NRO Slideshows

Stand With Phil

Petitions destined for A&E executives and calls for boycotting the network quickly sprang up. More than one million people have liked the Facebook page WeStandWithPhil and more than 200,000 have signed their petition. Another Facebook page advocating a boycott of A&E has also received more than one million likes, and others in the same vein are showing similarly strong support.
Uploaded: Dec. 20, 2013


Hillary's "Presidential" Suites
Aug. 21, 2014
Hillary Clinton may be planning another run for the White House in 2016, but she’s already demanding “presidential” accommodations for an upcoming speaking engagement in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at Hillary’s demands, and some some of the luxurious rooms available in Sin City.
Clinton stirred controversy earlier this year when she accepted a speaking engagement at a University of Nevada Las Vegas fundraiser scheduled for this fall, with some questioning why the school had to spend $300,000 for one short speech. Clinton later “discounted” her appearance to only $225,000 — but that wasn’t all she wanted.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clinton’s contract with the university spells out some decidedly 1%-er requirements. Among them: Accommodations in a “presidential suite” for her and five staffers, transportation on a private plane no smaller than a Gulfstream G450 (pictured), and a long list of do’s and don’ts about her speech and how it will be (and not be) covered.
SIN CITY GETAWAYS: While Washington, D.C., has its perks, in Las Vegas the “presidential” level doesn’t even get you into the top tier of luxury on offer. Why settle for a modest democratic title when you can indulge the tastes of a Roman or Chinese emperor, a Venetian monarch, a rock ’n roll god (or goddess), or Hugh Hefner himself. Here’s a look at some of Sin City’s swankiest suites.
Four Seasons Las Vegas: This Strip hotel offers not one but five presidential suites featuring vibrant art-deco decors with wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows, a separate butler pantry — and fresh orchids delivered daily. Cost: Starting at $3,000/night
The Bellagio: Famous for the giant fountains out front, the Bellagio offers Presidential and Chairman suites measuring more than 4,000 square feet and adorned with Gucci toiletries, private solarium and fountain, and a 24-hour butler. Cost: $5,000/night
Aria Sky Suite Villas: Located in the new City Center complex, Aria's Villas are one- and two-story suites ranging up to 7,000 square feet with amenities including private salon and fitness center, private entrance, 24-hour butler, and Hermes toiletries. Cost: $7,500/night
The Venetian: Occupying the casino’s three highest floors, the penthouses at the Venetian clock in at around 3,000 square feet and feature marble-floored bathrooms and fully-stocked wet bars. The Chairman Suite adds a personal butler, private salon, massage room, and karaoke bar. Cost: $5,000/night of the Presidential, $25,000/night for the Chairman
Caesars Palace Octavius Tower Villas: Vegas’s evocation of Roman opulence offers a range of high-end suites, but the top of the line are the Octavius Tower Villas, 10,000-square-foot rooms stocked with a baby grand piano, pool table, remote-controlled toilets, and a reported $80,000 in bedroom linens. Cost: $30,000-40,000/night
Mandarin Oriental: Also at City Center, Mandarin offers not one but three “presidential”-calibre rooms: The Emperor Suite, the Taipan Suite, and the Mandarin Suite (pictured), which includes an oversized tub overlooking the Strip, media room, and piano. Cost: Starting at $15,000/night
MGM Grand Skylofts: The hotel’s premiere luxury rooms sit on the top two floors and are filled with luxurious amenities, the all-important 24-hour doncerite and butler service, and airport chauffeur service via a custom Maybach 62 limousine. Cost: Up to $10,000/night
Las Vegas Hilton Verona Sky Villa: Paris would be proud of this huge, 15,500 square feet unit, the largest of the hotel’s three luxury villa offerings, which comes wall-to-wall with imported Italian marble floors, a private pool, private garden, observation deck, full bar and kitchen, and 24-hour butler service.
Palms Casino Hugh Hefner Sky Villa: Sure it may be the Lourdes of “War on Women” luxury, but this ode to the Playboy empire is hard to top, offering 10,000 square feet of space with a Bunny-themed outdoor infinity pool, rotating bed with a mirrored ceiling, an indoor waterfall, private gym, and eight-person hot tub and sauna. Cost: $40,000/night
The amazing view from the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa infinity pool — sadly minus the current Playmate of the Month.
Palms Casino Kingpin Suite: If you want to see how the common folk live and recreate (at least after they win the lottery), try the Kingpin Suite, a 4,500-square foot getaway which features two full-sized bowling lanes (shoes included), a full bar, theater-sized projection TV, pool table, and 24-hour butler service.
Caesars Palace Nobu Penthouse: Guests can indulge their Japanophile instincts in this expansive suite featuring a curved staircase leading to a second-story terrace, a stone hearth wall, leather sofas, and classic billiards table. Cost: Starting at $3,510/night
Wynn Las Vegas/Encore Tower Suites: Located at both hotels, these suites offer nearly 6,000 square feet of luxury in a two-story, three-bedroom duplex with billiards room, private massage room, and deep-soaking tubs. Cost: $3,500-$4,500/night
Caesars Palace Duplex Suite: Made famous in the 1988 film Rain Man, the Duplex Suite features a spectacular two-story layout with a modest 1,800 square feet, a 12-person couch, and television monitors mounted in bathroom mirrors. Cost: $3,500/night
Cosmopolitan West End Penthouses: Favored by Adele, Beyonce, and other celebrities, West End Penthouses run from 2,400 to 3,700 square feet and come with poolside Bungalow party pads, outdoor kitchens, and Jacuzzi plunge pools. Cost: $5,000/night
Red Rocks Casino and Hotel One-Eighty Suite: It’s a bit off the Strip, but this modest pad compensates with 7,500 square feet of space featuring a 180-degree view of the city, jacuzzi on the patio, pool table, and a bar with seating for ten.
Cartoon of the Day
Aug. 21, 2014
JV . . . by Michael Ramirez August 21, 2014)
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Sectarian Tensions, by Henry Payne (August 19, 2014)
Between Iraq and a Hard Place, by Michael Ramirez (August 18, 2014)
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Aug. 21, 2014
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<p>NR’s Photoshop of the Day is produced daily by <a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF"></a>.</p>
Aug. 20, 2014
Reporting from Ferguson, Missouri this week, Huffington Post “Justice Reporter” Ryan Reilly tweeted this picture of orange earplugs he discovered with the question: “I believe these are rubber bullets, can anyone confirm?” As they say in the comedy biz, hilarity ensued. Here’s a look.
Twitter users immediately slammed Reilly. Wrote user Joe Walsh: “This is top notch work from a ‘justice’ reporter. Can’t distinguish between rubber bullets & earplugs.” PadTriot was even harsher: “U R An Amazingly ignorant individual and should not be reporting anything. Ever.” Others offered their own snarky research inquiries at the hashtag #CanAnyoneConfirm. Here’s a look.
“Here's a weapon Ferguson Police used to attack protesters. #CanAnyoneConfirm if those are tear gas cartridges?” (Sam Valley, @SamValley)
“My nephew left this on his porch. I think it’s an assault rifle of some sort. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kelly, @flyoverangel)
“This appears to be an assault rifle. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Danny Robinson, @TheStormCro)
“Disproportionate use of Force in #Ferguson? #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (JavaJoe, @JavaJoeX)
“I believe these are hand grenades. Can @ryanjreilly or anybody else confirm?” (Jay Caruso, @JayCaruso)
“I believe this is pepper spray #CanAnyoneConfirm” (RoboCane, @RoboCane1)
“I believe this is a taser. Can @ryanjreilly confirm?” (Matt, @mdrache)
“In the aftermath. Reports are that these were launched to gas the crowds of protestors #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Jefferson Tea Party, @JeffersonTeaPar)
“I believe this is some un-detonated C-4, can anyone confirm? #ferguson @ryanjreilly @AmericanGlob #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Doug Ross, @directorblue)
“I believe this is a secret Air Force assault plane #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Solvang, @Solvang84)
“This looks like a detonation device. Not sure though. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Olliander, @ollieblog)
“I’ve found what appears to be an expended bomb shell in #Ferguson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Leslie, @LADowd)
“I think the sharp metal thingy on the right is a Samurai sword - Can you confirm, @ryanjreilly” (Cameron Gray, @Cameron_Gray)
“Chris Hayes: We think these are rocks. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Barry Johnson, @ItsBarryYo)
“I believe this is a Ferguson protestor with hands in the air. #CanAnyOneConfirm?” (Bernie Gilbert, @Bernie_Gilbert)
“I believe this is a cop in riot hear harassing a #Ferguson protester in rain gear, #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Vigilant Veteran, @VigilantVeteran)
“I believe this is one of #Fergurson PD's new hateful supercops spoken of by Alex Jones. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Dr. Kanko Swag, @kankokage)
“First known photo of #DarrenWilliams #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (MrGasMaskMan), @MrGasMaskMan)
“I believe this is Officer Darren Wilson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (The One Who Knocks, @Goodie1969)
“#Ferguson police now setting up road blocks to prevent children from crossing street. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Bro-Lo El Cunado, @BigDustinC)
“This MRAP sure has an odd siren. #CanAnyoneConfirm why?” (neontaster, @neontaster)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm Is the Army sending tanks to #Ferguson?” (VodkaVulcan, @VodkaVulcan)
“I believe this is an urban as-salt vehicle. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Chris Ryan, @thestreeter)
“I just spotted a Sooper Seekrit Audio Noise Connection Weapon Thing, It's white and looks racist #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Laura Rosen Cohen, @LauraRosenCohen)
“I think it's illegal to carry this many clips in D.C.” (TocksNedlog, @gypsyluc)
“I believe I’ve found evidence that POTUS was in Ferguson last night. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Mr Odell Hayes, @WOODROWNGUS)
“I believe this is a failed president, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Charlie Johnson, @SemperBanU)
“I believe this is Cy Young. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kregg, @DrActorKJ)
“I believe these are 80 pound dumbbells.” (The 57th State© ℅EF™, @EF517_V2)
“I believe this is a concussed Grandma making a gang sign. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The 57th State© ℅EF™, @EF517_V2)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm I think the hotel @ryanjreilly is staying in has “blueberries” on complimentary breakfast” (O Bow Mao Truth Team, @BowMaoTruthteam)
“These bullets look like they wrap around someone’s feet like bolas… #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (AOTUS, @The_Autopen)
“Free candy in the restroom. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The Barbecutioner, @BBQGiant)
“I believe these are face masks #CanAnyoneConfirm” (OldSchoolBYU, @OldSchoolBYU)
“I believe this is a time machine. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (David Burge, @iowahawkblog)
“This is the wrong way to drink milk… #CanAnyoneConfirm? (O Bow Mao Truth Team, @BowMaoTruthTeam)
“It’s about to get real. Military moving into #Ferguson. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Mister Brent, @therightplanet1)
“I believe this is a US destroyer #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Kim, @mrskimcarn)
“I believe this needs more guacameowly. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Justice Don Willett, @JusticeWillett)
“I think I’ve found evidence of chemical warfare. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Michael Frisbie, @PastorFrisbie)
“Are these Armor Piercing Bullets? found on the scene #Ferguson… #CanAnyoneConfirm” (JavaJe, @JavaJoeX)
“Empty clips found all over the streets of #Ferguson #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Jefferson Tea Party, @JeffersonTeaPar)
“Looks like we might have found more dangerous rubber bullets. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (GunRightsAcrAmerica, @GRAAmerica)
“#CanAnyoneConfirm This is the new NOAA global warming forecaster???” 9Steven Thompson, @Thunderstixx)
“I believe this is the getaway driver from the Ferguson store looting last night. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Jimini27, @Jimni27)
“Hard to unsee this. Saw some gang graffiti tags. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Catherine, @museofhistory)
“This is tear gas, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (The Barbecutioner, @BBQGiant)
“I believe this is a mutant elephant, caused by the Fukushima radiation leak. Can anyone confirm?” (Matt, @mdrache)
“Apparently evidence of water boarding in #Ferguson, #CanAnyoneConfirm” (Pundit Review, @PunditReview)
“Not sure if this is what police refer to as "razor wire" or stun device. #CanAnyoneConfirm” (If Itsthisname, @Ifitsthisname)
“I believe this is one of the horse-mounted police horses used to kick protestors into submission. #CanAnyoneConfirm?” (Dr. Kanko Swag, @kankokage)
Clashes in Ferguson
Aug. 20, 2014
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19: The daily protest gatherings appeared to heed calls for calm on Tuesday evening, only to see a return to violence aimed at police forces and a resulting crackdown that once agin filled the air with lights, sirens, and tear gas.
As with previous days, the gatherings and marches during daylight hours were largely peaceful affairs, punctuated by heated rhetoric directed at law enforcement, as authorities strove to keep demonstrators moving through the usual location.
Some arrests were made during the daytime demonstrations.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson again walked among the crowd to call for an end to the violence.
Law enforcement and Ferguson community leaders appealed for a night of calm to help ease tensions. A noticeably smaller crowd remained after dark, changing the mantra “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” that has become the protesters rallying cry throughout the unrest.
A young demonstrators waves a sign that reads “Justice!”
After clashes broke out with police, some in the crowd stove to prevent further escalations, locking arms and confronting those in the crowd bent on violence.
A man stands between police and protesters to appeal for calm.
An older man appeals for calm from a group of younger men wearing masks and face coverings.
Some demonstrators and onlookers took shelter inside a nearby business.
A business owner tussles with a young demonstrator, forcing him outside.
Verbal confrontations escalated later in the evening after bottles were thrown at police.
A policeman speaks with demonstrators as tensions escalate.
Authorities reported that some protesters had thrown urine at police, and additional threats were made from a passing vehicle. In all police made 47 arrests on Tuesday evening.
MONDAY, AUGUST 18: More clashes shook the streets of Ferguson on Monday as the arrival of the Missouri National Guard and the cancellation of the midnight curfew failed to quell the growing crowd of protesters and the growing anger surrounding the investigation of the death of Michael Brown more than a week ago.
Authorities report at least 31 persons were arrested in renewed clashes, which saw the air along Florissant Avenue once again filled with smoke and tear gas as police and demonstrators vied for control.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told reporters that there was information that some of the more disruptive participants had travelled to Ferguson from as far away as New York and California. Pictured, protesters tip over a porta-potty onto Florissant Avenue.
Johnson had been sent to Ferguson to try and reduce tensions between police and local residents, but that mission appears to have failed as clashes have only increased in intensity since the weekend.
As on previous days, earlier demonstrations were largely peaceful, though arrests did take place as police tried to keep people moving along Florissant, where most of the unrest has taken place.
Rapper Nelly arrived on Monday to join the protests.
Among the large group of demonstrators, a man with a megaphone speaks to the crowd.
Anger rises among the demonstrators.
A melee ensues as police move to arrest a demonstrator.
Heavily-armed special police units were once again out in force.
Police units form a line to prevent demonstrators from moving further.
Riot police advance on the crowd.
Police wear gas masks as they deploy tear gas in the crowd of demonstrators.
A man reacts to the effects of tear gas.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17: After the curfew on Saturday evening broke down into more clashes and arrests, police increased their presence on the streets on Sunday. But as night fell the situation again turned violent, with demonstrators taunting police and drawing a firm response from police.
After another day of violent clashes and flaunting of the town's midnight curfew, Missouri governor announced late Sunday evening that he is deploying the Missouri National Guard to restore order.
Said Nixon: "Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard ... in restoring peace and order to this community,"
Police with riot gear assemble earlier in the evening to deal with the gathered crowd.
Special units prepare to head out as a tear-gas shell streams from behind an armored vehicle.
Police respond to reports of looting at an area business.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16: By Saturday, Missouri governor Jay Nixon announced a midnight curfew in an attempt to gain control over the streets of Ferguson in the wake of Friday's continued unrest and growing anger over emerging details of the investigation. Pictured, police maintain order during daylight.
Local business owner Mustafa Alshalabi cleans up his store, Sam’s Meat Market, the morning after looters ransacked it.
Local shopowners brandish firearms to protect their property from further looting.
Two groups of demonstrators march down Florissant Avenue.
Demonstrators pass a line of police.
Captain Ronald Johnson talks with demonstrators earlier in the evening in attempt to head off more clashes with police.
Police stand guard at the 911 Hair Salon.
Police stand guard at area businesses.
Police stand guard at area businesses.
The energy level of demonstrators remain high.
Demonstrators hold up homemade signs.
Police shoot smoke cannisters into the gathered crowd.
Demonstrators run to grab smoke cannisters and hurl them back at police.
Demonstrators and journalists run as police fire tear gas into the crowd.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15: By week's end, the stronger police presence had returned after several businesses suffered damage and crowds of demonstrators continued to challenge law enforcement.
A demonstrators wears one of many tee-shirts with the image of Michael Brown.
A demonstrator wears a bandana as a mask to conceal her identity. Some have also used masks to cope with smoke and tear gas fired by police.
Fellow Ferguson residents try to restrain energized demonstrators.
Demonstrators stand and kneel in front of law enforcement officials.
Demonstrators climb vehicles travelling Florissant Avenue.
Cars crowd Florissant Avenue as rain begins to fall.
Capt. Ron Johnson, joined by Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay (at left) uses a bullhorn to appeal for calm.
Looters among the demonstrators raid an area liquor store.
Looters emerge from a local business.
Looters flee the scene.
Law enforcement prepare to move against the demonstrators.
A police officer chases a demonstrator.
Particles from a concussion grenade explode into the air.
A demonstrators walks amid gas cannisters fired by police.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14: Protesters walk down Florissant Avenue as demonstrations continued.
Demonstrators show the "Don't Shoot" hands-up gesture to gathered media.
Demonstrators gather near the location where Michael Brown was gunned down by a Ferguson police officer on August 9.
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson walks among demostrators as night falls. Johnson, a Ferguson native, was brought in to take over security from local police in an attempt to quiet tensions.
A child's train joins the demonstrations on Florissant Avenue.
Tear gas spreads through the crowd.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13: Some 500 demonstrators gathered Wednesday to continue protests against the shooting and delays in identified the police officers involved. Protesters vented their anger and in some cases taunted police.
Local police and other law-enforcement personnel have stepped up their presence on city streets over the past several days. But some observers wonder if the show of force, including military-style weapons and tactics, is only exacerbating tensions.
Though confrontations have been loud and vocal thorugh the week, there has as yet not been a repeat of the looting and arson the broke out on August 10, when some two dozen local businesses were damaged and a convenience store was gutted by flames. Nine persons have been charged in those incidents.
Throughout the night, as they have done since the demonstrations began last weekend, many protesters advanced on police lines with arms held high in the air in a gesture of surrender, exclaiming “Don’t Shoot! Don’t Shoot.”
After repeated calls to disperse were ignored, police cracked down with riot gear and tear gas.
Police line up to push the protesters back.
Some demonstrators responded by throwing the tear gas canisters back at police, while others attempted to hurl homemade molotov cocktails.
An Al-Jazeera news crew flees the scene as teear gas strikes their camera location.
Police guarded area businesses to head off a repeat of Sunday's looting and arson.
Tear gas and smoke filled the night air as police moved against demonstrators.
A demonstator braves the smoke to grab a gas cannister and hurl it back at police.
Smoke from tear gas and gas cannisters drifted into nearby neighborhoods.
Police fan out to secure nearby neighborhoods and search for violent protesters.
Today in History: The Great Debates
Aug. 20, 2014
AUGUST 21, 1858: The first of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas takes place in Ottawa, Ill., as the two vie for the state’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Slavery would dominate the debates, with Douglas favoring a state’s rights approach while Lincoln supported limiting any further expansion. Lincoln loses the election, but the debates fuel his presidential bid two years later.
1863: Captain William Quantrill leads his Quantrill’s Raiders, a Confederate guerrilla force of about 450 — among them future outlaws Frank and Jesse James — in an attack on Lawrence, Kan., in revenge for the city’s support of abolition and militias who raided pro-slavery areas of Missouri. Quantrills’ men massacre more than 150 residents and set fire to 185 buildings.
1831: Nat Turner leads a revolt with seven fellow slaves on a Virginia plantation, murdering more than 60 whites over the next two days. Turner had hoped to rally others to his cause, but the rebellion was quickly put down, and in the aftermath hundreds of blacks were killed or executed; Turner was caught and hanged six weeks later. The rebellion resulted in a rash of new restrictions on slave life.
AUGUST 20, 1998: President Bill Clinton orders cruise missile strikes against Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and a purported chemical weapons plant in Sudan in retaliation for the bombings of two American embassies. The strikes fail to take out Osama bin Laden, and critics noted the similarity to politically-motivated misdirection portrayed in the film Wag the Dog.
1977: NASA launches the Voyager 2 space probe on a mission to explore the outer solar system. Launched before its sister ship, Voyager 2 remains the only probe to have visited all the outer gas giants: Jupiter (in 1979), Saturn (1981), Uranus (1986), and Neptune (1989). She is currently headed to the Kuiper belt and the outer boundaries of the solar system.
1794: Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne wins a decisive victory over a British-backed confederation of Indian tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near present-day Toledo. The victory clears the way for the expansion of settlements into what would become Ohio and the upper midwest territories and puts an end to British influence in the region.
AUGUST 19, 1812: The USS Constitution, one of the original ships of war built by the American Navy to protect the fledgling nation, defeats the British frigate HMS Guerrière in a fierce battle off the coast of Nova Scotia. During the fight, 18-pound British cannonballs were seen bouncing off Constitution’s sturdy 25-inch thick oak hull, lending the ship its nickname “Old Ironsides.”
1914: Speaking before the US. Senate, President Woodrow Wilson argues that the nation must stay neutral in the conflict brewing in Europe. But after Germany violates pledges to restrict submarine warfare and entices Mexico into an alliance against the U.S., Wilson returns to Congress on April 4, 1917, to request a declaration of war on Germany; the House grants it two days later.
AUGUST 18, 1227: Mongol ruler Genghis Khan dies. Khan organized the warring tribes of the harsh Mongolian steppes into a highly disciplined and mobile army and conquered an empire that stretched across Central Asia from China to the Caspian Sea. Khan’s heirs extended their rule across China and Persia and drove as far west as the Danube River, the largest land empire in human history.
1920: Tennessee narrowly ratifies the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving it the two-thirds majority needed to become the law of the land. The amendment, which outlawed the restriction of voting rights by sex, was the culminaton of a campaign for women’s suffrage that began more than 70 years earlier.
1587: Virginia Dare is born at the Roanoke Colony, the first child born to English parents in the Americas. The colony was first founded in 1585 by settlers sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, but supply problems and Indian attacks drove them back to England. A second colony was begun in 1587, but when governor John White returned with supplies three years later, everyone had vanished.
AUGUST 15, 1969: The Woodstock Music & Art Fair gets underway near Bethel, N.Y., drawing more than 400,000 young people to a three-day gathering that would transform from a concert to become, for good and bad, a defining moment for the Sixties counterculture. More than 30 top acts perform at the event, where free love and copious drug use overcome rainy and poor planning.
1979: Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam film Apocalypse Now opens in U.S. theaters. Transplanting the story of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness from Africa to Southeast Asia, Coppola’s violent and vivid anti-war war film combined documentary detail with a mythic dreamscape of soldiers slowly going mad in the primordial jungle. As Coppola told critics: “It’s not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam.”
1914: After a decade of construction in the unforgiving jungles and mountains, the Panama Canal opens its massive system of locks to commercial traffic, inaugurating a new route from the Atlantic to the Pacific that would redefine international shipping. Handling just 1,000 ships in its first year, a century later annual traffic tops 14,000.
AUGUST 14, 1784: Russian fur trader Grigory Shelikhov founds the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska. The operations of the Russian American Company would later range as far south as modern-day California, but after the Crimean War bankrupted Russia, they went looking for a buyer, and in 1867 the purchase of Alaska— dubbed “Seward’s Folly” — was closed for $7.2 million.
1997: Militia-movement sympathizer Timothy McVeigh is sentenced to death for his role in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The massive explosion killed 167 people and injured more than 600, and remains the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001.
1980: Dockworkers seize the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, to demand the right to unionize after the Communist government announces new austerity measures. Among the strikers was labor leader Lech Walesa, who galvanized the workers into a broader labor movement known as Solidarity and a decade later would be elected Poland’s first non-Communist post-war president.
1945: President Harry S. Truman announces the unconditional surrender of the empire of Japan, bringing an end to the Second World War. The next day, Japanese citizens would hear the voice of Emperor Hirohito for the first time as he announced the end of the war. The formal surrender would took place on September 2 aboard USS Missouri (pictured).
AUGUST 13, 1899: Horror-film maestro Alfred Hitchcock is born in London’s East End, growing up amid talk of the then-recent killings by Jack the Ripper. Hitchcock began his storied movie career in England during the silent era before moving to Hollywood in 1939, where he created such scream-cinema masterpieces as Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo.
1942: Walt Disney’s classic animated feature film Bambi debuts in theaters. A high-point of the animator’s lush hand-drawn tradition, the film was filled with numerous magical animal characters that enchanted young and old audiences. Though aimed at children, the film did not shy away from portraying the tragic death of Bambi’s mother.
1934: The comic strip Li’l Abner debuts, chronicling the lives of a fictional clan of hillbillies living in the Appalachian town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Al Capp’s creation used broad caricatures of impoverished Southern society and slang-heavy dialogue to satirize American life and politics. The strip ran for 43 years and gave birth to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance tradition.
AUGUST 12, 1961: East Germany begins construction of what it calls the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart,” better known as the Berlin Wall. The barbed-wire and cinderblock barrier was officially meant to keep out Western influence but in reality was an attempt to stem the massive tide of defections. Steadily enlarged in the following years, the wall became a hated symbol of Communist oppression.
2000: Two catastrophic explosions inside the Russian nuclear missile submarine Kursk send the massive boat to the bottom of the Barents Sea with 118 crewmen on board. Russian naval authorities are slow to locate the wreck and begin rescue operations, resulting in unprecedented public rebukes. A later investigation determines the entire crew were dead within eight hours.
1981: Business-computing titan IBM introduces the IBM PC, which will push mainstream acceptance of computer use to new heights and create an industry standard that will dominate the market for more than two decades. The PC’s success proves a kingmaker for Microsoft, which supplied the operating system, and a setback for Apple Computer, which had dominated the industry’s early years.
1944: Navy Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. — pictured at right with younger brother John Kennedy in 1942 — is killed in the skies over England. Kennedy’s mission was to fly a bomber carrying ten tons of explosives partway to its target in France before arming the weapons and bailing out, with the aircraft continuing via remote control. But the detonator ignited prematurely, destroying his aircraft.
AUGUST 11, 1984: During a sound check prior to his weekly radio address, President Ronald Reagan jokes: “My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” The comment causes consternation among Reagan’s critics and grist for the Soviet propaganda mill.
1965: The arrest of a young black man in Los Angeles turns violent, sparking a quickly escalating battle between mostly black residents and mostly white police later dubbed the Watts Riots. Over six days of widespread violence and looting, 34 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured as massive fires tear through whole city blocks, causing some $40 million in property damage.
AUGUST 8, 1974: In a televised address to the nation Richard Nixon announces he will resign the office of president. Facing three articles of impeachment in the House, Nixon had just two days earlier been forced to release White House audio tapes that implicated him in obstruction of justice in the Watergate investigation. The next day he departed Washington for California.
1863: A month after the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg — where nearly a third of the Southern Army had been lost — Confederate General Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to President Jefferson Davis. Lee questioned his own leadership skills and admitted to a profound fatigue after two years of war. But Davis would refuse, and Lee would stay in command for two more years.
AUGUST 7, 1782: General George Washington creates the Badge of Military Merit to honor the heroism of soldiers fighting in his Continental Army, though he would only present the decoration to three soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The badge’s embroidered heart design would later influence its official successor, the Purple Heart, which bears Washington’s profile on its face.
1964: Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution granting President Lyndon Johnson wide-ranging power to combat communist aggression in Southeast Asia. Johnson received near-unanimous support for the resolution and quickly began prosecuting the war in Vietnam, but later revelations cast doubt on the facts surrounding the incident that precipitated it.
1959: Explorer 6 transmits the first photographic image of the Earth taken from orbit, inaugurating a new era in satellite observation and reconnaissance. The spacecraft’s photocell scanner snapped the crude image during a relatively short operational life in orbit and took nearly 40 minutes to transmit it down to scientists at Cape Canaveral.
AUGUST 6, 1945: The B-29 bomber Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb on an enemy target, incinerating the port city of Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m local time. The “Little Boy” device detonates 1,900 feet over the ground with an explosive force of 16 kilotons, killing between 70,000 and 80,000 people in the initial blast and igniting fires across a more than four square-mile area.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, outlawing restrictions on voter access to any local, state, or federal election on the basis of race and attacking a key institution of segregation, as civil-rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks look on. Voting turnout in black communities rises significantly in the following years.
1890: Convicted murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person executed by electrocution when the sentence is carried out at Auburn prison in New York. Electrocution was meant to be a humane alternative to hanging, the dominant form of capital punishment at that time, but the grisly duration of Kemmler’s death proved the means was far from ideal.
AUGUST 5, 1962: Actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead at her home in Los Angeles in a tragic end to a storybook career that saw her become one of Hollywood’s brightest lights. First noticed in 1950’s The Asphalt Jungle, Monroe quickly rose to superstardom with roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot, and was linked romantically with President John Kennedy.
1981: President Ronald Reagan begins laying off air-traffic controllers two days after some 13,000 had gone on strike over working conditions. The action slowed air traffic for months, but the FAA quickly began hiring new workers and on October 22 controllers’ union, PATCO, was decertified.
1861: The first federal income tax is instituted to help pay for the men and materials needed to fight the Civil War, with the Revenue Act mandating a 3% charge on nearly any income over $800. Congress would repeal the tax in 1871, but in 1909 the 16th Amendment established the basis of the federal income-tax system that survives to this day.
AUGUST 4, 1944: Ann Frank and her family are discovered in the secret Amsterdam hiding place where they had evaded the Nazi occupation for two years. Anne and her sister Margot were later sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they both died in March 1945. Frank’s story would gain worldwide attention after the posthumous publication of the diary she kept while in hiding.
1987: The Federal Communication Commission rescinds the “Fairness Doctrine” that had required radio and television stations using public airwaves to devote time to public-interest topics and allot balanced time to opposing views. But the perceived need for diverse viewpoints was increasingly being met by proliferating cable channels. One result of the rescission was the rise of talk radio.
AUGUST 1, 1988: Rush Limbaugh debuts his daily radio broadcast to a nationwide audience, quickly attracting a large segment of listeners — later dubbed “Dittoheads” — who flock to his conservative political commentary and analysis. As his influence on political debates grew, Limbaugh would find himself attacked by major politicians including President Bill Clinton.
1981: The basic cable channel MTV Music Television begins broadcasting from New York, with its first music-video “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. MTV quickly changed the promotion of popular music and by extension the music industry itself with its popular video programming, though critics would charge it favored visuals over musical quality.
1790: The federal government conducts the first nationwide census of the United States as mandated by the Constitution, finding a population of 3.9 million living in the country’s sixteen states, districts, and territories — a figure both President Washington and Secretary of State Jefferson disputed as too low. The census resulted in the increase of the House of Representatives from 69 seats to 105.
USS Montgomery
Aug. 19, 2014
The Navy’s littoral combat ship program took another important step forward earlier this month with the launch of the latest vessel in the new class of surface-warfare ships that will define maritime operations in the coming decades. Here’s a look at the future USS Montgomery.
The new ship left Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala., on August 8 and will now undergo further outfitting and testing.
Dockworkers move the Montgomery into a drydock in preparation for floating her for the first time.
The formal christening ceremony — where the ship will officially take the name USS Montgomery — is scheduled for later this year; until then her designation is PCU (for “pre-commissioning unit”) Montgomery.
Initiated in 2002, the littoral combat ship (LCS) program consists of two main designs: the trimaran Independence class, built by Austal and General Dynamics, which includes the Montgomery; and the monohull Freedom class, built by Lockheed. Pictured, the Independence-class ship USS Coronado. (Photo: Lieutenant Jan Sultis)
Montgomery is the third ship in the Independence class to complete construction; the class’s lead vessel was commissioned in 2010; USS Coronado was commissioned in April 2014. Pictured, USS Independence arrives for RIMPAC 2014. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Tiarra Fulgham)
Two LCS vessels of the Freedom class have also commissioned, the USS Freedom and USS Forth Worth. Both ships are based in San Diego, Calif. USS Freedom (pictured), is currently undergoing sea trials.
The Navy expects to take delivery of four more littoral combat ships, and plans to build 20 LCS warships in coming years. Pictured, USS Independence at anchor. (Photo: Ensign Caleb White)
The LCS program has not been without problems, particular involving cost overruns for a class of warship that was supposed to lower acquisition and operational costs, and questions about its survivability in combat and offensive punch. Pictured, USS Freedom.
WAVE RIDER: With a core crew of just 40 sailors and the ability to deploy helicopter aircraft and surface ships, the LCS is designed for speed and stealth, and will operate in shallow coastal (littoral) areas conducting a range of anti-mine, anti-submarine, and surface warfare roles. Pictured, USS Independence (left) and USS Coronado
The Independence class use a trimaran hull, with three hull sections and the engines in the water while the bulk of the ship rides well above the waterline. This gives the ship less drag and added maneuverability.
A closer look at the starboard side of USS Independence at anchor shows the trimaran hull. (Photo: Doug Sayers)
The Independence class ships are slightly longer and wider than the Freedom-class ships and have a larger flight deck, but they are also slightly lighter and with less internal hangar capacity. Pictured, USS Freedom (left) and USS Independence. (Photo: Lieutenant Jan Shultis)
The Independence class measures 418 feet long with a beam of 104 feet. Her rated top speed is greater than 44 knots.
The ship's modular internal design allows for different mission packages to be quickly configured to handle a variety of roles. Each package would include up to 35 crew members. Pictured, the bridge of USS Independence. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Daniel M. Young)
Many of the mission-specific functions of the LCS will be conducted by various aircraft. The ship’s large flight deck can accommodate two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, as well as smaller drone aircraft. Pictured, an MH-60R with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron HSM-74 (the “Swamp Foxes”) prepares to land on USS Independence. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Trevor Welsh)
LCS vessels can also deploy small surface ships. Pictured, launching a rigid inflatable boat from the stern of USS Independence.
For an offensive punch, all LCS ships carry an MK 110 57mm main gun — pictured here on the bow of USS Independence — and launchers for AGM-176 Griffin and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
On defense, Independence-class ships are equipped with a SeaRAM Close In Weapons System to protect it from incoming missiles and aircraft. Pictured, USS Independence demonstrates its maneuverability. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Daniel M. Young)
WWI: The Tank at War
Aug. 18, 2014
THE “GREAT WAR”: Every war brings new advances in battlefield technology, and among the many developments from 1914 to 1918 was the combat debut of the armored tank. Though clumsy and unreliable at first, these early tank designs set the stage for a revolution in ground warfare. Here’s a look back.
The concept of an armored vehicle was not new, but advances in the internal-combustion engine and the continuous track made the modern form of the tank possible, and the stalemate on the Western front and the ghastly casualties inflicted by machine guns demonstrated the need. Pictured, allied troops at Bapaume, France, 1917. (National Library of Scotland)
Britain began the first serious development of what were initially called “landships” — the term “tank” came from the early vehicles’s resemblance to a water tank. Britain fielded the first prototype in early 1916, and on September 15, 1916, 49 British tanks entered the fight at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, pictured. (Imperial War Museum)
The most famous British tank of the war was the Mark IV, which came in two variants: “male” (armed with side-mounted artillery pieces) and “female” (armed with machine guns, pictured). Britain would eventually produce around 2,600 tanks of various makes during the war.
The Battle of Cambrai on November 20, 1917, saw the largest tank engagement in history to that time, with the Third British Army deploying 476 tanks in the battle. Though the fighting featured new combined-armed tactics, the tanks proved their limitations, with more than half out of action at the end of the first day of fighting. (Imperial War Museum)
France also developed of its own armored vehicle, including the Renault FT, which featured the rotating top-mounted gun turret that would become synonymous with the tank. France would build more than 3,000 tanks during the war. Pictured, U.S. soldiers ride Renault FT-17 tanks at the Forest of Argonne, France. (NARA)
Among the American officers who drove into battle in French Renault tanks was Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton, Jr., who helped train U.S. troops in tank combat and fought at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and elsewhere. Patton would go on to become a legendary tank commander during WWII. (U.S. Army)
The German army started development of its own tanks only very late in the war, mostly relying on captured British and French vehicles for research and recycled for their own use on the battlefield. Pictured, a German A7V tank on the Western front. (National Archives)
THE "LANDSHIPS" IN ACTION: An early model British Mark I sits alongside troops dug in in a trench near Thiepval, September 1916.
British Mark I tank with infantry. (National Library of Scotland)
A German A7V tanks drive through a village on the Western front, 1918. (National Archive)
A British Mark IV tank captured and re-painted by German forces.(CC BY SA Archives)
A Renault tank in a French village alongside soldiers with the U.S. First Division, September 1918. (U.S. Army Signal Corps)
New Zealand troops with a British Mark I tank, one of eight that fought at the Second Battle of Gaza, April 1917. Three were destroyed by enemy artillery. (NZHistory)
British Medium Mark A Whippet tank, developed later in the war, near Achiet-le-Petit, France, August, 1918. (National Library of New Zealand)
Tanks stood out on the battlefield, especially from the air when enemy reconnaissance planes flew overhead, meaning camouflage and deception became important. Pictured, Australian soldiers of the Fourth Field Coy. Engineers carrying a dummy MK I tank near Catalet. (Imperial War Museum)
A British tank sits tipped into a trench alongside New Zealand troops at Gommecourt Wood, France, August 1918. (National Library of New Zealand)
A British Mark IV toppled on a road near Lateau Wood. (Imperial War Museum)
British Mark IV tanks being loaded on railway trucks at Plateau Station and headed towards Battle of Cambrai. (Imperial War Museum)
A refurbished British tank used by German forces at Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai. (Imperial War Museum)
German soldiers transport a captured British tank after fighting at Cambrai, November 1917. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv)
German troops tow a captured British Mk IV tank through Fontaine. (Imperial War Museum)
Captured British tanks are refurbished for battle in a German workshop. (Imperial War Museum)
CASUALTIES OF WAR: Mechanical problems, untested tactics, slow speeds that left them vulnerable to artillery fire, and the impenetrability of muddy, trench-filled fields conspired to deny the tank a decisive role in the course of the war. Pictured, a British Mark IV tank on the charred battlefield near Inverness Copse, August 1917.
Three tanks lie in the muddy, crater-ridden battlefield at Ypres, Belgium, ca. 1918. (State Library of New South Wales)
A German soldier in front of a destroyed British Mark IV tank,1917. (Deutsches Bundesarchiv)
Two tanks mired in mud at “Tank Corner” in Ypres, October 1917. (State Library of New South Wales)
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