Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
On this day, October 29, in the year 1929 the stock market crashed, and ushered in the Great Depression. This Dorothea Lange photograph captures the human cost of this tragedy. The crash followed the roaring 20's, a time of exuberant excess in the United States. Shortly before the crash several pundits predicted a new era of prosperity, in which the market could continue to appreciate indefinitely.
I some times wonder if such a tragedy could happen again. What do you think? Could we ever see this magnitude of poverty in the United States again?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Today we show a most unusual photograph of a cavalry soldier preparing for the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. The Crimean war is perhaps most remembered for the famous cavalry battle at Balaclava known as The Charge of the Light Brigade. The Charge of the Light Brigade was a disastrous cavalry charge. This tragic charge was immortalized by the Lord Tennyson Poem, "Charge of the Light Brigade". During the charge, some 600 cavalrymen were sent on a bold charge against 20 battalions of entrenched Russian infantry. Only about 200 returned unharmed after the charge. This disastrous battle was a result of military tactics not keeping pace with advances in military hardware. It was a prelude to the carnage that would occur in the US Civil War in the following decade.
The Charge of the Light Brigade occurred on this day in the year 1854.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This is a picture of a Race Car Driver from the 1910's. The racer is Bob Burman, one of the early pioneers in auto racing. He raced in the first five Indianapolis 500 races. Bob was killed in an auto race accident in 1916. He was driving an open cockpit car, similar to the one pictured here. His death led to the adoption of roll cages in race cars.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
General Douglas MacArthur was the commander of the United States military operations in the Philippines. In 1941 and 1942 his headquarters were located on an Philippine island fortress of Corregidor. The Japanese were keenly interested in capturing or killing this key US commander. His location was known, and was the subject of intense Japanese bombing. President Roosevelt, concerned for MacArthur's security, ordered him to relocate to the safety of Australia. MacArthur obeyed, and issued his infamous quote, "I shall return".
He did return. On this date, October 20th, in the year 1944, MacArthur returned to the Philippines. The photograph above shows him as he lands on the beach of the Philippine Island of Leyte.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Normally when we think of emigrants, we think of weary souls unloading at Ellis Island, or we think of desperate people making a run across the Texas/Mexico border. Sometimes we forget some of the other emigrants.
So, today we show a picture of Albert Einstein, who emigrated to this country on this day, October 17, in the year 1933. He moved to escape the horror of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Today we feature a photograph of the original Femme Fatale . . . Mata Hari. Mata Hari was a famed entertainer and exotic dancer of the early 1900's. She was an international celebrity, and was rumored to have had liaisons with many powerful men across Europe. In 1917 she was accused of being a German spy by the French. She was convicted, and was executed by firing squad on this day, October 15, in the year 1917. Rumor has it that she blew a kiss to the men of the firing squad prior to her execution.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Today we feature a nice portrait of General Robert E. Lee. This time around I don't want to focus on his military legacy, but on his legacy as a Father. There is an interesting story of Lee as a young man. The story occurs long prior to the unpleasantness of 1861. Early one winter morning Robert E. Lee went out for a walk, as was his custom. A light snow had fallen the night before and had left a blanket of snow covering his path. As he walked along the path, he could hear the faint sound of small footsteps behind him. He turned around to find out what it was, and he saw his small child, Custis, following behind him. Custis was imitating his every step, and struggling to ensure that with each step his foot landed in a footprint of his father. "When I saw this," Lee told one of his friends long afterwards, "I said to myself, ’it behooves me to walk very straight when this fellow is already following in my tracks.’ "
Robert E. Lee died on this day, October 12, in the year 1870.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Thanks to Mathew Brady and his team of photographers, there is an excellent photographic record of the Civil War. It is interesting to note, however, that the American Civil War was not the first war to be photographed. The first war to be photographed was the Crimean war in the 1850's. The photographs were typically portraits in camp, and did not show the graphic battle scenes found in the Mathew Brady collection. The photograph above was taken in 1855, and shows one of the Crimean War photographers with his photography wagon.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Today we show a picture of a Sutler's Tent during the Civil War. The picture was taken during the siege of Petersburg in 1865. During the war, these Sutlers would follow the troops, and set up shop, selling the soldiers needful things like tobacco, paper, sweets, and so forth, at outrageous prices, of course.