NRO Slideshows

Obama Goes Country

After Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s Obamacare skit at the CMA Awards, Twitter users resurrected the hashtag #ObamaCountrySongs to coin song titles and lyrics with a presidential twist. Here’s some of the best entries, freshly illustrated by National Review.
Uploaded: Nov. 08, 2013


Battle of Peleliu
Sep. 16, 2014
September 15 marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Peleliu, a bloody step in the long campaign in the Pacific during WWII. Here’s a look back at the battle, the heroism of the Marines who fought there, and the unforgettable images war correspondent Tom Lea. (Photo: Naval Institute)
The main strategic goal of Operation Stalemate II was the seizure of an airstrip that threatened General MacArthur’s impending reconquest of the Philippines. But while intelligence reports and heavy naval bombardment prior to the landings promised a quick victory, the island’s dug-in defenders would put up a long and bloody fight. (Naval Institute)
Awaiting the invasion force were some 10,000 Japanese defenders who had no hope of escape or resupply, and who had built formidable defenses in hundreds of caves on the island’s sheer coral cliffs. Pictured, Marine riflemen take aim from behind cover. (USMC History Division)
On September 15, 1944, after days of artillery barrages and aerial bombardment, five infantry battalions of the First Marine Division went ashore. (USMC History Division)
The initial landings met little resistance, but Japanese forces quickly struck the Marines hard, beginning a 73-day battle for the island fought amid dense forest and a maze of Japanese defenses. (USMC History Division)
Though famous for the assault and bloody toll suffered by the First Marine Division, elements of the Army’s 81st Infantry played a crucial role in the capture of Peleliu. Pictured, Marines assault an urban structure. (USMC History Division)
When the island finally was declared secured on November 27, 1,252 Marines and sailors were dead and more than 5,000 injured. The 81st had suffered 404 killed in action and more than 3,000 injured. (Naval Institute)
Of the more than 10,000 Japanese defenders on the island, only 19 were taken prisoner, a stark preview of the empire’s strategy of trading lives for time in the face of the Allied advance, and a foreshadowing of the terrible bloodshed to come at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. (USMC History Division)
The Marine Corps Museum calls Peleliu the “bitterest battle of the war for the Marines.” Pictured, Marines tend to a wounded comrade hit by a Japanese sniper on Suicide Ridge. (Naval Institute)
The First Marine Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their heroism at Peleliu. Marine Aircraft Group 11 and the Third Marine Infantry’s 155mm Howitzer Battalion were awarded the Navy Unit Commendation. Eight Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor, five posthumously, while 69 received the Navy Cross. (National Archives)
D-DAY AT PELELIU: The first wave of landing craft make their way towards the beaches on September 15, 1944. (Naval Institute)
Landing craft launch rocket salvos prior the landings. (Naval Institute)
A massive wall of water rises from the detonation of 8,000 pounds of tetrytol by demolitions crews preparing the wary for the landings. (USMC)
A Kingfisher aircraft in the skies just off Peleliu. (Naval Institute)
Marines climb down nets to to board their landing crafts. (USMC History Division)
Smoke from artillery strikes obscures the view of the beach by approaching landing craft during the final states of the pre-invasion bombardment. (Naval Institute)
Marines take cover on Orange Beach (USMC)
An amphibious tractor burns on the beach as Marines take shelter under another landing craft. (USMC)
Marine infantry take cover behind a wrecked amphibious tractor as others fire on enemy positions. (Naval Institute)
Moving off the beaches. (USMC)
An aerial view of the rugged terrain of Peleliu. (Naval Institute)
A Marine F4U fighter drops napalm on enemy positions on Umurbrogol Mountain, where some of the fiercest fighting raged. (Naval Institute)
Marines battle for every foot of land against dug-in Japanese defenders. (Naval Institute)
Marine riflemen and a bazooka team engage an enemy position. (USMC)
A Marine gives a wounded comrade a drink from a canteen. (USMC)
Marines take shelter in a captured Japanese anti-tank trench. (USMC)
A Marine corporal stands next to a captured Japanese 141mm mortar, which had rained shells down on the beaches during the Marine landings. (USMC)
Marines march inland across the burnt and blasted terrain. (Naval Institute)
Marines march along a road on the northern end of the island. (USMC)
IMAGES OF WAR: Life magazine artist Tom Lea accompanied the Marines at Peleliu, and his haunting images of the horrors of combat in the Pacific have become justly famous. Here are some of his images of Peleliu, published after the war, along with excerpts of the original captions.
“Gripping the steel side of a landing barge, a war-painted Marine veteran stares through the smoke of exploding shells toward beachhead of Peleliu.”
“On the hot coral sands of the beach a Jap shell burst kills four of the attacking Marines, flattens others. At right: a hit U.S. landing craft burns.”
“HOT GUN: In five minutes these sweating artillerymen of the First Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fired 100 rounds of 75-mm high explosive into a concentration of Japanese entrenched on the other side of the wooded ridge.”
“TWO SNIPERS, Captain Frank Farrell (right) and Private Firsct Class Earl F. Roth Jr., stop in a thicket to shoot Japs trying to escape from a trap by swimming across the lagoon.”
“COMMANDER of a Seventh Regiment battalion 28-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Hunter Hurst, sits on a smashed wet log, marking positions on his field map. His battalion was up ahead attacking a Jap blockhouse.”
“ADVANCE ON BLOCKHOUSE: Marines move cautiously past dead Japs which littered the ground — strange, twisted human bodies, still red, raw meat and blood mixed with gravelly dust, and splinters.”
“REQUIESCAT IN PACE: ‘The dead Marine seemed so quiet and empty and past all the small things man could love and hate.’”
“THE LAST STEP … ‘His eyes searched for a fight. Then something exploded. He scrambled up from the ground as if embarrassed at failing. He looked at his left arm, stumbled back to the beach. He never saw a Jap, never fired a shot.”
“BATTLE FATIGUE is mirrored in the stark, staring eyes of this Marine painted against the background of ‘Bloody Nose Ridge,’ a mile-long jagged cliff which was the strongest Jap redoubt on Peleliu.”
Today in History: Voyage of the Mayflower
Sep. 16, 2014
SEPTEMBER 16, 1620: The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, England, bearing 102 religious pilgrims and entrepreneurs to the New World where they would found the first permanent English colony in America. The ship intended to land in what was then called Virginia, but was blown north and after 66 days came ashore in Massachusetts. The Plymouth colony was established the day after Christmas.
1893: The Cherokee Strip Land Run opens some 8.1 million acres in the Oklahoma territory to settlers. One of seven separate land runs held in the region, the Cherokee run is the largest on history, attracting more than 100,000 settlers. The final run takes place in 1895, and in 1907 Oklahoma becomes the 46th state.
1810: Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla issues the Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”) calling for an end to three centuries of Spanish colonial rule over Mexico. Hidalgo attracts thousands to a populist peasant army that tries and fails to overthrow the government; Hidalgo is later executed. In the end, it is royalists of Spanish descent who engineer Mexico’s independence in 1821.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1950: General Douglas MacArthur stages a daring amphibious landing at Inchon and turns the tide of the Korean War. MacArthur’s plan was controversial given Inchon’s uniquely difficult geography, but the landing force — spearheaded by the First Marine Division — smashes ashore and drives through stubborn enemy resistance; two weeks later they would retake Seoul.
1935: A series of edicts known as the Nuremberg Laws deprive Jews of German citizenship and any functional role in German society, and also forbid marriages between Jews and Germans. They become the cornerstone for Nazi Germany’s racial laws that will accelerate the persecution of Jews and lead eventually to the Holocaust.
1916: The tank makes its battlefield debut at Flers-Courcelette. The Franco-British operation, part of the Somme offensive, was intended to break the German lines using massed artillery and infantry, but fails to break through and bogs down in a battle of attrition. The British deploy 49 Mark I tanks, but they are plagued by mechanical problems and difficult terrain, and prove indecisive.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1974: Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie is overthrown in a military coup. Selassie had ascended to emperor of the African nation in 1930, and led the resistance to Italy’s invasion shortly before WWII. He later tried to modernize the country’s economy while solidifying his control, and helped found the Organization of African Unity. But famine and politician stagnation would doom his rule.
1959: The classic Western series Bonanza debuts on NBC, chronicling the adventures of the Cartwright family in Nevada. Starring Lorne Greene as the family patriarch caring for three sons, episodes ranged from drama to broad comedy and also touched on environmental issues. Airing for 14 seasons, it is among the longest-running series in TV history.
1954: The family television show Lassie debuts on CBS. The tale of a long-haired collie that looks after a farm family — and in particular the trouble-prone pair of young boys — the show airs for 17 seasons, one of the longest run in television history, with Campbell’s Soup along as sponsor the whole way.
1953: John Kennedy marries Jacqueline Bouvier, whom he had courted while still serving in the House of Representatives and during a whirlwind Senate campaign. Following Kennedy’s election as the 35th president, the young couple became political celebrities of the so-called “Camelot” White House.
SEPTMEBER 11, 2001: Al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four commercial airliners, flying two into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington, killing more than 3,000 Americans. A fourth plane is brought down apparently by passenger action in Pennsylvania. The attacks lead to a new era of security procedures and an overseas campaign against Islamic terrorists.
1985: Cincinnati Reds player-manager Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb’s Major-League hit record of 4,129 in a game against the San Diego Padres, receiving a seven-minute standing ovation from a hometown crowd. “Charlie Hustle” would retire as a player the following year, but in 1989 was banned from baseball for gambling on Reds games.
1921: Silent-film star Fatty Arbuckle is arrested for the rape and murder of aspiring actress Virginia Rappe. A former star in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops films, the heavy-set Arbuckle protested his innocence in the Rappe case but was quickly condemned and his films boycotted. After two mistrials, a third jury’s final not-guilty verdict and apology comes too late to save his career.
1777: Advancing under a dense fog, British Generals William Howe and Charles Cornwallis lead 18,000 redcoats in a full-scale attack on General George Washington’s troops at Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania. Outnumbered and facing encirclement, Washington orders a retreat, and Congress is forced to flee British troops as they occupy Philadelphia.
1955: The Western series Gunsmoke premieres on CBS. Adapted from the radio serial, Gunsmoke stars James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, chief lawman of the frontier town of Dodge City, Kan. The show runs for a half-hour for its first four years before switching to a one-hour format, amassing 635 episodes over 20 years, the longest-running primetime show in history.
1813: Captain Oliver Hazard Perry defeats a squadron of six British warships at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry had his flagship Lawrence all but sunk beneath him, but after transferring to the Niagra he sailed directly into the British line, firing broadsides at close range. After the victory he cabled President Harrison: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”
1924: The infamous criminal duo Nathan Leopold (at right) and Richard Loeb — better known as Leopold & Loeb — are sentenced to life in prison for the “thrill-kill” kidnapping and murder of Bobbie Franks, avoiding execution thanks to defense attorney Clarence Darrow. The two college-educated men had tried to ransom Franks for $10,000, but were caught after his partially-buried body was discovered.
1919: Nearly a year after the end of WWI, General John J. Pershing leads a victory parade down New York City’s Fifth Avenue, with some 25,000 soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force’s First Division marched in full combat gear. A week later he led the same troops in a march in Washington.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1976: Mao Tse-tung, the Communist leader and founder of the People’s Republic of China, dies in Beijing at 82. Mao and the Communists took control of the massive nation in 1949 after a long civil war and consolidated their control through the Great Leap Forward, a failed economic initiative in 1958, and the tumultuous Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Mao remains a revered figure.
1971: Prisoners at the overcrowded Attica Correctional Facility in Buffalo, N.Y., seize control of much of the maximum-security prison and take 39 guards and prison workers hostage. Negotiators agree to improved living conditions in the prison, but when the rioters demand amnesty and passage to another country, guards storm the facility, killing 29 inmates and 10 hostages.
1919: A large part of the Boston police force goes on strike over opposition to their attempts at unionization, and the city quickly endures a spike in robbery and rioting. As Mayor Andrew Peters works to break the strike, Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge sends in the state militia to restore order, and his actions help catapult him to national office on the 1920 Republican ticket.
1850: California is admitted as the 31st state two years after the territory became a magnet in the 1848 gold rush, a rush-to-quick-riches ethos that would come to shape the state’s image. Composed of former Mexican territory, the state later trades its excavation reputation for other influential industries, led by the entertainment business in Los Angeles and the high-tech sector in San Francisco.
1966: Star Trek debuts on NBC. The groundbreaking science-fiction series from creator Gene Roddenberry presents an optimistic vision of humanity’s future, exploring many classic sci-fi themes alongside episodes inspired by the Cold War. The show runs for three seasons, making major stars of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and goes on to become a pop-culture institution.
1998: St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire hits his 62nd home run, breaking Roger Maris’s long-standing single-season record and just edging out Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa. McGwire would end the season with 70 home runs, a record that stood for three years. He later faced allegations of using performance-enhancing supplements.
1974: One month after being sworn in as his replacement, President Gerald Ford grants an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon, exempting him from indictment and trial for all federal crimes that he “committed or may have committed or taken part in” in connection with the Watergate scandal. Ford signs the order during an Oval Office press conference.
1941: Advancing German and Finnish forces close the last road into Leningrad, beginning a siege that will last 872 days. More than 650,000 residents would die in 1942 alone from starvation, exposure, and German artillery; the final death toll would grow to an estimated 1.5 million. After resupply lines begin to reach the city, the Red Army breaks the siege in January 1944.
1664: Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders the city of New Amsterdam, part of the New Netherland colony on the southern tip of modern-day Manhattan, to an English naval squadron under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls. The city is renamed New York in honor of the Duke of York. In 1686 the city became the first to receive a royal charter.
SEPTEMBER 5, 1972: Eight terrorists with the Palestinian group Black September break into the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany, killing two Israeli athletes and taking nine others hostage. The next day five of the terrorists and all the hostages are killed during an attempted rescue operation at the Munich airport; the remaining three are later released and hunted down by Israeli Mossad agents.
1877: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse is killed at Fort Robinson, Neb., in a scuffle with a soldiers, dying just four months after his surrender to U.S. General Crook and after many years battling the federal government over its treatment of the Lakota peoples. A year earlier, Crazy Horse had led a war party to a stunning victory over General George Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
1836: Sam Houston is elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. After American settlers declared their independence from Mexico, Houston led a force of Texans against General Santa Anna in revenge for the sacking of the Alamo and forced him to relinquish the territory. He later supported annexation by the U.S. but was removed from office when he refused to join the Confederacy.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1886: The legendary Chiricahua Apache warrior Goyathlay — better known as Geronimo — surrenders after a lengthy pursuit by the U.S. Army. Geronimo had battled both Mexican and American forces for more than three decades, and his surrender was the last by a notable Indian warrior. He dies on an Oklahoma reservation in 1909.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris formally ends the conflict between Great Britain and its former colonies, now recognized as the United States of America. During the negotiations Benjamin Franklin pressed to take possession of the province of Quebec and nearly succeeded, but settled instead for fishing rights off the Grand Banks.
1976: NASA’s Viking 2 probe lands in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars, six weeks after its sister-ship touched down, a double triumph for the space agency in the interim between the Apollo and space shuttle programs. Viking 2 would operate on the surface for more than four years, searching for — but never quite verifying — evidence of life on the Red Planet.
1943: The allied invasion of Italy begins with the main landing force hitting the beaches at Salerno as British General Bernard Montgomery drives north from Messina. Italian resistance quickly collapses as allied troops battle German Army forces in what would become a slow and brutal campaign up the peninsula.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1945: Japan formally surrenders onboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, bringing a final end to the fighting in World War II. Presiding over the ceremony was General Douglas MacArthur, who was set to lead the invasion of Japan — dubbed “Operation Olympic” — before the nation capitulated after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1944: Navy Lieutenant — and future 41st President of the United States — George H.W. Bush completes a bombing mission over the Pacific island of Chichijima after his Grumman Avenger is hit by antiaircraft fire. Bush and another crewman bail out and are later rescued by the submarine USS Finback.
1666: A small fire at the king’s baker in Pudding Lane near the London Bridge grows into the Great Fire of London, a massive conflagration that destroys a large part of the city over the next three days, including more than 13,000 homes and the original St. Paul’s Cathedral.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1985: Oceanographer Robert Ballard locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic under 13,000 feet of water 400 miles east of Newfoundland, the first time the ill-fated vessel had been seen since since it went down in 1912. Dreams of raising the mighty ship were dashed, however, when she was found to be split in two, confirming eyewitness reports from the night of the sinking.
1983: Soviet jet fighters shoot down a Korean Airlines jet that had strayed into Russian airspace, killing all 269 on board. At a session of the U.N. Security Council, U.S. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick plays audiotapes of the fighter pilot talking with his controllers, forcing the Soviets to admit their guilt in a major Cold War showdown.
1939: Germany launches a massive invasion of Poland, the first battle in what would grow into World War II. Hitler had secured a non-aggression pact with Russia just days before the invasion, which divided Poland between the two nations. Outgunned, outnumbered, and facing the terrible new blitzkrieg war machine, Poland would surrender in just one month.
1864: General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union army smashes through the defenses of Atlanta, seizing the city and forcing the surrender of Confederate forces. Before setting off on his pivotal March to the Sea in November, Sherman orders Atlanta’s military assets destroyed, and the resulting fire burns large swaths of the city.
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Sep. 16, 2014
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Barry Goldwater's 1964 Campaign
Sep. 15, 2014
This fall marks the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign for president. Here’s a look back at the Arizona maverick’s doomed campaign and the firestorm of conservative activism it began.
Goldwater, then a U.S. senator from Arizona, represented the conservative wing of the Republican Party. He was a vocal proponent of reduced government spending and a stronger military.
After a bruising primary campaign against Nelson Rockefeller, Goldwater surged and won the nomination on the first ballot at the GOP convention in San Francisco — even while some delegates still thought he was too far outside the Republican mainstream.
Though he was handily defeated by incumbent president Lyndon Johnson in the November general election, Goldwater’s campaign was a turning point for the GOP.
Richard Nixon — an establishment Republican but an extremely quick political study — won wide swaths of formerly Democratic voters just four years later. And only six years after Nixon’s own downfall in 1974, Ronald Reagan won a landslide presidential victory.
Goldwater’s presidential campaign saw numerous historic moments. During his acceptance speech at the convention, he delivered his famous maxim: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice … moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Just a week before the election in November, Ronald Reagan, then a corporate spokesman for GE, gave his “A Time for Choosing” address promoting Goldwater and attacking the excesses of big government. Also known as “The Speech,” Reagan’s address electrified Republican voters and greatly boosted his profile within the party.
The Johnson campaign attacked Goldwater’s strong stand on defense in the infamous “Daisy” ad, which showed a young girl’s counting of flower petals cut to the countdown to a nuclear detonation and Johnson’s exhortation: “These are the stakes.” Though it only aired once, the controversial spot had a great impact on the outcome.
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Goldwater announces his run for president from his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., in January. Asked by a journalist in 1963 what it might feel like to wake up as President of the United States someday, Goldwater had replied: “Frankly, it scares the hell out of me.”
Hostile signs greet Goldwater at a campaign stop in Ohio. Goldwater’s strong conservative views did not sit well with some old-line GOP voters, and they were even less popular with Democratic voters during the general campaign.
Goldwater under an oversized mural of himself in June. Goldwater’s earnestness made him a ready target for establishment lampooning, as when opponents quickly turned the pro-Barry slogan “In your heart you know he’s right” into the memorable couplet “In your guts you know he’s nuts.”
A friendlier group of supporters during the primary campaign’s early days in January.
Ronald Reagan would be a staunch supporter of Goldwater during the Republican primaries and the general election against Lyndon Johnson. Pictured, Goldwater and Reagan at a Los Angeles campaign event.
Goldwater campaigns in Nogales, Texas, in June.
While passing through Phoenix, Ariz., in June, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters showed their support by spray-painting “A VOTE FOR BARRY IS A VOTE FOR FUN!" on one side of their hippie bus nicknamed “Further.”
The patriotic message, briefly captured in one of the Pranksters' Super-8 movies, failed to move voters in those more straight-laced days.
Campaigning for the nomination in July.
One of the “Goldwater Girls” campaign supporters in Sherman Oaks, Calif., in the lead-up to the state’s primary election in July, which would boost Goldwater past Rockefeller and ensure his nomination at the Republican convention in San Francisco.
Goldwater delivers his convention speech in San Francisco. He would later write in his memoir With No Apologies: “By the time the convention opened, I had been branded as a fascist, a racist, a trigger-happy warmonger, a nuclear madman, and the candidate who couldn't win.”
Goldwater and running mate William Miller kick off the general election campaign in Prescott, Ariz.
Goldwater and Miller raise their hands at the kick-off event.
A campaign billboard makes its way down the street during a homecoming parade at Southeast Missouri State College in Cape Girardeau (hometown of radio host Rush Limbaugh).
Goldwater’s distinctive black glasses became his trademark, one he did not always take seriously, as in this image of the senator sporting a gimmick pair.
The pilots of Goldwater's campaign plane display an oversized pair during a stop in Boise in September.
A group of youngsters and their dogs greet the candidate in their own Goldwater glasses at a campaign stop in Montgomery, Ala.
”HE’S OUR MAN”: Memorabilia from Goldwater’s 1964 campaign are still sought after by collectors. Pictured here are some of the vintage campaign buttons from Goldwater’s nomination and general election campaigns.
This collection includes an anti-Goldwater button, upper right. The top button references the fact that the voting age in 1964 was still 21; it would not move to 18 until 1971, with passage of the 26th Amendment.
A closer look at some of the Goldwater campaign buttons.
A button harkening back to Goldwater's acceptance speech.
This campaign button puts the chemical symbols for Barium (Au) and water (H20) to clever use.
Vintage bobble head dolls of Johnson and Goldwater.
Campaign flyers and literature, as well as coverage of the campaign in news media and other publications, provide a fascinating glimpse into the style of campaigning 50 years ago.
Magazines such as “The Goldwater Story” laid out the candidate’s positions and governing philosophy.
A pair of comic books described the life and times of each of the presidential candidates.
Johnson and Goldwater appear in separate issues of Coronet, a popular magazine of the time.
The Star-Spangled Banner
Sep. 12, 2014
This week marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, where the heroic defense of Fort McHenry would inspire Francis Scott Key to pen the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Here’s a look at the battle and the ballad.
The War of 1812 had begun two years earlier, and only weeks before the asault on Baltimore British troops had occupied Washington and burned the White House and the Capitol building. The Battle of Baltimore would rage from September 12-14, 1814, and culminate in a defining moment for the young nation.
THE BATTLE OF BALTIMORE: The British attack on Baltimore took place by land and by sea. Land forces would come ashore at Old Road Bay and march up the peninsula east of Baltimore, while the Navy would sail up the Patapsco River and assault Fort McHenry directly.
Fort McHenry had been reinforced in anticipation of an eventual British attack, and bristled with 100 cannons, including a 32-pounder on the water’s edge, and several additional fortifications, with final preparations completed just days before the British arrived.
The land attack was led by Major General Robert Ross (pictured), who had commanded the British forces that had burned Washington. On the morning of September 12, 1814, Ross led three brigades of infantry, a company of Royal Sappers, and a contingent of Royal Marines ashore at North Point.
Waiting for Ross's men on the road to Baltimore was a force from the Third Maryland Militia Brigade under Brigadier General John Stricker, who had dug in to slow the British advance. Strickers's troops held their ground until nightfall, providing a crucial delaying action. Pictured, Battle of North Point by Don Troiani (Army National Guard)
The British forces pressed on but they had suffered a crucial loss: during the fighting, General Ross was shot and mortally wounded. Pictured, The Death of General Ross at Baltimore by Alonzo Chappel (Library of Congress)
The following morning, on September 13, a force of 16 British ships began their bombardment of Fort McHenry, sending a barrage of Congreve rockets (the “rocket’s red glare”), mortar shells (“bombs bursting in air”), and cannons to try and dislodge the American force and clear the way to Baltimore.
But Fort McHenry — bristling with cannons and some 12,000 militia and regular infantry — was ready, and stood fast against the British onslaught through the day and into the night (“twilight’s last gleaming”).
After drawing closer and even attempting to bypass the fort and land upriver, the British eventually realized they could not prevail.
On the morning of September 14, Fort McHenry’s commander Major George Armistead (pictured) ordered the raising of a massive garrison flag with its “broad stripes and bright stars” and finally broke the will of the British force.
Francis Scott Key had observed the battle at Fort McHenry from the deck of a British ship, where he had been sent to secure the release of a Maryland resident taken prisoner by the British. Pictured, detail of Percy E. Moran’s painting of Key and the garrison flag at Fort McHenry (Library of Congress)
The massive Great Garrison Flag, photographed at the Washington Navy Yard in 1873. (Library of Congress)
Visitors stand before the Great Garrison Flag at the National Museum of American History
Members of the Maryland National Guard’s 175th Infantry Regiment, Maryland Defense Force, recreate the crucial march undertaken by their forebears in 1814 to the North Point Peninsula, September 11, 2014. (Photo: Staff Sergeant Thaddeus Harrington)
Maryland National Guardsmen greet residents of Baltimore on September 11, 2014, along their route.
History lives at Fort McHenry: Modern-day reenactors fire their muskets at a commemoration of the Battle of Baltimore. (Richard Gunion/Dreamstime)
KEY’S CHRONICLE: Attorney and amateur poet Francis Scott Key wrote about the heroic day-long fighting at Fort McHenry and the victorious appearance of the American flag in his poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” first published in a Baltimore broadside.
Detail of Keys’s original manuscript. Most modern listeners know only the first stanza, but Key wrote a total of four, each ending with the phrase “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” progressing from a question to an emphatic declaration. (Image: Maryland Historical Society)
Subsequent printings changed the name to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and indicated it was to be performed to the music of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a drinking song created by the Anacreontic Society amateur men’s club in London that first surfaced during the Revolutionary War era.
In 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes added a fifth verse to the song, building on the song’s growing popularity during the tumult of the Civil War. Other writers have added to and adapted the lyrics to further political causes including temperance. Pictured, a Civil War-era songbook.
In 1889 the United States Navy began performing the song when raising and lowering the flag. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the song the national anthem of all the armed forces in 1916.
Finally, on March 3, 1931, by an act of Congress “The Star-Spangled Banner” was made the official national anthem, replacing earlier unofficial anthems such as “Hail, Columbia” and “My Country, ’Tis of Thee.” (Library of Congress)
The Batmobile
Sep. 12, 2014
Need a ride? Director Zack Snyder has unveiled this picture of the new-look Batmobile that will appear in his upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, coming out in 2015. Here’s a look at the rugged new superhero SUV, its iconic predecessors, and some real-life roadsters.
Fans got a tease of the new Batmobile alongside their first look at actor Ben Affleck as Batman in this image released earlier this year. Most attention was paid to Affleck’s appearance, since many fans still question the casting decision; the new vehicle was also mostly shrouded from view.
This look rear view of the new Batmobile was released by the studio several months ago.
The unveiling of the new Batmobile photo may have been accelerated by these pictures of the vehicle taken, on the set, which hit social media in recent weeks.
They depict the dunebuggy-esque vehicle with its gull-wing canopy open.
Some fans have noted similarities between Snyder’s Batmobile design and the one seen in the video game Arkham Knight (pictured), which also takes its cues from the recent Christopher Nolan films.
CAR TALK: The Batmobile’s cinematic heritage goes back more than 70 years. Pictured here, the unadorned roadster from the Batman film serials of 1943, the Caped Crusader’s first big-screen appearance. As modest as this mobile appears, it’s actually fairly true to the earliest versions of the Batmobile from the pages of Action Comics; the extensive modifications and flair came later.
Batman TV show (1966-68): Prior to the modern films, the most famous Batmobile — and the one most-adored by many fans — is the modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car driven by Adam West for two seasons (and in one feature film). This edition featured lavish flowing lines accented by bright red highlights and plenty of chrome accessories.
Another view of the television Batmobile. What true fanboy doesn’t hear Burt Ward intone “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed” when turning over their ignition?
Batman Begins (2005) Director Christopher Nolan grounded his highly successful reboot in very realistic terms, with the Batmobile originating as a heavily-armored military vehicle called the “Tumbler,” designed as a bridging vehicle capable of a rampless jump. Needless to say, Bruce Wayne was instantly smitten, asking only: “Does it come in black?”
Nolan’s design may have taken some design cues from the tank-like Batmobile seen in Frank Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which helped launch the dark and more realistic modern incarnation of Batman.
The Tumbler would return in The Dark Knight (2008) — where it was joined by a breakaway Bat-Pod (essentially a Bat-Cycle) — and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), where it is seen sporting different paint schemes, including tan desert camouflage.
Batman gets his motor running’ on the Batpod in The Dark Knight Rises.
The aptly named “Bat” — apparently a kind of VTOL aircraft — in The Dark Knight Rises.
Batman (1989): Director Tim Burton brought the darker, modern version of Batman to the big screen and gave him a stretched Batmobile with Gothic flourishes — and a Batwing aircraft with similar design lines. This edition returned essentially unchanged in Batman Returns (1992).
Batman Forever (1995): Director Joel Schumacher took the films in a very stylized direction, adding garish ribbing, lighting effects, and horn-like fins to the basic design from Burton’s films.
Batman & Robin (1997): For Schumacher’s second outing, the Batmobile retained most of the lines from Batman Forever but returned some of smoother look and feel of the Burton-era vehicle.
COMIC-BOOK CARS: The famous Batmobile has had dozens of incarnations since the Caped Crusader premiered in 1939, moving from fairly normal-looking vehicles to ever larger, more powerful, and more heavily armed and armored editions, changing over time with the changing portrayals of the Batman himself.
The earliest Batmobile was just another vehicle in billionaire Bruce Wayne's garage.
Early versions of the customized Batmobile featured a large Batman faceplace on the hood.
This 1960s-era version took some design cues from the television seris.
Another version of the Batmobile from the 1960s.
In recent years, some of the comic-book cars have picked up on the designs seen in the movies, such as this vehicel inspired by the Tim Burton films.
Some artists have also evolved the Batmobile into an ever-more high-tech crimefighter replete with James Bond-style weapons and gadgets.
CARTOON CARS: The various animated incarnations of the Batmobile have been inspired both by the comic book and film versions. Pictured, the Batmobile from 1992's Batman: The Animated Series, which borrowed from the Tim Burton films.
The lines of the Batmobile from Superfriends harkened back somewhat to the 1960s TV eries.
The sleek black edition from The New Adventures of Batman in 1997.
CAR & DRIVER: Enterprising comic-book fans and savvy promoters have built many of their own replica Batmobiles in homage to the Caped Crusader’s cinematic incarnations. Sojme just sit and look cool, while others actually prowl the streets. Pictured, a Batmobile inspired by the Tim Burton films at the opening of a comic art exhibition in Switzerland in March.
A replica of the Tumbler gets a touch-up at a movie premiere.
Michigan resident Bob Dullam is one of a number of enthusiasts who has built his own Tumbler-era Batmobile. Almost everything on the vehicle was built form scratch with the exception of the tires which, like the movie car, are 44-inch Super Swampers.
A side view of Dullam’s roadster, which actually does drive on city streets — in Kalamazoo, not Gotham.
Other real-life Batmobiles are less replicas than homages. Pictured, A Batmobile-themed Ford F-150 at Comic-Con in San Diego.
A 1998 BMW 323i is the perfect starting point for a bourgeois Batmobile.
If the famously black-clad Batman ever goes green, he might consider this customized Smart Car.
San Francisco’s famous Batkid project didn’t build their own Batmobile, but a black Lamborghini with a classic Bat-logo on the hood will do in a pinch.
Name Obama's ISIS Operation
Sep. 12, 2014
The plan President Obama presented his plan to roll back ISIS this week, and while it may not amount to a formal war, every operation needs a good name, and Twitter users jumped at the chance to provide one appropriate to the Commander-in-Chief. Here’s a sampling of ideas at #NameObamaISISOperation.
Operation: I Was Supposed To Be On Vacation (Lizzy Lou Who, @wintergirl93)
Operation Cautious Fury (Jim Geraghty, @jimgeraghty)
Operation Nuanced Destruction (Joel Gehrke, @Joelmentum)
Raging Reluctance (Keith Savage, @KeithSavage)
Operation: CRISCO FIST (Imaumbn, @lmaumbn)
Shock and Uh (Rob, @robx)
Operation Teleprompter (Steve’s World, @StevsWorld)
Operation: Blame Bush (The Morning Spew, @TheMorningSpew)
Operation JV Road Game (David Burge, @iowahawkblog)
Operation: Lemme Be Clear (Lizzy Lou Who, @wintergirl93)
The Soetoro Solution (Jenn Jacques, @JennJacques)
Unicorn Down (Wodeshed, @Wodeshed)
Operation Gulf Course (Louise Mensch, @LouiseMensch)
Operation Lead from the 9th Hole (Pooka Luck, @MuchLuck)
Operation Sand Wedge (Leslie #WeAreN, @LADowd)
The Golf War (Obamas Amerika, @ObamasAmerika)
Operation whack-a-mole (Steve’s World, @StevsWorld)
Operation Unicorn (Bossy Brat, @JGalt9)
Desert Storm 3: Revenge of the Nerds (Pol, @PointlessPol)
Stragedy Schmagedy (Adam Baldwin, @AdamBaldwin)
Operation.. liberal media you got my back, right? (MediaResearchCenter, @theMRC)
Operation Nobel Peace--SURPRISE! (Lee Ritz, M.D., @lee_ritz)
Operation Not A War (Razor, @hale_razor)
Operation Diminished President (Josh Jordan, @NumbersMuncher)
Operation Bare Minimum (Derek Hunter, @derekahunter)
Operation Rolling Blunder (Michelle Malkin, @michellemalkin)
Operation Desert Worm (Michelle Malkin, @michellemalkin)
Operation Junior Varsity (Tim Cavanaugh, @bigtimcavanaugh)
Operation Deserter Shield (Jim Geraghty, @jimgeraghty)
War on Winning (Leslie #WeAreN, @LADowd)
Operation It Depends Upon What the Meaning of the Word 'ISIS' is (Eric, @JustEric)
Operation Waffle (Bossy Brat, @JGalt9)
ISIL What You Did There. (Wodeshed, @Wodeshed)
Operation: Toot Your Own Horn (The Morning Spew, @TheMorningSpew)
Wheel of Strategy (Cameron Gray, @Cameron_Gray)
Operation Bare Minimum to Get This Off the Front Pages (WakeyWakeyUSA, @WakeyWakeyUSA)
Operation: Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste (woot6, @woot6)
Operation Boots in the Air Flying Planes (Mr. Butcher, @blindmandscane)
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