Thursday, December 31, 2015

1915 Fire Reporting in DeKalb, Ill.: Early 911, Nipping It in the Bud

From the Dec. 29, 2015, MidWeek "Looking Back."

From Dec. 23, 1915, 100 years ago.

"The chief of the fire department asks The Chronicle to inform the people of the city that in case there is a fire to report that they do not take time to call the fire department headquarters on the telephone but just tell the operator 'fire call.'

"There is a special fire circuit by means of which the operator can send in an alarm without using the regular phone to the station and by this doing away with the calling of the number and letting the firemen realize instantly that a fire awaits them, several seconds can be saved which may mean the difference between a costly fire and one nipped in the bud."


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Second Battle of Aqua Priete, Mexican Revolution-- Part 2

From Wikipedia.

This was the battle Clayton Waterman of Sycamore, Illinois, participated in.

In early November 1915, the forces of Pancho Villa and the Constitutionalists fought at Aqua Priete, across the Rio grande River from Douglas, Arizona.  Pancho Villa's forces lost the battle and he attributed it to American interference especially from the large searchlights they turned on his troops.  This battle led to to even more disastrous Battle of Hermosillo on 15 November.

This engagement is referred to as the Second Battle of Aqua Priete.

The Constitutionalists at the battle were led by future Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles, a supporter of Venustiano Carranza.  His force consisted of 6,500 while Villa had 15,000 troops.

Because of his blaming American forces for his defeat, he eventually attacked the American city of Columbus, New Mexico.

Camp Davis was built in Douglas, Arizona, in 1910.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Second Battle of Aqua Prieta: Mexican Revolution-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

On Saturday Dec. 26, 2015, I wrote about an article in the Sycamore, Illinois, newspaper from 1915 describing the role that Lt. Clayton Waterman from Sycamore had at Douglas, Arizona, involving the Mexicans.  I was unaware of this battle (or its name) and definitely confused by the statement where the American commander, General Thomas F. Davis "warned the contending armies to change the direction of their fire."

Were the Americans involved in the fighting, if so, why would they be warned about the direction of their fire?

I had to do some more research.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Halloween Pranks Back in 1940

From the MidWeek "Looking Back."

Seventy-five years ago after Halloween.

"It is greatly to be regretted that some young people have so little respect for the property of others as evidenced by the damage done to county school houses during the past week.

"The sawyer school had two panes of glass broken from the front door by stones thrown deliberately, while the Coolidge school suffered damage also."

Maybe those Kids Back in the Day Weren't So Well behaved.  --CootDidn'tDoIter

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Battling Against Mexicans in 1915: Local Boy Fighting

From the Nov. 11, 2015, MidWeek "Looking Back."

November 1915:  Lieutenant Clayton Waterman, a former Sycamore boy, likely stationed in Douglas, Arizona, and formerly for some time in the Philippines, is actively engaged near Douglas in the trouble with Mexico.

"In the battle just across the American line shots went across to American soil, and general Thomas F. davis, commanding 6,000  American troops on the border warned the contending armies to change the direction of their fire."


Halloween Pranks Back in 1915: Soaping the Tracks

From the November 11, 2015, Sycamore (Ill.) MidWeek "Looking Back."

November 1915, 100 years ago:  ""Street car boys in Sycamore reported that yesterday morning the rails of their line over Sycamore had been soaped supposedly by Halloween celebrators of that city.  This is a very dangerous practice and might have resulted in the loss of life had it not been discovered in time.

"If the boys who did this trick are apprehended, we understand they will be dealt with severely."


Friday, December 25, 2015

"A Christmas Story" Inside Scoop on the Triple-Dare-Dare"-- Part 2

According to Scott Schwartz he did not injure his tongue on that really cold day.  It was very cold, but the prop department had slid a piece of plastic over the pole and had cut a little hole in it with a suction tube and a little motor like a vacuum cleaner.

This made his tongue seem to stick to the icy pole.

The scene was filmed on two days of intense cold with wind chills down to -20 to -25 degrees.


"A Christmas Story":The Inside Scoop On the "Triple-Dog-Dare"-- Part 1

From the Dec. 12, 2015, Yahoo! Movies "That 'Christmas Story' Frozen Tongue Scene: The Inside Scoop on the Triple Dog dare" by Joal Ryan.

As I take a little break (or is it a brake) from chain-watching "A Christmas Story" on TNT (my favorite Christmas movie).

Scott Schwartz, now 47 and president of a child actor advisory group, was briefly on a #1 Box Office hit that quickly faded, but regained public awareness and popularity when it became a cable TV 24-hour marathon.

That movie, of course, "A Christmas Story"

He spent about six weeks working on the movie in 1983 and was 14 at the time and was a "pro" as he had already worked on "The Toy" the year before with Richard Pryor.

Schwartz was cast as Flick, best friend of Ralphie and says he gets calls from reporters every year around this time about his famous tongue-on-the-flagpole scene which showed school yard politics at their most intense (well, intense for back then).

And...  --Cooter

Thursday, December 24, 2015

WLS Top 40 Survey for December 24, 1965-- Part 5: "We Can Work It Out"

To see #40 to #11, go to my Down Da Road I Go Blog for the last several days.

10.  SHE'S A MUST TO AVOID--  Herman's Hermits
9.  JUST LIKE ME--  Paul Revere
8.  IL SILENZIO-- Nini Rosso   Italian jazz trumpeter and composer. (1926-1994)  Song went to #1 in Italy, Gerany, Austria and Switzerland and sold over 5 million copies.  Didn't chart in U.S., but at least made it to top ten in Chicago.

7.  IT'S GOOD NEWS WEEK--  Hedgehoppers Anonymous
6.  SOUNDS OF SILENCE--  Simon & Garfunkel
5.  TASTE OF HONEY--  Tiquana Brass
4.  OVER AND OVER--  Dave Clark Five

3.  5 O'CLOCK WORLD--  Vogues
2.  LET'S HANG ON--  Four Seasons

Name That Tune:  "Well I Went to a Dance Just the Other Night."  --RoadDog

MEMORY LANE:  "Coast-to-Coast"  Used to be an exciting term, now mostly replaced with world-wide or world-class.

"Over and Over"

Ten Things You Didn't Know About "Miracle on 34th Street"-- Part 2: Natalie Wood Thought Gwen Really Was Santa Claus

6.  Macy's and Gimbel's didn't consent to have their names used in the movie until filming was completed.

7.  O'Hara  never wanted the film to be colorized.

8.  Natalie Wood thought Gwenn really was Santa Claus.

9.  Macy's closed early so emp[loyees could see the film.  Some 12,000 workers got a half day off.

10.  They almost couldn't film the final shot (by the house) because the weather was bitter cold.

Great Movie and One I Always Look Forward to Seeing Come This Time of Year.  --Cooter

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ten Things You Didn't Know About "Miracle on 34th Street"-- Part 1: A Real Parade

From Country Living.  Has pictures and more information.

This past Monday, we watched the remake and colorized versions of the movie.  It is my fourth favorite Christmas movie.

1.  Co-stars were good friends off screen: Maureen O'har (Doris), Edmund Gwenn (Santa) and John Payne (Fred)

2.  The Thanksgiving Day Parade scene was actually completely real.

3.  Edmund Gwenn's cousin, Cecil Kellaway, almost played the role og Kris Kringle.

4.  The film's writer dreamed up the idea for the movie while waiting in line at a department store.

5.  John Payne really wanted to do a sequel.

Little Girl gets House and Father.  --DaChristmasCoot

By the Numbers: U.S. War Veterans-- Part 4-- Korean War to Desert Shield/Storm

KOREAN WAR  (1950-1953)

Service:  5,720,000
Casualties:  Deaths--  54,246 (36,574 in theater)  Wounded--  103,284
Estimated Living:  2,275,000

VIETNAM WAR  (1964-1975)

Service:  8,744,000  (estimated 3,403,000 deployed)
Deaths:  90,220  (58,220 in theater)  Wounded--  153,303
Estimated Living:  7,391,000


Service:  2,322,000  (694,550 deployed)
Casualties:  Deaths--  1,948  (383 in theater)  Wounded--  467
Estimated Living:  2,244,583  (2009 estimate and may include veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

Lots of Wars.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

By the Numbers: U.S. War Veterans-- Part 3: World War I and World War II

WORLD WAR I  (1917-1918)

Service:  4,734,991

Deaths:  405,399 (291,557 in battle)  Wounded  670,846

Last Veteran:  Frank Buckles, died 2011 at age 110.

WORLD WAR II  (1941-1945)

Service:  16,112,566

Died: 405, 359 (291,557 in battle)  Wounded:  670,846

Estimate Living:  1,711,100.


Monday, December 21, 2015

By the Numbers: U.S. War Veterans-- Part 2: Indian Wars to Spanish-American War

INDIAN WARS (1817-1898)

Service:  est. 106,000
Deaths:  1,100 est.
Last Veteran:  Fredrak Fraske, died 1973 at age 101.

MEXICAN WAR  (1846-1848)

Service: 78,718
Casualties:  13,283 dead, 4,152 wounded
Last veteran:  Owen Thomas Edgar, died 1929 at age 98.

CIVIL WAR (1861-1865)

Service:  Union 2,213, 363  Confederate 600,000 to 1,500,000
Casualties:  Union 364,511  Wounded 281,881  Confederate  unknown
Last Veteran:  John Sailing.  Died 1958 at age 112.


Service:  306,760
Casualties:  2,446 dead (385 in battle) Wounded 1,662
Last Veteran:  Nathan E. Cook died 1992 at age 106.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

By the Numbers: U.S. War Veterans-- Part 1: American Revolution and War of 1812

From the June 5, 2013, CNN U.S..

There are still 1.7 million Americans alive today who served in World War II  But, hundreds are dying every day.  The VA estimates that by 2036 there will be none alive.

The last American veteran of World War I was frank Buckles who died in February 2011.


Service: 184,000 to 250,000 estimated
Deaths:  4,435, Wounded: 6,188
Last veteran: Daniel F. Bakeman, died 1869 at age 104.

WAR OF 1812  (1812-1815)
Service: 286,730
Casualties:  Dead 2,260, Wounded: 4,505
Last veteran:  Hiram Cronk, died 1905 at age

Freedom Isn't Cheap.  --Cooter

Friday, December 18, 2015

German Bombardment of Hartlepool, England, in First World War

From the Dec. 15, 2015, ChronicleLive (UK) "Bombardment of Hartlepool in First World War to be marked by new museum gallery" by Tony Henderson.

This was the German Navy's first attack on a North East Town during the war.  just after 8 am on December 16, 1914, German warships commenced a bombardment of over a thousand shells on Hartlepool, killing 130 civilian and military personnel. and wounding more than five hundred.

The Hough Gun Battery on Headland returned their fire as best they could in what was the only battle to be fought on British soil during the war.

One of the battery's soldiers, Theo Jons of the Durham Light Infantry, became the first British soldier to be killed by the enemy on British soil.

There is a new permanent display at the Museum of Hartlepool.  It will have the role of the 130 killed at the battle as well as the "Bombardment Clock" which stopped when it was hit by a shell fragment.  In addition, it has a 6-inch shell fired by the German battlecruiser Blucher.

The German ships also included the Seydlitz and Moltke.


Stars Remember the First Record They Ever Bought

From April 12, 2015, Parade Magazine Picks.

KELLY CLARKSON--  "Purple Rain"--  Prince

GLORIA ESTEFAN--  "El Pequeno Ruisenor Joselito"

BARRY MANILOW--  "Goody Goody"--  Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers

CARLY SIMON--  "Guys and Dolls Original Broadway Cast Recording"

KEITH URBAN--  "Bobby Dazzley"--  various artists

FRANKIE VALLI--  "Stan Kenton and His Orchestra"

My first album was "Herman's Hermits Greatest Hits."


Thursday, December 17, 2015

About Those Old Record Stores and Albums-- Part 3

I usually make sure to visit my local old record store on this special Record Store Day in McHenry, Illinois, named The Vinyl Revolution.  That is a real good name for a record store.  Even though I usually buy their used CDs much more often than vinyl.

But, I am always glad to see young people in their teens looking and buying the vinyl.  there is hope yet.

In addition to the crowds attracted to the special day, dozens of artists released limited edition vinyl for this day:

"The Night We Called It a Day"--  Bob Dylan
"Greetings from Asbury Park"  --Bruce Springsteen
Wake Up to Find Out--  Grateful Dead
"Purple Haze/Freedom"--  Jimi Hendrix
"The Family Way: Original Soundtrack Recording"--  Paul McCartney
"The Grass is Blue"--  Dolly Parton
"Songs for Young Lovers"--  Frank Sinatra
"Changes"--  David Bowie


About Those Old Record Stores and Albums-- Part 2

And, you can still buy turntables.  One new one is the Criosley Cruiser for $98.  A portable vintage-inspired record player comes in a faux-leather briefcase and has a built-in speaker.

Studebaker Wooden Turntable $85.  With warm nostalgic looks, it has three-speeds, an AM-FM radio and jacks in the back to add external speakers for more oomph.

Plus, I bought a couple turntable combos at Target including a cassette player and CD player.

There is a good coffee table book called ""Dust & Grooves" by Ten Speed Press.which focuses on some far-out vinyl record collections from around the world.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

About Those Old Record Stores and Albums-- Part 1: Record Store Day

From April 12, 2015, Parade magazine Picks "For te Record" edited by Erin Hill.

"Remember records?  Of course you do.  Happily vinyl is still spinning its way into the hands of music lovers--  whether they're 16 or 60--today.

"April 18 is Record Store Day--a global celebration of independent record stores, where vinyl is still king--  and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, 46, is this year's official ambassador."

He said: "Growing up in the '70s and '80s, my local record stores were magical, mysterious places that I spent all my spare time (and money) in, finding what was to eventually become the soundtrack of my life."


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

If These Items Could Talk.. History In Little Pieces

From the March 26, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Steve Johnson.

"They do in new Chicago History Museum exhibit" An Iroquois Theatre lamp sheds light on the fire as Leopold's eyeglasses give a view of the murder."

This is from the museum's new exhibition "The Secret Lives of Objects."  To get it, curators were sent back into the vaults to find stuff.  And, they liberated a lot of good stuff from the vaults.

Nathan Leopold's eyeglasses were evidence of a ghastly murder. They were found near the body of victim Bobby Franks and helped convict the two.   Ann Landers' typewriter gave lots of advice.  Booth One at Chicago's Pump Room was a marker for celebrities.

Some other things you can see:

**  The surveillance cards from the Chicago Police Department's infamous "Red Squad" filled out with notes on the activities of Chicago's leftest author and historian Studs Terkel.

**  Bamboo cane used by Charlie Chaplin for "His New Job" movie, the only film he shot in Chicago.

**  The piano on which Thomas Dorsey essentially invented gospel music.

*  The lamp that started the 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire alongside the door hardware that prevented 600 people from exiting to safety.

**  The letters from the sign at the Palm Tavern, the famous Bronzeville jazz club.

**  The Colt revolver carried by Owen brown, son of abolitionist John brown, during the 1959 raid on Harpers Ferry, the attack that more than any one thing else led to the Civil War.

Forty-two objects made the final cut.  The exhibit continues until 2018.

Some Real History.  --Cooter

Death of Chicago Adman Rudolph Perz, Known for Creating Pillsbury Doughboy

From the the April 3, 2015, Chicago Tribune.


Most famous for creating the lovable Pillsbury Doughboy.  He developed the iconic spokesboy in his early years at the Chicago advertising agency Leo Burnett.

The Pillsbury Doughboy, otherwise known as Poppin' Fresh, was created in 1965 and is still used in commercials.  A 1977 Chicago Tribune  called him "a cute little anthropomorphic embodiment of fresh dough."

I always like the commercial of him giggling as he passed through an airport security point.

Perz said that early incarnations of the doughboy, originally animated, too closely resembled Caspar the Friendly Ghost, which led to the development of the three  dimensional character.  It was filmed using stop motion.

I Like That Doughboy.

Monday, December 14, 2015

World's Largest Sunken Treasure Found-- Part 2: International Legal Dispute

In 1982, Sea Search Armada, a salvage company owned by American investors announced that it had found the San Jose 700 feet deep.  Two years later, Colombia's government overturned a well-established maritime law that gives 50 percent to whoever locates a shipwreck and slashed Sea Search's finders fee down to 5%.

A lawsuit by them was dismissed in a Washington, D.C. federal court in 2011 and affirmed on appeal two years later.  Colombia's Supreme Court has ordered the ship recovered before the international dispute is over.

President Santos says this ship was discovered at a different site than the Sea Salvage one thanks to new meteorological and underwater mapping studies.

No humans have yet to reach the wreck but underwater vehicles have and brought back photos of dolphin-stamped bronze cannons that leave no doubt as to the ship's identity.

According to Santos, the ship was found Nov. 27 near the Rosario Islands which is close to Baru Peninsula.


World's Largest Sunken Treasure Found Off Colombia-- Part 1: "The Holy Grail" of Shipwrecks

From the December 6, 2015, Chicago Tribune nu Pedro Mendoza AP.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the ship,found off Colombia's coast more than 300 years ago as the world's largest sunken treasure.

The Spanish galleon San Jose was discovered with the help of an international team of experts and the president says he will personally see to it that its location is safeguarded.  It sank somewhere i the wide area off Baru Peninsula and the port of Cartagena.

On June 8, 1708, the San Jose sank, along with 600 people as it was trying to outrun a British fleet.  It is believed to have been carrying 11 million gold coins and jewels from the Spanish colonies of the New World.  This could be worth billions if recovered.

The ship is considered by maritime experts to be the holy grail of Spanish colonial shipwrecks and has been the subject of abn extended legal battle between Colombia, Spain and the United States pver who owns the rights to it.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Betty Boop: The "Boop-Oop-A-Doop" Gal

From American Profile "Ask American Profile."

A reader asked "What year did Betty Boop debut, and who was her voice?"  Betty Nielsen, Lakeport, California.

Pioneer cartoon animator Max Fleischer introduced Boop as an anthropomorphic French poodle in the 1930 cartoon short "Dizzy Dishes."  He transformed her into a person in the 1932 cartoon "Any Rags."

Margie Hines provided Betty's original voice, but it's the vocals of Mae Questel that most fans recognize as the "boop-oop-a-doop" flapper girl.  The actress supplied Boop's voice in 150 animated shorts between 1931 and 1939.

Questel, who died in 1998 at the age of 89, also was the voice of Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons for many years.

OK, Now, High Pitched Talking.  --DaCootBoop-Oop-Ap[

Christopher Latham Sholes "Father of the Typewriter-- Part 4: QWERTY

At this point, Soule and Glidden turned their shares to Sholes and Densmore.

Experimental versions of the typewriter were sent to a few stenographers for their criticisms and this helped improve it.  The first 50 machines produced had an average cost of $250.

They took the machine to E. Remington and Sons, a manufacturer of firearms, sewing machines and farm implements.  They offered to buy the patent from them.  Sholes sold his half of the patent for $12,000.  Densmore insisted on a royalty for his share, which eventually earned him $1.5 million.  Eventually, the machine became known as the famous Remington typewriter.

Sholes continued working to improve the typewriter in Milwaukee.  In 1873 he developed a new arrangement for the keys which became known, and still is, as the QWERTY keyboard.  (Hey, I just typed it.)  It was so made so that commonly used letter combinations were split up to prevent keys from jamming when typists pressed them too quickly.

The QWERTY keyboard was an instant success and has since made the transition from typewriters to computers.

Christopher Latham Sholes died on February 17, 1890, after a long battle with tuberculosis.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Christopher Latham Sholes "Father of the Typewriter"-- Part 3: Four Partners

Working again with Samuel W. Soule, and adding Carlos Glidden as a third partner who provided the funds, they began to develop their first version of the typewriter.  The keyboard resembled that of a piano with two rows of keys, the first made of ebony and the second of ivory with a wooden framework.

Sholes, Glidden and Soule received a patent for it in 1868.  It was one of many similar typewriter versions coming out at the time.  They sent out many letters typed on it in an attempt to encourage interest.

James Densmore of Pennsylvania thought it could be highly profitable and offered to buy a share without ever seeing it.  He was sold a one-fourth interest, but when he finally did see it, he believed it was worthless in its current state and needed to be improved.


Christopher Latham Sholes, "Father of the Typewriter"-- Part 2

But Sholes' real interest was inventing new and useful items.  He moved to Milwaukee and spent some time as editor of the Milwaukee News and later the Milwaukee Sentinel.  When Abraham Lincoln offered him the position as a collector for the Port of Milwaukee and he accepted.  he knew this would mean working fewer hours and he would have more time to work on his inventions.

Latham Sholes and fellow inventor Samuel W. Soule developed a machine that numbered pages in a book and they got a patent for it in 1864.  Another man, Carlos Glidden, an attorney, suggested that they might be able to make their machine also produce letters and words as well.

In 1867, Sholes ran across an article about a machine called the Pterotype which was a prototype of te typewriter which had been invented by John Pratt.  Sholes decided that the machine was too complex to work well so set about creating his own version.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christopher Latham Sholes "Father of the Typewriter"-- Part 1

From the July 15, 2015, Hi-Liter "Just our type: Kenosha newspaper editor recognized as 'Father of the Typewriter'  by Sandra Machaq.

Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Sholes is known as the "Father of the Typewriter" according to Charles Edward Weller in his 1918 book "The Early History of the Typewriter."  Sholes also is known as the inventor of the QWERTY keyboard which is still being used on computers.

Latham Sholes was born in Pennsylvania and became a printer apprentice after which he moved to Wisconsin and worked for his older brothers who owned and published a newspaper in Green Bay.  Next, he went to Madison and became editor of the Wisconsin Enquirer.

One year later, he moved to Kenosha, then known as Southport and became publisher of the local newspaper.He then got into state politics.


End of a World War-- Part 2: World War I

Or, as they refer to it in the United Kingdom, the First World War.

Continuing with the Chicago Tribune headlines back then.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1918:  No Truce-- Wilson

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1918:  German Armies Run

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24. 1918:  Surrender! Wilson Again Tells Kaiser

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 1918:  Austria Quits War

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1918:  'I'll Hold Throne'--Kaiser

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1918:  Peace At Hand: Kaiser Off The Throne

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1918:  Great War Ends

And So It Ended.  Cooter

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

End of a World War-- Part 1: End of World War I in the Headlines

From the November 8, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Chicago Flashback."

"'The Great War'--  the forerunner we now call World War I--  approached its final days in mid-October 1918.  German troops were in full retreat, their government's surrender imminent.  The U.S. president and the German Kaiser seemed to be negotiating the end of hostilities by international cable on the front pages of the world's newspapers.

"Here are select headlines from the last five weeks of the supposed 'war to end all wars.'"

These are from, of course, the Chicago Tribune which cost 2 cents daily back then, $1.50 now.

Monday OCTOBER 7, 1918"

HUNS CRY FOR PARLEY  Other headlines:

Using Torch, Germans Flee
'We Cannot Come To Terms With Them' --Wilson on Sept. 27  (President Woodrow Wilson)
No Bartering To be Wilson
Accept Wilson's Demands As Basis For Peace Negotiations

More to Come Tomorrow.  --DaCoot

Ten Little-Known Technological Firsts-- Part 2: First Commercial Flight

5.  First Commercial Flight--  January 1, 1914, between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida.

4.  Xerox Alto--  First Graphical User Interface in 1972.

3.  First Video Rental Store--  Magneto Video in 1977.  Had 50 videos, also first to sell video.  George Atkinson bought one VHS and one Beta copy of each movie and offered to rent them.  It cost $50 for a year's membership.  The first video chain of stores was Video Station which eventually had 600 stores.

2.  Marsh Supermarket was the first supermarket with a Bar Code Scanner in Troy, Ohio in June 1974.  At 8:01, a ten-pack of Wrigley gum became the first item scanned..  That receipt is now in the Smithsonian.

1.  CERN's "World Wide Web Project" the first website on August 6, 1991.

Interesting Stuff.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ten Little-Known Technological Firsts-- Part 1: First Person to Die in an Auto Accident

From the March 6, 2013, Listverse by Mike Floorwalker.

Of course, photos and more information at the site.

10.  First public radio broadcast: January 13, 1910/

9.  Mary Ward, First to die in a car accident.

8.  WTBS, first basic cable network, 1976.  HBO was the first pay cable network in 1973.

7.  Billy Joel's 52nd Street was the first album released on CD  His 1978 classic was re-released on Oct. 1, 1982, the same day that the CDP-101, the first commercially available CD player was released.

6.  Telstar I--  first communications satellite launched July 10, 1962, owned by AT&T.


Mystery of Hindenburg Air Catastrophe Solved

From the March 4, 2013, Lookout by Claudine Zap.

Researchers now are sure that static electricity that caused the airship to crash.

Seventy-six years ago, the German dirigible Hindenburg, the future of trans-Atlantic flight, docked at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937.

The fire and crash killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crew.

It was also believe that possibly a bomb or exploding paint caused it.  Models have shown that these didn't cause it.

The airship had become charges with static electricity as a result of and electric storm.  A broken wire or sticking gas valve leaked hydrogen into the ventilation shaft.  When the ground crew members ran out to take the landing ropes, the ship became "earthed".  Fire appeared in the tail of the airship, igniting the leaking hydrogen.

Now You Know.  --Cooter

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 1941-- Part 2: Two More Who Died on the USS Arizona

From the Dec. 6, 2015, Concord Monitor "Lost at Pearl Harbor, Edmund lives on in Epson" by Ray Duckler.

Bruce Roosevelt Edmunds was born November 10, 1907, and was the "first Epsom boy to lose his life in World War II."  His picture hangs in the Epsom American Legion hall.

Also, Edmund Cloues of Warner was killed on the Arizona.  His body is also still entombed on the ship  It is not clear if the two of them knew each other.

December 7, 1941-- Part 1: Nephew of Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor Remembers the Date

From the Dec. 6, 2015, Sioux City (Iowa) Journal by Nick Hytrek.

John Christopher Thorman of Granville, Iowa, died on the USS Arizona that day.  His body is still entombed aboard his ship.

Jan George, his nephew, a history and government teacher at Sioux City West High School remembers his uncle though he died many years before he was born.

Mr. George has the Western Union telegram dated December 20, 1941 from Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs informing John and Marie Thorman that their son was among the missing.

He also has a piece of the USS Arizona taken from an area of the boat deck gallery which he got 11 years ago after learning that families of the Arizona's victims were able to get a piece as a way to connect them to their loved ones.

It took his grandmother a long time to come to grips with her son's death.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Divers Find First World War "Mystery Ship"-- Part 3: "Q-Ships"

The Stock Force was built at Dundee and was one of around 200 "Q-Ships" employed during the war.  The "Q" in the name of the ships is thought to be from Queenstown, the home port of some of the earlier ones.  Queenstown is now known as Cobh, in the Republic of Ireland.  The phrase is based on "Q" cars, which are unmarked police cars.

"Q-Ships" often carried cargoes of wood to make them more difficult to sink.

Today, only one of them remains, the HMS President, which is moored in the Thames River.

The submarine that sank the Stock Force is believed to be the UB-80, captained by Max Viebeg.

Harold Auten was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, and worked in the film industry in the United States.  He later moved to Bushkill, Pennsylvania, where he owned a hotel and a cinema.  During World War II  he returned to service and directed convoys across the Atlantic from New York.  He died in 1964.


Divers Find First World War "Mystery Ship"-- Part 2: Fight With a Submarine

The HMS Stock Force was 160-feet long and had the appearance of being a merchant ship and its Royal Navy crew were disguised as merchant sailors.  They even had a so-called "Panic Party," a group of sailors would row away from the ship if they saw a sub.  This would lure the enemy to within range.

The Stock Force, though was hit by a torpedo in its duel with the U-boat.  It damaged the enemy, but sank in four and a half hours.  The crew was rescued by a trawler and two torpedo boats.

After the war, the legend of the Q-Ships grew.  Lt. Harold Auten, the Stock Force's commander, published a book about his adventures called "Q-Boat Adventures."  In 1928, the silent film "Q-Ships" was released in which Auten played himself.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Divers Find First World War "Mystery Ship"-- Part 1

From the Jan. 27, 2013, UK Telegraph "Divers Find First World War "Mystery Ship" Which Ambushed Submarine" by Jasper Copping.

Acting as "bait" for German U-boats, the HMS Stock Force was one of the Royal Navy's top secret "Q Ships" or "Mystery Ships."  They were especially adapted decoy vessels carrying concealed guns to lure German submarines to the surface and then engage them.

The Stock Force was sunk in an engagement.  It's captain, Lt. Harold Auten received a Victoria Cross and served as the inspiration for an action film.

Its wreck was lost until now because its site was incorrectly listed.

Steven Mortimer lead a group which spent four years looking for it.  They found it eight miles from its charted site and is in 200 feet of water 14 miles off Plymouth, England.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Letter From My Great Uncle David Prince in World War I Camp-- Part 2

I haven't forgotten that watch case yet, as you just keep on waiting _?___ if nothing happens you should have it.

Now if I get killed in France I want you to have the "Liberty Bonds" which I have bought.  It will come to $200.00.  I also will my other money which I will get in case I get killed, but don't think I will, for I will surely come back all safe-- and sound.

I want to see you finish High School and then go to College and finish.  If I had gone to school and studied I would be an officer instead of an enlisted man.

What do you want me to give you for a Christmas present?  How is that little "Grantham man" getting along?

Tell Gertrude and Annie Mae, I said write to me sometimes, and be sure that you write me real soon.

Give this note to Papa.

With lots of love to you all, your brother, David.

A Letter from My Great Uncle David Prince in World War I Camp-- Part 1

I also came across a letter from my Great Uncle David Prince to his sister Julia (my Great Aunt).

At Camp
Tuesday Night

Dear "Little Sister"

Your much appreciated letter was received a few days ago, and I sure did enjoy reading your letter, and would have answered it sooner but we are kept very busy.

I sure would like to see you-all. but guess I will not have the opportunity to go home now.  We are all quarantined  and can't even go to town, and spend our money.

Yesterday was payday, and most all of the boys were happy altho they couldn't go totown, to spend their money.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

World War I Military Career of William G. Hood

From my mother, I learn the following:

He was drafted into the Army.  He went to training at Camp Jackson in South Carolina.

His father had tried to keep him at home as he was needed on he farm.

He never went to Europe  because he changed the flat tire of his camp's commander's wife and the colonel had him remain in camp as a personal chauffeur.

His platoon was sent overseas and involved in fighting.  At one point his clothes were sent overseas, but he never was.

Honorable Discharge of William G. Hood-- Part 3

On the back of the Honorable Discharge:


Name: William G. Hood
Grade: Private
Enlisted, or Inducted:  May 27th 1918, at Goldsboro NC

Serving in First  enlistment  period at date of discharge.

Prior service:  None
Noncommissioned officer:  Never
Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating:  Not qualified
Horsemanship:  Not mounted

Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions:  None
Knowledge of any vocation:  Farming
Wounds received in service:  None
Physical condition when discharged:  Good

Typhoid prophylaxis completed:  June 13th, 1918
Paratyphoid prophylaxis completed:  June 13th, 1918
Married or single:  Single
Character:  Very good.

Remarks:  No AWOL or absences under GO 45-14 or 31-12.

Signature of Soldier:  William G. Hood

Hugh S. Repare
Capt. Inf. USA
Commanding Co. F

Received Dec 11 1918
Office of Disbursing Quartermaster
Pay Division

Honorable Discharge of William G. Hood-- Part 2

Said William G. Hood was born in Goldsboro, in the State of North Carolina.  When enlisted he was 22 7/12 years of age and by occupation a farmer.

He had Gray eyes, Dark hair, Ruddy complexion, and was 5 feet 6 inches in height.

Given under my hand at Camp Sevier SC this 11th day of Dec, one thousand nine hundred and eighteen.

E.A. Early
Lieut. Col Inf USA

Honorable Discharge of William G. Hood-- Part 1

My brother found this in some old files in the attic above the garage of my grandparents on my mother's side a few months ago and this is my first chance to get a look at them.

This is the Honorable Discharge of my grandfather from the U.S. Army at the end of World War I.



This Is To certify That William G. Hood #1897589, Private Co. "F" 1st Prov. Deo. Regiment

THE UNITED STATES ARMY, as a Testimonial of Honest and Faithful Service, is hereby Honorably Discharged from the military service of the United States by reason of telegram wsAGO. Nov. 15, 1918.  Expiration of term of service per.

I am not sure about Deo in his regiment or wsAGO.  These were hard to read.