Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fiftieth Anniversary of 1963-- Part 1: The Move to Illinois

From the Dec. 2012 AARP Bulletin.

Hard to believe it's been fifty years now, a half century.

Back in 1963, I moved from the South (North Carolina) to the North (Illinois) and I've lived in Illinois ever since with the exception of one year in Georgia.

I was very concerned when Dad said we were moving to Illinois as Quaker Oats had transferred him to the home office at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  I remember my 5th grade social studies book (in Greenville) had one picture of Chicago, and it was of the slums and I though we were going to live there..

Sure glad we moved to Rolling Meadows, a northwest suburb and rented a house on Kirchoff Road (corner of Flicker Lane).  Definitely not a slum.  We rapidly made friends and had some great dirt clod fights in some nearby apartments that were being built and wars in a field across the road.

I attended Cardinal Drive School for sixth grade with my sister Julie who was in first grade.  Brother Bob attended Kimball Hill School for 4th grade.

We had just a short walk to some great stores.  We used to collect soda  bottles for 2 cents a pop and I used my money to buy HO Scale Civil War soldiers at Ace Hardware, 48 for 49 cents.  There was also a huge discount store called Topps.  We used to catch little fish in a nearby pond and I even learned how to ice skate a little bit.

Hey, I Liked It.  --Cooter   Fiftieth

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Liberty Island Still Closed with Superstorm Damage

From the Dec, 12, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Richard Simon.

Overlooked often in the damage done by Oct. 29th Superstorm Sandy is its impact on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, where the Statue of Liberty is located.  The iconic statue is still closed to the public, joining the Washington Monument in D.C., still closed after the Aug. 23, 2011, earthquake.

The statue and its pedestal, an old fort, came through the storm in great shape, but the docks used by boats bring visitors were seriously damaged and more than half of the walkway bricks were dislodge.

Liberty Island is among the federal sites recommended for the $60 billion Sandy Recovery measure the White House sent to Congress the week before.  The bill calls for $348 million for park service sites., of which nearly 70 were affected, including Ellis Island and Fire Island National Seashore.

Open That Lady Again.  --DaCoot

Presidential Libraries and Museums-- Part 3

From the Dec. 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Early read on Obama library sites."

I will write about these libraries in more detail on my Roadlog Blog, but here is a list of the presidential libraries/museums and locations:

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT--  Hyde Park, NY

HARRY S. TRUMAN--  Independence, Mo.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER--  Abilene, Kansas

HERBERT HOOVER--  West Branch, Iowa

LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON--  Austin, Tx

JOHN F. KENNEDY--  Boston

GERALD R. FORD--  Ann Arbor, Michigan

JIMMY CARTER--  Atlanta, Ga.

RONALD REAGAN--  Simi Valley, Cal.

RICHARD NIXON--  Yorba Linda, Cal.

GEORGE BUSH--  College Station, Tx.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON--  Little Rock, Ark.

GEORGE W, BUSH--  Dallas, Tx.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN--  Springfield, Ill.

Get her History Here.  --Cooter

Monday, January 28, 2013

Top O' The Strip Observation Tower in Panama City Beach

From Lost Parks.com and other sources.

This 200-foot observation tower opened in 1966 and offered a panoramic view of the beach before closing in 1995.  It stood directly on the sugar white sands of Panama City Beach and right across the road from the Miracle Strip Amusement Park.

Opened in April 1966 and was demolished December 8, 1995.  Deterioration from the years of salt spray and Hurricane Opal proved its undoing.

The Beach Tower Motel was later built on its site (and still stands today, we went looking for it).

In the 1980s, radio station WPFM (The Great 108) had studios at the top.

The Miracle Strip Amusement Park opened in March 1963 and ran for 40 years.

Too Bad They Didn't Leave It, Although Today It Would Be Dwarfed By the Huge Towers Hotels and Resorts.  --Cooter

What They Said About Old-Time Panama City Beach

From the January 11, 2013, Panama City.com

People writing in with their memories:

**  This was back when you could ride down the "strip" aka Front Beach Road, and actually see the beach as opposed to now when all you see is the front of all the condos blocking the view.

**  I miss seeing the tower, hated it when it had to be taken down.

**  One cent all you can eat breakfast at the bottom of the tower!

**  Remember a picture of me and my dad on top of the space needle.  I was about five years old.  Miss those days!

**  I was thinking the exact same thing as the first person when I saw this picture.  I Miss the old PCB.... PROGRESS, PFFT!!!!!!!!

**   My first helicopter ride was at a landing pad right beside the tower in the early seventies!

That's What They Said.  --DaCoot

The Old-Time Panama City Beach, Florida-- Part 2

Continued from January 15, 2013.

Dozens of potential models were photographed  and Melody may was told she had been chosen to be the one.  That surprised her as she thought that many of the others were prettier than she was.  They told she got it for "two reasons, your smile and your legs."

During the next few years she was photographed in many PCB spots like Jungle  Land (which is the volcano portion of  Alvin's Island Magic Mountain store), on top of the Miracle Strip Observation Tower (which once stood  near the intersection of Front Beach Road and Alf Coleman Drive) and at various other Miracle Strip Amusement Park  attractions.

A great shot of her was from behind as she peered at the Observation Tower.

Her mother was an expert seamstress and made all her costumes.

She liked animals which was fortunate as she posed with  a bunny, an ocelot, a baby billy goat and even a 14-foot alligator named Coochie.

She was never paid much for the photos.

It Was Another PCB Era.  --Cooter

Friday, January 25, 2013

Britain's World War I River Class Destroyers

From Wikipedia.

After 1913, they were redesignated the E-Class of destroyers.  They saw extensive use during World War I  These destroyers were different from previous ones as more emphasis was placed on seaworthiness instead of high speed in good weather.  All were named for British rivers, including the HMS Garry which I wrote about in the last two posts.

They were from 221 to 233 feet long, crewed by 70, capable of doing 25.5 knots and mounted one 12-pdr. and five 6-pdr. guns and had two torpedo tubes.

All of them were broken up after the war.

Cooter

The HMS Garry

Commanded by Charles Lightoller in the previous post, however, I came across mention of its having an engagement with another German submarine previous to that.

There is some conflicting information though.

One source said the Garry was involved with the sinking of the UB-18, on December 9, 1917.  The UB-18 had had a very successful career, having been on 31 patrols and sunk 130 ships (both numbers seem a bit high to me).

The UB-18 was rammed by the trawler Ben Lawer in the English Channel and sank.  Evidently, the Garry was in the vicinity.

The Great War Forum said this:  The River Class destroyer HMS Garry was involved in the ramming of the U-18 which was reconnoitering Scapa Flow when it was located and rammed by the armed trawler Dorothy Grey which damaged the ship's periscope and hydroplanes.

It dove to the bottom, surfaces and was rammed again, this time by the Garry, commanded by W.W. Wilson.  It sank to the bottom again, surfaced and began drifting helplessly.  The Garry came alongside and rescued all but one.

The U-18 was scuttled by her own crew and sank off Muckle Sherry.

I'm Not Sure of the Correct Story.  --DaCoot

"Lights" Sinks U-110 By Ramming

From Wikipedia.

The continuing saga of Charles Lightoller, highest-ranking officer of the Titanic to survive.  During World War I, he was on the Oceanic when it sank.  Then he commanded torpedo boat HMTB 117 when it battled a zeppelin.  Then he commanded the HMS Falcon when it was sunk accidentally by another British ship.

From there, he was given command of the River Class destroyer HMS Garry which rammed and sank the U-110 in the North Sea on July 19, 1918.  Of the 36 crew members of the German ship, there were no survivors.  However, the Garry was damaged that it sank at its dock after returning from the fight. 

The Garry was launched 21 March 1905 and sold for breaking up 22 October 1919.

So, Lightoller was on the Titanic, involved in a ship to airship fight, commanded a ship sunk by another ship and finally in command when his ship rammed a submarine and sank it before his own ship sank.

Quite a life's story.  And, then there was that Dunkirk thing and his yacht becoming a museum ship.

That's Called An Interesting Life.  --Cooter

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Presidential Libraries and Museums-- Part 2

One thing, though, landing one is not a cheap proposition.  Clinton's library cost $165 million.  The George W. Bush Foundation raised more than $300 million for his.  A law passed by Congress requires foundations to p;ace 60% of its cost in an endowment to offset the cost of maintenance once it opens.

Some think the cost of Obama's library could pass $500 million.

Whatever the cost, where there is a library, economic growth follows.  Some of the libraries attract 200,000 to 300,000 visitors a year.  That means tourism money.  The Clinton library opened in a grungy part of town, but as a result there has been some $2 billion in new projects in the area.

A  The Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois, is not part of the National Archives and owned by the state and has the highest attendance of all presidential libraries.  Attendance has declined in recent years but it still attracts 300,000 visitors a year.  Officials at the library figure it brings in about $24 million a year in revenue to the city.

A List and Locations of Presidential Libraries Next.  --Cooter

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Presidential Libraries and Museums-- Part 1

Continuing from the previous Chicago Tribune article.

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, affiliated with the University of Texas in Austin, set the standard for research facilities in 1971, when it opened with 45 million pages of presidential documents and 2,000 oral history interviews.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, opened in 2004 and holds more than 78 million pages, 2 million photographs and 12,500 videotapes.

Since the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum opened in 1979, every presidential library has had some affiliation with a major university.  It is adjacent to the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts.  The Gerald R. Ford Library is on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The George H.W. Bush Library is at Texas A&M University at College Station and the George W. Bush Library will open in April on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The University of Hawaii, where President Obama's parents attended school definitely would like to have it.  But, the University of Chicago, where Obama was a member of the law school faculty for 12 years is widely considered a front-runner.

More to Come.  --DaCoot

Chicago Chicago Going for the Obama Presidential Library and Museum

From the December 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Getting an early read on Obama library sites" by Dahleen Glanton.

One possible site mentioned in Chicago would be where the old Michael Reese Hospital once stood, now an overgrown 37-acre of land in historic Bronzeville, hub of black culture in the city.  Supporters would like to see Obama's library and museum there.  The "area tells the story of Chess records, gospel music, blues and jazz electrified by Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters," said Harold Lucas, president of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council in Bronzeville.  This area was also the birthplace of Obama's political career.

The president has not commented on location, however. Every president since Herbert Hoover has built their library in their home state.  For Obama, that would be either Illinois or Hawaii where he was born.

Of course, wherever it is built, it brings prestige and economic vitality.  There is money to be made.

I'm Hoping for Chicago, of Course.  --Cooter

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Deaths: Dear Abby-- Oscar

PAULINE FRIEDMAN PHILLIPS, 94

Died Jan. 16, 2013.  Better known as Abigail Van Buren, writer of the Dear Abby advice column for decades.  Lots of folks read her column.  I didn't most of the time.  But if I was waiting somewhere and had finished all the articles I wanted to read in the paper, here I come, Abby.

Actually, I first heard about it on Lin Braemer's show on WXRT when he played John Prine's great "Dear Abby" song.  At first, though, I thought John Prine, one of my favorites, had died.


JACK KLUGMAN, 90

Starred in two TV shows I always watched, "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy, M.E.."

I always loved the cops reeling when they saw the body on the table at the beginning of the show.  And, then there was the rumpled Oscar Madison trying to exist with anal-retentive Felix.

Sure enjoyed Jack Klugman.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Take the Oath of Office Quiz-- Part 3

Last part.  Answers below.


8.  WHICH PRESIDENT ISSUED THE OATH OF OFFICE TO TWO OF HIS SUCCESSORS?

A)  George Washington,  B)  John Quincy Adams,  C)  William Howard Taft


9.  WHO WAS SWORN IN ON A BIBLE WRITTEN IN A MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

A)  Thomas Jefferson,  B)  Franklin D. Roosevelt,  C)  John F. Kennedy


10.  WHICH PRESIDENT WAS GIVEN THE OATH OF OFFOCE BY HIS OWN FATHER?

A) John Quincy Adams,  B)  Calvin Coolidge,  C)  George W. Bush




ANSWERS

8.  C.  Taft was appointed chief justice in 1921, eight years after being president and administered to Coolidge in 1925 and Hoover in 1929.

9.  B.  Roosevelt was sworn in on an old faily Bible written in Dutch at all four inaugurations.

10.  B.  Coolidge was sworn in by his father, a justice of the peace, at the Coolidge family homestead in rural Vermont after he learned that President Harding had died.

Some Real Hard Ones Here.  --DaCoot

Take the Oath of Office Quiz-- Part 2

Answers below.

4.  BLACK SOLDIERS FIRST MARCHED IN WHOSE INAUGURATION PARADE?

A) Abraham Lincoln's,  B)  Ulysses S. Grant's,  C) Theodore Roosevelt's


5.  WHICH CHIEF JUSTICE ADMINISTERED THE MOST PRESIDENTIAL OATHS?

A)  John Jay,  B)  John Marshall,  C)  Earl Warren


6.  INAUGURATION DAY WAS OFFICIALLY CHANGED FROM MARCH 4 TO JAN. 20 THANKS TO THE PASSAGE OF THE 20TH AMENDMENT IN 1933?  WHY?

A)  It often rained on March 4,  B)  Congress did not want the inauguration to fall during Lent,  C)  The transition period between election and inauguration was deemed too long.


7.  WHICH PRESIDENT TOSSED THE SUPER BOWL COIN THE SAME DAYS AS HIS SWEARING-IN? 

A)  Richard Nixon,  B)  Gerald Ford,  C)  Ronald Reagan






ANSWERS

4.  A)  Lincoln's second inauguration in 1865.  (I forgot about the second one and went with Grant.)

5.  B.  Marshall administered it nine times from Jefferson to Jackson.  (I didn't know he was chief justice that long.)

6.  The old March 4th date had been chosen when travel and communication was much slower.  This became a real situation in FDR's first election in 1932.  (I got his one right considering the possible answers.)

7.  C.  ON Jan. 20, 1985, Reagan took the oath privately in the White House and then went to the Map Room to flip the coin on live TV via satellite.  The 49ers won the flip and the game.  (No clue for this one.  Possibly Reagan or Ford as both played college football.)

Take the Oath of Office Quiz-- Part 1

From the Jan. 20th Parade Magazine.

What with this seeming to be the day for it, even though they were officially sworn in yesterday.  I took the ten question quiz and got five right (three that I knew and two good guesses).  Answers below.

1.  IN WHICH CITY DID THE FIRST INAUGURATION TAKE PLACE?
A) Richmond, Va.,  B) New York City,  C) Philadelphia


2.  WHICH PRESIDENT GAVE THE LONGEST INAUGURAL ADDRESS?
A)  Bill Clinton,  B) George Washington,  C)  William Henry Harrison


3.  WHO WAS THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE FROM A WOMAN?

A) Lyndon B. Johnson,  B) Ronald Reagan,  C) George H.W. Bush





1.  B.  New York City was the temporary capital when Washington took his oath April 30, 1789.

2.  C.  Harrison's 1841 speech was more than 8,000 words and took nearly two hours to deliver on a cold and windy day.  He fell ill and died one month later.  (The shortest inaugural address was Washington's second at just 135 words.)

3.  A.  After Kennedy's assassination, Johnson was sworn in on Air Force One by Sarah T. Hughes, a U.S. district judge.

I Got All Three of These Right.  --Cooter

Deaths: Pappy-- RSS-- Whorehouse

CHARLES DURNING, 89

Died Dec. 24, 2012.  Called the King of the Character Actors.  In such movies as "The Sting," Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and I especially liked his role as Governor Pappy O'Daniel in "O Brother Where Art Thou."

Even more impressive was his World War II service.  He was in the first wave of soldiers to hit the beach at D-Day and the only member of his unit to survive.  There, he killed several German soldiers and was wounded in the leg.  Later he was bayoneted by a young German soldier and killed him with a rock.  He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and survived a prison massacre.


AARON SWARTZ, 26

Died Jan. 11, 2013, of suicide.  Co-founder of Reddit and helped develop the software behind the RSS feeds, a mighty handy thing to have.  I use it a lot.


LARRY KING, 83

Died Dec. 20, 2012.  Writer and playwright whose 1974 article for Playboy Magazine became the Broadway musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and the 1982 movie with Charles Durning.


.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Lights" and the Falcon: The Continuing Story of Charles Lightoller-- Part 2

The Falcon had a turtleback bow and a big bridge which had been rebuilt after a German shell from a Belgian coast battery scored a direct hit and killed the former captain and eight men.

The ship carried 80 tons of coal and was manned by a crew of 60 men.

When not on U-boat patrol, the Falcon was continually crossing the English Channel escorting troop and supply ships.  At other times, the versatile ship could be found laying mines off the Belgian coast.

The Falcon's weaponry included depth charges, a 12-pdr. gun on the bow, five 6-pdrs. and two 18-inch torpedo tubes.

On April 1, 1918, the ship was escorting a 40-ship convoy when the trawler John Fitzgerald struck  the Falcon amidship and  almost cut it in two.  Lightoller must have had thoughts of the Titanic again at this point.  "Lights" transferred all the crew but three to the trawler and remained on the Falcon until it sank and then he spent 30 minutes in the stormy seas until the Fitzgerald picked them up.

He was later cleared of blame at a court martial.

A Real Survivor, That "Lights."  --DaCoot

"Lights" and the Falcon: The Continuing Story of Charles Lightoller-- Part 1

For the whole story, see www.divernetxtra.com/weeks/falcon599.htn.

The wreck of the HMS Falcon is 60 meters deep and broken in two and has recently been discovered.  It is located 29 miles from Bridlington in East Yorkshire.

Charles Lightoller's nickname was "Lights."  Because of his efforts on the Titanic, six boatloads of women and children survived.

He was first officer on the Oceanic, when it wrecked with no loss of life on Shaold's Reef off Foula, Shetland.

The Falcon was an old three-funnel C-Class destroyer launched in 1899.  It was 220 feet long, had a beam of 21 feet and weighed 375 tons. and could go as fast as 30-knots for short bursts.  However, its strength amidship was always questioned.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Friday, January 18, 2013

Top Ten British Inventions That Changed the World

From the July 10, 2012, Listverse.

10.  USA
9.  Nearly every modern sport
8.  Newton's Laws
7.  Programmable computer--  First one by Charles Babbage in the 1820s, the Difference Engine in 1822.
6.  World Wide Web--  not to be confused with the Internet

5.  Television--  First publicly demonstrated TV by John Logic Baird on Jan. 26, 1926.  The first color one was in 1928.
4.  Steam locomotive--  Richard Trevitchick in 1804
3.  Theory of Evolution--  Charles Darwin
2.  Telephone--  by Alexander graham Bell patented in 1876.
1.  English language, second most spoken after Mandarin.

Bloody Well English.  --Cooter

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Titanic's Second Officer, Charles Lightoller-- Part 2

Continued from Dec. 24, 2012.

After the war, Lightoller couldn't find a seagoing job because of the Titanic.  He wrote his autobiography "The Titanic and Other Ships."  It was selling well, but pulled because of a comment on the Marconi operator.

To fill his time, he purchased his own private yacht and named it the Sundowner on which he made lots of cruises on the 58-foot long and 12.6 beam ship. 

On May 31, 1940, the Sundowner was requisitioned by the Admiralty.   Lightoller , age 66, captained the ship to Dunkirk where he avoided enemy shells and rescued 130 soldiers.  He later recalled that the small boat's biggest threat was from the wakes of  destroyers.

Lightoller died in 1952 and the boat was turned over to Ramsgate Maritime Museum where it was turned into a museum ship.

His wife Sylvia was at the helm when the Sundowner led an armada of little ships on the 25th anniversary of Dunkirk.

Quite a Story and There Is More to Come.  --Cooter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Old-Time Panama City Beach-- Part 1

From the Jan. 11, 2013, Panama City (Fl) News Herald "Picture Perfect: 1960s beach postcard model reflects upon a simpler time" by Tony Simmons.

As I sit here at the Driftwood Lodge which is just  celebrating its 55th year and is one of the last two-story (well, and a cabana level right by the beach where I'm typing away right now) mom-and-pop places along the beach.  Directly to the west of us is the 22-story Calypso condominium complex, one of the many skyscrapers now along the beach.  So right in our little section, you have the old right next to the new.

This was a two-page spread in the Panama City.com section and featured lots of photos of Melody May at various spots around the long-gone 1960s beach.

Back in 1965, "Front Beach Road was called 'The Miracle Strip' and an observation tower dominated the sky, overlooking an amusement park, some small mom-and-pop motels, and miles of pristine sand dunes."

In 1965, 18-year-old Melody May had just graduated from Bay High School.  She and her sisters went to Holiday Lodge where a photographer was going to pick someone for Panama City Beach publicity.  PCB's Economic Development Association, forerunner of today's Convention and Visitors Bureau was going to make postcards for use in pamphlets, newspapers and magazines to help promote PCB as a vacation destination.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Songs and Performances From Woodstock

Here is a list of the songs from the Time Magazine article:

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS--  Joe Cocker

I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER--  Sly & the Family Stone

SOUL SACRIFICE--  Santana

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER--  Jimi Hendrix

SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES--  Crosby, Stills & Nash

SOMEBODY TO LOVE--  Jefferson Airplane

THE LETTER--  The Incredible String Band

I PUT A SPELL ON YOU--  Creedence Clearwater Revival

SIMPLE SONG OF FREEDOM--  Tim Hardin 

JOE HILL--  Joan Baez

I sure would have liked to see that CCR song.

Definitely Not in  Woodstock, Illinois.  --Cooter

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It Was Three Days of Peace, Love and, Oh Yes, Music

And I didn't get to go to it, but sure saw the movie a bunch of times and wore out two  of those triple disc album sets.

And, they sure had some big stars, but three of the biggest acts: The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan declined to perform.  Some of the bands were extremely stoned,  like the Grateful Dead, and then there was that horrific Canned Heat effort.

According to the Time article, it was clear that no one really knew what they were doing and that was because no one had ever done it before.  But, by the end of the second day, people were getting the hang of it and by the third day, things were moving along nicely.

Performing live for just the second time, Crosby, Stills & Nash went onstage at 4 AM.  Jimi Hendrix played before just about 25,000 when he did that "Star-Spangled Banner."  And, then there was that Joe Cocker on that "With a Little Help From My Friends."  That was like no performance I had ever seen.

The Best of Woodstock Next.  --Cooter

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Best-Ever Music Festival I Never Went To: Woodstock

From the August 2009 Time Magazine "Taking Stock" by Josh Tyrangel.

On the 40th anniversary.

The article said a lot of other folk didn't get there because of the massive traffic jam.  I didn't get to it because I thought it was in Woodstock, Illinois, (I lived in Palatine, Illinois, at the time) and went looking there.  Max Yasgur's farm was in upstate New York.

I see that good old Rhino Records, now Entertainment Group, put out a six disc set of 77 tracks, many of which were thought to be lost.  I'd personally really love to hear the set by my favorite group back in those days, CCR.

They say the eight hours of sound represents a fifth of the overall concert and that the first half of the festival was "honkingly bad."  Richie Havens' "Freedom (Motherless Child)" was a song he improvised on stage as the next artists were stuck in traffic.

I Want To Take You Higher.  --Cooter

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Top Ten Frightful Killing Firsts-- Part 2

5.  FIRST RECORDED POISONING--  Socrates

4.  FIRST USE OF DNA TESTING TO CONVICT--  1987, Britain's Robert Melius

3.  FIRST BROADCAST ASSASSINATION--  Lee Harvey Oswald.  I was watching TV when it happened.  Sure couldn't believe what I was seeing.

2.  FIRST LETHAL INJECTION--  1982, Charles Brooks in Texas.

1.  FIRST CHILD SERIAL KILLER--  Mary Bell, age 11, murdered two boys.

The Real Killing Fields.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top Ten Frightful Killing Firsts-- Part 1

From the Jan. 9, 2013, Listverse by Carlissa McDonald.

Always interesting to read this great website.  They have more information and pictures so worth checking out at www.listverse.com.

10.  FIRST CAR BOMBING ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT--  Early 1900s, Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Ottoman Empire in early 1900s.

9.  FIRST USE OF FIREARM IN ASSASSINATION--  James Hamilton in Scotland in the 1500s.

8.  FIRST PERSON KILLED BY A ROBOT--  Robin Williams at the Ford Motor Plant.

7.  FIRST FEMALE MASS MURDERER--  Elizabeth Bathory

6.  FIRST INSANITY PLEA TO AVOID EXECUTION--  Alvin Ford in 1974.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Staying at the Mom and Pop Motels

We are currently in a two-week visit to Florida starting with three days in South Florida at Hollywood Beach for the Orange Bowl game (our alma, NIU was playing FSU) at the Caroline Inn.  Then two nights in Clearwater Beach at the North Sunrise Resort.

Saturday and Sunday was at the Buccaneer Inn on St. George Island and now, we're at the Driftwood Lodge on Panama City Beach. 

As I type away here at the table, it is in the lower 60s and sunny with the waves of the Gulf of Mexico hitting those white sandy beaches about fifty yards away.  I'll somehow have to learn to live with this.

The first two places we stayed at on the trip were built in the 40s.  The Buccaneer probably in the 60s and now, I'd say the place was built in the 50s.

So, We're Staying Historically Speaking.  --Cooter

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bill Leaves Out D.C. World War I Memorial

From the Dec. 31,2012, Washington Times by Tom Howell.

Congress approved a bill Monday, Dec. 31st calling for an observance of the upcoming centennial of World War I, or First World War as it is also referred to, especially in Europe.  That would be 2014-2018 overall, but 2017-2018 for actual U.S. involvement.

However, part of the earlier December House bill called for a memorial in D.C.'s National Mall, and the Senate didn't pass that part, primarily because of the efforts of the two Missouri senators.  The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, will be redesignated as the "National World War I Museum Memorial."

A commission will be set up for the centennial.

I Still Think There Should Be Some Sort of Memorial on the Mall.  --Cooter

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It Was the 79th Orange Bowl

All the pomp and pageantry that you could want, other than perhaps the Rose Bowl, right here in South Florida.

And, boy, they sure never missed a shot to relieve you of some of your money.  Starting with $75 and up tickets (we paid $155 for ours.  I've never spent that much for a sporting event).  Then, there was the $30 to park.  I'm not even going into the cost of drinks and food inside (Well, we had an alumni reception which came with food, but that was $50 apiece as well.)

Hey, South Florida, some of us didn't get rich during the economy meltdown.

Great fun, though, and quite a show.  The Air Force cadets parachuting in with Huskie, Seminole, US flags and the game ball was impressive to start the game.  And, quite a spectacular half-time show with country singer Jake Owens.

Long game though.  It was nearly 1:00 AM before it was over.  And, I though last year's Go-Daddy Bowl ending at midnight was late.

Too Bad the Score Couldn't Have Been Better.  --Cooter