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When A Small Business Stopped Washington

The remarkable story of ALA Schechter Poultry, the small-time butchers who broke the New Deal’s National Recovery Act, is captured in The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition: A New History of the Great Depression by author Amity Shlaes and illustrated by Paul Rivoche. Here's the Schechter story.
Uploaded: Jul. 02, 2014


The War of the Worlds
Oct. 30, 2014
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an innovative radio dramatization of the classic H.G. Wells novel War of the Worlds — and convinced many listeners that a real Martian invasion was underway. Here's a look back at Welles’ broadcast and new questions about whether there really was panic in the streets.
H.G. Wells’s novel was published in 1898, and its story of alien invasion and civilizational conflict — one of the first in the newly-created genre — remains a pillar of science fiction literature. In this book and other stories, Wells foresaw such innovations as the tank and chemical warfare.
The story has spawned numerous imitators in print and several Hollywood adaptations, including producer George Pal’s 1953 version.
Theater actor and producer Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater on the Air program debuted in July, 1938, and staged dramatic adaptions of literary classics and popular stories from Dracula to Mutiny on the Bounty. Welles himself was also known as the voice of Lamont Cranston, a.k.a The Shadow.
In adapting War of the Worlds to radio, Welles — just 23 at the time — and writer Howard Koch changed the setting from 19th century England to 1938 New Jersey.
They also tapped the radio format as a storytelling device, filling the first half of the broadcast with simulated news reports and cutting to and from unrelated music programs to create the impression that the listener was hearing a "real" broadcast. Pictured, Welles (upper left) directs his ensemble.
The show began with teasing references to strange sightings on Mars, then reports of a meteor landing in Grover’s Mill, N.J. A local news reporter interviewing an astronomer (played by Welles) broadcasts from the crash site and is killed when the Martian spaceship fires its “heat ray.”
As the show unfolds, local news reports turned into statements from government and military officials announcing evacuations and reporting on strikes against the Martian machines. Then a distraught announcer comes on and concludes that Earth is being invaded.
The situation grows more and more dire as the Martians continue their assault, eventually reaching New York City, where they wade across the Hudson River and deliver the city’s final demise as a reporter watches from a rooftop. The show then breaks for an intermission.
Sporadic reports of panicked citizens began circulating the night of the broadcast, and were recounted in breathless newspaper headlines in the succeeding days. Pictured, Welles speaks to reporters following the broadcast.
Major newspapers played up the panic supposedly created by the show, and gave the impression it was a nationwide scare.
The notion of a large-scale panic has only grown in the intervening years.
REVISING HISTORY: Recent studies of the radio industry at the time of the broadcast suggest the audience listening to War of the Worlds, while large, did not amount to a nationwide mass audience, and any panic over the show was sporadic at worst. Most people knew what they were listening to.
Welles’s show was scheduled against the much more popular Chase and Sanborn Hour on NBC (pictured), which starred Edgar Bergen. In addition, several large CBS affiliates did not carry Welles's show that evening. As a result, only about 2% of the radio audience was listening to War of the Worlds.
Even if some listeners were fooled by the show’s first half, the second half shifted format to a more conventional first-person narration by Welles, whose distinctive voice was quite familiar to radio audiences of the day.
Those excited newspaper headlines may have also had an ulterior motive, namely a desire to discredit the still-new industry of radio as a source of competition for consumers and ad dollars. Reports on the “panic” included general negative opinion on the radio industry as a whole.
Another indication that the panic was largely illusory was the reaction of the FCC. A formal investigation was conducted and the agency obtained agreements from radio networks that the fake-news format would not be used again. But no official action was taken against Welles or CBS.
The notoriety of the broadcast certainly did nothing to affect the trajectory of Welles's career, and he went on just three years later to direct and star in the landmark film Citizen Kane.
Welles in a promotional image for Citizen Kane, the tale of a newspaper magnate's rise and fall. It is for that film, and the War of the Worlds broadcast, that Welles remains most famous.
A farm in the real Grover’s Mill, N.J. — where Welles had the Martians first land — in October of 1938.
Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson, who owned a farm in Grover’s Mill, reported hundreds of people in the area looking for the Martians on the night of the broadcast.
A monument in Van Nest Park in Grover’s Mill memorializes the 1938 radio broadcast.
Today in History: Martian Invasion
Oct. 30, 2014
OCTOBER 30, 1938: Orson Welles’ radio dramatization of War of the Worlds spreads panic on Halloween night. By mimicking the cadences of actual radio broadcasts — complete with news breaks, announcer cut-ins, and “on-the-scene” reports — Welles fools many listeners into thinking they were hearing a Martian invasion occur in real time.
1991: The “perfect storm” hits off the northeast coast of the U.S. as the remnants of Hurricane Grace collide with a massive low-pressure system, churning huge waves in the northern Atlantic. Weather officials decline to give the storm a new hurricane name despite its strength, fearing alarm among area residents. Lost in the storm is the fishing boat Andrea Gail and her six-man crew.
1974: Muhammad Ali battles champion George Foreman in Kinsasha, Zaire, in what is dubbed the “Rumble in the Jungle.” Facing a larger and stronger opponent, Ali adopts the “rope-a-dope” strategy, allowing Foreman to land numerous body blows across the early rounds that sap his strength, then pouncing in the eighth round to put Foreman on the canvas and win the world title.
OCTOBER 29, 1929: Black Tuesday rolls over Wall Street as panicked trading wipes out billions of dollars in assets for investors large and small, tipping the nation’s fragile economy towards the Great Depression. The 1920s had seen wild increases in stock values amid widespread speculation, but by 1933 nearly half of the nations banks were closed and a third of the population out of work.
1998: Senator John Glenn — who in 1962 became the first American to orbit the Earth — returns to space at age 77 as a passenger aboard the space shuttle Discovery. One of NASA’s first astronauts, Glenn (then known as “Clean Marine”) flew his Friendship 7 capsule for three orbits, but back on Earth found the agency reluctant to risk his life on another flight, prompting him to enter politics.
1956: Chet Huntley (at left) and David Brinkley debut The Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC. With Huntley in New York and Brinkley in Washington, the nightly news program pioneeres the look and sound of news in the new medium of television, with the distinctive rhythm of Brinkley’s radio-era enunciation and dry news writing a marked contrast to other programs. The show runs until 1970.
OCTOBER 28, 1919: Congress passes the Volstead Act, establishing the regulatory infrastructure that will enforce the prohibition on alcohol production and sales mandated by the 18th Amendment, passed earlier that year. But despite aggressive tactics by law enforcement, including a new unit of the Treasure Department, prohibition fails to halt the flow of alcohol.
1965: Workers complete construction of the spectacular Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo. Designed by Eero Saarinen to celebrate the city’s role in the westward expansion of the early nation, the arch rests in foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground and towera 630 feet at its apex, affording a view that extends 30 miles across the Mississippi River.
1886: President Grover Cleveland dedicates the State of Liberty in New York Harbor. Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi’s 151-foot statue, a present from France, was originally known as “Liberty Enlightens the World.” Another symbol of the nation’s immigrant history, Ellis Island, opens nearby in 1892 to process the arrival of more than 12 million new Americans.
OCTOBER 27, 1787: The first of the Federalist Papers is published. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the series of essays made the case for the structures of government and the preservations of liberty embodied in the proposed United States Constitution. The first essay, by Hamilton, lays out the debate and the practical nature of the proposed solutions.
1904 The Interborough Rapid Transit Company begins service on a 9.1 mile stretch of underground railway in New York City serving 28 stations, the beginning of the city’s storied mass-transit system. More than a century later, the massive subway system carries some 4.5 million passengers each day, running all day and night, to 468 stations along 26 lines.
1775: King George III speaks before the British Parliament on the growing independence movement in the American colonies. Coming just a month after the Continental Congress had sent him the Olive Branch Petition affirming their loyalty to the crown and asking for peace, George’s words gave royal consent for parliament to put down the rebellion by force.
OCTOBER 24, 1901: On her 63rd birthday, Michigan schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to ride over Niagra Falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt. Despite her admonition upon emerging — “No one ought to ever do that again!” — more than a dozen people would follow — not all of them surviving the attempt.
2003: The supersonic Concorde passenger jet makes its final flight in a high-priced, celebrity-filled jaunt from New York City to London. The Concorde pioneered high-speed commercial service, but rising operating costs and noise complaints that limited airport access ultimately grounded the distinctive aircraft.
1970: Salvador Allende becomes president of Chile and immediately sets out restructuring the nation along socialist lines and establishing relations with both China and Cuba. Despite maintaining the support of many peasants, his economic reforms devastate the economy, causing widespread strikes and food shortages. He is overturned in 1973 in a coup led by Augusto Pinochet.
OCTOBER 23, 1983: A suicide bomber drives a truck laden with explosives into the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 personnel. America’s participation in a multinational force overseeing the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon had long been troubled, and in April terrorists had struck the nearby U.S. embassy, killing 63. Remaining American troops are withdrawn in February.
2002: Some 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking nearly 700 hostages and demanding that President Vladimir Putin withdraw Russian forces from the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya. Two days later, in a controversial move, special forces pump narcotic gas into the theater before breaking in, killing most of the terrorists and 120 hostages.
1944: The massive Battle of Leyte Gulf begins to wrest control of the Philippines from the Japanese. Involving hundreds of ships across 100,000 miles of ocean, it is the largest naval battle in history and sees the first concerted use of kamikaze attacks. After three days of bloody fighting, the Imperial Japanese Navy lies broken and the empire’s vital supply routes severed.
1855: Kansas Free State forces set up an opposition government to the fraudulently elected pro-slavery legislature. The new state had been allowed to determine for itself whether to permit slavery, but the first election is marred by interference from some 5,000 “Border Ruffians” from Missouri. Among the Free State leaders is militant abolitionist John Brown.
OCTOBER 22, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis goes public as President Kennedy reveals the discovery of offensive Soviet missiles sites in a nationally televised address, announcing a naval quarantine that would keep the world on the edge of nuclear war for six tense days. Soviet premiere Kruschev eventually backs down in exchange for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba.
1934: Notorious gangster Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd is killed by FBI agents in Ohio, ending a four-year manhunt. In and out of prison during an early career in bank robbery, Floyd’s murder of a federal agent initiated the intense campaign to track him down, but he denied to his last breath his involvement in the infamous Kansas City Massacre for which he was blamed.
1797: André-Jacques Garnerin drops from a balloon 3,200 feet above Paris, demonstrating the feasibility of the parachute, a concept first conceived by Leonardo da Vinci. Garnerin’s first free fall was rough, landing his basket clumsily a half mile away, but it was the start of a long career in public performances. Two years later, Garnerin’s wife becomes the first female parachutist.
OCTOBER 21, 1797: The 44-gun heavy frigate USS Constitution is launched. The third vessel constructed for the new American Navy, Constitution first sees action against the Barbary pirates and later earns her nickname “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812, capturing five British warships. Retired from active service in 1881, she remains the oldest commissioned naval ship still afloat.
1879: Thomas Edison perfects his incandescent light bulb, ushering in the modern era of artificial light and changing forever the working and living schedules of human society. Others had developed workable incandescent material and a vacuum chamber, but Edison was able to link his with the working power system he had invented, ensuring its widespread adoption.
1805: British Admiral Lord Nelson wins a decisive victory against a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson’s tactics devastate the enemy fleet, destroying 19 ships while losing none, but some 1,500 British sailors are killed or wounded, and Nelson himself is struck by a sniper’s bullet; he dies shortly after the battle.
OCTOBER 20, 1944: General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore on the island of Leyte, making good on the pledge he made to the return to the Philippines more than two years earlier. Japanese forces first invaded the island chain the day after Pearl Harbor, and MacArthur had barely escaped on direct orders from President Roosevelt after attempting a valiant defense of his adopted home.
1977: Three members of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd are killed when their plane crashes in Mississippi, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant (first row, second from left), guitarist Steve Gaines (fourth from left), and singer Cassie Gaines. Best known for such hits as “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” the group had just three days earlier released their fifth album, Street Survivors.
1973: Solicitor general Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox following the resignation of attorney general Elliot Richardson and deputy AG William Ruckelshaus, who had both refused to fire Cox, in what would become known as the Saturday Night Massacre. Cox had just days before subpoenaed copies of White House audio recordings.
1947: The House Un-American Activities Committee opens hearings on Communist influence in Hollywood, grilling top directors, screenwriters, and others. While some witnesses name names, a group that comes to be known as the “Hollywood Ten” refuses to cooperate. Convicted of obstruction, they endure a studio blacklist that encompasses more than 300 names and lasts more than two decades.
1941: The Yorktown-class aircraft carrier USS Hornet is commissioned at Newport News, Va. Hornet would play a role in some of the WWII’s most famous Pacific battles, including launching the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and fighting at the pivotal Battle of Midway. She was badly damaged and sunk at the Battle of Santa Cruz on October 27, 1942, the last fleet carrier to be lost in action.
OCTOBER 17, 1931: Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion, bringing the notorious Chicago crime boss’s reign to an end. Capone rose to power and national prominence as a bootlegger during Prohibition, building his empire through gangland ruthless slayings and widespread bribery. Briefly housed at Alcatraz, Capone was released in 1939.
1973: OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, begins cutting oil exports to the United States and other Western nations because of their support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. By December OPEC stops exports altogether, creating a serious energy crisis signified by long lines at gas stations nationwide. The embargo finally ends in March 1974.
1777: British General John Burgoyne surrenders 5,000 British and Hessian troops to General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Saratoga in the first large-scale British battlefield capitulation of the Revolutionary War. Word of the Patriot triumph at Saratoga reaches France, where King Louis XVI agrees to recognize the new United States and begin sending aid.
OCTOBER 16, 1859: John Brown stages a raid on the federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Va., hoping to incite a slave revolt, but the ill-conceived plan quickly collapses and his men are captured by Marines commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee. A Calvinist who had struggled in life before embracing the abolitionist cause, Brown’s execution would electrify the fight over slavery.
1978: Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła is elected pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first non-Italian to hold the position in more than 450 years. Wojtyła takes the name John Paul II, and in his installation mass he repeats the refrain “Be Not Afraid” to the Catholic faithful, presaging a bold and popular pontificate that touches millions of lives. Wojtyła was canonized in April 2014.
1964: Communist China detonates its first atomic device, becoming the world’s fifth nuclear power. Coming just two months after the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, the move creates fear in the U.S. of a nuclear confrontation in Asia. But the Soviet Union also had concerns, and China’s bomb may have spurred Moscow to get serious about non-proliferation efforts.
1854: Attorney Abraham Lincoln denounces the Kansas-Nebraska Act and calls the institution of slavery immoral. Under the act, the two new territories would be allowed to determine the future of slavery within their borders, an accommodation that avoided confronting slavery outright. Lincoln, campaigning on behalf of abolitionist Republicans, denounced Democrats who supported the act.
OCTOBER 15, 1951: I Love Lucy debuts on CBS. Starring Lucille Ball and real-life husband Desi Arnaz, Lucy pioneers shooting in front of a live audience. Ball’s zany antics make the show the most popular in the country for four of its six seasons and earn it two Emmys for best comedy. Sixty years later the show is still in syndication and is considered a television landmark.
1917: Dancer Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod — better known to history as Mata Hari — is executed by the French military for espionage. MacLeod made a name for herself in pre-war Paris as a near-nude exotic dancer and had many lovers, including military officers. But how much she actually spied for either side remains unclear, and the German government later proclaims her innocent.
OCTOBER 14, 1947: Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to break the sound barrier, flying the bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocket plane to more than 700 miles per hour over the Mojave Desert. Yeager’s historic feat would remain a secret for almost a year as the American jet program quickly progressed through even faster designs. By 1953, Yeager flew the X-1A at over 1,600 miles per hour.
2003: Steve Bartman reaches to catch a foul ball and breaks up a catch by Chicago Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou that may have turned the tide in a crucial game six of the National League Championship game and robbed the Cubs of a chance at the World Series. The Cubs instead surrender eight runs in the inning and lose the series. Bartman goes into hiding to avoid irate fans.
1964: The Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in the civil rights movement and commitment to non-violence. The award comes just a year after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington and on the heels of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that struck down many discriminatory laws. King donates the $54,600 prize to the movement.
1066: William the Duke of Normandy, also known as William the Conquerer, defeats King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, bringing an end to the era of Anglo-Saxon rule in England. William’s invasion force prevailed in a long and brutal pitched battle, luring Harold’s forces out through two feigned retreats before routing them and slaying Harold. William is crowned king on Christmas day.
OCTOBER 13, 1775: The Continental Congress authorizes the raising of a naval force, the precursor of the United States Navy, and soon appoints Esek Hopkins the first naval commander-in-chief with just seven ships at his disposal. Hopkins strikes the first blow against the mighty British Navy the next year by capturing Nassau; he is later relieved of command for disobeying orders.
1967: The American Basketball Association debuts a free-wheeling counterpart to the NBA featuring red-white-and-blue balls, cheerleaders in bikinis, and the first appearance of the three-point shot. Fielding eleven teams in its first year, the ABA folds just nine years later, and some of its most-talented players, including Julius “Dr. J” Erving (pictured), would go on to NBA stardom.
OCTOBER 10, 1973: Vice president Spiro Agnew resigns after pleading no contest to charges of federal tax evasion to avoid further charges of political corruption stretching back to his days as governor of Maryland. Famous for dubbing critics of the Nixon administration “nattering nabobs of negativism,” Agnew was replaced by Gerald Ford.
1845: Fifty midshipmen begin classes at the newly established Naval School in Annapolis, Md., fulfilling Navy secretary George Bancroft’s plan to improve the training of sailors entering the lower commissioned ranks. The school is reorganized as the United States Naval Academy in 1850 and sets the template for the four-year educational program that remains to this day.
BIRTHDAYS: Born on October 10 were jazz musician Thelonious Monk (1917), chemist and discoverer of hydrogen Henry Cavendish (1731), painter Benjamin West (1738), composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813), Spanish Queen Isabella II (1830), and actress Helen Hayes (1900).
OCTOBER 9, 1967: Cuban revolutionary hero Che Guevara is executed after being captured by Bolivian soldiers. Guevara played a pivotal role in Fidel Castro’s rise to power and his bloody communist dictatorship, later traveling to Africa and then Bolivia to organize resistance fighters. A butcher in real life, after his death “Che” becomes a worldwide pop-culture icon and radical-chic martyr among leftists.
1974: German industrialist Oskar Schindler dies. During WWII, Schindler had sought his fortune in German-occupied Krakow, ingratiating himself with the ruthless commander of a nearby camp to shelter Jewish prisoners who worked in his enamelware factory. Bribing Nazi officials, he would save more than 1,000 “Schindler Jews” from the death camps.
OCTOBER 8, 1918: Corporal Alvin C. York kills more than 20 German soldiers and captures another 132 during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in France. York’s battalion took heavy casualties trying to take German machine gun positions, but the dogged York persevered. Promoted to sergeant, he remained on the front line until Armistice Day, and the next year received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
1970: Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. A longtime critic of the Soviet Communist system, Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned under Stalin then sent into internal exile. The Soviet government did not allow him to accept his Nobel Prize in person, and in 1974 expelled him for treason. Though he was celebrated in the West, he was also highly critical of its materialism.
1956: New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen throws the first and to date only perfect game in a World Series, helping push the Yankees to a championship over the Brooklyn Dodgers in what would be the last all-New York series for 44 years. Larsen’s no-windup style outmatched most Dodgers he faced, but his no-hitter was saved by Mickey Mantle’s running fifth-inning catch.
1871: A fire ignited in a Chicago barn grows into a massive conflagration that destroys more than four square miles of the city, incinerating 17,000 buildings, killing more than 200 people, and leaving another 100,000 homeless. According to legend a cow owned by the O’Learys started the blaze, but in 1997 the city council officially exonerates the wayward bovine.
OCTOBER 7, 2003: Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of California in an unusual recall election driven by a sluggish economy and unpopular vehicle-registration fees. A staunch Republican, Schwarzenegger announced his run on The Tonight Show and went on to best a field of 135 registered candidates in an 11-week campaign, topping the Democratic challenger by more than a million votes.
1984: Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton breaks Jim Brown’s 1965 rushing record in front of a hometown crowd at Soldier Field to become the league’s all-time leading rusher. Sensing Payton would break the record, team officials had wanted to stop the game and celebrate, but Payton insisted on keeping the on-field momentum, helping the Bears to a 20-7 win over the New Orleans Saints.
OCTOBER 3, 1927: With the words “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet,” singer Al Jolson ushers in the era of synchronized dialogue in feature-length motion pictures in The Jazz Singer. The story of a Jewish cantor’s son who runs away to pursue a musical career only to be later reconciled, the film is a major box-office hit and signals an epochal shift from the classical silent era to the “talkies.”
1981: Islamic extremists assassinate Egyptian president Anwar Sadat on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War which had done much to raise Egyptian prestige in the Arab world despite Israel’s decisive victory. The extremists — angered by Sadat’s 1978 peace accord with Israel — wore army uniforms and assaulted during a military parade, killing ten other people as well.
1973: Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack against Israel on the eve of the Yom Kippur holiday, striking deep into the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. After reeling from the initial onslaught, Israel counterattacks and after a week of intense fighting is advancing on both Damascus and Cairo. A U.N.-sponsored peace accord ends the conflict on October 25.
OCTOBER 3, 1995: A jury acquits O.J. Simpson of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman after a long trial that electrified television audiences. Simpson’s defense “Dream Team” sowed doubt in a sympathetic jury by challenging a key piece of evidence, a recovered glove, and implicating racial motives in Detective Mark Fuhrman. Reactions to the verdict would split along racial lines.
1990: Less than a year after the symbolic fall of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany declare the creation of a unified nation, ending 45 years of postwar division. Thousands of East Germans had fled west through Hungary or applied for asylum, and in July West German chancellor Helmut Kohl appealed to Russian premiere Mikhail Gorbachev to assent to reunification in exchange for sizable financial aid.
1951: New York Giants third baseman Bobby Thomson hits the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” — a one-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning that wins the National League pennant, capping an unlikely come-from-behind triumph over crosstown rival Brooklyn Dodgers. The Giants would take first game of the World Series against the New York Yankees but lose the series 3-1.
OCTOBER 2, 1959: Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone debuts on CBS, inviting viewers to enter a strange new realm of television drama. Serling would write the majority of the shows, unusual morality tales often with a science-fiction twist and unexpected endings, such as “To Serve Man” (pictured). Serling’s signature monologues would cement the show’s place in popular culture.
1985: Hollywood icon Rock Hudson dies of AIDS, becoming the first major public figure to succumb to the disease. Hudson had reigned as a heartthrob movie star throughout the 1950s and 1960s in such films as Magnificent Obsession and Pillow Talk, and enjoyed a lucrative second act on the television series Dynasty. Hudson kept his homosexuality a secret until shortly before his death.
1967: Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black justice of the United States Supreme Court. The great-grandson of a slave, Marshall had argued before the court as chief counsel for the NAACP in the pivotal Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954, a major catalyst for the civil rights movement. Marshall would make civil rights the focus of his tenure before retiring in 1991.
1950: Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts debuts, inaugurating a 50-year run following Schulz’s alter-ego character, the sad-sack Charlie Brown, and his coterie of friends. Schulz’s art style was straightforward and spare, but he connected with readers through Brown’s introspective and stoic approach to his continuing misfortunes. By 2000 the comic was running in more than 2,500 newspapers in 75 countries.
OCTOBER 1, 1918: British officer T.E. Lawrence — known to history as “Lawrence of Arabia” — enters Damascus after the city falls to a combined Arab and British assault near the end of WWI. Lawrence had been instrumental in organizing the unlikely Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, but his dream of a united post-war Arab nation are quickly dashed by deep-rooted factionalism.
1962: Johnny Carson takes over as host of The Tonight Show from Jack Paar, beginning a three-decade run as the king of late-night TV. Carson created the template for all that followed, and his easy demeanor and quick wit were an instant hit with viewers. His move to Burbank in 1972 cemented his role in the popular culture. Carson hosted his last show on May 22, 1992.
1961: New York Yankee outfielder Roger Maris surpasses Babe Ruth’s 1927 home-run mark, knocking his 61st of the year into the stands at Yankee Stadium in the last game of the season. In addition to a place in the record books, Maris was awarded $5,000 and a trip to the Seattle World’s Fair.
1946: The International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg hands down death sentences to 12 high-ranking Nazis including Herman Goering and Joachim von Ribbentrop, and prison time for seven others. The ten-month trial, the first of its kind in history, accused defendants of everything from conspiracy to crimes against humanity. Two weeks later, ten death sentences were carried out by hanging.
1908: The first Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line in Detroit, the beginning of a production run of some 15 million vehicles that would change auto ownership from a luxury to a middle-class convenience. Though still somewhat pricey for the time, Ford kept costs down by focusing on a single version which the company built until May 1927.
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Wide Open, by Michael Ramirez (July 23, 2014)
Transparent, by Michael Ramirez (July 22, 2014)
Out, by Henry Payne (July 21, 2014)
Why? by Michael Ramirez (July 18, 2014)
LeBron, by Henry Payne (July 17, 2014)
Ha-Mas, by Michael Ramirez (July 16, 2014)
The Pawn, by Michael Ramirez (July 15, 2014)
Tear Down This Wall, by Michael Ramirez (July 14, 2014)
Obama’s Katrina, by Michael Ramirez (July 11, 2014)
Before and After, by Michael Ramirez (July 9, 2014)
I Don’t Know Why They’re Flooding the Borders, by Michael Ramirez (July 8, 2014)
Equal Justice, by Henry Payne (July 7, 2014)
The Times, July 4, 1776, by Henry Payne (July 4, 2014)
Happy Birthday, America, by Michael Ramirez (July 3, 2014)
Help Center, by Michael Ramirez (July 2, 2014)
5-4, by Henry Payne (July 1, 2014)
Rip Van Media, by Michael Ramirez (June 30, 2014)
The Piñata, by Michael Ramirez (June 27, 2014)
The Plan, by Michael Ramirez (June 26, 2014)
Red . . . by Henry Payne (June 24, 2014)
Iran to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 23, 2014)
White House to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 20, 2014)
Gap, by Henry Payne (June 19, 2014)
Baghdad Bobama, by Michael Ramirez (June 18, 2014)
Missing, by Michael Ramirez (June 17, 2014)
Dead Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 14, 2014)
Clinton Problems, by Michael Ramirez (June 13, 2014)
To Faithfully Execute . . . by Michael Ramirez (June 12, 2014)
Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 11, 2014)
Talking Bergdahl, by Michael Ramirez (June 10, 2014)
Lemon, by Henry Payne (June 9, 2014)
The Imperial President, by Michael Ramirez (June 6, 2014)
Cutting Carbon, by Henry Payne (June 5, 2014)
The Obama Emporium, by Michael Ramirez (June 4, 2014)
After You, by Michael Ramirez (June 3, 2014)
It Was the Weather, by Michael Ramirez (June 2, 2014)
The West Point Address, by Michael Ramirez (May 30, 2014)
First Read About It in the Newspaper, by Michael Ramirez (May 29, 2014)
General Motors Theater, by Henry Payne (May 27, 2014)
Freedom, by Henry Payne (May 26, 2014)
Hope . . . by Henry Payne (May 24, 2014)
Fallen Soldiers, by Michael Ramirez (May 23, 2014)
Outraged? by Lisa Benson (May 22, 2014)
Obamacare, Brought to You by . . . by Henry Payne (May 21, 2014)
Now You Know How We Feel, by Michael Ramirez (May 20, 2014)
#You Think? by Michael Ramirez (May 18, 2014)
#BringBack . . . by Michael Ramirez (May 16, 2014)
Gospel Reading, by Michael Ramirez (May 15, 2014)
Today’s Lecture, by Henry Payne (May 14, 2014)
Truth, by Michael Ramirez (May 13, 2014)
Clinton Celebrity Gala, by Henry Payne (May 12, 2014)
Segregation, by Michael Ramirez (May 10, 2014)
Weather, by Michael Ramirez (May 9, 2014)
Under the Rug, by Henry Payne (May 7, 2014)
What Kind of Country? by Henry Payne (August 7, 2014)
Photoshop of the Day
Oct. 30, 2014
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Drawdown in Afghanistan
Oct. 29, 2014
The drawdown of combat forces in Afghanistan passed another milestone last week with the handovers of Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion in Helmand Province to Afghan National Army forces. Here’s a look. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
Located in southwestern Afghanistan, the two bases were the focus of combat operations in the volatile Helmand Province for both American and British forces operating under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Pictured, Marines march out to the waiting helicopters.
Camp Bastion was the main military installation for British Army forces in Afghanistan, a sprawling 1,600 acre facility with a 40-kilometer perimeter wall.
Camp Bastion also operated a large airfield used by British RAF and other coalition squadrons. Pictured, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier attack jet warms up on the tarmac at Camp Bastion in February 2013. (Photo: Sergeant Anthony Ortiz)
The adjoining Camp Leatherneck was the largest Marine Corps base in Afghanistan and the focus of American combat operations during the surge of 2009-2010 that drove back Taliban advances. Pictured, Marines with First Battalion, Second Marine Regiment prepare to depart. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
The departure of the Marines from Camp Leatherneck marks the end of the corps’ combat mission in Afghanistan; some Leatherneck troops will reposition to Kandahar prior to rotating home. Pictured, Marines fold the American flag during the handover ceremony on October 26.
The final six helicopters warm up on the tarmac at Camp Bastion as they wait to transport American Marines and British Army troops. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
Marines board a CH-53 Sea Stallion (at left) and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters on the tarmac at Camp Bastion.
Marines line up to board a C-130 transport plane for the ride to Kandahar Air Field. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
American and British helicopters and transport planes ferried around 600 troops from Camps Bastion and Leatherneck to Kandahar in 17 waves as their Afghan allies took control of the base. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
Marines with Regional Command Southwest arrive at Kandahar. U.S. forces are scheduled to complete all combat operations there by December, when they will transition to a NATO-organized training and advisory role dubbed Resolute Support. (Photo: Sergeant Dustin D. March)
BLOODY BATTLES: Helmand Province witnessed some of the most intense fighting against Taliban insurgents of the entire war. Some 20,000 Marines arrived at Camp Leatherneck as part of the 2009 surge, leading to the region being dubbed “Marine-istan.” Pictured, Marines in action in Helmand Province, July 2009. (Photo: Sergeant Pete Thibodeau)
In September 2012 a Taliban raid on Camp Bastion killed two U.S. Marines and destroyed six Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jets and severely damaged two others, the worst combat aviation loss since WWII. Pictured, Marines at attention during a memorial service for VMA-211 squadron commander Colonel Christopher Rable who was killed repelling the Taliban attack.
According to Stars & Stripes, some 76,000 Marines served tours in Afghanistan since 2001, mostly in Helmand Province, where 378 Marines were killed and nearly 5,000 wounded during numerous operations against Taliban insurgents.
For British forces, the handover of Camp Bastion and the departure of some 300 remaining soldiers marks the end of all British combat operations in Afghanistan. Pictured, Captain Matthew Clark (left) and Warrant Officer 1 John Lilley lower the flag.
Clark and Lilley fold the British flag during handover ceremonies.
British forces salute during the handover ceremony.
At the peak of combat operations, some 10,000 British personnel were stationed in Helmand Province, at Camp Bastion and surrounding bases. Pictured, British soldiers with full packs stand awaiting their transport to Kandahar.
A British soldiers prepares his equipment for the flight out of Camp Bastion.
British troops laden with equipment make their way towards transport helicopters.
Numerous British military commanders and politicians visited troops at Camp Bastion and in Helmand Province over the years. Pictured, Prince Charles stands with a British soldier at Camp Pinon in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province in 2010.
Prince Harry flew AH-64 Apache gunships while stationed at Camp Bastion.
On their final night at Camp Bastion, members of the Royal Artillery fire a 105mm light gun to dissuade Taliban forces from approaching the base.
The last group of British soldiers make their way towards the waiting helicopters.
Wing Commander Matt Radnall, commanding officer of 7 Force Protection Wing, carries the Union flag under his arm as he boards a Chinook helicopter during the final departure of British troops.
Major General Sayed Malouk, commander of the 215th Corps of the Afghan National Army, speaks with one his soldiers as Afghan forces take over operation of Camp Bastion. (Photo: Staff Sergeant John Jackson)
National Geographic Photo Competition
Oct. 29, 2014
The annual National Geographic Photo Contest honors photography that embraces the unique aesthetic of the venerable publication with stunning images of people, places, and nature. Here’s a look at some of the amazing entries among the thousands received so far for this year’s competition. Pictured, Shao hay Luo’s image captures a motorcycle rider in Taiwan.
PEOPLE: A teenage girl of the Arbore tribe in the Ono Valley of Ethiopia. (Matjaz Krivic)
Children play on bales of hay in the Masurian Lakes district of Poland. (Malgorzata Walkowska)
A breakdancer strikes a pose in Bordeaux, France. (William Kerdoncuff)
A surf fisherman gets a face full of water at Montauk Point, N.Y. (Tom Lynch)
A young boy dives into the Red Sea at Aqaba, Jordan. (Ulrich Lambert)
A man peers out of the roof of his shed in Wakhan Valley, Afghanistan. (Guillaume Petermann)
A heavily tattooed man of the Ramnami people in Chhattisgarh, India. (Mattia Passarini)
A young girl throws a temper tantrum at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (Adam Birkan)
Children pose in a field where tomatoes are dried in Kinik, Turkey. (Melih Sular)
Madagascans selling goods approach a cruise ship. (Rupert Preifler)
Fisherman seek glass eels in Japan. (Yusuke Sakai)
NATURE: A lion takes a commanding position in a tree in South Africa. (Nathan Stone)
A puma charges in Bozeman, Montana. (Serhat Demiroglu)
A male mute swan spreads its wings at Lake Ontario, Canada. (Xuan Zhang)
A bird tosses a crab for a meal on Sanibel Island, Fla. (Rick Loesche)
A humpback whale breaches the icy waters of the Tolmie Chanel in British Columbia, Canada. (Cael Cook)
A humpback whale displays its tail off Lahaini, Hawaii. (Susan Metz)
A sea lion swims close to a great white shark of Guadalupe Island in Mexico. (Marc Henauer)
A school of fish surround a much larger neighbor at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. (Christian Miller)
A diver is dwarfed by a whale shark off the Silver Banks of the Dominican Republic. (Christian Schlamann)
A massive school of mobula rays off Baja California Sur, Mexico. (Eduardo Lopez Negrete)
A fennec fox grabs some sleep in the Sahara Desert. (Francisco Mingorance)
Fungus on a fallen tree in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada. (Lance Isackson)
PLACES: Unusual clouds outside Antwerp, Belgium. (Luc Bonduelle)
Lightning illuminates stormclouds over Vergi Port, Estonia. (Kristjan Madalvee)
Smoke billows form a fire in Banff National Park in Canada. (Amanda Nand)
A canoe transits the greenish waters of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. (Ben Leshchinsky)
Lava flows from the Holuhran volcano in Iceland. (Erez Marom)
A time-lapse image captures a distant fire burning beneath the stars of the Milky Way. (Dave Kan)
Darth Vader for Prime Minister
Oct. 29, 2014
Voters in Ukraine may have felt a disturbance in the Force in recent months — and this time it wasn’t the influence of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin — as a candidate for parliament donned the dark disguise of Star Wars villain Darth Vader. Here’s a look.
Viktor Shevchenko, an electrician, legally changed his named to Darth Vader to campaign for Ukraine’s Internet Party.
Vader has promised to turn Ukraine into a “Galactic Empire.” How exactly will accomplish that? Vader told the AP: “When I get to parliament, I will expel all the deputies. They have proven their uselessness. Computers will work in their place and they will fulfill their functions without cease.”
As for Vader’s solution to the threat posed by Russian president Putin: “A military space station will be built. That will protect the whole territory of Ukraine.” Pictured, Vader greets some Ukrainian soldiers who could end up serving on the aforementioned station.
Election observers have not given Vader or the Internet Party any serious chance of victory, even if some of the party’s aims for government reform are legitimate and widely popular.
Despite his vow to increase the transparency of Ukraine’s central government, Vader’s penchant for secrecy — he never takes off the mask — got him in trouble when he tried to vote on October 26.
Vader was turned away from a polling place in Kiev because his identity could not be verified without removing the mask. Arguing with a poll worker, Vader complained: “Here is my face on the passport. Where does the law say that I have to take off my mask?”
Outside the polling place, Vader proclaimed: “It’s sad. The fact that I did not vote doesn’t mean that my empire will not win.”
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Vader made his case on the campaign trail from atop a large black van complete with the symbol of the Galactic Republic.
Traveling across Ukraine, Vader has been accompanied by a praetorian guard of armored — but presumably not actually armed — stormtroopers.
The time-honored tradition of kissing babies was made a bit more difficult by the imposing outfit, complete with breathing apparatus and threatening voice.
Vader connects with a voter, alas too young to propel him to parliament in this election.
Look out, the Dark Side's got your nose!
The Force is strong with this one.
Vader has been an energetic figure during election season.
A campaign ad featuring Vader, his signature light saber, and a black horse gained notoriety on the Internet in recent weeks.
Vader poses for some selfies (Sithies?) with eager young Ukrainians.
The Internet Party has also fielded other candidates with names taken from the Star Wars universe, including one Stepan Chewbacca.
An election sign featuring Chewbacca looks down on some entertained Ukrainians.
Vader had previously applied, unsuccessfully, to run for mayor of Kiev.
At the time of his mayoral campaign, his official vehicle was a tad more modest.
Government Waste
Oct. 23, 2014
Senator Tom Coburn released his annual Wastebook report on federal government spending, and it looks like both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been busy burning through your tax dollars on everything but an Ebola vaccine. Here’s a look at some of the stranger items from Coburn’s report, illustrated by National Review.
FEDERAL WORKFORCE$120,000: Salary and performance bonuses paid to an Environmental Protection Agency employee who admitted to watching porn on his office computer for up to six hours a day and downloading more than 7,000 files. Who knew Viagra enhanced that kind of performance?
$19 Million: “Administrative leave” stemming from misconduct and even criminal matters continues to cost taxpayers. More than 1,000 federal employees were on paid leave for more than six months and nearly 60,000 for least a month over the past two years (in addition to all those civil-service holidays and vacations.
$142.3 million: Amount paid to U.S. Investigations Services, Inc. to conduct security clearance background checks, despite their failure to flag either Edward Snowden or Washington Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis. In January the DOJ accused USIS of submitting some 665,000 fake investigations.
$100,000+: Operating costs for time spent by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide security for private parties and celebrations, including an exclusive fireworks display near Glen Island in New York.
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR — $307,524: Combined research support from three federal agencies — the NSF, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation — to study the swirls created by Sea Monkeys trained to perform synchronized swimming.
$387,000: Cost to give daily Swedish massages to a group of rabbits during a two year study at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the NIH.
$171,000: Cost of an NSF-funded study that studied chimpanzees playing videogames. Turns out when monkeys gamble they share “our unfounded believe in winning and losing streaks. So now we know that.
$856,000: Cost to train three mountain lions to run on a treadmill in order to study the “power of the pounce” and their energy consumption while hunting. It took eight months before the cats were comfortable on everyone’s favorite gym workout device.
$50,000: Grant from the Department of Agriculture for Virginia Mary’s Alpaca to process and market “Poop Paks,” plant fertilizer made from alpaca manure. You can buy one (and thus pay twice for it as a taxer) for the low, low price of just $29.95 (plus shipping).
FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE — $10,000: Cost of a Florida Department of Environmental Protection study, funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to observe the growth of two acres of cordgrass and publish a best practices guide. That’s right: We’re paying people to watch grass grow.
$117,000: Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to the Vermont Historical Society to document communal hippie life at the Tree Frog Farm during the 1970s’
$331,000: Cost of an NSF study to explore the connection between “hanger” — hunger-driven anger — and unhappiness in married couples. Among the tools used in the study: voodoo dolls representing their spouses. The study’s lead researcher concluded: “Hungry people are crank and aggressive.”
$371,026: Funds paid by the NIH to two scientists using an MRI to study the brain activity of women while viewing photographs of their child with a dog. The researchers look forward to studying men and women without pets and how they react to photos of babies.
$3 billion: Annual cost for American participation in the International Space Station, already the “single most expensive object ever created, according to Bloomberg. Among the $1.5 million per hour work being done up there: a study of the coating and metals used in golf products to improve golf club “function, durability, and aesthetics.”
$47,000: Funding from the NEH for a class at the University of California Los Angeles on “the nature of human laughter and humor.” A similar class is being developed at Butler University for the bargain taxpayer price of just $22,000.
THE ARTS:$10,000: Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Oregon Children’s Theater to produce “Zombie in Love,” a musical about a lovesick teenage zombie “dying to find true love.” A theater spokesperson noted that, while the performance includes some brain eating, “it’s gentle.”
$15,000: Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through its “Art Works” program provided to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to host “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series,” a marijuana-themed musical review. The performance featured an outdoor area for food trucks to serve audience members with the munchies.
$70,000: Amount of an NEA grant to fund production of the play Kung Fu, which features a dozen fight scenes, because if exemplifies the agency’s mission to “fund and promote artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.” A review in the New York Times said the play perpetuated the stereotype of the “Oriental sidekick.”
$90 million: Total cost of cultural exchange programs sponsored by the State Department, including sending such musical virtuosos as a nose flutist and rapper who’s recent album features a woman aiming a shotgun at the artist’s head.
MILITARY MATTERS — $414,000: Cost to develop the latest version of America’s Army, a free online first-person shooter produced and promoted by the United States Army to boost recruitment. First released in 2002, the Army has spent some $33 million since 2009 for annual upgrades. The problem: An NSA report says the game may be helping terrorists train for missions.
$1 billion + $16 billion: The Pentagon will spend $1 billion to destroy $16 billion worth of military-grade ammunition that it does not need.
$200,000: Amount of a “Tactical Team Grant” to the towns of Ithaca, Tonawanda, and — not to be outdone — North Tonawanda in New York using funds from the Department of Homeland Security’s State Homeland Security Program. Though Ithaca enjoys the third-lowest crime rate in the nation for towns its size, the police chief planned to purchase military night-vision goggles and a “tactical robot.”
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED PORK:$200,000: Amount provided by the Department of Agriculture’s Value-Added Producer Grant program for the Empire Brewing company in New York to expand their beer-making operation. Empire owner David Katelski induced the new brewery would allow his company to “get more beer out there.”
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