Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mardi Gras Started in Mobile, Not Naw'lins

Mardi Gras in the United States did not start in New Orleans as many think, but rather in Mobile, Alabama in 1703.

It was revived after the Civil War when Joe Cain, fed-up with postwar misery led an impromptu parade down city states..

There are crowds, but nowhere near as bad as you find in that other city. It lasts for two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday in Mobile and throughout Mobile County. There are colorful floats manned by masked mystic societies with plenty of beads and party fun. Only, this is more family-orientated than some of the stuff that happens in that other place.

There is also a Mobile Carnival Museum at 355 Government Street and a Toomey's Mardi Gras Store with two locations.

Last Saturday, we enjoyed the Mardi Gras parade in Panama City, Florida and are planning to go over to the one at St. Andrew's later today.

Love My Mardi Gras. --Cooter

Friday, February 25, 2011

Facebook and Twitter Are Now Our Triggers

From Feb. 25th USA Today by Al Neuharth.

After the events in Egypt along with other Middle East and North African countries, it is clearly evident that the moving forces today are these two internet outlets.

Facebook has 500 million active users world wide (not me).

Twitter has more than 175 million (not me)

That compares to 46 million in the US who still subscribe to newspapers (that's me) and 7.7 to 12 million average viewers of the top four networks (that's me).

Too Far Behind to Ever Catch Up (Or Even See the Tailend). --Cooter

Mr. Jefferson's Face

From the Flashback National Geographic page.

The face that you see of Thomas Jefferson on Mt. Rushmore is actually sculptor Gutzon Borglum's second attempt on the third president's face. The first attempt, located to Washington's right, was ruined by a flaw in the granite and was blasted off in 1934.

Borglum's next attempt, to George's left, was successful and dedicated in 1936.

Much of the carving of Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt did not go as the sculptor had planned. Originally, the carvings were to go down to their waists.

I Didn't Know That. --DaCoot

There Go the Gas Prices Again

And, the sad thing is that the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa really doesn't have much to do with it. The reason those prices at the pump are going up is investors and Big Oil who see an opportunity to make some really big bucks.

Were they not buying and selling, then buying again so fast, oil would continue at its already too high price, but at least not spiking.

I can see prices going up if there is a lack of oil, or actual loss of oil, but not like this. Even back in that horrible summer of 2008, when gas went over $4 here in the US (setting the groundwork for the Super Recession), there was plenty of gas to be bought, as long as you were willing to pay for it.

An editorial in today's USA Today listed several other times the world's gas price sere shocked by foreign events:

1973 Arab Oil Embargo

1979 Revolution in Iran

1990 and 1991 Hussein's Invasion of Kuwait and the Persian Gulf War

So, Now We Have the 2011 Freedom and Democracy Excuse. --Cooter

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Death of Lt.-Col. Besby Frank Holmes

Again, going through an old issue of the World War II magazine, I came across the announcement of the death of Holmes, July 23, 2006, who had participated in the long-range mission that killed Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Col. Holmes was at a church in Honolulu nursing a hangover he had gotten two-days earlier on his 24th birthday, when he heard the bombs going off. Still dressed in his brown pin-stripe suit, he rushed to his Curtiss P-36 and managed to take off and engage the Japanese planes, but did not shoot any down.

Later in the war, he flew Bell P-39s and Curtiss P-40s during Guadalcanal. Later he was assigned P-38G Lightning.

In April 1943, intelligence was received that Admiral Yamamoto was going to visit Kahili Airfield on Bougainville Island. Holmes always claimed it was his suggestion that got the staff of Admiral Halsey to take the 400-mile mission. Holmes flew one of the sixteen P-38s that succeeded in downing Yamamoto.

The Greatest Generation. --DaCoot

A Sad Day for Admiral Leahy

I found several issues of the World War II magazine in the lounge of the Calypso Motel which is part of the Driftwood Lodge complex where we're staying. I never would have even looked at them five years ago, but since this blog is turning into more and more of a World War II one, my interest is now there.

I read an article about Admiral William Daniel Leahy who retired from the Navy in 1939, but was called upon by his friend, President Roosevelt to become ambassador to the French Vichy government after the Germans took over.

France was divided into two zones, the occupied part from Paris north and unoccupied to the south, which was supposedly its own government, but actually under German control.

It was a tough assignment, but one that Leahy gave his all.

When news of Pearl Harbor reached him, he was especially hard hit because four of the sunk or damaged vessels had been his during active duty. The battleships Nevada and California along with minelayer Oglala were sunk and the cruiser Raleigh heavily damaged.

Leahy had been a commander on the Nevada, captain of the Oglala, Rear-Admiral on the Raleigh and Admiral on the California.

Too Many Memories. --Cooter

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Like Finding Buried Treasure: Jefferson's Books

I read in Panama City Herald today that dozens of Thomas Jefferson's books were found at Washington University in St. Louis. Some of them even had handwritten notes from him, which make them all the more valuable.

Actually the number of books is 69 and the school already had five others. Librarians are searching the rest of their rare book collection for more volumes that might have belonged to the nation's third president.

The school's 74 Jefferson books ranks it as the third-largest collection in the nation after the Library of Congress and University of Virginia.

But, I have to wonder why someone hasn't looked through the collection before. You never know what you'll find in all that stuff.

Just Like Finding Sunken Treasure. --Cooter

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Are One of the Problems-- Part 2

Well, I wasn't an IPod problem, but I am a problem on the second comparison.

Blogs in 2004 numbered 3 million. By 2010, that was up to 130 million.

And I know where four of them are.

I wish I hadn't started so may, but these are all things I am interested in. But between researching, writing down and then two-finger typing, they take a real long time.

Besides this one:

Saw the Elephant-- about the Civil War
Down Da Road I Go-- about music and what I'm up to
RoadDog's Roadlog-- About travel and old roads

All blogs are on blogspot.

My niece Andrea got me into this. I'm not sure whether to thank her or be mad at her.

Another day, Another 4+ Blog Entries. --DaCoot

Some Important Folks Buried at Chicago's Rose Hill Cemetery

I found out that Mayor Levi Boone was buried at Chicago's Rose Hill Cemetery. I went to the site and found a lot of other notables are interred there as well.

JACK BRICKHOUSE-- baseball announcer
LEO BURNETT-- advertising executive
CHARLES G. DAWES-- 30th vice president of US
BOBBY FRANKS-- murder victim of Leopold and Loeb
ELISHA GRAY-- inventor and founder of Western Electric

JOHN D. HERTZ-- Rent-a-car
OTIS HINCKLEY-- co-founder of Hinckley & Schmitt
GEORGE J. SCHMITT-- the other co-founder
MANY FORMER MAYORS-- including Buckner Stith Morris, who along with Boone were imprisoned in Chicago's Camp Douglas for pro-southern sympathy during the Civil War.

OSCAR MAYER-- meatpacking
JULIUS ROSENWALD-- Sears, Rosenwald Schools
RICHARD B. OGILVIE-- governor of Illinois
RICHARD SEARS-- Sears & Roebuck
JOHN G. SHEDD-- Shedd Aquarium, president of Marshall Fields
AARON MONTGOMERY Ward-- Montgomery Ward and catalogue stores.

Some Interesting Names. --Cooter

Chicago's Lager Beer Riot-- Part 2

Continued from Feb. 1st.

You could call this the planned riot.

A huge crowd gathered, and Mayor Levi Boone (related to Daniel Boone), ordered police to clear them out of the courthouse area and nine were arrested. An armed gang from the North Side German community (probably Cub fans) decided to rescue the prisoners.

Mayor Boone held them off, partly by keeping the Clark Street drawbridge raised until he was able to assemble 200 police. He then had the bridge lowered and the mob surged forward. Shooting began and militia joined in with the mayor. The riot ended in a matter of minutes.

However, even losing this fight, the action mobilized Chicago's immigrant vote. In the March 1856, a heavy German and Irish voter turnout defeated the Nativists and the $50 liquor license immediately restored.

Chicago ever after has had a new political makeup and elections are no longer ignored. Hey, there's quite a one going on right now. Of course, in Chicago, it's the Democratic primary which is the big election. Whoever wins that will be the next mayor. Republicans or any other party has no chance.

Giving New Credence to Beer Wars. --DaCoot

I Are One of the Problems-- Part 1

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am technologically challenged as far as most are concerned. I do have a cell phone from about six years ago that I hardly know how to operate. I can't even imagine all the stuff on the new ones.

I didn't get a computer until 2000, and that one was at school. A home computer didn't come until 2004 (finally found a use for that dining room which now serves as a computer room for Liz. I have this little niche in the basement for my pc.

We even have what they call a laptop which we use on trips.

Liz is the computer person of the two of us. She knows lots more about 'putin' than I, thankfully. Whenever I have a problem, which is often, "Hey, Liz!!"

I've never used an ATM. I like my news from newspapers I hold in my hand and will sure miss them when they're gone in the near future.

In short, I'm one of those folks who hate that every technology I like is being taken away by newer technology.

The December 6, 2010, Time Magazine (we're also going to lose magazines, sigh!) had a look back at the past decade. It showed that 381,000 IPods were sold in 2002. That number was 52.3 million in 2010.

I don't have one, never had one either. I have never downloaded anything and wouldn't know how to do it anyway.

Next, See What I Am "Guilty" Of. --Cooter

Monday, February 14, 2011

Here's Your Valentine

Some happenings this date in history.

1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. Seven gangsters killed in a garage.

1946 ENIAC unveiled-- the first computer

1961 Earliest video footage of the Beatles

1962 Jackie Kennedy gives tour of the White House

2008 Shootings at Northern Illinois University. Five killed and 21 wounded by murderer who then killed himself.

That Last One Really Shook Me Up. --Cooter

Time's Milestones for the Oughts-- Part 2

Quotation marks = Time comments.


MIR SPACE STATION-- March 23, 2001-- Credit to Soviet space program.

THE CONCORDE-- Oct. 23, 2003-- Supersonic passenger jet. Well, I couldn't afford to fly on it.

THE OLDSMOBILE-- April 29, 2004-- GM halting production after 2004 line. Not your father's car.

TELEGRAMS-- Jan. 27, 2006-- "Some technologies die slow deaths. Decades after everyone stopped sending telegrams, Western Union finally discontinued the service." I never got one.

ANHEUSER BUSCH-- July 13, 2008-- "Fortunately, Bud tastes exactly the same." Hey, I'm more of a Miller fan. Didn't somebody else buy Miller?

LEHMAN BROTHERS-- Sept. 15, 2008-- Overleveraging and making risky investments "helped plunge the global financial system into chaos." And the folks who ran it ARE NOT IN JAIL!!!

PONTIAC-- I added this one. Not sure of the date, but I was always a big Pontiac fan with a '67 Tempest, '67 Firebird, '85 Firebird and two Grand Ams. But they weren't really building Excitement much at the end.

KODACHROME-- June 22, 2009-- Digital killed the Kodachrome. Now, Old Paul Simon can't sing about it anymore.

Adios and Goodbye. --Cooter

Time's Milestones for the Oughts-- Part 1

From the December 6, 2010 Time Magazine.

BIRTHS DURING THE DECADE: (In quotation marks = from Time.

WIKIPEDIA--Jan. 15, 2001-- I sure use it a lot.

IPOD-- Oct. 23, 2001-- "The ability to carry 1,000 songs in your pocket while listening to the same 30 on shuffle." Never had one, myself.

THE EURO-- Jan. 1, 2002-- "Now gone: francs, guilders, marks, lire, pesetas, drachmas, markkas, escudos." Don't like it. Much cheaper buying stuff in Europe before the Euro.

CROCS-- Fall 2002-- "This was the shoe that said, 'No need to respect me today.'" Boy, were they ugly!!

US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY-- Nov. 25, 2002-- Thanks a lot, terrorists.

FACEBOOK-- Feb. 4, 2014-- "Sometime around 2032, pictures of this weekend's kegger will be a key issue in the presidential election." Not "Faced" yet.

YOU TUBE-- April 23, 2005-- "America's id was revealed, and it was shaped like kittens." I can sure get stuck for hours looking at old 60s band videos. Who needs MTV? They don't show videos anyway, even of "old groups."

TEA PARTY-- February 2009-- "The most powerful populist movement since the Progressives." Want some sugar with your tea?

Who Says They Don't Have a Sense of Humor? --DaCoot

One Last Super Bowl Article

Finishing up the great Feb. 7th USA Today Tale of Two Football Cities.

Again, Green Bay first, Pittsburgh second.


INDIVIDUAL JERSEY SALES APRIL 2010 THROUGH PLAYOFFS: Rodgers (7th overall, 4th with women) --//-- Troy Polamalu (1st overall, 1st with women)

DEFENSE POINTS ALLOWED: No. 2 in NFL (15 a game) --//-- No. 1 in NFL (14.5 a game)

DEFENSE SACKS: 47 (tied for second in NFL) --//-- 48 No. 1 in NFL

2010 PRO BOWLERS: Chad Clifton, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson --//-- James Harrison, Maurice Pouncey and Troy Polamalu

2010 USA TODAY ALL-JOES (UNSUNG HEROES): B.J. Raji (I won't forget that interception TD return he had against the Bears) --''-- Jonathan Scott, Ike Taylor, Mike Wallace

Congrats Green Bay!! --Cooter

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Packers in Super Bowls-- Part 2

From the Feb. 7th USA Today.


1997 in New Orleans (72,301)

Score by quarters

14 00 07 00 --21 New England
10 17 08 00 --35 Green Bay

Winning coach: Mike Holmgren
MVP: Desmond Howard


1998 at San Diego (68,912)

Score by quarters

07 07 03 07 --24 Green Bay
07 10 07 07 --31 Denver

Winning coach: Mike Shanahan
MVP: Terrell Davis


2010 at Arlington, Texas

Score by quarters

00 10 07 08 --25 Pittsburgh
14 07 00 10 --31 Green Bay

Winning Coach: Mike McCarthy
MVP: Aaron Rodgers

Sure enjoyed these three games.

Way to Go Packers!! --DaCoot

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Packers in Super Bowls-- Part 1

The Packers are now 4-1 in Super Bowls.


1967 in Los Angeles (61,946)

Score by quarters

00 10 00 00 --10 Kansas City
07 07 14 07 --35 Green Bay

Winning coach: Vince Lombardi
MVP: Bart Starr


1968 in Miami (75,546)

Score by quarters

03 13 10 07 --33 Green Bay
00 07 00 07 --14 Oakland

Winning coach: Vince Lombardi
MVP: Bart Starr

So, Packers Off to a 2-0 Record at the Beginning. --Cooter

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Bears in Super Bowls

Bears record in Super Bowls is 1-1


1986 at New Orleans Super Bowl (73, 818)

Score by quarters

13 10 21 02 46 Chicago
03 00 00 07 10 New England

Winning Coach: Mike Ditka
MVP: Richard Dent


2007 at Miami (74,512)

Score by quarters

06 10 06 07 29 Indianapolis
14 00 03 00 17 Chicago

Winning coach: Tony Dungy
MVP: Payton Manning

Hey, Gross Rexman Didn't Know It Was an Important Game. --DaCoot

A Tale of Two Football Teams-- Green Bay and Pittsburgh-- Part 3

From the Feb. 7th USA Today.

Packers first, Steelers second.

CITY NICKNAMES: Titletown --//-- Steel City

LEAVING TOWN: Coach Mike McCarthy born in Pittsburgh --//-- Ex-running back Bleirt born in Green Bay neighbor Appleton.

GREAT NICKNAMES: Don Majkowski, "The Majik Man"; John "Blood" McNally; Reggie White, "The Minister of Defense." --//-- Jerome Bettis, "The Bus'; "Mean" Joe Greene; "The Steel Curtain."

CONSTANTS: 2 quarterbacks since 1992 (Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers) --//-- 3 coaches since 1969 (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin)


FANS IN THE STANDS: Lambeau Leap celebration --//-- Franco's Italian Army (for Harris)

More to Come. --Cooter

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lt. Smith's Remains Found 66 Years Later

From the Feb. 11th Sydney Morning Herald.

RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Flight Lt. Henry Smith's Spitfire was shot down June 11, 1944, five days after D-Day, while flying a mission in northern France.

He tried to crash land his damaged plane but came down in the Orne River upside-down and he apparently died strapped into his cockpit. The remains of his plane were spotted by a couple walking along the river at low tide back in November.

This April, his remains will be buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Ranville in Normandy.

There is a chance that the RAAF might be interested in the remains of the Spitfire.

He was a member of the RAAF's 453 Squadron and had married an English girl he had met in the Women's Auxiliary Force just six months before his death.

It Is Always Great When a MIA is No Longer MIA. --Cooter

Follow Up on Dorothy and Sylvia

From the previous entry.

The Buick plant in Melrose Park was constructed in 1941 as America geared up for war. Air-cooled engines, under the license of Pratt and Whitney used in B-24 Liberator Bombers were built there.

In 1946, the plant was purchased by International Harvester.

The plant still exists and is a Navistar factory now.

I came across a "Keep 'Em Flying Buick" embroidered patch from World War II that sold on e-Bay on the site. It is called "Vintage WWII Aviation Patch Keep 'Em Flying.

It has the words "Keep 'Em Flying" across the top.

In the middle are two wings on either side of the front view of an engine with propeller.

At the bottom it reads "Buick."

The patch is 4 inches across by two inches high. I went back and looked at the Shorpy photo of Sylvia and it doesn't appear to be this patch she is wearing.

The Deeper I Go. --Cooter

America's War Homefront

Checking on that great site for all those great photos, I saw one on big interest to me from the Feb. 8, 2011 picture titles "Dot and Syl: 1942.

This is a great shot of two Rosie the Riveters making the weapons needed to win World War II. The picture was taken in July 1942 and the caption reads: "Production of aircraft engines at Melrose Park Buick plant near Chicago. Hundreds of gears pass through the expert hands of Dorothy Miller and Sylvia Dreiser during their eight-hour working day in a large Midwest aircraft plant. Inspection of these vital cogs in America's war machine is a delicate task and one which requires infinite patience and precision."

The photo was by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information.

Sylvia Dreiser was wearing a small "V" pin on one side of her war clothes. The other had pins showing crossed swords and one that appears to be for the Army Air Corps. There was also a button, but I couldn't see what it said.

This Is 100% War Effort on the Home Front. --Cooter

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Football Teams: Packers and Steelers-- Part 2

Green Bay first, Pittsburgh second.

MOST FAMOUS PLAY: Bart Starr's QB sneak in 1967's "Ice Bowl" --//-- Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" in 1972 playoffs

GREAT BACKFIELD PAIRINGS: Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor --//-- Harris and Rocky Bleier

QUARTERBACKS WITH JEWELRY: Starr, 5 rings --//-- Terry Bradshaw, 4 rings

TOOTHLESS MIDDLE LINEBACKERS: Ray Nitschke --//-- Jack Lambert

DISTINCTIVE FAN PROPS: Cheeseheads --//-- Terrible Towels


COLOR SCHEMES: Green and gold, introduced in 1935, made permanent in 1959 --//-- Black and gold since 1933

NICKNAME TIED TO CITY: Green bay-based Indian Packing Co. was original sponsor --//-- Originally Pirates, then to Steelers in 1940 to represent Pittsburgh's industrial heritage

It's a GB Thing, You Wouldn't Understand. --Cooter

Fort Myers, Florida, History

From the city site.

Located on the south bank of one of the longest river names around, the Caloosahatchie and named after Col. Abraham Myers. A fort by that name was started for use during the Seminole Wars in 1850 and abandoned afterwards.

It was reoccupied by Union forces during the Civil War and abandoned at the conclusion in 1865. Settlers and their families, land speculators and Florida Crackers (name given to cowboys) moved in.

In 1885, the Town of Ft. Myers was established. It became a destination for winter folk back in the late 1800s and especially when the Royal palms Hotel was built. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison built their winter homes here.

The Tamiami Trail also caused further growth.

In the 1950s to recently, there was a huge land boom with lots of new residents and growth. Lee County (in which the town is located) and all of Southwest Florida also were affected. Of course, the recession has put a sudden halt to this growth with lots of places for sale.

In 2004, Hurricane Charley hit the area hard (folks still talk about Charley. The following year, Hurricane Wilma also struck the area.

At Least It's Warm. --DaCoot

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida

Three other buddies and I just got back from Southwest Florida from a six-day vacation. Hard to beat plane fares, car rentals and motel rooms for $468 apiece.

We were all there to enjoy some warm weather after this lousy winter, although the other three are all big-time snowmobilers (although Sir Frank earned his pathfinder award when he tried to drive through mighty cold open water back in January).

We flew from Chicago's O'Hare on the 3rd, the morning after Blizz '11, one of only few leaving that morning. Flew into the Southwest Florida Airport.

Shoveling and moving four-foot drifts less than 18 hours earlier, now stepping out into 80 degree + weather. I can live with that.

Spent most of the time in Cape Coral, with side trips to Pine and Sanibel islands and Ft. Myers Beach.

Give Me That Warmth!! --Cooter

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Tale of Two Football Teams: Green Bay and Pittsburgh-- Part 1

From the Feb. 7th USA Today.

Packers first, Steelers second.

OVERALL NFL TITLES: 13 (4 Super Bowls in 5 appearances --//-- 6 (all super bowls in 8 appearances

SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES: 5 --//-- 8 (tied with Dallas for most)

CONFERENCE REPRESENTATIVES: 10th different NFC team in ten years --//-- One of 4 AFC teams in last ten years

POSTSEASON VICTORIES: 28 --//-- 33 (tied with Dallas for most-ever

HALL OF FAMERS: 26 --//-- 28

RETIRED NUMBERS: 5 --//-- 1 (Ernie Stauter's #70)

More to Come if I Don't Lose the Paper. --Cooter

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Congratulations Green Bay Packers

Both Liz and myself are Packer fans UNLESS they play the Bears. This drives our friends crazy since they take the usual Bear line where you HATE the Packers and cheer for any team playing them.

Actually, I used to hate the Packers, but back in '89, we saw the Magic Man pull so many games out that I became a fan.

We look at it as we have to support the NFC and the North Division (I still tend to think in terms of the Central Division). You have to support the local teams.

This is the fourth time the Packers have won the Super Bowl. They won the first two, then XI (? I think). They lost the next one so this is the first time back in about 12 years. The Brett Favre era is officially over.

Thank goodness Pittsburgh had all those turnovers.

Way to Go Da Pack!! --Cooter

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy 110th Birthday to Frank Buckles, Our Last World War I Veteran-- Part 2

Continued from yesterday.

Bill Lohman visited Mr. Buckles last year and chatted about one of Buckle's favorite people, Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. "How many people can you talk to who actually knew Pershing when he was leader of US forces in Europe in World War I?"

An age lie got Missouri farm boy Buckles into service at age 16 so he was just a "kid" when he met Pershing who noticed his accent and asked where he had been born. Buckles told him and Pershing replied, "Thirty-three miles, as the crow flies, from where I was born."

Buckles wanted the quickest route to the front and joined the ambulance service and shipped off to England in late 1917, arriving in France a few months before the end of fighting. After the war, he escorted German prisoners back to their country.

He wasn't so lucky in World War II. Although no longer in the military at the time, he was working as a civilian in the steamship business when the Japanese captured the Philippines and he was held prisoner for more than three years.

Mr. Buckles is very active in trying to get a World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.

Quite a Gentleman. --DaCoot

The Other Two World War I Survivors

Yesterday, I had an entry about today's 110th birthday of America's last World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, whom I have written about several times.

The other two survivors are Claude Choules and Florence Green, both in the British military.


Born March 3, 1901, age 109, lives in Australia, served in the Royal Navy.

Last-living combatant of World War I, last seaman, last veteran to have served in both world wars. Joined the RN in 1916 and last witness to Germany's Naval surrender. Moved to Australia in 1926 and served in the Royal Australian Navy in World War II. Lives in Perth, Western Australia.


Born February 19, 1901, age 109, lives in England and served in the Royal Air Force and Women's Royal Air Force.

Joined in 1918 and served as a waitress in the Women's Royal Air Force. Lives in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Both have articles about them in Wikipedia.

The Passing of a Generation. --DaCoot

Chicago's Lager Beer Riot-- Part 1

From the Encyclopedia of Chicago.

This little-known part of Chicago's history is regarded as the city's first civil disturbance and marked the beginning of political partisanship in city elections.

On March 6, 1855, a "Law and Order" coalition swept city elections. New Mayor Levi Boone (related to Daniel Boone) and the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, Nativists (Know-Nothing Party) immediately hiked liquor licenses to $300 and shortened the term of licenses from one year to three months. Expecting resistance to the move, they tripled the size of the police force, requiring members to wear uniforms for the first time.

They also enforced the ordinance requiring closure of taverns on Sunday. These moves were specifically to provoke German and Irish residents (now, there's a big surprise).

It worked. Germans organized to resist the license hikes and raised funds to pay fines for non-compliance with Sunday closings.

City courts were clogged with violators and a test case scheduled for April 21st, thereby setting a date for the anticipated riot.

What D'ya Mean No Drinking on Sunday??!! --Cooter

World War II Airman's Remains Come Home

From the Jan. 30, 2011, Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The remains of Staff Sgt. Berthold A. Chastain returned home Jan. 29th from World War Ii after being missing for nearly sixty years. His remains arrived in Atanta and were escorted by motorcycles from the Georgia and Tennessee Patriot Guards and state troopers.

The group stopped first in Dalton, Georgia, where Chastain was born in 1916 and then continued to Cleveland, Tennessee. Onlookers stood and waved flags along the way.

He was the tail gunner in a B-24 bomber which crashed October 23, 1943, on the South Pacific island of New Guinea. After searching in vain for the crash site, the US Army Air Corps declared the twelve-member crew dead on October 24, 1944.

In 2003, the POW/MIA group learned that a New Guinea resident had found a potential crash site, but it still took years to find the place, find evidence and identify the remains.

Tulie Mae Chastain Swilling, his daughter, was just a small child when he died.

Five Chastain brothers served in the war and brother Clifford also flew in a B-24. he was captured by the Japanese and held captive for two years, but returned home and is still living.

The continual search for our missing military personnel is a credit to the United States.

Kudos to the Government. --DaCoot

A Short History of US Wars-- Part 3

From the Jan. 6, 2011, Chicago Tribune

VIETNAM WAR-- (Began August 1964)-- After a US warship was allegedly attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Johnson ordered air strikes. US troops arrived in South Vietnam the following year. After peace talks failed in 1968, the US began to withdraw, with the last ground troops leaving in 1973. The war sharply divided America.

PERSIAN GULF WAR-- (Began Jan. 17, 1991)-- Iraq invaded Kuwait the previous year, causing a US-led coalition to threaten Iraq if it did not leave. When it did not, the coalition pushed the Iraqi military out of Kuwait and bombed the infrastructure throughout Iraq, which ultimately led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The operation lasted until Feb. 28.

THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN-- (Began Oct. 7, 2001)-- After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the US demanded that Afghanistans's ruling Taliban arrest members of al-Qaida, which the US blamed for the attacks. When the Taliban refused, US and British troops launched an invasion, culminating in the removal of the Taliban and the installation of a US-friendly government. Conflict between Taliban insurgents and US and coalition forces has continued.

The public initially supported the invasion but has since soured on the operation and its increasing cost to taxpayers.

THE WAR IN IRAQ-- (Began March 20, 2003)-- After President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2002 repeatedly accused Iraq of continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction and plotting with terrorists against the US and its allies, the US launched an invasion. US combat operations ended in August.

Detractors say that the real reason for the invasion had more to do with Bush's interest in obtaining oil-drilling contracts for US firms. Public support for the war was initially high, but it declined as US casualties continued to mount and evidence of the mass destruction weapons never surfaced.

So, Now You Know About the US Wars. --Cooter