies conceived by his Lordship. Mr. Churchill hopes to avert any fresh rising by setting up an Arab Government. The people are to elect a National Assembly this summer, and the Assembly is to choose a ruler...Mr. Churchill admits that that he does not know whether the people of [Iraq], who are rent with tribal, sectarian, racial, and economic feuds, will choose the Emir Feisul."

Click here to read about Churchill's other folly: the Battle of Gallipoli.


Germany and the German-Americans (Literary Digest, 1897)

The attached article briefly recalls the general discomfort that the German government experienced when confronted with a unique social sect called German-Americans. As handsome and affable as they might have been, these "volk" still irked the Kaiser and his administrators to a high degree, although this article points out that the Fatherland was warming to them slowly.

This article makes a number of references to the Bancroft Treaty and how the agreement pertained to a particular German-American family named Meyer. After years spent in the U.S., Meyer the elder returned to Germany along with his wife and children - the story became a news-worthy when it was revealed that his draft-age son, a naturalized Yank, resisted military conscription and was thrown in the hoosegow. It was at that moment when the American embassy stepped forward.

Not surprisngly, Hitler didn't like German-Americans any better than the Kaiser...


The Costliness of Mesopotamia (Literary Digest, 1922)

The attached article from LITERARY DIGEST will give you a clear understanding of all that Britain went through in order to govern Iraq in the early Twenties; Britain's treaties with the Turkish and Angoran Governments in regards to the oil-rich region of Mosul, the selection of an Arab King and the suppression of various Iraqi revolts.

"The Mesopotamian Adventure" required a tremendous amount of treasure and yielded very little excitement for either party:

"At the end of the war we found Iraq upon our hands, and our Government agreed to accept a mandate for the administration for this inhospitable territory."

Click here to see a Punch Magazine cartoon about the British adventure in Iraq.


The Smiths in America (Pageant Magazine, 1959)

We were surprised to learn that even in this multicultural era of unenforced immigration laws - the last name "Smith" still stands as the most common surname in the United States - and as of 2013 there are 2,788,558 people with this last name living today. This article points out that there is always at any given time a Smith serving in Congress (currently that duty falls on the shoulders of Representative Chris Smith, who hails from the 4th District of New Jersey). This article rambles on for seven pages with just these sort of charming factoids:

During W.W. II there were nearly 76,000 Smiths in uniform
Roughly eighty Smiths die in the United States every day, only to be replaced by an equal number of newborn Smiths
A quarter of a million Smiths are arrested annually, etc., etc., etc....

"Anderson" is the twelfth most common name, read about it here...

Read about the time when the Bob Smiths of America were united...


Miracle Hats (Popular Mechanics, July & November, 1914)

Often decanted in barber shops is the old joke:

"There is only one thing that stops hair from falling------the floor".

Our hats are off to the scientific-community of 1914 that tried to make the above gag even more forgettable than it already was, however, the search for the cure for baldness continues into the Twenty-First Century.


Scrambling for Oil (Literary Digest, 1921)

Even as early as 1921 the world was noticing that in the U.S., that old Yankee mantra about "avoiding foreign entanglements" (a distortion of Washington's Farewell Address) was being updated with a disclaimer: "avoid foreign entanglements except when oil is involved".

Having put the Prussians in their place three years earlier, oil had become the new peace-time obsession for the Americans and their British ally - but it was to be the bane in their relationship: "the Anglo-American irritant" as Sydney Brooks remarked in FORTNIGHT REVIEW. With car manufacturers filling orders to placate a booming consumer market, the Brits pumped oil in Mesopotamia, the Americans in Texas while the oil companies from both locals vied for the rights to explore Latin America and the Caribbean.


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