Little Bits of History

Panmunjom Ax Murder

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 18, 2014
Joint Security Area of Panmunjom

Joint Security Area of Panmunjom

August 18, 1976: The Panmunjom ax murder incident takes place. The Joint Security Area (JSA) as located within the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. The Bridge of No Return crosses the Military Demarcation Line between the two countries. Next to the bridge grew a 100-foot tall poplar tree which blocked the line of sight between a UN Command (UNC) checkpoint (CP#3) and an observation post (CP#5). CP#3 was the most northern checkpoint and during the winter months, only observable from CP#5. During the summer, CP#2 could see the top of CP#3. The division line between North and South ran across the middle of the bridge. The Korean People’s Army had made several attempts to grab UNC personnel from CP#3.

A recent confrontation found North Korean soldiers holding US troops at gunpoint. Captain Arthur Bonifas was sent in to successfully secure their release. On this day, Bonifas and his South Korean counterpart, Captain Kim, along with five Korean Service Corps personnel and 11 other service personnel went in to trim the tree as scheduled with the North Koreans. The two officers did not carry guns, following the rules. The tree was to have been trimmed the week before but rains forced a change in the schedule. The work crew was approached by about 15 North Koreans led by Senior Lt. Pak Chul, a man known for his confrontational personality. They observed the trimming for about 15 minutes when Pak commanded the trimming to stop. Bonifas ordered the men to continue and turned his back on Pak.

Pak sent some of his men for reinforcements and they returned with another 20 North Koreans. They were armed with crowbars and clubs. Pak again ordered the trimming to stop and again was ignored. Bonifas again turned his back to Pak. Pak ordered his men to “Kill the bastards!” The North Koreans picked up some axes dropped by the tree trimmers and attacked Bonifas and Lt. Barrett and wounded all but one UNC guard. Bonifas was bludgeoned to death by at least five North Koreans while Barrett jumped into a ravine to escape. Quickly, the UNC Force dispersed the North Koreans who fled. Bonifas’s body was recovered and all left the area. Odd behavior was observed with Koreans entering the ravine and soon leaving. After Barrett was noted as missing, a search and rescue mission found him. He had been attacked with axes. Although surviving the initial attack, he died while en route to the first aid station.

The North Koreans presented the incidence as an attack on the North. The CIA considered several reprisals. The outcome was Operation Paul Bunyan. The show of force was controlled and over two days, 30 men entered the area and cut down the tree, leaving only a stump. They were protected with a variety of armament strategically displayed for maximum effect. There were 873 participating in the event and 12,000 more troops were ordered to Korea. The tree was removed peacefully with the stump replaced by a monument in 1987.

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. – Ronald Reagan

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. – Thomas Paine

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence. – Dorothy Thompson

I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man. – Charlie Chaplin

Also on this day: Virginia Dare – In 1587, the first child of English parents is born in the New World.
It’s About Damn Time – In 1920, American women are finally given the vote.
Lolita - In 1958, Nabokov’s famous novel was published in the US.
He - In 1868, helium was discovered.

Watch Where You Are Walking

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 17, 2014
Bridget Driscoll

Bridget Driscoll

August 17, 1896: Bridget Driscoll dies. She was born in 1851 in Ireland and lived in Croydon, Surrey, England at the time of her death. Bridget and her teenage daughter May and a friend, Elizabeth Murphy, were crossing Dolphin Terrace on the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London. Bridget was struck by a car belonging to the Anglo-French Motor Carriage Company and driven by Arthur James Edsall. The car was being used to give demonstration rides and demonstrated more than had been bargained for. Florence Ashmore, a witness, described the car as travelling at “a reckless pace, in fact, like a fire engine.”

The maximum speed of the car was a blistering 8 mph. But the car had been modified to go even slower. There was a low-speed engine belt added which prevented the car from exceeding the speed of 4.5 mph. One of his two passengers at the time, Alice Standing, claimed that the car had been able to go faster but independent inspection by another taxicab driver confirmed the placement of the belt. Parliament had just increased the speed limit for cars to 14 mph from the previous limit of 2 mph in town and 4 mph in the countryside. A court heard the case and after six hours of testimony, ruled the death accidental. The coroner, Percy Morrison, said at the trial that he hoped “such a thing would never happen again.” Bridget had been the first pedestrian killed in the UK.

During the case it was brought to light that the driver of the car had both rung his bell and shouted at the pedestrian to “stand back” as he swerved the car in an attempt to miss Bridget. Ellen Standing said the swerving motion had left her with a “peculiar sensation.” There had been three cars being demonstrated on the day and May claimed that the driver didn’t seem to know what he was doing. Her mother had stopped directly in front of the car and was struck and knocked down. The car then ran over the prostrate woman. Edsall had been driving only for three weeks and there were no licenses issued at the time. The newspaper reports of the time give no hint to any public outrage or any hysteria over this new menace.

Mary Ward was killed in 1869 while travelling as a passenger in County Offaly, Ireland (then part of the United Kingdom) and she was the first traffic fatality of any kind in the UK. Henry Bliss was the first motor accident victim in the US in 1899. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believes that about 550,000 have been killed on United Kingdom road by 2010. In the US alone, almost 4,000 people are killed in accidents each year.

A lot of people didn’t want drivers running around the country scaring horses. – Patrick Collins

The Victorians had no real sense of health and safety. They would just sort of accept the death as what they would call a horrible tragedy. – Jerry Savage

It was such a rare animal to be on the roads and, for her to be killed, people would have thought the story was made up. – Melvyn Harrison

The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver. – Jay Leno

Also on this day: Good Grief – In 2002, the Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center opens.
The Eagle Has Landed – In 1978, the first successful crossing of the Atlantic in a balloon successfully concluded.
Quake Lake – In 1959, Quake Lake forms after an earthquake.
That’s Hot – In 1807, a steamship left dock.

Sports Illustrated

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 16, 2014
First Sports Illustrated

First Sports Illustrated

August 16, 1954: The first issue of Sports Illustrated is published. There had been two other publications with the name prior to the magazine that is currently published. In 1936, Stuart Scheftel had a monthly magazine by the same name which was targeted to the sportsman. It focused on golf, tennis, and skiing with articles on the “major sports” which at the time was baseball, basketball, and boxing. It went out of print two years later and the name was sold to Dell Publications. In 1949, Dell put out a Sports Illustrated magazine which was also a monthly edition which covered the “major sports” listed above. It lasted for six issues. There were some other successful monthly magazines but the market could not support one more. They did not cover current events because publications schedules did not accommodate such things.

Henry Luce, the Time patriarch, felt that his company might be able to make a go of the idea. At the time, serious journalism did not think highly of sports rags and there was not much hope that a weekly issue could even be filled, especially during the winter. There were those in the company who tried to bury the idea, but Luce who was not a sports fan himself, felt the idea had merit and pushed to make it happen. Many inside Time-Life made great fun of the notion and called the new magazine many unflattering things such as Muscle, Jockstrap, and Sweat Socks. The magazine was not immediately successful.

Advertisers believed that the magazine would cater to upscale sports but yachting, polo, and safari ads were not speaking to the actual readers of the issues. For more than a decade, the magazine continued to lose money. But in the 1960s Andre Laguerre was brought on board and with his innovations, the magazine began to make money. He more than doubled the circulation with his redesigned format, the unprecedented use of full-color photos from the week’s sporting events, and the long in-depth story at the end of each issue which he called the “bonus piece.” It was Sports Illustrated that helped fuel a newfound interest in professional football.

Today, the weekly magazine has a circulation of over 3 million with 23 million adults reading Sports Illustrated each week. Although most of the readers are men, there is a sizable number of women readers as well. The swimsuit issue has been published each year since 1964 and has created an industry around the single issue which includes TV shows, videos, and calendars. It was the first magazine with a circulation over one million to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice. Today we are used to the color photos, the scouting reports, and the in-depth articles. All these and more were innovations brought about by this now quite profitable magazine.

It’s become another dimension to who I am. I don’t think Sports Illustrated is going to be wanting me. But who cares? I’m at a different place in my life. – Cindy Crawford

Even if I did have, you know, a Sports Illustrated body, I’d still wear elegant clothes. = Adele

Life magazine ran a page featuring me and three other girls that was clearly the precursor of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. – Esther Williams

At home I have a copy of the April 21, 1986, issue of Sports Illustrated. I’m on the cover with the blurb, ‘Can Lou Do It?’ I’d just arrived at Notre Dame, and with spring football underway, I was the focal point of that week’s coverage. – Lou Holtz

Also on this day: Ray Chapman – In 1920, a baseball player is struck in the head with a baseball, the only death from the game.
Not Waterloo – In 1918, the Peterloo Massacre took place.
High Flyer - In 1960, Excelsior II was tested.
Dole Air Race – In 1927, the Dole Air Race began.

Taliesin I

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 15, 2014
Taliesan I i

Taliesin I

August 15, 1914: Taliesin I is destroyed. Frank Lloyd Wright, was an American architect who designed more than 1,000 structures, this house being one of them. He had been born in Wisconsin in 1867 and the property on which the house was built had belonged to his mother’s family. Wright attended a couple semesters at the University of Wisconsin – Madison but did not graduate. After the Chicago fire of 1871 there was much work to be done there and Wright found a place to first spread his wings. He married in 1889 and he designed their home in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Mamah Borthwick (Cheney) met Mrs. Wright and Mr. Chaney commissioned Wright to built the Edwin H Cheney house. Borthwick and Wright each decided to leave their spouses and traveled to Europe. Borthwick divorced in 1911 but Wright’s wife would not grant him a divorce until 1922.

The scandal caused a disruption in Wright’s professional life. He built Taliesin for himself and his mistress and they moved in together in 1911. Built in the Prairie School design he had devised just a few years earlier, the house had three sections: two broad portions on either end and a narrow connection ground level corridor. Wright also designed the furniture for the home. One of the broad sections was used as Wright’s studio and workroom with a small apartment there used by Wright’s head draftsman. Wright and Borthwick lived in the other broad section with her two children. Wright struggled getting commissions because of the scandalous affair and some even called for his arrest for living immorally.

Part of the household staff was 31-year-old African-American Julian Carlton who worked as a chef. He claimed to be from Barbados. Carlton was initially genial but grew more paranoid with time and began staying up late holding a butcher knife and looking out the window. He was in a couple confrontations with draftsman Emil Brodelle and was given notice that this date would be his last day to work at Taliesin. Wright was in Chicago, working. Borthwick, her children, and the studio personnel would be waiting for lunch on the other side of the house. Around noon, Carlton took a hatchet and attacked Borthwick, killing her instantly. Her son was hacked to bits and her daughter tried to escape but was chased and also killed. He doused the bodies in gasoline and started a fire, setting the house ablaze.

Then, lighting a second fire under the other side of the house, Carlton waited for the other six residents to try to escape. Herbert Fritz manage to flee, but broke his arm. Brodelle was killed outright. William Weston was attacked but survived. His son and two other workers survived their attacks but died of their wounds days later. Carlton hid where he thought he could survive the fire but had hydrochloric acid with him to commit suicide if the heat became too great. He did swallow the acid but survived. Neighbors helped put out the fire although the house was destroyed. Carlton was taken into custody. The acid caused him to have difficulty swallowing and he died in jail 47 days later from starvation.

Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

The truth is more important than the facts.

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities. – all from Frank Lloyd Wright

Also on this day: Yasgur’s Farm – In 1969, Woodstock begins.
Requiem – In 1935, a plane crash killed Will Rogers and Wiley Post.
Military Precision – In 1995, Shannon Faulkner arrives at the Citadel.
Macbeth - In 1057, King Macbeth was killed.

License, Please

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 14, 2014
License plates of France today

License plates of France today

August 14, 1893: France starts car registration. License plates are metal or plastic plates attached to a motor vehicle or trailer used for official identification purposes. The plate has numbers and/or letters which are unique and identifies the vehicle via a database. In some areas, there is a unique identifier for the entire country while others, with a larger population base, must use smaller regions within the country. Some have a unique registration for each state while other countries use provinces to subdivide the nation. Some jurisdictions permanently assign a registration plate to the vehicle. When moving out of a jurisdiction, new registration plates will be needed. If the visit is short and not a permanent move, there is no need to change the registration.

The Paris Police Ordinance was passed on this day, requiring French drivers to register vehicles. Germany followed in 1895 and the Netherlands was the first to introduce a national license plate, called a “driving permit”. They began issuing these in 1898 and the first plate was issued as 1 and they were numerically increased. By the end of 1899 they had issued 168 permits. In the US, each state issues a plate and the need for these was determined at the state level. New York State was the first to require a plate and did so in 1901. The plates themselves were not issued by the government and were issued by jurisdictions with some people having to manufacture their own tag. Massachusetts was the first state to actually issue the plates in 1903. The UK declared in 1903 plates would be required as of January 1, 1904.

Most jurisdictions require both a plate on the front and the rear of a vehicle but grant motorcycles the right to display just one plate on the back. National or state/province databases also gather other information about the vehicle when it is registered. Make, model, color, and year of manufacture is usually included but engine size, type of fuel, and mileage (obtained during road worthiness tests), along with a VIN [Vehicle Identification (Chassis) Number], can be included. The name and address of the owner are also pertinent data. Also available in some areas are vanity plates, although these are usually vetted by some method to prevent an unwanted message from being broadcast.

In the US, plates require periodic changing. Usually once every year a new license is granted even if it is only a sticker to place on the current plate or the windshield in order to indicate when the plate expires. Since the cost of creating the plates has increased, this cost-saving measure has been growing in the past few decades. When selling a car, the plates are removed from the vehicle and the new owner must then register it and get new plates. If the seller wishes to purchase another car and still has the valid plates, they can be transferred to the new vehicle. The plates must meet certain standards and be always readable either by eye or by electronic equipment. Agreements between nations or states often allow for vehicles of one region to be driven across borders and into another region with government help should information from a different database be required.

Love your custom license plate. Oh wait, no I don’t. Makes me want to hit you. – Justine Ezarik

I saw a license plate yesterday that said “I Miss New York”, so I smashed their window and stole their radio. – anonymous

There’s a spinning teacup illegally parked. license plate: R-U-DIZZY. – Mickey Mouse

Just witnessed a hit and run with my friends car…Good thing I have a photographic memory and got that license plate memorized!! – Alex Morgan

Also on this day: Literally – In 1457, the first exactly dated book is published.
Burn, Baby, Burn – In 1933, Oregon was plagued by wild fires.
Insecure - In 1935, the Social Security Act was signed into law.
Oregon, More than a Trail – In 1848, the Territory of Oregon was established.

Pay Up

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 13, 2014
Patent # 408709

Patent # 408709

August 13, 1889: William Gray receives patent # 408709. Communication across distances has always been problematic. Getting a message to someone far away could be arduous. Eventually, better methods were created and we finally had a patent for a telephone granted to Alexander Graham Bell in March 1876, although he was not the first person to create something akin to a telephone. Not everyone could afford a phone and so there were methods created to let a user pay for the service of using someone else’s phone. Originally, these phones were owned by a telephone company who had attendants in place to collect payments for people who wished to use their phones. The first record of this took place in New Haven, Connecticut on June 1, 1880.

Gray’s invention allowed the phone itself to collect the fee. It contained a coin-controlled locking device which prevented the sending of messages although it did not interfere with the receiving of any messages. He had filed for the patent exactly one year prior to it being granted. The first such phone was set up at the Hartford Bank in Hartford, Connecticut by the Southern New England Telephone Co. While this was the beginning, Gray went on to receive more patents as he perfected the idea. His early payphones were “post-pay” meaning the coins were deposited at the end of the conversation. The first “pre-pay” phones debuted in Chicago in 1898.

By 1902 there were 81,000 payphones in the US. Just three years later, the first outdoor phones were installed, each in their own little booth. This was an improvement and by twenty years later, there were 25,000 of these phone booths in New York City alone. In 1960, the Bell System installed its one millionth telephone booth. There is some dispute over when the greatest number of these phone booths were scattered across the countryside as well as how many were actually so scattered. The two disputed figures are 1995 with 2.6 million or possibly the year 2000 with 2.2 million. With the ubiquitous use of cell phones, the number has dropped precipitously and today there are fewer than 500,000.

Britain’s payphone was first designed by the United Kingdom Post Office and was a concrete kiosk which was unsightly and unacceptable. In 1924, a contest was held and the red telephone box won. There were several different models of the kiosk created over time. In some foreign counties with unstable currencies, a token was used in place of cash. Today, there are few phone booths available. Instead, the phone is held in a sheltered space but is not completely enclosed. With the coming of so many cell phones, there is really no place left for Clark Kent to hide while he becomes Superman.

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? – James Thurber

As an old reporter, we have a few secrets, and the first thing is we try the phone book. – Andy Rooney

My first phone was two tin cans tied together with string, and it worked pretty good. – Dolly Parton

I don’t even know how to use a parking meter, let alone a phone box. – Princess Diana

Also on this day: Just Another Brick in the Wall – In 1961, the first steps toward the building of the Berlin Wall are taken.
Bootiful – In 1934, L’il Abner premiered.
The World is Created – In 3114 BC, the world began, according to the Mayan Long Count calendar.
167 for 1 – In 1906. a bartender in Brownville, Texas was killed.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 12, 2014
Bust of Cleopatra

Bust of Cleopatra

August 12, 30 BC: Cleopatra VII dies. We know her simply as Cleopatra and she was the last of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Greek rulers of Egypt had been in place since the time of Alexander the Great. King Ptolemy I declared himself the savior of the Egyptians who came to accept the Greeks as successors to the pharaohs. All the male rulers took the name Ptolemy while the queens were usually Cleopatra, Arsinoe, or Berenice. None of the earlier Ptolemies learned to speak Egyptian which is why many important documents, along with the Rosetta Stone, had Greek included as one of the languages. Cleopatra was the exception and learned to speak Egyptian as well as representing herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Cleopatra originally ruled with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and XIV. She married both of her brothers as was the custom but she eventually became sole ruler of Egypt. She and Julius Caesar had a relationship which solidified her position in Egypt. Their son, Caesarion, was eventually raised to co-rule with his mother. After Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Cleopatra and Mark Antony joined forces against Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or as more familiar to history, Augustus. Cleopatra and Mark Antony had three children – a set of twins (one boy and one girl) and another son.

During this era of unrest, the best way to attain control of the throne was to have murdered anyone who might lay claim to it or harm one’s heirs. Cleopatra had her sister murdered, but did so on the temple steps which outraged the Roman citizenry. Antony’s liaison with the Egyptian did not help his standing in Rome. He spent the next years living in Alexandria and married Cleopatra according to Egyptian rites, although he was married to Octavia Minor, sister of another of the triumvir rulers. Eventually, after some successful battles, Antony was crowned co-ruler of Egypt with Cleopatra. There were enemies in Rome who were watching to see if Cleopatra was amassing strength to take over control of the empire.

Antony and Octavian’s relationship continued to fall apart over the years and in 33 BC, war was declared by Rome against Egypt. Mark Antony committed suicide when no other options were open to him. Octavian had him cornered and rather than submit, he stabbed himself on August 1, 30 BC. Cleopatra was permitted to bury her husband after she, too, had been captured. She made several attempts to also kill herself and was finally successful on this day. Whether she allowed an asp to bite her or whether she applied a poison to herself is in question. Others surmise that Augustus had her killed. Whatever the method, she was 39 years old at the time.

In praising Antony I have dispraised Caesar.

I will not be triumphed over.

My honour was not yielded, but conquered merely.

Fool! Don’t you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you. – all from Cleopatra

Also on this day: NAFTA – In 1992, NAFTA negotiations conclude.
Personal Computer – In 1981, IBM released a new personal computer.
Model T – In 1908, the first Model T was produced.
Boon for Butterick – In 1851, Isaac Singer received a patent for a sewing machine.

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Sheremetyevo International Airport

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 11, 2014
Sheremetyevo International Airport

Sheremetyevo International Airport

August 11, 1959: Sheremetyevo International Airport opens. It is located in Khimki, Moscow Oblast, Russia which is 18 miles from central Moscow. It is the second largest airport in Russia with only Domodedovo being larger. It is a hub for Aeroflot, Nordavia, and Norwind Airlines. In 2013 there were 29,256,000 people serviced through the airport and they flew on one of the 243,858 flights either landing or taking off from Sheremetyevo. There are three North terminals (A, B, and C) and three South terminals (D, E, and F). Terminal C has the capacity to serve 5 million passengers per year, Terminal F can service 6 million, and Terminal D can service 12 million. The other terminals are used either for cargo, smaller planes, or more local flights.

While the airport opened on this day, it did not see its first international flight until June 1, 1960 when a flight to Berlin took off and landed in Schonefeld Airport. The Sheremetyevo name comes from two nearby landmarks, the village of Sheremetyevsky and the Savelov railway station. Sheremetyevo-1 which is used by domestic flights opened on September 3, 1967. The first scheduled Tupolev Tu-134 flight took off from Sheremetyevo on September 12, 1967, headed for Stockholm. It is the most used airplane in the former Warsaw Pact countries although numbers are dropping because of noise restrictions.

Sheremetyevo-2, the larger of the two terminal complexes, opened on January 1, 1980 just in time for the 1980 Summer Olympics. It served as the arrival and departure point for international flights for the games. Flights to and from other Russian cities used Sheremetyevo-1. There is no physical connection between the two terminals. Rather, they are like two separate airports which use the same runways. There are other examples of this type of set up outside Russia: Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota and Sydney Airport in Australia are also set up like this.

Early in this century, Sheremetyevo saw a drop in usage when Domodedovo International Airport opened. The newer more comfortable airport became the hub for many of the airlines which had used Sheremetyevo.  Domodedovo also serves Moscow and had 30,760,000 passengers on 253.500 flights in 2013. Sheremetyevo continues to upgrade and has a 20-year master plan which includes another Terminal and building another runway. Overall improvements are scheduled to include long term land development and over $3 billion has been allocated for future projects.

Just got back from a pleasure trip: I took my mother-in-law to the airport. – Henny Youngman

Sometimes, when you go to airport and look at the people, you see the worst looks – but the worst looks can give you more ideas than the best looks. – Carine Roitfeld

The devil himself had probably redesigned Hell in the light of information he had gained from observing airport layouts. – Anthony Price

I hate flying, airports and the whole rigmarole – queuing up, security and lost luggage. – Johnny Vegas

Also on this day: The Rock – In 1934, Alcatraz opens as a federal prison.
Shop Til You Drop – In 1992, the Mall of America opened.
Watts Riots – In 1965, the Watts Riots began.
Swat - In 1929, Babe Ruth hit a new baseball record.

The Louvre

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 10, 2014
The Louvre

The Louvre

August 10, 1793: The Louvre officially opens. The Louvre Palace was the fortress of Philip II of the 12th century and parts of the original building are still visible. It is not known whether or not this was the first building erected here. The origins of the name are also under debate. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Palace was upgraded, changed, and converted. Charles V converted the building into a residence and Francis I not only renovated it, but also acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre’s holdings. It was he who brought Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to France. Louis XIV moved his residence to Versailles in 1682 and at the Palace, construction slowed and artists began to use it as a residence.

During the mid-1700s there were a number of proposals to create a public gallery and a call to display the royal collection. On October 14, 1750, Louis XV agreed to display 96 pieces. They were available for viewing on Wednesdays and Saturdays until the collection closed in 1780. The next Louis made the royal museum a policy and the collection expanded. In May 1791, during the French Revolution, the Louvre was transformed into a public museum and it was declared it would bring together monuments of the sciences and arts. One year before this date, King Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection became national property.

On the one year anniversary of the monarchy’s demise, the museum officially opened. The public was given free access three days a week. At the time, the collection contained 537 paintings and 184 art objects. Three quarters of the collection came from the royal collections while the remainder came from confiscated items from French Huguenots who were forced to flee and from Church property. In order to further expand the pieces available, the Republic dedicated 100,000 livres per year. The beginning years were chaotic with paintings unlabeled and hanging without rhyme or reason. The building itself had to be closed in May 1796 due to structural issues and reopened on July 14, 1801.

Today, the Musee du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 of them in eight curatorial departments. There are more than 652,000 square feet of space. There are more than 15,000 people visiting each day and of them, 65% are foreign tourists. The Louvre is owned by the French government. Since 2003, the museum has been required to raise funds for projects. The government still pays operating costs but the rest (new wings, upgrades, and acquisitions) is up to the museum to finance. There is a staff of 2,000 working there headed by Director Jean-Luc Martinez. There are also two satellite museums.

Keep good company – that is, go to the Louvre. – Paul Cezanne

The Louvre is a morgue; you go there to identify your friends. – Jean Cocteau

I’ve been fifty thousand times to the Louvre. I have copied everything in drawing, trying to understand. – Alberto Giacometti

I remember being a student, and I would go every Friday to the Louvre and stay for ages, just walking around. – Jemima West

Also on this day: Smile, You’re on Candid Camera – In 1948, Candid Camera comes to television.
Swedish Navy – In 1628, the Vasa sunk on her maiden voyage.
James Smithson – In 1946, the Smithsonian Institution is chartered.
Scat! – In 1755, the Expulsion of the Acadians began.

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YOU Can Prevent Wild Fires

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 9, 2014
Smokey Bear's 1944 poster

Smokey Bear’s 1944 poster

August 9, 1944: Smokey Bear’s debut poster is released. The day is considered to be his anniversary date. The first poster was illustrated by Albert Staehle. Knickerbocker Bears received a license to produce Smokey Bear dolls in 1944 and later in the year, Forest Service worker Rudy Wendelin became the full-time campaign artist, a position he retained until his retirement in 1973. Even before the beginning of World War II, wildfires were an issue, but the war brought even greater concerns. With most able-bodied men already serving in the armed forces, there were none available to help contain forest fires on the West Coast. With greater care, it was hoped the number of fires could be drastically reduced.

The Walt Disney movie, Bambi, had been released on August 13, 1942. Disney permitted the characters from the movie to appear in fire prevention public service campaigns. But the deal lasted only for one year and then Bambi and friends were no longer available. The government needed to come up with a new symbol. A bear was chosen and his name was inspired by “Smokey” Joe Martin, a New York City Fire Department hero who had suffered burns and blindness after a 1922 rescue. In 1952, a song was written called “Smokey the Bear” and the authors included the “middle name” to help with the rhythm of the song. In 1955, Little Golden Books had a Smokey the Bear book, also with the central article added, and Smokey referred to himself with all three names. The name was intentionally not spelled the same as the adjectival smoky.

In 1947, the slogan used for more than the next half century was coined: “Remember … only YOU can prevent forest fires.” In 2001, it was officially changed and now we can prevent wildfires. In the spring of 1950, the Capitan Gap fire burned 17,000 acres in the Lincoln National Forest of New Mexico. A small black bear cub had climbed a tree to escape the flames but his paws and hind legs had been burned. Although legend says a game warden rescued the cub, New Mexico State Forestry Division’s story is that a group of soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas had come to help fight the fire and discovered the cub. They brought him back to camp where they named him Hotfoot Teddy but he eventually became known as Smokey, the real life symbol of the need to protect our land from spreading fires.

Today, Smokey is administered by three different US entities. First is the United States Forest Service. Next is the National Association of State Foresters, and lastly is the Ad Council. Both the name and image are protected by US federal law. About 95% of US adults and 77% of children recognize the icon and help spread his message of safety, something only WE can do.

We have at least 125 communities in Arizona at risk from wildfire, not because of review processes or litigation delays but because of a lack of federal funding on the ground to actually begin the projects. – Janet Napolitano

I’d rather fight 100 structure fires than a wildfire. With a structure fire you know where your flames are, but in the woods it can move anywhere; it can come right up behind you. – Tom Watson

Arizona’s forest fires are not waiting for April, and neither will we. That is why I am pushing for stepped up deployment for Hot Shot wildfire crews in March rather than April, in order to better prepare for the expected fires in northern Arizona. – Rick Renzi

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires. – Smokey Bear

Also on this day: Lean On Me – In 1173, construction on the world’s most famous bell tower begins.
Much Brighter – In 1979, Brighton Beach was given permission as a nude beach.
Betty Boop – In 1930, Betty made her debut.
Walden - In 1854, Thoreau published his book.


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