Monday, September 15, 2014

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200th Birthday of Its Song-- Part 3: Iwo Jima and 9/11 Flags


"Featured in the 1945 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, the iconic U.S. flag raised by the American soldiers (well, mostly Marines) during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, currently displayed at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, inspired the nation in the midst of global conflict and endures as a symbol of national resolve.

"'That photograph took off like wildfire in the psyche of the American people,' says Jennifer Jones, head of the armed forces division of the National Museum of American History.  'They needed to see we were turning the tide in the Pacific.'"


The U.S. flag raised by three New York City firemen over Ground Zero became a poignant symbol of America's unwavering spirit after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001--and contributed to a season of flag-waving in communities and neighborhoods across the nation.

"While the whereabouts of the Ground Zero flag now is unknown, numerous other 9/11-related flags remain, such as the 2-by-3-foot flag that workers found among the mountain of rubble from the collapsed World Trade Center.  Torn and badly burned, that flag was obtained by the National Museum of American History for its collection on the 9/11 attacks and has been included in several exhibits. 'We did not clean it,' Jones says.  'We wanted the debris to be part of the story.'"

O.K., Who Has the Original Ground Zero Flag?

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200 Birthday of Its Song-- Part 2: Fort Sumter and Lincoln Flags


"On April 12, 1861, a U.S. flag with 33 stars arranged in a diamond shape flew above Charleston Harbor's Fort Sumter while Confederate troops shelled the Union-held fort.

"The battle ignited the Civil War, and the surviving flag, now displayed at Fort Sumter National Monument remains a powerful relic of America's bloodiest conflict."


"This flag served a grisly, practical task on April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln lay dying in Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., after being shot in the head by assassin John Wilkes Booth.

"'Someone decided it wasn't appropriate for him to be lying on the bare floor so they crumbled up the large flag that had decorated the front of his his box and stuck it under his head,' says Lori Strelecki, 49, the curator of the Columns Museum for the Pike County Historical Society.

"Each year, some 3,000 visitors view the flag, which was donated to the PCHS in 1954 by the grandson of Ford Theater's stage manager."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200th Anniversary of Its Song-- Part 1: The "Star-Spangled Banner"

From the June 1-7 American Profile Magazine "Old Glory: Celebrate the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day" by Vicki Cox.

"Over the years, several illustrious U.S. flags not only performed their duty but ultimately came to symbolize pivotal moments in American history."

Here are some of them and where you can find them:


"The 200-year-old flag that inspired the song dates back to the War of 1812, when the massive flag flew triumphantly atop Baltimore's Fort McHenry after U.S. soldiers withstood a 25-hour bombardment by British warships.

"The sight inspired lawyer/author/poet Francis Scott Key to pen the poem that eventually became our national anthem.

"Today, the weathered flag, larger than half a tennis court and viewed by millions each year, rests in a climate-controlled chamber in  in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

"'The flag is bigger than visitors expect,' says Jeff Brodie, 44, co-author of "The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon.'  "'It is very dramatic.'"


Friday, September 12, 2014

Top Ten Reasons We Should Revive the Dark Ages

From the February 14, 2012, Listverse.

Yep.  As bad as they were, there were some good aspects about them.  I'm just listing them, but what the author had to say about these was very interesting and enlightening.  Check it out on Listverse.

10.  Low taxes
9.  Great lifestyle
8.  Crime was punished

7.  No lobbyists
6.  Money was money
5.  Live long and prosper
4.  Beauty

3.  Knights and damsels
2.  Amazing food
1.  Plenty of work for everybody

And Low Taxes said the Guy Who Just Paid Half His property Tax Bill ($4,765)  --Cooter

Deaths: Lauren Bacall

LAUREN BACALL, 89, (1924-2014)

"Lauren Bacall, a bewitching actress whose husky voice and intense on-screen chemistry with husband Humphrey Bogart made her a defining movie star of the 1940s...died Tuesday."  She "was one of the last surviving major stars of the studio system which flourished from the silent movie era to the dawn of the television age."

She was seen as a model in Harper's Bazaar in 1943 by film director Howard Hawks who had her play "an insolent woman of mystery" in 1944's movie "To Have and Have Not," playing opposite Humphrey Bogart.

She was also noted for "The Look."  The Tribune ran a picture of her giving "The Look."  And she really had it, "Come On, But be VERY Careful."

She was a bit before my time, so I wasn't a fan, but knew about her.  One of the oldies TV stations ran a two-part "Rockford Files" episode where she played opposite James Garner.  Too bad she didn't appear on more episodes.  There was a chemistry there also.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 2

PARADE:  Tell us about the morning of 9/11.

PENNEY:  "We had a skeleton crew that Tuesday.  It was very quiet.  We were in the middle of a meeting when Dave "Chunks" Callaghan, who ran the operations desk, stuck his head in and told us, 'Somebody just flew into the World Trade Center.'  We looked outside; it was a crystal blue day.

"We wondered how anyone could mess up their instrument approach that badly.  It wasn't until he opened the door again and said a second plane had crashed into the second tower that we knew it was on purpose."

PARADE:  What happened next?

PENNEY:  "After the Pentagon was hit, the Secret Service called and ordered us to get airborne.  We had an idea there was another aircraft coming toward Washington.  Because we had just returned from a training mission in Nevada, there weren't any missiles or bombs or high-explosive bullets on the airplanes, and it was going to be a while before the weapons people could get the missiles built up.

"My commander, Col. Mark "Sass" Sassville, looked at me and said, "Lucky, you're with me."

There was another hijacked plane, Flight 93.  It is believed that it was headed for either the White House or Capitol.

9-11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 1

From the Sept. 7, 2014, Parade Magazine "American Stories: "Because of What They Did, We Didn't Have to" by Bill Hewitt.

"In September 2001, Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney was a 26-year-old rookie with the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National guard, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.  For the daughter of a combat pilot who'd served in Vietnam, it was a dream come true.

"But in one of the lesser-known stories of the 9-11 attacks, Penney found herself called upon that day to do something she had never anticipated: Stop a hijacked commercial airline with 40 passengers and crew onboard.

"Now a mother of two and an executive at Lockwood Martin, Maj. Penney, 39, spoke with Parade about here experience."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Notable Traitors in History

From the June 19, 2012, Listverse.

10.  Mordechai Vanunu--  Israel
9.  Gaius Cassius Longinus--  Rome, Caesar assassination
8.  Judas Iscariot

7.  Ephialtes of Trachus--  Led Persian Armed Guards
6.  Guy Fawkes--  England
5.  Benedict Arnold
4.  Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Caesar assassination

3.  Wang Jingwei--  China
2.  Vidkun Quisling--  Norway, Nazi puppet government
1.  Mir Jafar--  India

And, I'd sure list the U.S. Army major who cold-bloodedly murdered and maimed all those soldiers at Fort hood several years ago and IS STILL ALIVE!!!  I'd put him at #1.  And, the worthless excuse still expects his "rights."  he should get the same rights as he gave his victims.

Why He Still Lives Is a Wonder to Me.  --Cooter

Some More on the HMS E-14-- Part 2

The E-14 had navigated twenty miles through minefields and enemy positions at the Dardanelles.  Lt. Cmdr. Geoffrey White found that his target, the Goeben, was not where he expected it to be and instead attacked a Turkish merchant ship.  One of his torpedoes exploded prematurely, forcing the E-14 to surface when it came under a tremendous fire from shore fortifications.

Knowing that he couldn't make it to open sea and escape, White headed to a nearby beach to save his crew, but the ship was so riddled it sank.  Only seven crew members escaped the doomed ship.

The wreck of the E-14 was discovered by marine expert Selcuc Kolay and film-making diver Savas Karakas who had spent three years trying to find the ship.

Some More on the HMS E-14-- Part 1

From the June 17, 2012, Mail (UK) Online "Sunken Treasure: First World War submarine whose two captains won the Victoria Cross is discovered off the Turkish coast 94 years after she went down" by Craig MacKenzie.

The British government wants the site preserved as a war grave for the sailors who went down with the ship.  Twenty-five lives were lost when the ship was hit by heavy shellfire.

It was found just 800 feet from the beach in 65-foot deep water, resting at a 45 degree angle with sand covering almost all of the 181-foot submarine.  At least one shell hole is visible near the bow.

It was sunk in January 1918 with the loss of 25 while on a mission to sink the flagship of the Ottoman Empire's Navy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deaths: "Mr. Padre": Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn, 54,  -Died June 16, 2014.

One of my all-time favorite baseball players and a master hitter.  If anyone knew how to hit better than Tony Gwynn, it might have had to be Ted Williams.  And, he played his WHOLE career with the San Diego Padres, just about their only highlight in a lot of very poor years other than 1984 (when they beat the Cubs to get there) and 1998.

The only time he batted below .300 was the year he was called up, 1982, and even then, he batted .289.  He never batted below .309 in a full season and had a shot at .400 before the 1994 season ended with a players strike and he batted .394.

Gwynn had 3,141 hits, 18th highest in the majors and only struck out  434 times in 9,288 at bats.

He was a great one.

Thanks for the baseball, Tony.

Monday, September 8, 2014

SS Germanic

Back on June 18, 2012, I wrote about the remains of the British submarine E-14 being found off the Turkish coast back then.  It had two commanders who received the distinguished Victoria Cross during its operations in World War I.

This is a follow up[ on it.

The first captain won his VC when he slipped his ship through heavily guarded straits during the Gallipoli Campaign and over three weeks sank 2 Turkish (Ottoman) warships and a White Star cruise liner carrying 6,000 Turkish troops.

That White Star liner (same company as the Titanic) had been the SS Germanic and built by Harland & Wolff (same ones who built the Titanic) in 1875.  In 1893, it was sold to an American company and in 1910, bought by Turkey and given the name Gul Djemal.

During World War I it became an Ottoman troopship before being sunk by the E-14.  It was raised and continued carrying Turkish troops to the end of the war.

After the war, it was in the Ottoman-American Line and carried immigrants to America for a new life.  It stopped that in 1931 and became the Gulcemal, survived World War II and eventually became a floating hotel before being scrapped in 1950.

During its career, the ship survived three major mishaps, two world wars and is the second-longest serving ocean liner in history.


Titanic Survivor Eino Lindquist

The newspaper article in the previous post had no mention of what happened to Mr. Lindquist on that fateful night, but I figured there must have been a story there.

There was.  I'll write about it in this next week.

I also found out that Napa State Hospital was one for the insane.

I did a Find A Grave search of Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California, where Mr. Lindquist is buried.  It listed four notables buried in it, not Mr. Lindquist, though.

Three of the others:

Lilburn Williams. (1796-1860) Governor of Missouri 1836-1840.  Member California state constitutional convention 1850

Henry Heisch (1872-1941) Medal of Honor recipient Boxer Rebellion.

Mary "Mammy" Pleasant (1812-1904)  Black abolitionist and Voodoo practitioner. One of the most feared and powerful figures of late 19th century San Francisco.

Some Interesting Stories Here.

Titanic Survivor Buried in Potter's Field in California: Eino Lindquist

From the June 9, 2012, Napa Valley (Ca) Register "Titanic survivor's grave site dedicated during Landmarks tour."

Eino Lindquist died of a stroke at Napa State Hospital in 1958 at age 66.  He is buried in a potter's field at Tulocay Cemetery with other Napa State Hospital patients who couldn't afford a marker.

His new marker reads "Eino Lindquist Titanic Sirvivor."

Eino Lindquist, a native of Finland, survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 and is buried in the potter's field in an area of unmarked graves.  Lindquist, born in 1892, came to this country in search of a better future.

He was a steelworker in Pennsylvania and New York State and traveled across much of the United States.  He died in 1958 at age 66 while a patient at Napa State Hospital.

During the late 1950s, a number of patients from the hospital who couldn't afford marked graves were buried in this 100-by-100 foot square plot of land known as Block 176.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Albany Rural Cemetery Burials

I wrote about the two, or one, Titanic survivors buried here in the last post.  I looked up the cemetery and found that Gilbert M. Tucker had been on Lifeboat No. 7 which was only half-filled.

But, there were other no=table burials at the cemetery including the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur and his wife.  Also: John Van Buren, son of President Martin Van Buren, General Philip Schuyler of the Continental Army, delegate to the Continiental Congress and later U.S. senator from New York.

John Canfield Spencer was Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury under President John Tyler.

Also, there are quite a few Civil War officers and two Medal of Honor winners from the war.


Titanic Survivor Status in Questioned

From the June 8, 2012, Albany (NY) Times Union by Paul Grondahl.

Visitors to Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands have usually been told that two Titanic survivors are buried there.  But most likely, it is just one.

In February of 2012, information that Arthur Bright, who died in 1921 in Albany at age 49 was not, in fact, a British crew member.  Most likely the Arthur Bright who was a crew member was Arthur John Bright, who died in Southampton, England in 1955 at age 86.

Michael Hornak of Poughkeepsie researched it after the other Arthur Bright came to light in 2006.  Bright was the ship's quartermaster and testified before Congress, saying the front section of the ship went down a few minutes before the stern..

But, who is buried in the grave at Albany Rural Cemetery who came to Albany at age 50 and lived at 50 Dove Street in the Center Square neighborhood before dying of tuberculosis May 21, 1921?

Definitely Gilbert M. Tucker, an 1998 Albany Academy graduate who died in 1968 was a Titanic survivor and he is buried at the cemetery.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Eleven Most Endangered Places in 2012-- Part 3

8.  ELLIS ISLAND HOSPITAL COMPLEX:    Once the largest U.S. Public Health Service in the country.  It was the "Island of Tears" for immigrants turned back.

9.  HISTOPRIC POST OFFICE BUILDINGS:  Especially the one in Geneva, Illinois.  Some 4,400 across the country are slated for closure because of downsizing.  Like the great old railroad stations, these should always be saved and repurposed.

10.  JOE GRAZIER GYM: Philadelphia.  Where he trained for his fight versus Muhammed Ali.

11.  MALCOLM X-EVA LITTLE-COLLINS HOUSE in Boston.  Built 1874 and last-known surviving boyhood home of Malcolm X which has been sitting mostly-vacant for the last thirty years.