This is a wonderful read. Writing under the name "John Ray Carlson", the journalist Arthur Derounian (1909 - 1991) went under cover into the seedy world of American fascist organizations and discovered that they all spoke with each other. Having impressed the German Bundists, he moved quickly up the ranks of American fascism and was soon given the task of uniting every antisemitic, anti-democratic, pro-fascist clique in the country. Here is a list of some of the groups he was in contact with during his four years in the underground: America First, the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, American Nationalist Party, Chicago Patriot's Bureau, New England Christian Front, National Workers League, Detroit Mothers, American Mothers, Yankee Freeman and Mothers of the United States of America. He finally found himself in the company of Lawrence Dennis, a creepy book-worm who was known in those low circles as "the dean of American fascism".
Admiral Pete Mitscher was one of the primary architects of American naval aviation during the 20th Century.In this column, one of the officers who served under him during the admiral's command of carrier Task Force 58 recalls why he came to admire the man as deeply as he did.
One of Admiral Pete Mitscher's officers recalls the man with tremendous admiration:
"They used to think a carrier was a hit-and-run fighter, but Pete changed that. He said, 'Hit'em and stay. Hit'em again tomorrow. And he did.'"
A profile of the Hollywood actress Donna Reed (born Donna Belle Mullenger: 1921 – 1986), who will foreve be remembered for her portrayal of the character "Mary Bailey" in the Frank Capra film, It's a Wonderful Life(RKO, 1947).
This interview was published as one more publicity element that was created to promote her television program, The Donna Reed Show (ABC, 1958 - 1966), that was launched a year and a half earlier, and serves as a nice summary of her life and career up until 1960. Reed refers to her earliest days growing up on a family farm in Iowa, her salad years as a maid, librarian and community college student in Los Angeles and her deepest frustrations with pin-headed casting agents who placed her in limited rolls for so many years.
Siegrid von Laffert, Edit von Coler and the exotic dancer LaJana had four things in common: they were all carbon-based life forms, they were all all German women, they were all beautiful and they were all Nazis spies:
"These women spies are called the 'Blonde Battalions'. Chosen for their physical attractiveness, they are usually between 18 and 22 years of age. Members of the 'Blonde Battalion' are admitted to the Gestapo school in Altona, near Hamburg and after they are sent out to perform their work as efficient machines, with rigid discipline and precision..."
"The CIA is a young and relatively untested child in the strange world of intelligence. The enemy dourly accuses it of 'Black Warfare.' But there is definite proof of its success. Radio Moscow never misses a chance to scream shrilly of 'the extended spy network of the Wall Street mercenaries.'"
"The CIA formula avoids the fog of rumor that fills any world capital, and goes straight to the hard facts of the enemy's economy, production, transportation, raw materials and manpower. A modern war must be organized, much of it in the open, long in advance. Guns must be manufactured; munitions, food, and raw materials stockpiled; railways and roads expanded and soldiers trained. The allocation of scarce Soviet-controlled steel is far more important than the minutes of the Politburo."
In 1958, Fidel Castro wrote an article for an American magazine in which he thoroughly lied about his intentions; click here to read it.
"They're finally done in, and the rat is dead in an alley back of the the Wilhelmstrasse."
"Take a Bow, GI - take a bow, little guy."
"Far-flung ordinary men, unspectacular but free, rousing out of their habits and their homes - got up early one morning, flexed their muscles, learned the manual of arms (as amateurs) and set out across perilous oceans to whop the bejeepers out of the professionals."
"Countless scientists contributed to the phenomenon [of television]. Marconi gets credit, as do Farnsworth and Lee de Forest. But the real starting line was strung by an RCA scientist named Vladimir K. Zworykin in 1923, when he applied for a patent on a iconoscope..."
Illustrated with 27 pictures, this article lists a number of historic and semi-historic events that were captured by the early TV cameras and seen by millions of souls who otherwise would have only had to read about them in their respective newspapers, if they cared to.
Told in this three page article is the story concerning the rise of the global pepper trade and the subsequent spread of that spice throughout the kitchens of the world:
"Although Americans use more than one third of the world's annual supply of nearly 90,000,000 pounds, it has been estimated that the average American family shakes only 7.1 ounces into their food a year. The balance is used by the makers of baked and canned goods, and meat-packing houses."
When Manuel Avila Camacho (1897 – 1955) came to power as the president of Mexico (1940 - 1946) he immediately went to work kicking out the Fascist spies from Japan and Germany
"He banned Nazi newspapers and cut Nazis off the air. He squashed the anti-Semitic Gold Shirts of Monterey and purged fifth columnists in key positions. He washed his hands of the Nazis and extended a hearty handclasp to Roosevelt."
The attached article is by novelist Richard DeWitt Miller (1910 – 1958) who assembled a number of anecdotes and first-hand accounts from people of various backgrounds who had all experienced singularly unique moments in their lives that were unworldly; happenings that could only serve as evidence that there exists a life after this one.
When Mad Magazine first appeared on newsstands in 1952 it was immediately recognized as something quite new in so far as American satirical magazine humor was concerned. The earliest issues were produced in comic book format with almost all content produced by its founding editor, Harvey Kurtzman (1924 – 1993); by 1955 the magazine's lay-out was altered to its current form. From its earliest days, Kurtzman and his publisher, William Gaines (1922 – 1992), began receiving unsolicited gags from many of the finest writers and performers on radio and TV. This article lists some of the scandals (both foreign and domestic) that the magazine inadvertently generated.
During the course of the past 63 years the triumphs of The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery have been many and myriad. Established in New York in 1951, the organization was originally called The Society for the Rehabilitation of the Facially Disfigured, and they have been the pioneers in the art of tissue transplants and the aesthetic surgery movement in general.
The attached article was first seen on the pages of a 1959 issue CORONET MAGAZINE and it recalls many of their earliest achievements.
There is only one retail establishment in the world that is able to boast that they had retained the patronage of both Thomas Jefferson and Andy Warhol, and that would be Brooks Brothers.
"Diplomats and prize fighters, dukes and bankers, Cabinet members and theatrical luminaries stroll every day through the ten-story building on Madison Avenue. The sight of Secretary of State Dean Acheson trying on a new overcoat, or Clark Gable testing a new pair of shoes, or the Duke of Windsor undecided between a red or green dressing gown causes scarcely a flurry. The reason is simply that the store itself is a national legend, as noted in its own right as any of its patrons."
The attached five page article lays out the first 132 years of Brooks Brothers. It is printable.
Joseph Stalin (1878 - 1953) is credited as the author of the attached article, Russia's Plan for World Conquest, and it outlines all the various methods Soviet agents can subvert and curry-favor among the various youth and labor groups that are based in the industrialized democracies of the West:
"...here is the Russian Dictator's nine point program for world conquest, taken from his recorded writings, which are now on file in the Stalin Archives of the National War College in Washington, D.C. Italicized sentences have been inserted throughout the article in order to point up Stalin's plan in the light of today's crucial events." [ie. the Korean War]
"As Lenin has said, a terrible clash between Soviet Russia and the capitalist States must inevitably occur...Therefore we must try to take the enemy by surprise, seize a moment when his forces are dispersed."
Click here to read about Soviet collusion with American communists.
No matter how difficult the truth may seem, it cannot be ignored that between the years 1950 and 1966, criminals residing in the city of Los Angeles felt extremely ill-at-ease and entirely unsafe. This was due, in no small part, to the fact that the police chief of that city was a fellow by the name of William "Big Bill" Parker (1905 – 1966), a tireless officer who would not suffer hucksters, mobsters, thugs and dope heads with anywhere near the same level of patience enjoyed by today's senior officers of the LAPD.
The count has been lost in the mists of time as to whether he frustrated more Mafiosi than civil libertarians or whether it was the other way around, but this six page article makes mention of the numerous controversial methods that the Chief deployed in his efforts to "protect and serve".
Click here to read a news piece about a Hollywood blackmail scam that Micky Cohen had going in 1949.
These are the observations of an American woman in fascist Japan; the writer was Joy Homer. In this article she tells of her travels to Tokyo in 1940 where she was asked to secretly address those small groups that silently wished for a republican form of government while silently opposing their country's imperial conquest of China.
This is the story of Harry Sawyer (real name William G. Sebold), a German immigrant to American shores. On a return trip to Germany to visit family in 1939, Sawyer was very reluctantly forced into service as a spy for the German SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the intelligence arm of Himmler's SS. Sawyer was schooled briefly in the ways of spying, told what was expected of him and then let loose to set sail home.
Upon his return, Sawyer quickly explained his problem to J. Edgar Hoover, who masterfully turned the situation to his advantage, an advantage that led to the capture of 32 Nazi spies.
Click here to read about "Lucy" - Stalin's top spy during the Second World War.
This Cold War article about the American Communist Party (CPUSA), penned in 1950 by F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover (1895 – 1972) was published for two reasons:
• To alert the readers that such subversive groups exist and that they are operated by their fellow Americans who take orders from Joseph Stalin -
• and that the F.B.I. is on the job and has thoroughly infiltrated their ranks and watches them very closely.
The column is a good read for all of you out there who enjoy the "cloak and dagger" type of plot lines; I was surprised to learn that this group had so many secrets to hide - seeing that their problems in the arena of public relations at that time were so overwhelming, one has to wonder how they were actually able to tend to their assignments in espionage, sabotage, propaganda and all other assorted shenanigans Moscow expected of them.
Click here to read about the man who spied on the the American Communist Party.
Click here if you would like to read what the CPUSA was up to during the Great Depression.
The CORONET entertainment writer was quite correct when he identified Sidney Poitier (b. 1927) as the first actor of African descent to earn beaucoup bucks and achieve leading-man status in dramatic rolls in Hollywood. Born and raised in the Bahamas, Poitier's predecessors in the film colony were many, but they were all song and dance men.
The attached column clearly outlines what made Poitier such an actor apart.
The editors at Coronet recognized that Oral Roberts was not your average minister, who was simply contented to preside over thirty full pews every week; they labeled him a "businessman-preacher" and subtly pointed out that the man's detractors were many and his flashy attire unseemly for a member of clergy:
"God doesn't run a breadline...I make no apology for buying the best we can afford. The old idea that religious people should be poor is nonsense."
During the Second World War, millions of American military personnel passed through Los Angeles. Many were attracted to the simple domestic architecture, the smell of orange blossoms, Hollywood, the glorious weather - all of these or none of these, but many of them promised themselves that if they survived the war, this is where they would want to start their lives.
Many of these men fulfilled that promise, and they brought with them the government guaranteed housing loans provided by the G.I Bill - and a dusty, arid flat land just over the hill from Los Angeles called the San Fernando Valley began to grow as a result. By 1951, just six years after the war, two thousand building permits were issued for this area each month.
The editors of CORONET MAGAZINE approached the five male luminaries who were working alongside Marilyn Monroe during the making of "The Misfits" and asked each of them to comment on "the Monroe character riddle" as he alone had come to view it. These men, John Huston, Eli Wallach, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and her (soon to be estranged) husband, Arthur Miller, who had written the script, did indeed have unique insights as to who the actress was and what made her tick.
This is an article about the 1929 stock market crash - it was that one major cataclysmic event that ushered in the Great Depression (1929 - 1940). It all came crashing down on October 24, 1929 - the stocks offered at the New York Stock Exchange had lost 80% of their value; the day was immediately dubbed "Black Thursday" by all those who experienced it. When the sun rose that morning, the U.S. unemployment estimate stood at 3%; shortly afterward it soared to a staggering 24%.
"In every town families had dropped from affluence into debt...Americans were soon to find themselves in an altered world which called for new adjustments, new ideas, new habits of thought, a new order of values. The Post-War Decade had come to its close. An era had ended." The era that followed was was the polar opposite of the one that had just gone down in flames: if the Twenties are remembered for confidence and prosperity, the Thirties was a decade of insecurity and want. The attached essay was penned by a popular author who knew the era well.
When this article first appeared, the Statue of Liberty was praised as the tallest statue in the world - today, it doesn't even make the list of the tallest statues; nonetheless, here is a collection of facts about the Ladyy Liberty:
• 200,000 pounds of copper were used in the statue, enough copper for more than 100 stacks of pennies, each as tall as the Empire State Building.
• Trans-Atlantic voyagers do not see Liberty until their ship enters N.Y. Harbor, but her torch can be seen 15 miles out.
"High-Ranking in the roll-call of New York's industrial designer is a six-foot Dane with the voice of a Viking. Gustav Jensen is an artist, whether he is talking, eating, or performing Herculean labors in cleaning out Plebeian Stables. The creed of the industrial designer is that every implement of modern life can be made into a work of art. Jensen has pursued this creed to fabulous extremes. He has designed kitchen sinks, that have been compared to Renaissance caskets, and he meditates for months before he designs a doorknob...."
The article is illustrated with eleven photographs; the image on the right shows Jensen's design for a table model radio: "The radio is a miracle. It should look like a miracle", remarked the designer.
Appearing in a 1960 issue of CORONET MAGAZINE was this piece that revealed the assorted introspective perceptions of the crew of the Enola Gay.
In the fifteen years that had past since the dropping of the Atomic bomb these are the personal thoughts that were produced after years of sober reflection concerning their part in one of the preeminent events of the last century:
"After 15 years the scene over Hiroshima is still sharp and clear to them, and though they disagree on details, they are unanimous on the point of whether they'd do the same things again".
The last thing the aspiring Communist dictator Fidel Castro needed in the Fall of 1958 was to have the dreaded "Yanquees" breathing down his neck; and so to buy some time, he penned this seven page article for the easily-bamboozled editors of Coronet magazine and packed it full of hooey, with lines like:
"A million unemployed bespeaks a terrible economic sickness which must be cured... lest it fester into communism." It was this article, among other deceptions, that made President Eisenhower believe that the new government of Cuba was deserving of diplomatic recognition in February of 1959. Less than two years later the Kennedy administration severed ties with the Cuban regime and shortly after launched an ill-fated attack on the island kleptocracy.
This article tells the story of a certain Antoni Cierplikowski - better known as "Antoine of Paris" (1884 – 1976). He was the premiere hairdresser throughout much of the last century and his illustrious client list included many names that you would recognize. Yet, to simply write the man off as a "celebrity hairstylist" is to ignore his myriad innovations:
• Antoine was the creator of the Bob.
• He created the Perm.
• He was the first to tint gray hair to blue.
• He was the first to apply a lacquer to hair as a fixative.
• Antoine was the first to tinge isolated elements within a hairdo blond as a streaked highlight.
Even as late as 1951, those eccentric little movie theaters that ran only thirty year-old flicks filled their seats with middle-aged women who still nursed a flame for Rudolph Valentino (1895 – 1926); their beau ideal from the mad Twenties who so many imagined to have been "the perfect lover.
The attached article is a segment from a longer one about the history of Brooks Brothers and it confirms that the Great Emancipator was one of their customers, as were the Union Army Generals Grant, Sherman and Hooker.
Click here if you would like to read the entire article about the first 132 years of Brooks Brothers.
"Our movies are becoming more blatantly obsessed with sex. Ten years ago it was unthinkable for a Hollywood picture to show a couple in bed together - even a husband and wife, since this violated an unwritten taboo of the industry's self-regulating Productions Code. Today it is not surprising to see two people embracing, in varying stages of dishabille... As motion picture critic of The New York Times and as one who has watched American movies from the 'silent' days, I can truthfully say I have never seen them so unnecessarily loaded with stuff that is plainly meant to shock."
Click here to read more about the destruction of taboos in American pop-culture...
"The famous smile which has won General Arnold the nickname of "Happy" is a pleasant front for a shrewd and grimly purposeful character. His real nature shows in his determined stride, his set jaw. He's a fighter. He's been fighting for our safety for almost forty years."
"In his direction of the Air Force's gigantic growth, General Arnold's first thought was always for his men. The Training Command he planned and organized turned out, swiftly and safely, the thousands of air crews needed. He demanded, and got, the planes his men needed where and when they needed them. He directed our best doctors and scientists in medical and technological research that kept his men and equipment in the peak of fighting condition."
"When 22 divisions were cut off by the Russians at the gates of Stalingrad, the Nazis had to rely on air transport for contact with the surrounded troops. One mid-December day a German cargo plane was shot down on its way from the ringed divisions. The wreckage yielded some three hundred letters from doomed soldier of der Fuehrer. The Soviets selected and published a typical one:"
"It is hard to confess even to myself, but it seems to me that at Stalingrad we shall soon win ourselves to death."
"Said Winston Churchill in offering thanks for Divine help in the race for atomic power, 'By His mercy British and American science outpaced all German efforts.'"
"Thank God, to be sure. But it should not be overlooked that for this work He had an able servant in Lief Tronstad. As saboteur par excellence, the young professor was a ball and chain on Nazi ankles in this race to the atomic finish line."
"Many of the jokes that are at present circulating the land of Hitleria cannot be told quite openly. They are whispered among friends. The traffic is great and much whispering going on. Many people want to laugh. It seems a necessary release..."
- so observed one journalist fresh from his whirlwind journey through Hitler's Germany. He could not help but notice how painfully neurotic the Reich leadership was of being the object of Teutonic derision. This article is about the underground society of whispered jokes that the Nazis created; the journalist was good enough to write-up a few so that the free-world could take place in the chuckle-fest (some were lost in translation).
The children whose pictures you see on the advertising pages of national magazines often launch their careers when they are scarcely larger than their social security numbers. Blonde or brunette, freckled or glamorous, these famous boys and girls help sell you everything from automobiles to safety pins. As accustomed to to a camera as a top-flight movie star, they enjoy their work partly because it satisfies their fondness for 'make-believe'.
"Nice work if you can get it. But the maestros of the modeling agencies, John Robert Powers and Harry Conover, emphasize the fact that finding juvenile models is a difficult assignment".
Merchant Marine William T. Mitchell, having been locked-up for three and half years in a Japanese POW camp, recalled those terrible days intermittently as he explains what it was like to return to a changed America. One of the amusing stories concerned a time when his captors assembled the camp to announce [falsely] that movie stars Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin had been killed:
"The Nips had lied to us, and I fell for it. You believe anything - almost - when you're cut off from your home."
When the attached article hit the newsstands in May of 1952 Joseph Stalin had less than a year to live and like most totalitarians living on borrowed time, the heavily guarded diminutive dictator had his public appearances drastically reduced in number:
"Today he lives in isolation unrivaled by any monarch since the Pharaohs. He must have forgotten what he himself once told the historian Emil Ludwig: 'Any man on a high pinnacle is lost the instant he loses touch with the masses.'"
The article has a fair amount of Stalin minutia you might find interesting.
On September 5, 1945, N.K.V.D. cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko (1919 – 1982) severed ties with his masters at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa and high-tailed it over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with tales of extensive Soviet espionage throughout all of North America. The news of this defection and the intelligence he delivered sent shock waves throughout Washington, London, Moscow, and Ottawa - historians insist that this was the event that sparked the Cold War and altered the course of the Twentieth Century.
Jane Anderson began broadcasting from Berlin on April 14, 1941. When Nazi Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 American citizens were repatriated from Germany but Anderson chose to remain.
She broadcast Nazi propaganda by way of a short wave radio for the German State Radio's U.S.A. Zone, the Germans named her ‘The Georgia Peach’. Her programs regularly heaped high praise upon Adolf Hitler and ran 'exposés' of the 'communist domination' of the Roosevelt and Churchill administrations. She conducted numerous on-air interviews, the most famous among them was of her co-worker, the British traitor William Joyce. When Berlin fell she was on the run up until April of 1947, when she was caught in Salzburg, Austria and placed in the custody of the U.S. military.
"That's the question I hear most of these days. He does, and touring through the poverty-stricken states of Appalachia with President Johnson, I saw why." - so wrote Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (1914 – 1988) in the attached article that was penned some 23 years after his father's death.
"What was the real origin of Gone with the Wind? Margaret Mitchell (1900 – 1949) referred to a simple incident in her childhood. One afternoon, her mother took her on a buggy ride through the countryside around Atlanta, showing her all the once proud plantation homes that stood in crumbling shame from the Civil War, and others that were symbols of revival and progress. The impression never left her. Gone with the Wind, she said, was the story of Georgians who survived and those who didn't."
In this article a book reviewer questions why anyone thought the novel was so great.
Here is an article by one of the foot soldiers of legendary silent movie producer Adolf Zukor, in which she recalled a time in 1923 when the future president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, mailed an unsolicited photoplay (ie. script) to their offices in hopes of securing some measure of Hollywood immortality.
Knowing that FDR had tremendous power in both New York and Washington, Zukor instructed her to let him down gently; twenty years later Roosevelt would chuckle about his ambitions with her at a White House party.
"The fruits of the Third Reich Population Policy are shocking indeed. Fifteen and 16-year-old girls are having babies with the blessings of their Hitler Youth leaders. Unwed mothers with illegitimate children have the right to evict married but childless couples from apartment houses...laws are passed entitling unmarried mothers to call themselves 'Mrs.' instead of 'Miss', and providing state subsides for illegitimate children and crushing taxes for childless adults."
Inasmuch as OldMagazineArticles.com is devoted to archiving the articles from the olde YANK, we are also keen on posting article about the magazine and its editorial policies, for few periodicals said as much about that generation and their lot in the Forties better than YANK. Attached is a photo essay from CORONET MAGAZINE, illustrated with some 23 images, that tell the tale of how that weekly operated.
Inasmuch as racial integration was the social goal for a vast majority of Americans in 1960, this article made it clear that racial harmony in the U.S. Armed Forces was not simply the goal, it was the reality. Written by a journalist who visited as many as ten U.S. Military establishments throughout Europe and North Africa in order to see how President Truman's Executive Order 9981 had effected American military culture.
When this article hit the newsstands, W.W. II was in full swing throughout many parts of Asia, Europe and North Africa. America had not yet committed itself to the war, but the grim, far-seeing souls who ran New York City recognized that it was inevitable - and much to their credit, they had been studying the possibility of New York City air raids since 1939.
Throughout the course of the Vietnam War there was no greater Hawk on Capitol Hill than United States Senator Barry Goldwater (1909 - 1998). In the attached interview from 1966 the Senator chastises President Johnson for failing to seize the initiative and correctly predicted that if the Americans did not show greater pugnacity, they would be "run out of South Vietnam".
Inasmuch as this 1944 article sums up the bygone world of the New York fashion model, the terms "heroin chic" and "bulimia" are not found on any of it's five pages (an over site, no doubt). The Forties were a time when a model would be just as likely to get a booking from a commercial artist as she would a photographer, and, unlike the Twenties and the earliest days of the Thirties, it was a time when a standardized image of beauty was well-established.
"- five feet nine inches in height, weight 110 pounds, bust 33, waist 24, hips 34, blonde or a light shade of brown hair. She will have quick, clever eyes and a very expressive face."
"Many of the models are bitter, unhappy girls inside. They soon grow disillusioned with their dream of modeling as a gateway to theatrical glory; they learn that their height is against them."
"Show me a good fellow backstage, and I'll show you a lousy actor onstage" famously stated W.C. Fields. The author, former Hollywood press agent David Hanna, proves the comedian's point with numerous anecdotes drawn from both Broadway and Hollywood.
When Christian Dior died quite suddenly in 1957, the eggheads of the fashion world got their knickers in a twist as they wondered who would serve as the creative force for the great fashion house that he had established just ten years earlier; all eyes turned to his very young assistant, a 21 year old man named Yves Saint Laurent (1936 – 2008).
Click here to read a 1961 article about Jacqueline Kennedy's influence on American fashion.
Audie Murphy (1925 – 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of the Second World War. This article appeared on the newsstands just in time to promote To Hell and Back, the Universal Studio movie based on Murphy's 1949 wartime memoir of the same name. Some men fit quite comfortably into the public life of a celebrated hero, Audie Murphy was not one of them.
The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia was started by the wives of the American military personnel believed to be held by the North Vietnamese Army. It was intended to place pressure on the Communists in order that they live up to their obligations under the Geneva Convention.
This snippet is about a major crisis (and a colossal media event) that took place in the life of Queen Elizabeth's sister, Princess Margaret Rose (1930 – 2002) - when she was told in 1955 that the man she loved, Captain Peter Townsend, was not suitable for marriage.
This article concerns those rare women of the Nineteenth Century who defied the dictates of the patriarchy, scoffed at the feminine traditions of their mothers and donned male attire in order to bare the hardships as soldiers and sailors.
The journalist saw fit to devote greater column space to the story of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who fought with distinction for the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
Click here to read about Russian combat battalion of women that fought the Germans in the First World War.
"They sip your favorite coffee, drive your dream car, display the latest fashions, show you how to cook a waffle: they are potent forces in the scheme of American advertising. Their faces and figures adorn the covers of countless magazines...often they develop into stars of the cinema. They come from all over America to an office on Park Avenue, New York, where a quiet, discerning man named John Robert Powers appraises their charms and schools them for the job of selling sables to society or groceries to the great American housewife."
Beginning in the mid-Twenties and spanning the years leading up to the late Forties, John Robert Powers (1892 - 1977) created and maintained the first modeling agency in New York City (if not the world) and during the Forties, the Powers Agency grossed over five million dollars a year. Attached are nine photos of the most popular fashion models he represented in 1941; a unique breed of woman known at the time as "Powers girls".
John Barrymore (né John Sidney Blyth: 1882 – 1942) is said to have been one of America's finest actors; co-star in an ensemble cast of thespians that consisted of his brother Lionel and sister Ethel, they were known around Broadway and Hollywood as "the Barrymores". Today he is primarily known as the great-grandfather of Drew Barrymore (b. 1975). Although badly plagued by alcoholism, he managed to play his parts admirably - and those who knew him best both on the stage and off, remember him in this article.
Following the close of the Second World War America took a good look at herself and slowly began to clean house. Assorted magazines and newspapers began to publish articles about various injustices that seemed to be overlooked during the previous centuries in order that remedies could be found and national integrity restored. When this column was sent to the printer it was a time when numerous states barred atheists from holding elective office, serving as a court witness or work as a school teacher. All of this was taking place in spite of the fact that the census bureau records indicated that as many as 36.6% of the U.S. citizenry had no affiliation with any religious institution.
"The fastest-growing Protestant religion today is the Pentecostal movement... In barely half a century this dynamic young version of old-time fundamentalism has produced spectacularly successful leaders such as Oral Roberts and the late Aimee Semple McPherson, has won the devotion of at least 2,000,000 Americans of every racial and religious origin and through zealous foreign missionary work, has gained thousands of converts on every continent."
"American advertising struck pay dirt when it discovered the super salesgirls whose irresistible allure will sell anything from a bar of soap to a seagoing yacht...Always there was the secret whisper of sex. For women it was, 'Be lovely, be loved, don't grow old, be exciting'... For men it was, 'Be successful, make everyone know that your successful, how can you get women if your not successful?'"
Ever since the age of photography began, one of the semi-official pastimes of the American people involves taking note of the rapid facial decay of their assorted presidents while in-office - and as the collected photographic portraits of Abraham Lincoln clearly indicate, no one will be naming a skincare product after him any time soon, however, the aging process that effected his face so dramatically has been the subject of Lincoln admirer's through the years, and some are collected in the attached article.
Country Music legend Hank Williams (1923 - 1953)
died just four and a half months after being kicked out of the Grand Ol' Opry for drunken and erratic behavior. He was at the peak of his fame, earning over $200,000 a year and enjoying the enthusiasm of ten million fans in the U.S. and five million abroad. He was 29 years old and known only for 35 songs. The attached article will let you in on the short and painful life of country music's fair haired boy.
Like many artists, his creativity was nurtured by an empty stomach. Hank Williams was raised under dreadfully impoverished conditions in Depression era Alabama; suffering from spinal bifida, the illness that eventually overcame him, he sought relief from the pain with liquor and drugs and died in the back of the Caddy that was ferrying him to a gig in Canton Ohio.
Many and myriad are the scholars who toil over this website daily, but not one of these over-paid and under-worked nerds were able to recall a single instance during the American Civil War in which ladies' fashions served to benefit any of the combatants - until this article was found.
This is a 1960 magazine interview that served to profile eleven of the top American military celebrities to emerge from the furnaces of the Second World War. These are the men of the ENOLA GAY, the B-29 bomber that incinerated Hiroshima in 1945. The interviews were conducted to reveal the deep feelings and assorted perceptions that had evolved in these men during the years since that day when they were thrust onto history's stage; it was published at a time when the public was hearing false rumors that the ENOLA GAY crew had all gone slowly mad.
"After 15 years the scene over Hiroshima is still sharp and clear to them, and though they disagree on details, they are unanimous on the point of whether they'd do the same things again".
Click here if you would like to read more articles about the Atomic Bomb.
The article attached herein is oddly titled The Dictator and his Woman; a more apt title would have been "The Woman and her Dictator"
"From the start, the relationship between Peron and Evita was a curious and contradictory liason. It is true that she was still a struggling actress when Peron met her, but she had achieved a considerable reputation for spreading her favors around with a sharp eye to the future,"
Richard Tregaskis (1916 – 1973) covered the invasion of Guadalcanal and the first seven weeks of Marine fighting on that island, the earliest stages of the Tokyo air raid, covered the Battle of Midway, wrote a best-selling book
(Guadalcanal Diary) and accompanied the forces that invaded the Russell Islands."
"It wasn't long after he arrived in the Mediterrian that stories began appearing in American papers under the Tregaskis byline, and he is still 'somewhere' on the European fighting front covering the big battles which make news."
"From time to time, certain young politicians suddenly capture the attention of their fellow Americans. One such individual is 30-year-old Julian Bond (1940 – 2015), a Negro legislator in the state of Georgia House of Representatives.
Wishing not to give away the ending to this ironic story, we will not post the stereotypical summation that is so unique to this site; we can only say that this single page anecdote, the result of European military pageantry and tradition, could only have been generated in the age of mass-media.
"Newton Wilson, a modest, quiet, somewhat academic man who never leaps before he looks through, in and around a situation, became the 20th Century innovator of precise recipes; a sort of Fanny Farmer of flying."
Click here to read about the earliest airline stewardesses...
This three page reminiscence provides an example of the persuasive power of film and it tells the tale of an important event at a small industrial building in Hollywood, California, that housed the Navy Film Services Depot between 1942 and 1945.
"Taking the Offensive" was the name given to this small, low budget training film that was produced on that dusty sun-bleached street and it didn't appear to be anything terribly special to the NCOs who produced it at the time - but they learned later that their film provided a badly needed shot in the arm to the then untested officers and men of one particular heavy cruiser that was destined to tangle with three Japanese ships the next day.
John "Killer" Kane (1907 – 1996) proved his mettle numerous times throughout the Second World War, but it was on August 1, 1943 - above the blackened skies of the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania, that the brass caps of the U.S. Ninth Air Force sat up and truly took notice of his polished skills as a pilot of a B-24 bomber. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the admirable mixture of confidence and ability that showed so clearly that day.
In the attached article, the pilot recalled the moment when he was made aware that the number four engine had been hit
"and we increased power on the other three. As soon as we left the target we dropped down to tree-top level. We were right in the middle of the group and I could see other ships passing us as we lost speed. Then the Junker 88s and the ME 105s came to work on us. It was a sight I can never forget, seeing B-24s falling like flies on the right and left of us. But we were getting our share of fighters, too. It was a rough show."
High praise is heaped on Colonel Kane for all of nine pages - celebrating his enormous personality as much as his sang-froid in battle.
Stalin's deep fear of traitors and moles was not simply confined to the Soviet Union - it spread throughout every branch of his embassies as well. This article pertains to the Soviet spies who worked in Washington - the ones who spied on the Soviet diplomatic corps:
"When a new [diplomat arrives from Moscow] he soon learns that the Ambassador is not the real boss. One outside diplomat who has contacts with the Embassy declares: 'Always, there is someone in the Embassy whom the others fear. They live in terror of him, for he is the real leader... I have seen Soviet officials actually tremble when he comes into the room.'"
1970: One year after Mary Jo Kopechne had died in a car driven by U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy - questions still lingered concerning his questionable behavior after the accident. This article concerns the five female campaign aids who attended the party the night of the accident; they were the last to see Miss Kopechne alive as she entered the senator's car. These five were nicknamed "the Boiler Room Girls" by those who worked on Kennedy's re-election campaign and many people were curious as to why they were as tight-lipped as they were.
This article is composed of a couple of paragraphs recalling the damages caused to American shipping as a result of the U-Boat menace on the East Coast of the United States during the First World War. Written at a time when the U.S. was once again having to deal with the same threat, this time by Admiral Karl Dönitz (1891 – 1980), the journalist wished that Henry J. James, the author of German Subs In Yankee Waters
be properly credited for having devised many of the more successful countermeasures.
A brief account outlining the post-Civil War origins of the KKK:
"The original Ku Klux Klan began in 1865 as a social club of young men in Pulaski, Tennessee. Its ghostly uniform and rituals frightened superstitious Negroes; and when Klansmen discovered this fact accidentally, they lost little time in recruiting membership to 55,000."
Unlike other publications that enter this world with high ideals and lofty ambitions in matters concerning free-speech, the right-to-know, good form and all that sort of stuff - only to slowly devolve into petty, libelous innuendo rags before they cease publication altogether - the British daily The News of The World (1843 - 2011) made its appearance on Fleet Street seeming as if it was already on its way out. As the saying goes, it sold out early and beat the rush.
Although its earliest editions covered the Crimean War, as well as all the other Victorian military adventures, the paper's editorial policy had always been positioned somewhere to the left of Whoopee.
Although our friends in Asia, Europe and Canada had been fighting the Axis for at least a year and a half, American corporations continued to trade with the fascists all the way up until the U.S. declaration of war. This 1941 article, published seven months prior to that day, goes into some detail on the matter; although corporations are not named, it is pretty easy to identify them by their products.
"One reason why America today is short of ships to fill Britain's desperate needs is [due to] the fact that for six years or more, Japan and her scrap agents bought almost every American cargo vessel placed on the auction blocks, using them for scrap to feed the blazing steel mills of Nipon."
Three years before terms such as "Enola Gay" and "Atom Bomb" would become household words, this five page article appeared in an American magazine informing the folks on the home front that this monstrosity was being developed silently behind the scenes.
We have no doubt that the FBI was knocking at the publisher's door the very second that the issue appeared on the newsstands.
"On the day following the first landing made by United States Marines on Guadalcanal, United Press' Bob Miller accomplished something which probably no other war correspondent has ever done. Singlehanded, he captured a Jap prisoner."
"During the six weeks he spent on Guadalcanal, Miller's group was bombed almost daily during the entire time, and Jap ground forces were a constant threat."
Miller was known to one and all in the Pacific Theater as "Baldy". Shortly before this article appeared in CORONET he had fallen victim to malaria and was returned to the U.S. for convelesence. In 1944 his dispatches to the UnitedPress would concern the liberation of France and the Nuremburg Trials.
Here is a segment from a longer article that tells the sad story about racial segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces. The small portion that is attached here tells of a secret group of fifty army researchers who were dispatched to the European front and
"interviewed thousands of [White] soldiers about their attitudes toward Negro platoons fighting experimentally within their divisions."
Their findings proved that to these front-line respondents, the experimental platoons were truly their equal. In 1948 this research was showed to President Truman, who signed Executive Order 9981, thus bringing to an end racial segregation within the ranks of the U.S. Military.
The Sexual Revolution began slowly building with the release of the Kinsey Report in 1948 (read about that here) and from that point on the whole ball of thread began to unravel. More and more mainstream magazines, that previously would never have done so, began publishing articles about sexual concerns: adultery, frigidity and homosexuality. Hollywood went right along for the ride; TV was slow to follow, but following nonetheless. By the time 1967 came around the social war on the old taboos was in full flower. This article concerns the new standards that came into place all across America in 1968. When this article went to press, the two most infamous assassinations of 1968 had not yet taken place - after that, the flood gates would open - but change was in the air.
This is the story of "Tich" - the little black dog was the well-loved pet of the British Eighth Army. An admired veteran of three bitter World War II campaigns, she saw battle from North Africa to Sicily and on to Paris - thousands of Allied troops came to know her and like her. Due to her ability to predict in-coming artillery shells, many men owed their lives to her.
On July 1, 1949 Tich was awarded the Dickin Medal at Wembley Stadium, cheered by 10,000 onlookers. Ironically, having survived combat for nearly five straight years, Tich allowed malaria to get the better of her; she was buried at Ilford Animal Cemetery in her adopted home country.
A fascinating read about how the previously embalmed language of Hebrew had been dusted off and born anew for the modern era. Hebrew in 1948 (the year that the U.N. recognized Israel as a nation) was largely seen as an inaccessible tongue known only to scholars - had existed for the past 4,000 years with a scant 8,000 words: this would now change as the language was permitted to live and grow once more. Today it is believed that Hebrew has between 60,000 and 150,000 words and that there are as many as 9 million people who speak the language worldwide.
By 1948 the business of fashion modeling had developed into a $15,000,000-a-year industry. This article examines just how such changes evolved in just a ten year span of time:
"American advertising struck pay dirt when it discovered the super salesgirls whose irresistible allure will sell anything from a bar of soap to a seagoing yacht...Always there was the secret whisper of sex. For women it was, 'Be lovely, be loved, don't grow old, be exciting'... For men it was, 'Be successful, make everyone know that your successful, how can you get women if your not successful?'"
"The importance of attractive girls in our economy was stressed by John McPartland when he discussed modern advertising in his recent best seller, Sex in Our Changing World (1947).
Legendary fashion designer Christian Dior had a good deal of trouble with people who would illegally copy his designs; click here to read about that part of fashion history.
"At the beginning of World War II, our army was a mixture of callow boys and and domesticated men. The older men were homesick for wives and children...There were plenty of lonely wives, too, and it soon became evident that a fair number of them were committed to the belief that continence was bad for women."
Marriage vows were one of the unsung casualties of the Second World War: by 1944 many married women who hadn't seen their drafted husbands in years began producing babies; you can read about that here...
In 1943 a woman on the home front introduced a sexual component that she believed would bring an end to the problem of industrial absenteeism - click here to read about her idea...
The attached is an historic article that explains the lesson that so many white Americans had to learn in order that America become one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. There can be no doubt that many ragged, dog-eared copies of this middle class magazine must have been passed from seat to seat in the backs of many buses; perhaps one of the readers was a nineteen year-old divinity student named Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Before the Atom Bomb came along, Joseph Stalin hatched a scheme to invade the U.S. and create two Americas, one black, one white - click here to read more...
Here is a classic story about the failures in global communication during the pre-Twitter era. This article explains how there was a fifteen hour lag between the Japanese surrender and the time in which Tokyo heard that their offer had been accepted by the Allies.
"In the midst of a routine radio-teletype conference between GHQ officers in Manila and the War Department in Washington, the teletype suddenly began printing:
'Stand by for important message **** from Marshall to MacArthur ****you are hereby notified of Japanese capitulation ****'"
It all centered on one skanky, bullet-pocked, bomb-damaged Radio Operations Room in Manila.
An exceptional article about Fiorello LaGuardia (1882 – 1947), who is remembered to have been one of the great mayors of New York City (1934 - 1945). Written by a fellow who knew him well, you get a sense of his energy, humor and strong sense of civic duty:
"At exactly midnight on January 1, 1934, Fiorello H. LaGuardia took the oath of office as Mayor of New York City. At exactly one minute after midnight, he ordered the arrest of the most notorious gangster in town: Lucky Luciano. This jet-propelled momentum never let up during the next 12 years."
The article is composed of a series of anecdotes that clearly illustrate his humanity, making you feel somewhat at a loss for never having known him yourself.
Even today, LaGuardia's memory is so revered that New Yorkers conveniently forget that he was a Republican.
Click here to read about the NYC air-raid wardens of W. W. II...
The attached profile of actor William Holden (1918 – 1981) appeared in print when his stock was about to peak.
When the summer of 1956 rolled around, Holden was already a double nominee for a BAFTA ("Picnic"), an Oscar ("Sunset Boulevard") and was the grateful recipient of an Academy Award for Best Actor one year earlier ("Stalag 17"). In 1957 his performance in the "Bridge on the River Kwai" would bring even more pats on the back (although the Best Actor statue would go to Alec Guinness).
This five page interview tells the story of Holden's initial discovery in Hollywood, his devotion to both the Screen Actor's Guild and Paramount Pictures. His Hollywood peers held him in especially high-regard:
"In a poll of Hollywood reporters recently he was designated 'the best adjusted and happiest actor around'"; by contrast, the same poll identified Humphrey Bogart as a total pain in the keister - click here to read that article.
"This unprepossessing place is the American survivor of a great international movement, the Bauhaus of Dessau, which filled the world with tubular chairs and sectional sofas. The Bauhaus, like so many other things German, drew Hitler's ire because it was too intellectually independent. Hitler dissolved it in 1938...Some fragments of Bauhaus fled to America. Dr Laszalo Moholy-Nagy escaped with some remnants of students' work and saught refuge in Chicago. There, in his concrete warehouse, Moholy-Nagy's movement has taken root."
"They do the oddest things...A chair might just be a double loop of shellacked plywood. It is steamed and shaped so that it has a seat, and a back, and stands on the floor...It doesn't look like much of a chair. It will do the job for which chairs are sold."
Here is a wonderful photo-essay that depicts the lives of one of the most pious communities in the United States: the Mennonites of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania:
"The Biblical statement that God wished to 'purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works' [Titus 2:14] is followed literally by the Amish. They do everything possible to ensure their goodness and to make themselves different from ordinary men."
The misery that lingered over the W.W. II German home front is well documented and many of the issues concerning melancholy, hunger and thirst can be read in the attached assortment of letters that were pulled from the bloodied uniforms of the thousands of dead Nazi soldiers that surrounded the city of Stalingrad in 1943. These personal correspondences by German parents, wives and sweethearts present a thorough look at the dreariness that lingered over the German home front.
This is the story of a news daily that was published between the years 1894 and 1917 and its entire readership could be counted with one finger,the subscriber's name was Czar Nicholas II of Russia. This unique periodical employed hundreds of correspondents (both foreign and domestic), and although only one printing of each issue was ever run, it cost the Russian taxpayers more than $40,000.00 a day to maintain.
He was the biggest television star of the 1950s - Milton Berle (1908 – 2002):
"An incurable extrovert of 43, Uncle Miltie is already a 36-year show business veteran and will probably go on forever. At the very least, his new 30-year contract with NBC will keep him in front of of the TV cameras until he is 72..."
The outcome of the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis was seen as a largely tasteless affair by the brass caps in Moscow. They believed Premiere Khrushchev and his diplomatic bungling left the U.S.S.R. in a weaker position and they wanted him out, pronto. Numerous men in the Soviet Army and within the Kremlin united in a plot to force him out. The Premiere proved himself a master at seeing through such intrigue; he stopped the coup dead in its tracks with a boatload of key arrests and executions which then knocked the remaining confederates off their game, sending them hither and yon. Ten months later the Kremlin forced Khrushchev into retirement.
Another article by a highbred, woebegone, blue-blood who, plagued by a boatload of distinguished primogenitors and over-burdened by a lavish trust fund - to say nothing of a bad case of affluenza, could take no more of it; she broke-down and scribbled the attached expose in hopes that the whole highfalutin' plutocracy would come crashing down on top of all those icky, pompous know-it-alls.
"Life for America's so-called social aristocrats is colorless and uninspired. Our education, now that I look back at it, seems to have produced a frightening number of properly mannered, emotionally passive and intellectually sterile young snobs... This training is not easily overcome."
Gosh. We thought only Howard Zinn wrote like that.
This article recalls an event in W.W. II history that is still remembered today as the greatest maritime disaster of all time: January 30, 1945, when Soviet Navy submarine S-13 sank the German liner Wilhelm Gustloff as she fled the Danzig port overloaded with fleeing refugees.
Written 18 years after the attack, this article erroneously attributes the sinking to two submarines and killing 8,000; but this was not the case.
"He led no charge, won no thrilling victory. But men honor his memory because, in the midst of slaughter, he dared death to bring solace to his wounded foes... He was Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers."
We honor him on this page because he was one of the few men in war who simply refused to submit himself entirely to the savage spirit of war and surrender all sense decency.
On a cold Virginia day in 1862, Kirkland and his Carolinians were locked in a bitter struggle with Federal infantry. It was not a good day for the men in blue, and many of their wounded lay on the ground crying out for help. During the few lulls in the firing Kirkland decided he could take their cries no more and ventured out onto the killing ground bringing water and blankets:
"The Union men were thunderstruck when a Confederate soldier, laden with canteens, suddenly climbed into view. Their surprise was probably what saved Dick, for in a few seconds he had sprinted to the nearest wounded man, given him water, covered him with an overcoat, and gone on to the next... Dick was the talk of both armies that day."
Click here to read about the heavy influence religion had in the Rebel states during the American Civil War.
"The Free German Movement is vigorously gnawing away at the very roots of Naziism with teeth filed to needle sharpness. Our organizations are fighting Hitler, at home or in South America with his own weapons. We have consolidated earlier gains against Hitler with important new gains."
So wrote Dr. Otto Strasser (1897 – 1974) who oversaw the Free German Movement, the Black Front and other Nazi resistance organizations. He must have been pretty effective, the Nazis put a half-million dollar price on his head.
If you were a woman with leftist inclinations during the 1960s and wanted to join one of the many revolutionary groups that promised to "burn it all to the ground", you wouldn't be required to bring a lighter - that was for the male hippies only - the women were required to bring coffee percolators and feather dusters:
"In the New Left, some people - men - are more equal than others. The revolutionary girl is distinguished from her male counterpart by one significant difference. The male can cut his hair, shave his beard and step back into the society he condemns. In trying to help the oppressed, the girls found they wear a uniform that they can't remove anymore than the Blacks can remove their skin. They can't remove their sex - and the men make use of it only too well."
"More than any other president in our history, John F. Kennedy was the public image of the United States of America. Unlike the initial acclaim accorded the stately Roosevelt or the revered Eisenhower, many nations viewed the election of Kennedy in 1961 with alarm. It was not difficult to understand; he was born to great wealth, he was very young and he was inexperienced. Could any country that elected such a man be respected?"
How Pasternak's Russian novel, Doctor Zhivago (1957), came to be published was not your standard bourgeois affair involving manuscripts sent by certified mail to charming book agents who host long, wet lunches - quite the contrary. As the journalist noted in the attached article: It is an intriguing story involving the duplicity of one Italian communist who gleefully deceived a multitude Soviets favoring that the work be buried forever.
Brought up in Pennsylvania, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey had a harsh taskmaster in the form of their father:
"Thomas Dorsey was a self-taught musician who earned $10 a week in the coal mines and a few dollars extra by giving music lessons. When Thomas Francis Dorsey [his second son] was born in 1905, the father made up his mind that his sons would be musicians, or else!"
"While still in knee-pants, both learned all the wind instruments before specializing in the saxophone and trombone, respectively... The boys mother, Tess Langton Dorsey, often was distressed by her husband's rigid disciplining of her sons. To miss a day's practice meant a licking."
Inasmuch as the Dorsey brothers may have been united in their efforts to please their father, their union ended there. Much of the article pertains to their opposing temperaments and the skyrocketing career that both enjoyed as a result of their mutual desires to out-do the other. It wasn't until the old man's death in 1942 that their competition subsided.
One of the first profiles of Hollywood beauty and former child star Natalie Wood (1938 – 1981).
The journalist went into some detail explaining how she was discovered at the age of six by the director Irving Pichel (1891 – 1954) and how it all steadily snowballed into eighteen years of semi-steady work that provided her with a invaluable Hollywood education (and subsequently creating a thoroughly out-of-control teenager).
"At sixteen, Natalie co-starred with the late James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause", and the resulting Dean hysteria swept her forward with him... She cannot bear to be alone. She is full of reasonless fears. Of airplanes. Of snakes. Of swimming in the ocean."
The article appeared on the newsstands while she was shooting "All The Fine Young Cannibals".
This is a short anecdote that recalled a slice of life on board a USN troop ship as it ferried men from one bloody atoll to the next. The two speaking parts in this drama were both officers who butted heads regularly until they understood that what united them was the welfare of the
dying young men returning from the beaches who had given their last full measure.
To read articles about W.W. II submarines, Click here.
Here is an article about the legendary Marilyn Monroe (né Norma Jeane Mortenson: 1926 – 1962), her painful beginnings, the cheesecake pictures, the bit-parts and her enormous popularity as a star are all woven into a narrative that never lets the reader forget that her unique type of appeal was something entirely new.
In this six page essay Harpo Marx tells the tale of Groucho (1890 – 1977) as only an older brother could see it. From the Marx family's earliest days in the slums of New York and Groucho's first entertainment job (he was 13), Harpo (1888 – 1964) briefly recounts his brother's wins and losses leading up to the team's first popular show on Broadway ("I'll Say She Is", 1923) and the man's travails on his T.V. game show, "You Bet Your Life".
"Groucho's infatuation with the language has been the backbone of his entire life and has, undoubtedly, played the largest single part in shaping him into one of the greatest wits of our time. Groucho doesn't regard words the way the rest of us do. He looks at a word in the usual fashion. Then he looks at it upside down, backwards, from the middle out to the ends, and from the ends back to the middle...Groucho doesn't look for double meanings. He looks for quadruple meanings. And usually finds them."
Click here to read about the manner in which the Marx Brothers would test their jokes.
Screen scribe Sidney Carroll put to paper a serious column about the productive life of Samuel Goldwyn (1879 – 1974) and all that he had accomplished since he co-founded Hollywood (along with Cecil B. De Mille) in 1913:
"He has done many remarkable things in 30 years. He has made as many stars as any man in the business; he was the first to make feature-length films; he was the first to bring the great writers to Hollywood... Goldwyn is the greatest maker of motion pictures ever to come out of Hollywood [with the exception of The Goldwyn Follies (1938)].
This article concerns the observations of a Japanese diplomat who was privileged to tour a Chinese Army base. He spoke at length about all that he saw during his tour and used his surveillance, mixed with his general knowledge of China, to understand what their general capabilities would be in the event of war. When asked what was most impressive about the Chinses military, the diplomat replied:
"The mining. They explained that the antipersonnel mine is their most unusual weapon, developed primarily to sap the enemy's morale."
General Maxime Weygand (1867 – 1965) is remembered as the French military commander who allowed himself to be out-maneuvered and out-generaled when France was invaded by the German Army in May of 1940. The Battle for France lasted roughly 42 days before Weygrand's forces collapsed.
"To listen to Paul Meltsner one would think that it was fun to be a painter. Looking at his pictures one is compelled to conclude that life is a grim business of industrial strife, with factories shut down or picketed..."
"A wise-cracker and a wit at the cafe table, Mr. Meltsner is a proletarian artist when he works, and he works hard, he says. Which is what a proletarian artist should do... He exhibits frequently. He sells lithographs when he isn't selling paintings and is represented in a number of museum collections."
Click here to read a Paul Meltsner review from ART DIGEST.
There just aren't that many funny wills around that are devised with the intention of rendering the last word in a bad marriage or to dispense petty revenge on those who remained above-ground - that is why we found these two columns so amusing.
Here is an eyewitness account of the suicide of Heinrich Himmler as told by Major John C. Schwarzwalder, a former member of the intelligence division of the U.S. Army Services Forces:
"...At the end of the search an army doctor told Himmler to open his mouth. The prisoner did so, but Himmler bit down. The doctor withdrew his finger hastily. Himmler then ground his teeth together and swallowed hard. Some say he smiled grimly. In another second he was on the floor writhing in agony..."
"Without Haydée Sanatamaría (1922 – 1980), the [Cuban] revolution might never have been. She was the actual founder of the freedom movement known as the 26th of July. Haydée Sanatamaría was known to Cubans simply as Maria.
This unique (and thankfully humorous) voice lets us know how widespread The Jackie Look was in the America of the early sixties - but she will have non of it:
"I am accepting all offers - including Confederate money - for my Jackie Kennedy wardrobe of sleeveless 'avant-garde' dresses and pill-box hats. I'll even throw in a necklace or three of pearls. If you insist, and I hope you do, I'll also add my French cookbook and my water-color set... I have had it. I just don't want to look like Jackie Kennedy. The competition is becoming far too keen."
Contrary to popular thought, the "Fashion Police", so called, are not concerned with seemingly vulgar acts of dressing - mismatched colors, cheap accessories, gross fabrics, etc - but they do consider knocking-off the work of other designers as a serious violation - and when it comes to ripping-off the designs of Christian Dior or Pierre Balmain, that is when the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Coutre and police inspector Jacques Besson step in.
"No one is certain how football came to America. There are those who say it has always been here in the guise of an Indian game like lacrosse; its resemblance to English Rugby is apparent. But the game we know today is uniquely American, its place on the American scene secures. From September until long after the snow falls, Saturday afternoon means the Big Game to millions; and to millions the names of Heffelfinger, Grange, Harmon, Kazmaier and other gridiron greats will never lose their luster. This year , more than 15,000,000 Americans - old grads, subway alumni and just plain football fans - will turn out to see their favorites do battle in a game that bears little resemblance to the scrambling, uncoordinated melees of 50 years ago. This is the story of how football grew up, of its heroes, and of the great games of yesteryear."
Attached is a 1946 article by Mort Weisinger (1915 - 1978), who is remembered primarily as the editor for DC Comics' Superman throughout much of the Fifties and Sixties. His four page history of Superman, attached herein, lays out not simply the origins of the character but all his great successes when deployed on behalf of the enemies of bad grammar, tooth decay, and slot machines. The author lucidly explained his own amazement at the fact that during those years spanning 1936 through 1946, Superman not only fought tooth and nail for truth, justice and the American way, but had been successfully harnessed by numerous ad men to advocate for the study of geography, civics, literacy, vocabulary and the importance of iron salvage in wartime. At the time Weisinger penned this article, SUPERMAN was purchased annually by as many as 30,000,000 buyers.
Click here to read about the roll comic books played during the Second World War.
Ten years after the death of Big Band legend Glenn Miller (1904 – 1944), it was found that his record sales were going through the roof at 16,000,000 per annum, and Hollywood had attempted to cash-in on his memory by releasing a (bland) Technicolor bio-pic, appropriately titled, The Glenn Miller Story(Universal) - with Jimmy Stewart starring in the title roll. The band leader's popularity was obvious to everyone in 1944, when he was killed in the war, but no one could have predicted this.
Here is a moving account of the meteoric rise of Johnny Mathis (b. 1935) - from an impoverished child of the San Francisco slums to the last of the great-American crooners.
"Johnny Mathis is just 23 years old , though he appears a hungry , vulnerable 17. When he sings a romantic ballad in high falsetto, his large eyes gaze out over the heads of the audience as if in search of someone."
Relying on the expertise of various Lincoln scholars (Paul M. Angle, Dr. William Barton, Reinhard Luthin and David Mearns), efforts were made to verify whether or not all the many aphorisms, bon mots, maxims and plentiful epigrams attributed to Lincoln were indeed authored by the slain president, or were they the product of the hundreds of forgers and prevaricators that followed in his wake.
"During World War II, the officers and men of the U.S. Navy's submarine Tang had a proud boast. Their submarine, they crowed, rarely wasted a torpedo. In less than a year of combat, the Tang mowed down Japanese transports, freighters and tankers with deadly accuracy. But it was her fifth patrol from September 27 to October 24, 1944, that gives a unique place in the annals of submarine warfare."
The sixth American to be granted the status of sainthood by the Catholic Church was a remarkable woman by the name Katharine Mary Drexel (1858 – 1955). Born into aristocratic circles in Philadelphia, she entered a convent at the age of 31. She is remembered for toiling unceasingly among America's down-trodden while liberally dispersing her family fortune in the process:
"In a period of some 60 years, she gave away $12 million. In doing so, she built 45 elementary schools, 12 high schools a university and countless country schools; she supported orphanages, hospitals and homes for the aged; she increased her congregation from its original 11 teaching nuns to over 500 at the time of her death in 1955."
The hokum that Constance Drexel (1894 - 1856?) coughed-up over the airwaves on behalf of her Nazi paymasters was considered to have been so negligible in content by the U.S. Department of Justice that all charges against her were dropped.
Douglas Chandler (1889 - ?) was one of several American expatriots to make radio broadcasts on behalf of Adolf Hitler and company. Believing that he was somehow providing a valuable service for the Free and the Brave, he smugly titled his radio program, 'Paul Revere'".
This is a profile of the American photographer Margaret Bourke-White (1904 - 1971). At the time these pages appeared on the newsstand, the photographer's stock was truly on the rise as a result of her remarkable documentary images depicting the Great Depression as it played out across the land.
Three months prior to the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, the editors of CORONET MAGAZINE posed the question: "'Will Bobby make a great President?' Or even a good one? What would his policies be?" The numerous assorted answers were all enthusiastically positive - the one that stood out came from the perennial contrarian of the time:
"'The inevitability of Bobby' comes just after that of death and taxes, say Conservative quipster William F. Buckley, only half in fun."
"Leo Disher was among the war correspondents who sailed for Africa with the American invasion fleet late in October of 1942... Army authorities were so impressed with his conduct under fire that they presented him with a Purple Heart [he was the first W.W. II reporter to earn this distinction]. More important was the fact that the story he dictated from his hospital cot after the shooting was over was displayed on the front pages of most of the UP papers."
Barry Goldwater (1909 - 1998) was the Republican presidential candidate for 1964, and although he lost that contest by wide margins to Lyndon Johnson, his political philosophy has played a vital roll in shaping the direction of American conservative thought. William F. Buckley, Jr. explained why in this article.
Unquestionably, the most famous individual to defect from the USSR and seek refuge in the West was Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926 - 2011), the only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin (she used her mother's maiden name). She was the one closest to the aging dictator during his closing days - and her defection to the United States aroused a tremendous amount of interest throughout the world. In this interview she claimed that her defection to the West was primarily inspired by her yearning to write freely. Dutiful daughter that she was, Alliluyeva stated that the guilt for the crimes attributed to her father should be equally shared by those who served in the Politburo at the time.
The attached article was written by Dr. George Gallup (1901 – 1984), the pioneering American pollster and founder of the Institute of Public Opinion. Gallup's article reveals some surprising information about American voters and their thoughts concerning FDR's 1940 bid for re-election against Wendell Willkie (1892 – 1944).
Attached is an unflattering essay by biographer Iles Brody, who beautifully captured the Duchess of Windsor and her unending pursuit of the chic. Obsessed with self-image, this column lists the fashion houses and boutiques that were most favored by Wallis Simpson.
Despite her wealth, the Duchess loved a good bargain.
The attached piece was written in the shadows of W.W. II - a time when Levi Strauss' famous blue jean fabric was not simply being woven for the 12,000,000 souls in the U.S. military, but also the civilian war-workers who donned jean overalls and found them ideal for the heavy, industrial labor that they faced each day.
As if this wasn't enough to keep the factories of Levi Strauss & Co. humming happily, the American teenagers also discovered blue jeans in the around the same time and have been devoted to them ever since. The author of this article could never have known that the social revolution that made the name "Levi" a household word all across the globe was only nine years away.
In this article the proud father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank (1889 – 1980), explains that by the late Fifties it seemed more and more teenagers were contacting him to say that very few parents or teachers seemed willing to discuss the Nazi years in Germany. These inquiries were too often dismissed as bothersome or simply brushed away with hasty answers like, "The Nazis built the Autobahns".
Otto Frank points out that this was not always the case, and goes on to recall that there existed a more sympathetic and regretful Germany for at least a decade after the war. Yet, in 1960 he sensed that there existed a subtle movement to whitewash Hitler; a battle was being waged for the mind of this teenage generation.
This is one of the first profiles of Hollywood beauty and former child star Natalie Wood (1938 – 1981).
The journalist went into some details explaining how she was discovered at the age of five by the director Irving Pichel (1891 – 1954) and how it all steadily snowballed into eighteen years of semi-steady work that provided her with a invaluable Hollywood education (and subsequently creating a thoroughly out-of-control teenager).
"At sixteen, Natalie co-starred with the late James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause", and the resulting Dean hysteria swept her forward with him... She cannot bear to be alone. She is full of reasonless fears. Of airplanes. Of snakes. Of swimming in the ocean."
In 1956 the editors of CORONET Magazine saw fit to print this three page history of the Brazil nut; a fruit that has been popular in much of Europe for centuries but seldom known by the Brazilians or their neighbors:
"The Brazil nut is the world's most fabulous nut, fabulous in the manner of its growth, its gathering, its distribution and the perils associated with bringing it out of the Amazon jungle where it thrives."
"The nut has been consistently exported to Great Britain, Germany and other European countries since 1633. After W.W. II, a large share of the annual crop was shipped to the United States, as well, where the raw nuts were shelled and reshipped throughout the world."
On the afternoon of August 20, 1940, in the Mexico City suburb of Coyoacán, Leon Trotsky (b. 1878) was murdered by Ramón Mercader (1914 - 1978). Mercader (alias Jacques Mornard) was a Spanish Communist and a Moscow-trained agent of Joseph Stalin's secret police, the NKVD.
The attached article pertains to Mercader's 20-year incarceration at the Mexican Lecumberri Penitentiary, where he was constrained in semi-luxurious accommodations, complete with a telephone, silk pajamas, a book collection, newspapers and weekly conjugal visits - courtesy of "the Worker's Paradise".
Click here to read a 1938 interview with Leon Trotsky.
War correspondent Tom Treanor (1914 — 1944) of The Los Angeles Times was billed by writer Damon Runyon as "one of the four best reporters developed in this war.":
"Landing in Cairo just about the time Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was approaching Alexandria, Treanor went to the British to obtain an accreditation certificate as a war correspondent. But since the British didn't know him they wouldn't accredit him. Undaunted he went out and bought a set of correspondent's insignia for 70 cents, borrowed an army truck, and made a trip to the front and back before the British realized he was gone. They stripped him of his illegal insignia, but in the meantime Tom had obtained material for several 'hot' columns." Treanor was killed in France shortly after this column went to press.
Licorice - it ain't just for watching movies any more because in the mid-to-late Forties scientists "[had] found that there is a black magic in licorice, a versatile chemical which is already playing a considerable part in your life". Licorice has been harnessed as a fire retardant, weather insulation, medicine and a moisturizer for a few agriculture products. The ancient Egyptians were the first to discover it and they recognized its benefits from the start.
Here is one of the few histories that explain the Star-Spangled Banner that seldom mentions its author. This short column will tell you about Sam Smith, the Militia general who kept the flag at Fort McHenry waving throughout that "perilous fight".
Times have changed: when this article about Beverly Hills first went to press, that famed little hamlet could support as many as ten bookshops. It is now barely able to support one:
"Beverly Hills became famous in 1926 when, in one of the smartest publicity stunts of the century, the movie star Will Rogers was elected honorary mayor. Installed in drizzling rain, Rogers declared that all the budding town needed for progress was a little scandal and a few murders..."
A collection of thumbnail portraits that outline what each crew member did on that August day, and what they were doing fifteen years afterward.
This article was partially written in order to squelch the spreading rumors that reported that the atomic bomber crews from 1945 had all slowly gone mad.
"The men of the Enola Gay were hand-picked experts, chosen for intelligence, emotional stability and discipline, qualities they have put to good use in their post-war careers. Four remained in the service (one died in 1953) and the others are all successful in their business carees. They earn above-average salaries, all but one are married and they have 26 children among them. None of them has been to Japan since the war, and few have met since separation."
"During the Civil War many young boys enlisted. In fact, three out of every ten men on the Union side were under 21, and not until 1864 did Congress pass a law forbidding the enlistment of of anyone under 16. But Johnny Clem, who joined up at ten, had them all beaten."
- Indeed he did. In fact, at the age of 12, Johnny Clem was a hero.
Appearing in 1944, this article listed numerous reports relayed to the FBI by amateur spy-hunters of all the imagined foreign agents who they stumbled upon daily. Some of the accounts ended up being true and lead to actual confessions, but most were just plain silly - either way, the G-men had to investigate each account.
The attached six page article about Cab Calloway (1907 – 1994) makes no mention whatever of the three movies he had appeared in prior to 1941, but it answers many other questions you might have had about the musician's first thirty-one years.
Living, as he did, at a time when the average American homeowner was more inclined to prefer a ranch house over a "machine for living" that those vulgar, snail-eating European modernists were capable of creating, American architect George Frederick Keck (1895 - 1980) saw fit to write this spirited defense on behalf of modern design. Playing the part of a modernist missionary seeking to convert the heathens, Keck argued that his tribe of architects - with their understanding of contemporary building materials and respect for simplicity - were suited to create a better standard of living for one and all.
In this admirable effort to briefly tell the history of ice cream, the authors of this three page narrative begin in the year 62 A.D., pointing out that the Roman Emperor Nero had gone on record declaring his fondness for frozen delicacies, but, as you will read, what he was consuming was in actuality something more along the lines of a "snow-cone"; but it is good to know that the market was very much in place at such an early moment in time. Jumping ahead some 1,200 years, we learn that Marco Polo had returned from China with a frozen tasty treat:
"People tried it out, and something like our sherbet was soon served in many parts of Europe, eventually being improved upon by the addition of milk to resemble ice cream."
The trivia truly begins to flow from that point and we learn that George Washington was really quite fond of the stuff, and how ice cream sundaes and Eskimo Pies came into the world.
The attached article recalls that seldom remembered day in February of 1933 when Giuseppe Zangara (1900 – 1933) fired fifteen bullets wildly into a Florida crowd in an attempt to murder President-Elect Franklin Roosevelt.
During the Second World War in the United States it would have been an act of treason for a journalist to write a slanderous profile about any of the leaders of the allied nations who were beset against the Axis powers. Not only would the writer face grave charges, but so would his editor and publisher. However, this does not mean that the editors of Coronet Magazine had to go so far over the top as to publish this article by the Soviet cheerleader Walter Duranty (1884 – 1957) of The New York Times.
After reading this article I thought about how deeply Rudolf Israel Kasztner (1906 - 1957) probably longed for a quiet life as an anonymous journalist in his native Bucharest, but the Nazi invasion of Hungary put an end to any possibility of enjoying such a life. Recognizing what the occupying Nazis had in store for the Jews of Bucharest, Kasztner saw that there was no one about who was making any attempt to save them. Rather than close his eyes and hope for the best, Kasztner bravely made the decision to save as many Jews as he could by making deals with the horrible Adolf Eichman. Locating allies at home and abroad, Kasztner managed to save thousands while others died. Today, the descendants of the Jews he had saved number in the hundreds of thousands, but this meant little to the 15 year-old Israeli fanatic who labeled him a collaborator and shot him in 1957.
By the mid-Twenties millions of cars were on America's highways and by-ways and family road trips were all the rage. However, the few roadside food stands that existed at the time were woefully inadequate and numerous journalists in every locale were writing articles about the various stomach aches that were regularly descending upon hapless motorists who patronized these businesses. This article is about a Massachusetts fellow named Howard Johnson -
"Somewhere along the line he figured out that what America needed even more than a good five-cent cigar was a chain of stands that would take the chance out of roadside eating."
"The 'real' world into which the Duke has entered by his 'own' free will is international café society, that glittering, gilded bubble floating above the stormy seas of history...The Duke lives a rather different life. An hour or so with one of those American businessmen he admires, following tips on the market, looking over the quotations in stocks and bonds, and he has nothing to trouble about for the day, or the next month or so, until another empty hour obtrudes itself in the almost ceaseless round of pleasure like a hole in time waiting to be plugged by something, anything."
"The longest, loudest laugh in movie history exploded in theaters all over the world in 1920. That colossal, eruptive, cumulative bellow of laughter closed a two reel silent comedy called HARD LUCK, starring that master of slapstick and deadpan pantomime, Buster Keaton."
"Unemployment permitted a great deal more companionship between young men and young women, which ordinarily would have led to marriage. The only thing lacking was money. The arrangements called, simply, 'living together' became common. Often the man or woman was married, and couldn't get , couldn't afford, or didn't want a divorce. Sometimes the man simply refused to marry, and the woman took him into her home or moved into his as the next best thing..."
An article that looks back at some of the lost opportunities squandered by both armies, wondering if the outcome might have been different had their importance been recognized and properly exploited.
"At Gettysburg, the heat broke at last, and rain fell on July 4. As doctors and ambulances moved onto the scene, neither retreating Confederates nor jubilant Northerners recognized the great issue that had been decided on that field. Only a few sensed that the twilight of the Confederacy had come."
Attached is an article about the work of the American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904 – 1972):
"At 43, Henry Dreyfuss is enormously successful, a fact which he makes every effort to conceal... In designing a typewriter, he measured the fingers of hundreds of typists. In creating a new chair for plane or train, he doesn't settle for the fact that the chair simply seems comfortable. He hires an orthopedic surgeon to advise."
"Industrial design was barely getting started when the 1929 Depression struck. America's economic collapse may have meant calamity for millions of people, but for designers it spelled golden opportunity. Savage competition became the rule. To stay in business, a manufacturer had to give his products new utility, new eye-appeal..."
Shortly after Tokyo's capitulation, an advance team of American Army researchers were dispatched to Hiroshima to study the effects that the Atom Bomb had on that city. What we found most interesting about this reminiscence was the narrative told by a young Japanese Army major as to how Tokyo learned of the city's destruction:
"Again and again the air-raid defense headquarters called the army wireless station at Hiroshima. No answer. Something had happened to Hiroshima..."
The B-17 Flying Fortress was "the most fabulous combat plane ever built. Like Douglas' unretireable DC-3 airliner, the B-17 is history written in metal, a pivot of progress which helped influence an entire generation".
"Perhaps more than any other plane, the B-17 beat Hitler. Its 640,036 tons of bombs on Europe, nearly the total dropped by all other U.S. planes combined, knocked out much of his industry, oil and railroads... The B-17 unveiled the era of strategic air power and turned man's eye to the stratosphere and beyond".
Pencil-necked geek Frederick Kaltenbach was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1895. A former school teacher, he left the U.S. to earn a Ph.D in Germany but somehow ended up translating German texts into English for the Nazi aviation magazine, ADLER. By-and-by this eventually lead to his own radio program, just like all translation jobs always do.
Like the article posted above, this essay serves as further evidence that the immediate post-war years in America were ones in which the foundations for the civil rights movement were established; foundations on which the civil rights leaders of the Sixties and Seventies would rely upon to guarantee the forward momentum of the movement.
The attached article pertains to the necessary work that was being done by the National Urban League.
Upon reading this piece, we're sure you'll recognize that the author knew full well that the article should have been titled, "The Answer to the White Problem".
In this article, the controversial author and prominent chemist, Otto Eisenschiml (1880 – 1963), recalled the events that unfolded at Ford's Theater as Lincoln lay dying. A good deal of information is dispensed concerning the physical damage that was wrought by Boothe's derringer (pictured) - as well as the various life-prolonging measures that were implemented by the 23 year-old doctor who was first on the scene.
"Of all the jazz musicians who link yesterday's ragtime with today's dance music, Duke Ellington is the dean. In his 27 years as a pianist and composer, the Duke has played alongside every great brass, reed, and rhythm man of his day. Now he picks those music makers who, 'on the basis of their over-all contribution, their all-time record, consistently good performance, and love of music,' constitute 1951's All-American jazz band."
Duke Ellington made a list of his favorite eleven musicians; some of the names may surprise you.
During World War II many women played roles as daring and courageous as were required of any man. This is the true story of one such woman, who gambled her life to help the Allies win the final victory in Europe.
"...I began my mission in wartime France as a British secret agent. Colonel Maurice Buckmaster had told me what my assignment was:"
"You will parachute into France with a wireless operator and a demolition specialist. The drop will be 40 miles from Le Mans, where Rommel's army is concentrated..."
Click here to read about the women who spied for the Nazis during the Second World War.
Assorted snide stories concerning the Duke of Windsor - the world he made and the man he became:
"It is both sad and amusing to see a former King of England reduced by the woman he loves to a 'Little Man', to the rank of a meek husband. What should one do, laugh or cry, when one looks at the ex-Caesar in the role of handbag-carrier, a sort of walking ornament..."
Samuel Rosenman (1896 – 1973) was an attorney, judge and a highly placed insider within the ranks of the Democratic Party, both in Albany and the nation's capital. It was Rosenman who helped articulated many of FDR's policies, wrote numerous executive orders and conceived of the moniker "New Deal". He was the first lawyer to hold the position White House Counsel and he was an indispensable advisor to Roosevelt throughout the course of his New York governorship as well as his presidency.
Bereft of all but one illustration, this five page article delves into the design philosophy of the architect Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) - who was very fond of the word "dymaxion":
"Fuller argues that the social function of machinery is to eliminate the unpleasant phases of life in the shortest possible space of time. Housing, or 'shelter' as he prefers to call it, should be, fundamentally, 'a machine for living.'"
Perhaps the above headline gives a wee-bit too much credit to the flappers for changing the sex codes of North America - but it certainly would never have happened without them. They were one of the necessary elements, in addition to motion pictures, recorded music, automobiles and greater job opportunities for women, that, when mixed together created a new social contract. The attached article spells it all out as to how the flappers of the 1920s had "stripped the female body of its Victorian wrappings and proudly displayed it in the sunlight".
"[Here is] a portrait of the war by those who know it best - the men at the front... In these affecting pages are the unadorned voices of men and women who fought – and, in some cases, fell – in America’s most controversial war. They bring new insights and imagery to a conflict that still haunts our hearts, consciences, and the conduct of our foreign policy."
"Before December 7, 1941, the average American regarded the Jap as a comical little fellow who bowed deeply from the waist and said, 'So sorry.'...[and] as a fighting man, the Jap was obviously a joke. His army hadn't been able to to lick poor old broken-down China in four years... This picture was destroyed forever by the bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor... But what makes the Jap so brave? Briefly, the Jap has two words for it. The first is Shinto and the second bushido,"
"Japan has put into the arena a pure fascist man. It is making war against us with a well-nourished, athletic, relentless fighting animal who seems to be controlled to an extent we find difficult to understand by his government and by the officers who exert his government's authority... The Jap went into the war with an air corps skimmed from the top of his population... Our best pilots, too, were taken off the top of our population. They were college boys of high intelligence and perfect physique. The Japs had good pilots, but now they are dead. Many of our best pilots died killing them."
Iles Brody, author of Gone with the Windsors, was no fan of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but before he began to outline all their various faults in the attached essay, he first wanted to make one aspect of their history quite clear:
"The true story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor cannot be told without clarifying one point right at the beginning: there was only one man who forced Edward VIII off the throne: himself. Yet millions have been led to believe that Prime Minister and Primate got together with the peers and, with the help of the British press, compelled the King to abandon his hereditary trust."
No doubt, the most glam passenger to survive the Titanic disaster was the fashion designer Lady Duff-Gordon (1863 – 1935: a.k.a. "Lucile"). Attached is the great couturier's account describing the pandemonium she witnessed on deck, the screams heard as Titanic began her plunge and the sun coming up the next morning:
"I shall never forget the beauty of that April dawn, stealing over the cold Atlantic, lighting up the icebergs till they looked like giant opals. As we saw other boats rowing alongside, we imagined that most passengers on the Titanic had been saved, like us; not one of us even guessed the appalling truth..."
Myriad are the clever epigrams that have been attributed to the famed Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) - and attached you'll find additional chestnuts to add to the list. These particular ones recall the bon mots he tossed out while prattling-on with various assorted glitterati of his day; yapers like Clare Boothe Luce, Orson Welles, Judith Anderson and tennis champ Helen Wills.
By the time this historic piece was written, thousands upon thousands of Western Union casualty telegrams had been delivered to altogether too many American households. This article lucidly explains how they should be delivered and how they shouldn't be delivered. Recognizing the solemnity of the task, the men who passed the news along were often older men, who had tasted some of life's bitterness:
"One mother, receiving the news that her son was dead, crushed the paper in her hand and looking beyond the messenger, said, 'If it hadn't been my son, it would have been some other mother's'".
Statistically, "Anderson" is the the 12th most common surname in the United States and there are 894,704 Americans who bare this last name. The name stems from two sources: Scottish and Scandinavian. Both are derived from the Greek word Andreas, which means strong, manly or courageous.
In America today there are many Andersons high in achievement, some of them still spelling their name Andersen, who were born in Sweden, Norway or Denmark. This article broadly outlines the great and famous Andersons, the ones who have walked the halls of Congress, thrived in business, written the books, preached from the pulpits and fought the wars.
Oddly, very little column space is devoted to the infamous Andersons (ie. Confederate thug "Bloody Bill" Anderson).
Here is a tidy little essay that explains the origins of the National Geographic Society and their well-loved magazine. The article begins with an interesting story about what this organization did to help the Pentagon during the Second World War.
John Thompson of The Chicago Tribune saw more of the World War II than most other correspondents. He had witnessed to the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Paris and the horrors of the Buchenwald death camp. Throughout his life, Thompson held the distinction of being the last surviving war correspondent to land on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings; by war's end he had been awarded the Purple Heart, nine battle stars and was the first correspondent to receive the Medal of Freedom. This column was written in 1943 and pertains to some of his experiences in North Africa and Sicily.
Some wise old wag once opined that by the time W.W. II came along, Hemingway was far too fascinated by his own public image to have ever been an effective war correspondent. However, it should be remembered that he had looked war in the face on many occasions - the Second World War was the seventh conflict that he witnessed as a war reporter. Prior to working as a war correspondent for Time and Collier's during the Second World War, Hemingway had written for a number of other outlets in six other conflicts.
"The Duke of Windsor is now 59. He has arrived at that age when a man begins to weigh his life and all that he has done with it...What can he remember? That having come to the throne the most beloved of all princes, the darling of a nation that would have followed him through hell-fire; he threw away the tiresome restraints of kingship, to gain what?"
This is a fascinating article not simply for what you'll learn about Hitler, but for what you'll additionally learn about the manner in which many Germans tended to view that queerest of hybrids, the "German-Americans".
This article was written by Rene Kraus, who had been a German diplomat during the Wiemar Republic and a refugee under Hitler.
Click here to read about the German-Americans who called themselves "Nazis".
Click here and you will learn that Kaiser Wilhelm was also bugged by German-Americans.
Throughout the course of her life Lillian Roth (1910 - 1980) had lived the high life as well as the low, and during one of the darker moments she sat pining in the depths of her anguish crying out to God - even though she didn't believe He existed - a well-wisher approached her with a unique line of reasoning that was so pure in its simplicity it immediately lead her to realize that God does indeed exist.
Pieced together from the captain's log as well as various first-hand observations that were called to mind by the 29 surviving crew members, this article presents a blow-by-blow account as to how the U.S. Navy dirigible Shenandoah was overwhelmed by turbulent winds over Eastern Ohio and torn in two.
"As they climbed into the hull, the ship began spinning counter-clockwise on its keel, then lifted its nose and shot upward. Girders groaned and wires snapped. Then came a crunching, sickening roar as the girders parted. The ship had broken in two. Another rending crash and the control car plunged earthwards, carrying Lt. Commander Landsdowne and seven other men to their death."