Monday, June 30, 2014

Female Army Doctor Ollie Bennett Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Ollie Josephine Bennett was an Army doctor born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1873 and always wanted to be a doctor.  She met a man when she was 16 and eloped with him with his promise that he'd put her through medical school.

She was a doctor when World War I started for the United States and signed a contract with the U.S. Army as a contract surgeon.

The army at the time didn't have a uniform for female doctors and she was asked by the quartermaster general to design one.

Her job was to supervise the health and care of 1,100 female employees of the Army and she had tents set up alongside the National Mall in Washington, D.C..

She trained to go to France, but the war ended before she could go.

She is considered the first female medical doctor commissioned by the Army.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Other Ships Sunk Off NC Coast June 1918

June 21st:  USS SCHURZ (SMS GEIER), collided with SS Florida and sank.
June 26th:  NAT MEADER, schooner, sank off Cape Hatteras.
June 29th:  HATTIE CAGE tug, sank near Nags Head, 1 killed.


World War I U-boat Attacks Off NC Coast June 1918

From site.

While looking for ships sunk off the North Carolina coast during World War II, I was surprised to see some sunk during World War I, and credited to the U-151.

June 5th:  HARPATHIAN, freighter, torpedoed and sunk by U-151..
June 5th:  VINLAND, freighter, boarded and scuttled by U-151.
June 8th:  VINDEGGEN, freighter, boarded and scuttled by U-151.
June 9th:  PINER DEL RIO, freighter, shelled and sunk by U-151
June 10th:  HEINRICH LUND, freighter, shelled and sunk by U-151

I imagine the U-151 was either getting low on torpedoes or out of them toward the end which would explain the non-torpedo attacks toward the end.  Some research showed this was near the end of its highly successful American cruise.


A Day At Petersen Farm: Welcome to the 1950s-- Part 3

**  Dale and Roy Rogers
**  A Soviet rocket hit the moon
**  1956:  the opening of McHenry (IL.) Hospital
88  UNIVAC--  Universal Automatic Computer.  Mid-1950s computers sold to businesses took up the space of an entire room.


A Day At Petersen Farm: Welcome to the 1950s-- Part 2

**1955:  Ray A. Kroc opens his first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.  That would be the first McDonald's as we know them today.
**  Gas Price was 21-23 cents a gallon
**  A 1957 Thunderbird cost $3,408
**  Play-Dog modeling compound came out

1951 grocery Store Prices:
**  10 lb. bag of potatoes--  33 cents
**  1 lb. strawberries--  44 cents, sliced and sugared
**  1 lb. Beef chuck roast--  69 cents
**  12 oz. peas--  19 cents

Wouldn't it be nice to have those prices today...and the money we have today.


Friday, June 27, 2014

A Day at Petersen Farm: Welcome to the 1950s-- Part 1

This past Sunday, Liz and I went to Peterson Farm, a farmstead dating back to the 1840s in McHenry, Illinois, for their annual "Day At the Farm."    It was a very hot and muggy day, but at least we didn't have any rain which we have been getting a lot of these last two weeks.

They had a good-sized crowd.

We were handed a flyer with some 1950s facts.  Both Liz and I were born in 1951 and grew up in that generation.  It is hard to believe that Harry S. Truman was president when we were born.  That makes her pretty old.

Here are some 1950s stuff:

** 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower, hero of D-Day and World War II was elected president and served for the rest of the decade.
**  Davy Crockett  "Born on the Wild Frontier"
**  1956:  "Hound Dog" by you-know-who.
**  "The Cat in the Hat: by Dr. Seuss
**  CBS introduces color TV on the Ed Sullivan Show
**  Those little-bitty portable phonographs
**  1954: Swanson & Sons create Frozen TV Dinners.

And, More to Come.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ten Incredible Facts About Ernest Hemingway-- Part 2

6.  He fought ORSON WELLES..

5.   He was quite the CAT PERSON and had those famous six-toed cats in Key West.

4.  He believed he was under GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE.

3.  He really was under GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE.

2.  He was a spy for the KGB.

1.  HUNTER S. THOMPSON investigated his suicide, but ended up stealing his stuff.

Pretty Interesting reading.  --DaCoot

Ten Incredible Facts About Ernest Hemingway-- Part 1

From the May 31, 2014, Listverse by Aaron Short.

As always, more info and pictures at the site.

10.  He used to fight people for JAMES JOYCE, one of his best friends.  In Paris they'd go drinking together and Joyce tended to be a nasty drunk and started bar fights, but wasn't much of a fighter, so Hemingway often stood in for him.

9.  He was an EXTREME FISHERMAN who would kill sharks with machine guns.

8.  He hunted U-BOATS in the HOOLIGAN NAVY during World War II  (more on this in my World War II blog, Tattooed on Your Soul today.

7.  He went ROGUE while a WAR CORRESPONDENT in 1944.  More on this story in my WWII blog today.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Deaths: Don Zimmer

From AP:  "Ex-Cubs skipper dead at 83."

Don Zimmer (1931-2014)

A popular fixture in baseball as a manager, player, coach and executive died June 5, 2014.  Started as a minor league infielder in 1949 and always recognizable by the big chaw that always seemed to be in his cheek.  Played alongside Jackie Robinson for the only Brooklyn Dodgers team to win a World Series and played for the original New York Mets, nearly managed the Red Sox to a championship in the 1970s and was Joe Torre's right hand man as the Yankees' bench coach in their most recent dynasty.

Not bad for a career .235 hitter who ended up with six World Series rings.  Played for the Dodgers, Mets, Cubs, Reds and Senators.  Managed San Diego, Boston, Texas and Cubs..

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

50th Anniversary of Ford's Mustang-- Part 3: Symbol of America

Today, Mustang has over 5.5 million fans and has its place in American culture in hundreds of songs.  probably the best-known is Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally from 1966.  It has also appeared in some 3,000 TV shows and movies, including the white convertible in James Bonds' movie "Goldfinger" to the new 2015 model in the new film "Built for Speed."

In addition, it has had many incarnations from the jaw-dropping Shelby and Cobra and GT Coupe to the really sad Mustang II.  Right now, the 2015 anniversary model is being made at Ford's assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

I saw that the very-first production model sold in the U.S. was in Chicago and the woman who bought it still has it.

That's Something to See.  --Cooter

50th Anniversary of Ford's Mustang-- Part 2: An Instant Hit

It was an instant hit.  That day, Ford dealers nationwide took 22,000 orders for the Mustang in colors ranging from Twilight Turquoise to the super-popular Rangoon Red.  Ah yes, Little Red Mustang.

After one year, Mustang sales reached 417,000, more than quadrupling Ford's projection.  Within two years they had sold over one million.

Today, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, has the serial Number One (0001), the first Mustang ever made.  According to Matt Anderson, curator of the museum, "The idea was to produce something like the Falcon (Ford's then-bestselling wordaday sedan), only with a sporty body.

The Mustangs were built on a Falcon chasis.

Fifty years later, more than 9 million Mustangs have been sold. and Pony cars are still as popular as ever.

And, Mustangs have been made every year since.  The GM Firebirds and Camaros stopped production back in the early 2000s, but the Camaro has since made a great comeback.  And, the new Mustangs have their good-looks back.

I Saw Quite a Few 'Stangs Last Night at the McHenry Car Show.  --DaCoot

50th Anniversary of Ford's Mustang-- Part 1: Sporty and Affordable

From the April 6-12, 2014 American Profile magazine "Run Pony, Run" by M.B. Roberts.

Sadly, my parents did NOT buy me one when I turned 16.  Might have been something about my trials and tribulations learning how to drive.  Sorry, Dad.

On April 17, 1964 Ford's new Mustang car was rolled out and became an instant hit.

Jay Leno was just 13 (I would be a little over a month later) and remembers, "The Mustang was sporty and European looking.  And it was affordable."

That "affordable price" had a lot to do with it.  Just over $2,000 (less than today's down payment for most cars) for a bare-bones model.  And, there were not a lot of add-on options such as a radio (I would have had to add that as I can't drive without my tunes), power steering or air conditioning.

These new cars were termed "Pony Cars" and had GM scrambling to come out with its own "Pony Cars" which hit the market in 1967: the Firebird and the Camaro.

First the Beatles, Now This.  --Cooter

Monday, June 23, 2014

Deaths: Dedicated to Preserving Labor History

LESLIE OREAR ( 1911-2014)

Union organizer championed equal rights for workers.

His involvement in the labor movement grew out of his Depression-era experiences working for Armour & Company meatpacking plant in Chicago in the early 30s when he was paid 32.5 cents an hour to tie strings on cured hams so they could be hung at butcher shops.

Mr. Orear got involved with labor history after the 1969 labor rally he and another Union official organized to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Square tragedy when a bomb was tossed during a clash between police and workers protesting for an 8-hour workday.

He was 103 and died May 30, 2014.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

10 Obscure Yet Successful Pirates From History-- Part 2

And, remember, the site at Listverse has pictures and much more interesting information.  I'm just listen them.  Other than Lafitte, I've never heard of any of them.

5.    Francois l'Olonna'is-- "The bane of the Spanish."

4.  Rahman ibn Jabir-- "The Scourge of the Pirate Coast"

3.  Olivier Levasseur-- "The Buzzard"

2.  Samuel Bellamy--  "Black Sam"  Operated only a year or two but reportedly got the most loot with a treasure estimated at $120 million.

1.  Arnj--  "Redbeard"

A Pirate's Life for Me.  --DaCoot

10 Obscure But Successful Pirates from History-- Part 1

From the May 28, 2014, Listverse by Michael Van Duisen.

For all you Captain Jack Sparrow fans.

10.  Pier Gerlofs Donia "Big Pier," Dutch carried a 7-foot long sword (1514-1519)

9.  Cornelis Jol "Peg Leg"  Dutch 1638, more of a privateer.

8.  Jean Lafitte, French Made name for self during War of 1812 fighting with General Andrew Jackson at New Orleans.

7.  Laurens de Graaf, 17th century Dutch

6.  Roberto Cofresi "El Pirata Cofresi"--  Puerto Rico


Michael Joseph Blassie (Formerly Unknown Vietnam Soldier)-- Part 3

The remains stayed at the Tomb of the Unknowns until 1998.

All along, there was the thought that the remains may have been those of Michael Blassie.  A CBS news report in January 1998 claimed it was Blassie.  His family secured permission and Blassie was exhumed on May 14, 1998.

DNA testing proved the remains were his.

On July 10, 1998, the remains were sent to St. Louis and reinterred at Jefferson Barracks national Cemetery.  The Medal of Honor, however, was not transferred.

From Find-A-Grave:  The grave is in plot section 85, Site 1.

Michael Joseph Blassie (Formerly the Unknown Vietnam War Soldier)-- Part 2

This change to unknown classification came about because of discrepancies with the age and height of the remains.

The remains were designated as unknown service member from the Vietnam War on May 17, 1984 at Pearl Harbor and the remains transported to California and then to Washington, D.C. where it lay in state at the Capitol and was viewed by Vietnam War veterans, dignitaries and President and Mrs. Reagan.

An Army caisson carried the remains to the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on May 28, 1984 where President Reagan presided at the funeral and presented the medal of Honor to the Unknown Vietnam Veteran.  The president acted as next-of-kin and accepted the internment flag at the end of the ceremony.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Michael Joseph Blassie (Formerly the Vietnam Unknown Soldier)--- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Michael Joseph Blassie (April 4, 1948-May 11, 1972)  US Air Force officer. Prior to his identification, he was known as the Unknown service member from the Vietnam War and buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

He graduated from St. Louis University High School and the USAF Academy in in 1970.  Served in the Air Force 8th Special Operations Squadron and was killed when his A-37B Dragonfly was shot down near An Loc, South Vietnam.

Five months later, partial skeletal remains were retrieved from the area and identified as those of Blassie, but further investigation at the time suggested it wasn't, so they were classified as unknown.

More to Come.

Arlington National Cemetery's 150th-- Part 4: "Flags-In"

7.  There may never be another addition to the Tomb of the Unknown.  There are 5,000 unknown, unidentified remains including from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

A Vietnam unknown interred in 1984 had his remains exhumed in 1998 and was positively identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie who was then reinterred at a military cemetery in Missouri.

Advantages and improvements on DNA study have made identification much easier.

8.  Soldiers have planted flags in front of every tombstone on Memorial Day weekend ever since 1948.  Members of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the Army's official ceremonial unit known as the "Old Guard" do it with the help of military volunteers.  In 2012, 1700 soldiers participated in the even, referred to as "Flags-In."

Flags are placed precisely one foot and centered in front of the tombstones.  They planted approximately 220,000 flags on Thursday and removed them on Sunday.

So, Now You Know.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery's 150th-- Part 3

5.  Three World War II enemy combatants are also buried there: 2 Italian POWs and one German.  They died in the Washington, D.C. area and the Geneva Convention requires proper burial and Arlington was chosen.

In addition, some 60 foreign nationals are buried there, most Allied servicemen.

6.  Nearly 4,00 former slaves are buried there as well.  After seizing the estate, acreage was set aside for a model community for emancipated, freed and fugitive slaves called Freedman's Village.

It operated until 1900 and blacks who died there are buried in Section 27, with headstones inscribed as "citizen" or "civilian."


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery's 150th-- Part 2: Eight Things You Might Not Have Known

3.  It hosted the first national Memorial Day (called Decoration Day back then) in 1868.

4.  It is the only national cemetery with servicemen buried there from every war the U.S. fought.  The first military burial wasn't until 1864, but in 1892 Revolutionary War dead were reinterred from a Georgetown cemetery.  War of 1812 veterans were also reburied there.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

150th Anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery-- Part 1:Eight Things You Might Not Have Known

From the May 28, 2012, History "Arlington National Cemetery: 8 Surprising Facts" by Christopher Klein.

1.  Located on General Robert E. lee's confiscated estate.  I'll have more on this one tomorrow in my Saw the Elephant Civil War blog.

2.  In an 1882 Supreme Court ruling would have resulted in the exhumation of 17,000 graves.  The court determined that the land was obtained from the Lees without due process and ordered it returned to the family.  Fortunately, Lee's son sold the property to the government for $150,000.

Six More.  --Cooter

Monday, June 16, 2014

Old Courthouse Dome Cost Higher Than Expected

From the June 5, 2014, Northwest herald by Shawn Shinneman.

Costs are already $80,000 more than expected at the Old Courthouse in Woodstock, Illinois.  On Tuesday, the city council approved another $32,608 toward the original contract of $775,000.  The city had previously already upped its cost $50,000.

Complications have been found because the contractor wasn't able to get a closer look at the cupola before the scaffolding was installed.

Crews were finishing their installation of the copper covering this week..  After the scaffolding is removed, they will begin work on the roof itself.

Expected date of completion has been moved from June 30th to September 30th.

Always More Than You Expect.  --Cooter

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lebanon's "Desperado" Billy Martin

From the August Wild West Magazine "Desperado Billy Martin Grew Desperate Indeed When sentenced to the Gallows" by Larry Wood.

Last night, while talking with Romana Lehman at the office of the Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, Mo., she said that her husband Bob receives the Wild West Magazine and the August 2014 one had an article about a resident of town back in the 1800s whom she had never heard of before, Billy Martin.  I read the article and he led quite the checkered life.

Many people believe he killed men on at least two different occasions, he was jailed several times, sentenced to hang, escaped the Lebanon jail with the help of the sheriff's niece, who then ran off with him to North Carolina, where they married.

And the story just got better.

Check It Out  --  Cooter

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ten Massive Things We Built and Destroyed-- Part 1

From the June 3, Listverse by Patrick Fuller.  He has pictures of each and much more deatil, so worth a look.

1.  THE GREAT WHEEL in Chicago for 1893 World's Fair (Columbian Exposition (308 feet tall.  Disassembled in 1907.  Would have looked great on Navy Pier.

2.  SS GREAT EASTERN  Built 1858.  Six times larger than naval vessels at the time.At first used to carry passengers, but later laid trans-Atlantic telegraph cables 1866-1874.  Scrapped 1888.

3.  TSAR TANK built in Russia (27-foot diameter)in 1914 for use during World War I.  .  Could roll over most anything. but got stuck in the mud.  Scrapped 1923.

4.  THE CRYSTAL PALACE:  A 23-acre building built for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.  Moved to another part of London in 1854.  Most destroyed by fire in 1936.  Remaining water towers demolished in 1941 for fear German bombers would use them as landmarks for bombing.

5.  BIG MUSKIE:  Massive mining excavator 22 stories tall with a bucket weighing460,000 pounds used in strip-mining.  As wide as an 8-lane highway.  Only thing remaining is the bucket, which I wrote about in my RoadLog Blog. 

More to Come.  --Cooter

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Deaths: Actors in "A Christmas Story," "Father Knows Best" and "The Brady Bunch"

LESLIE CARLSON (1933-May 3, 2014)  Was in movies and TV, but best-known for his role as the Christmas tree guy in "A Christmas Story" where he was credited as Les Carlson.  "Now, this here tree..."

BEVERLY LONG:  appeared in episodes of "Father Knows Best."

ANN B. DAVIS, 88  (1926- June 1, 2014)  In the NBC "Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959), but best known in role of Alice Nelson, the housekeeper, in "The Brady Bunch" (1969-1974).  Good Old Alice.  She kept that family together.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ten Weird and Painful Facts About Shoes-- Part 2

5.  NASA Invented Jet Shoes.

4.  Prostitute Shoes  (A real piece of history here.)

3.  The Shoes of World Leaders

2.  Shoes Changed the Way We Run.

1.  Cinderella surgeries

Some real interesting reading.

Shoely You Jest.  --DaCoot

Ten Weird and Painful Facts About Shoes-- Part 1

From the June 9, 2014, Listverse by Nolan Moore.

Of course, more information and photos at the site.  I'm just listing them.

10.  Bill Nye Saved Ballerinas' Feet.

9.  Werner Herzog Ears His Shoe  (Charlie Chaplin's famous shoe-eating in"The Gold Rush" was actually a boot made of licorice.)   Werner really did eat one.

8.  The Mysterious Shoe Corner of Hanover Township.

7.  Roman Kids Wore Shoes At status Symbols.

6.  The Mike Milbury Shoe Incident.

More to Come.  --Cooter Shoes

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Born and Razed; Comiskey Park-- Part 4: Bad Shape Toward End

Sox manager Robin Ventura played many years as a White Sox player and remembers the last two years of the park in '89 and '90, saying, "It had to go, but there was a certain charm."

Sox batting coach Harold Baines also played many years at Comsikey and says it was pretty much uninhabitable toward the end: "The bricks were falling down in the outfield.  The playing surface was fine, but when I played the outfield bricks in right field would fall down.  It was time to go."

The home clubhouse was cramped, like Wrigley's, with a small kitchen run by clubhouse manager "Chicken Willie" Thompson.  It was not well-ventilated, and the aroma of fried foods wafted through the tunnel toward the Sox bench.

Ventura said: "You'd sit on the bench and smell Chicken Willie's fried chicken.  And by the seventh inning, you're like, 'You know, I am kind of hungry right now.' You'd be able to sneak down there and get something to eat to get you through the game until the end of the game."

Sneaky Robin.  --

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day: 70 Years Ago Today

From the front page of today's Chicago Tribune "For D-Day vets, history still vivid" by Mitch Smith.

"Hank Rossetti clutched a black-and-white snapshot showing five young World War II veterans enjoying a meal and grinning for the camera.  'The guy in the middle is the only one still alive,' Rossetti said.

"The guy in the middle was Rossetti.

"Seventy years ago, the smooth-faced teenager with a white medic's band tied to his arm parachuted into the Nazi stronghold of Normandy, France.  That day, D-Day, marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler's reign of terror.

"Rossetti still drives his car, walks around his Southwest Side home without a cane and recalls the horrors of World War II vividly.  But, he's part of an increasingly exclusive club."

To Be Continued in My other Blogs Today As I mark the 70th Anniversary of The Longest Day.

Born and Razed: Chicago's Comiskey Park-- Part 3: What I Lost

However, when they tore down the old Comiskey Park, among things that were lost was the site of the first All-Star Game in 1933, Negro league games, Beatles concerts and the first exploding scoreboard as well as the Go-Go Sox, the 1919 Black Sox and Disco Demolition Night.

I myself lost my first-ever major league baseball game site, Milt Wilcox's near perfect-game for the Tigers in 1983, the only foul ball I ever caught hit by Don Baylor off Britt Burns, sitting in the outfield for the 1983 All-Star Game, the 1983 Sox, the 1983 playoff games when my heart was broken when Tito Landrum hit that home run in the 11th inning to close out the Sox season.

Then, there was my all-time favorite Sox team in 1967 as well as my second favorite one from 1983.  Then, there were the drives to Comiskey and rehashing the games going back home with David and later Pudge (we had bought 20-game ticket packages for the 1983 season so we could be guaranteed seats for the All-Star Game.

And, I always prefer to save something as oppose to tear it down. My own thought was that Comiskey was not beyond saving, but Reinsdorf had let the park go for too long.

Anyway, No More Old Comiskey Park.  --DaCoot

Born and Razed: Chicago's Comiskey Park-- Part 2

We'll never know how much hoopla would have gone with the 100th anniversary of Comiskey because it is now a parking lot for the new Comiskey Park across 35th Street, later renamed that other name which I shall not mention.

Said Sox fan (yes, there are a few of us) Doug Bukowski:  "With all due respect to Wrigley Field, it's not that important that Jimmy Buffett and Bruce Springsteen went there.  What is important is there is a place on the South Side where the color line fell in the American League, and where Joe Louis became heavyweight champion of the world."

"And, yes, Babe Ruth went to Wrigley Field.  But guess what?  He did it like twenty times a year at Comiskey."  It was the Babe that owner Charles Comiskey to double deck the outfield stands to pack more fans in to see him.

Bukowsky, now 61 was even part of an effort to save the old Comiskey Park back in the late 1980s.  At that time, most Sox fans were more worried about losing the team to Tampa-St. Petersburg, in Florida where the club owners Reinsdorf and Einhorn had threatened to move if they didn't get a new, state-funded stadium.

Well, the Sox didn't move and are still here.  Thankfully, but....

Always a Sox Fan.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Born and Razed: Chicago's Comiskey Park-- Part 1

From the May 4, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Comiskey: Born and razed" by Paul Sullivan.

And i still refer to it as Comiskey Park, not that other name.

"After walking into the home clubhouse for the final time, White Sox catcher Carlton 'Pitch to Fisk at your Risk' Fisk became a little emotional.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow," Fisk said.  "Goodbyes are the hardest part of any relationship."

"It has been 24 years since the White Sox played their last game at Comiskey Park, which would have turned 104 on July 1."

And, iIwas at that game.

Of course, there is a huge emotional play about the Cubs celebrating the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Snokey Bear Gets Makeover-- Part 3: Where Smokey THE Bear Came From

A 1952 song about "Smokey the Bear" has stirred some controversy as to his name ever since.  To maintain proper rhythm in the song, the writers added "the" to the name and "Smokey the Bear" became the norm.

Chicago ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding has always represented Smokey Bear pro bono (thanks guys) ever since he was a cub (and not the baseball kind).

Brigham Young students suggested an appalled Smokey glaring at a birthday cake with 70 flaming candles on it for his birthday.

Today, 6.7 million acres of forest are lost each year to fire, but that is just a fraction of what it was in the 1940s.

For 54 years, Smokey said "Only you can prevent forest fires."  The line was modified in 2001 to "Only you can prevent wildfires."

Love Our Smokey Bear, the Bear.  --Cooter

Smokey Bear Gets Makeover-- Part 2: A World War II Connection

Smokey Bear turns 70 this year, but no retirement for him.  he's still educating people about preventing forest fires.  last year there were 47,579 wildfires across the US and typically 9 of 10 were human fault.

His "people" have given him younger and fresher look to appeal to those kind of folks.

He also now has a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts (22,000 followers in Twitter).

Smokey (the) Bear was created August 9, 1944, as the property of the U.S. government.  During World War II, we were worried that our enemies might start fires to destroy our wood natural resource.  More than 22 million acres of forests were burning each war year when the government sorely needed timber.

To help with the war effort, a group of ad executives formed the Ad Council, a non-profit volunteer group.  they came up with the "Loose Lips Sink Ships" line and, early on, they started work on how to prevent those fires.

At first, they though of using a bird or a horse, but finally settled on a bear.  Thus, Smokey Bear (the) came into being, a nice, friendly bear.

Only YOU, You, You.  --DaCoot

Smokey Bear Gets Makeover-- Part 1

From the May 22, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Meg James.

"Warmer, fuzzier symbol, at 70, adds Facebook, Twitter to his neck of woods."    At the top of the article there was a timeline and six posters featuring Smokey (the) Bear and the caption: "Smokey Bear was created in 1944 as the face of wildfire prevention.  At that time, many firefighters and others were involved in the World War II effort, leaving a gap in the country's ability to overcome forest fires.  Enlisting the support of the public toward avoiding incidents that might lead to accidental fires began with a Walt Disney movie poster loan featuring Bambi.  Favorable response set the stage for an animal fire-prevention spokesman."


1944:  "Smokey Says: Care Will Prevent 9 Out of 10 Forest Fires."

1956: "Pals...Working Together--  Help Prevent Forest Fires."

1962:  "Remember-- Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires."

1978:  "Remember: There Are Babes in the Woods."  (Baby Animals).

1989:  "ONLY YOU"  Smokey holding a shovel and pointing at you.

2014:  "Happy 70th Smokey."

Still Smokey the Bear to Me.   --Cooter :

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And, We Won't Call Him "Smokey Bear"

From the May 23, 2014, Chicago Tribune ""WE won't call him 'Smokey Bear'" by Eric Zorn.

So, what do you call him?    "Your beloved, iconic fire-fighting bear has been skunked."

May 23rd marked the 62nd year after President Truman signed into law a bill allowing copyright protections for one Smokey Bear.  All the publicity materials since then have referred to him as Smokey Bear.  But yet, we, most of us anyway, continue to call him incorrectly "Smokey the Bear."  I know I am one of the "THE" folks.

"Yes, there's Kermit the Frog, Felix the Cat, Tony the Tiger.  But also Donald Duck, Garfield Goose and Bugs Bunny."

Some say part of the problem stems from Smokey's Forest Service signing off on the popular Eddy Arnold song in the early 1950s "Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear/Prowlin' and growlin' and a'sniffin' the air...."

Oh Well, What Do You Call Him?  --DaCoot

Got Them Old Gambling Blues

From the April 7, 2014, Time Magazine "Roundup: The world's gambling hot spots."

**  NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, has the second-highest number of gambling machines worldwide.

**  NEVADA, the home of LAS VEGAS, has 181,109 gambling machines, more than any other state in the world.  Last year its casinos booked $11.1 billion in gambling revenue.  So, everyone obviously is not a winner, regardless of what they try to tell you.

**  SINGAPORE has two casinos that pull in some $6 billion annually in gambling revenue, making it the second biggest gambling hub in Asia.

**  MACAU has fewer gambling machines than Nevada, but pulled in $45.2 billion in revenue last year, the world's highest.

**  Gambling is illegal in JAPAN, but it has over 4.5 million gaming terminals, which reward players with tokens and other prizes instead of cash.

I don't know, but pretty much every bar in Illinois seems to have four or five gambling machines now.  Maybe Illinois has the most?

How Broke I Am.  --Cooter

Monday, June 2, 2014

9/11 Museum Dedicated-- Part 2: Shoes

Florence Jones had worked on the 77th floor and described taking off her shoes as she walked down the steps, then walking 50 more blocks, still barefoot, to a friend's office.  Afterwards, she put those shoes in a plastic container and left them.

When she heard the museum was looking for items to display she said she thought about those shoes: "And when i took them out, they still had the smell from that awful day."

She knew she'd never wear them again, but wanted others to"Maybe understand what it felt like to be us on that day."

The museum is located below ground, which brought some controversy as well.    The National September 11 memorial is above it, connecting the footprints of the two towers, which now are pools.

9/11 Museum Dedicated-- Part 1: The Red Bandana

From the May 16, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Monument to tragedy, affirmation of life" by Tina Susman and Kathleen Hennessey.

Florence Jones went to work that day on 2001 wearing a pair of black high heels: "I did not plan on walking down 77 flights of stairs."  These shoes are on display at the museum.

President Obama and various dignitaries were on hand as well as survivors, victims' relatives were on hand for the dedication in a room dominated by a steel column that once formed part of the World Trade Center.

The 36-foot tall column is known as "The Last Column" was one of the last items salvaged from the pile of rubble left from the attacks and is one of thousands of exhibits, some massive and some tiny, in the 110,000-square-foot museum which opened to the public May 21st.

Obama spoke of the mysterious young man in a red bandana who rushed up and down the stairs to guide people to safety until he was buried in the collapse.  They didn't know who he was at the time, but now know it was Welles Crowther and his mother was on hand and donated one of his red bandannas to the museum.

Welles Crowther worked on the 104th floor of one of the towers and was a volunteer fireman.