Monthly Archives: December 2012

Lost and Found – December 31st Edition

What to remember about December 31st…

  • 1695  Britain passes a “window tax”; consequently may britons just brick up their windows to avoid paying
  • 1775  Attack on Quebec during snowstorm by Patriot forces is repulsed; Colonel Benedict Arnold wounded during fighting
  • 1862  Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest pretends to surrender at Parker’s Crossroads in order to  escape
  • 1879  Thomas Edison puts on 1st demonstration of public incandescent lighting on streets of Menlo Park, New Jersey
  • 1943  American musician and songwriter John Denver (John Deutschendorf, Jr.) is born in Roswell, New Mexico (d. 1997)
  • 1968  1st test flight by Soviet TU-144 supersonic airliner; nicknamed “Konkordski” for fact that design mostly stolen from european Concord
  • 1974  U.S. citizens are allowed to buy or own gold again after more than 40 years
  • 1999  Treaty signed by President Carter goes into effect and the United States gives away control of the Panama Canal
  • 1999 In surprise announcement, Russia’s 1st President Boris Yeltsin resigns and puts former KGB colonel Vladimir Putin in office
  • 2006  Islamic terror group Jemaah Islamiyah detonates 8 of 9 bombs planted to target New Years celebrations in Bangkok, Thailand
  • 1999  People around the world await the “Y2K Millennium Bug” to crash computers everywhere; disruptions are scattered and mostly minor
  • 2008  In Aspen, Colorado James Chester Blanning Jr. places 4 bombs at banks in extortion attempt and protest against Bush war policieshappy new year 2013
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Lost and Found – December 30th Edition

What to remember about December 30th…

  • 1066  Muslim mobs in Grenada crucify Jewish vizier and murder almost 4000 Jews living there at the urging of an anti-Semitic poem
  • 1803  Welsh-American patriot, POW, and signer of Declaration of Independence Francis Lewis dies in New York (b. 1713)
  • 1852  Future President Rutherford B. Hayes marries abolitionist Lucy Webb in Ohio; 1st presidential wife to be called “first Lady”
  • 1853  James Gadsden and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna sign Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City establishing U.S. southern border
  • 1862  Civil War ironclad warship USS Monitor sinks in heavy seas off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with 16 hands still aboard
  • 1922  Delegates sign declaration and treaty creating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); apx 58 million of their citizens will die by their own governments hands in next 69 years
  • 1937  Folksinger and songwriter Noel Paul Stookey is born in Baltimore, Md.; famously a member of group Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • 1972  After U.S. agrees to halt Linebacker II B-52 bombing campaign, North Vietnamese representatives agree to resume peace negotiations
  • 1977  Serial killer Ted Bundy escapes prison a second time; his bloody rampage in Florida will begin January 14th
  • 2006  Deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is hanged for charges related to 1982 massacre of Shi’ite muslims (b. 1937)

Warbirds – B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber

December 29th marks the anniversary of the first-flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.  Designed by Consolidated under the name Model 32, in 1939 the proposal was offered to the War Department as the highest flying, fastest, and most advanced heavy bomber that American forces would have at their disposal.  Though having a shorter hull and less wing area, the innovative design features of the B-24 resulted in a lighter aircraft with substantially greater carrying capacity.  Only nine months after the awarding of the contract, the first prototype took flight.

b-24 liberator line drawing

Often forgotten alongside the more famous B-17 Flying Fortress, the Liberator is still the most produced American military aircraft of all time.  More than 18,400 units were delivered by war’s end; over half coming produced at the Ford Motor Company Willow Run plant at Belleville, Michigan.  At peak, this purpose-built production plant rolled out B-24s at a rate of one per hour.  Over 1000 crewmen slept in cots at the facility just to accommodate testing and delivery of the bombers.

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line

b-24 liberator willow run assembly line final assembly

The B-24 entered service in 1941 with the British as transports and anti-submarine coastal patrols.  The first American B-24 to see action was the lone Liberator stationed at Pearl Harbor and it was destroyed on the ground during the Japanese attack December 7th, 1941.  Despite this less than heroic debut, the legacy of this aircraft is one of the most storied of WWII.  During the war, crews of the Liberators would earn every honor available to our aviators; including the awarding of several Medals of Honor.

http://youtu.be/YWOk2–CY6E

Notable crewmen on B-24s included:

  • George McGovern – pilot (Senator and Presidential candidate)
  • Jim Wright – bombardier (Congressman and Speaker of the House)
  • Stewart Udall – waist gunner (Congressman, Secretary of the Interior, author, and conservationist)
  • Jimmy Stewart – pilot, squadron commander (actor)
  • Robert Altman – co-pilot (film director)
  • Don Herbert – pilot (actor, host of TV show Ask Mr. Wizard)
  • Louis Zamperini – bombardier (Olympic runner and POW)

B-24 Liberator with Jimmy Stewart as pilot

By the end of its service life, dozens of B-24 variants flew with a whole host of nations, including:

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Germany (as Beuteflugzeug, captured aircraft, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Romania (At least three B-24Ds and one B-24J were rebuild from wrecks around Ploiesti in 1943–44.), Poland, Portugal, Soviet Union, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States

In its time, the B-24 was one of the most advanced and effective heavy bombers in the world.  Though crews (and history) seem to prefer the B-17, the lessons learned during the creation, evolution, and service of the B-24 would lead to the development of the B-32 and B-36.  These Warbirds would carry the Liberator’s legacy forward through Korea, to Vietnam, and into the height of the Cold War.  Today, only 3 of these historic bombers remain airworthy.

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943 low level run

B-24 Liberators over Ploiesti Oil Fields 1943

Lost and Found – December 29th Edition

What to remember about December 29th…

  • 1778  Redcoats, mercenaries, and loyalist militia surprise Patriots at Savannah; city remains British controlled until 1782
  • 1808  Future 17th President Andrew Johnson is born in Raleigh, N.C. (d. 1875); he will be impeached for opposing reconstruction
  • 1812  HMS Java engages USS Constitution off Brazil; though damaged her captain wounded “Old Ironsides” captures the British ship
  • 1845  Texas is admitted to the Union as the 28th state
  • 1862  Union forces repulsed at Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs at Vicksburg, Mississippi; Sherman will learn from the mistake
  • 1890  U.S. Cavalry massacre over 100 Souix at Wounded knee following a scuffle and accidental shooting
  • 1939  1st flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator
  • 1975  Bomb explodes in main terminal at La Guardia Airport killing 11 and injuring 79; remains unsolved

Lost and Found – December 28th Edition

What to remember about December 28th…

  • 1793  American patriot and author of Common Sense Thomas Paine is arrested for treason in France
  • 1832  John C. Calhoun resigns as vice-president to Andrew Jackson over states rights; 1st ever to step down from that office
  • 1846  Iowa is admitted to the Union as the 29th state
  • 1856  Future 28th President Woodrow Wilson is born in Staunton, Virginia (d. 1924)
  • 1922  American comic book writer Stan Lee is born in New York City; co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Iron Man and more
  • 1941  Admiral Ben Moreell requests permission from Navy to form specialized construction battalions; will become known as “Seabees”
  • 1973  President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law
  • 2000  After 128 years , retail giant Montgomery Ward announces that they are going out of business

Stan Lee’s 1st published work.

Lost and Found – December 27th Edition

What to remember about December 27th…

  • 1831  British naturalist Charles Darwin leaves England aboard HMS Beagle on surveying expedition of southern Atlantic and Pacific
  • 1836  American pioneer and “Father of Texas” Stephen Fuller Austin dies of pneumonia (b. 1793)
  • 1941  Rationing program begins in U.S. when federal Office of Price Administration mandates no driver can own more than five tires
  • 1944  FDR orders the National Guard to seize Montgomery Ward plants because of refusals to allow unionization
  • 1945  International Monetary Fund and World Bank are created; agreement to organize was signed in July at the Breton Woods Conference
  • 1968  Crew of Apollo 8 splashes down safely after becoming 1st humans to orbit the Moon
  • 1979  Soviets begin to send an additional 75,000 troops to Afghanistan in 10-year bid to support puppet communist regime
  • 2002  Raëlian bishop and Clonaid CEO Brigitte Boisselier announces 1st human reproductive cloning success with birth of baby Eve; scientists sceptical and no proof ever supplied
  • UPDATE:  2012  General H. Norman Schwarzkopf dies in Tampa, FL. (b. 1934); led coalition forces to victory during Gulf War in 1991

wwii rationing poster

Lost and Found – December 26th Edition

What to remember about December 26th…

  • 1610  Investigator for King Matthias discovers Countess Elizabeth Bathory directing torture session of young girls; believed most prolific female serial killer and part inspiration for Vampire mythology
  • 1776  America’s 1st real victory; after bringing his army across the Delaware River at night, General Washington’s troops capture Trenton, NJ and nearly 1000 Hessian mercenaries
  • 1791  English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage born (d. 1871); develops concept of programmable computer and father of  modern computer
  • 1862  4 volunteer nuns board USS Red Rover; 1st female nurses aboard U.S. Navy hospital ship; forerunners of Navy Nurses Corps
  • 1941  Winston Churchill is 1st foreign leader to address Congress
  • 1944  General George Patton turns his 3rd Army 90 degrees and races to Bastogne relieving the beleaguered 101st Airborne
  • 1956  Visionary automaker Preston Tucker dies (b. 1903); though unable to produce his dream car, his ideas change the industry
  • 1966  Holiday designed by California black studies professor Maulana Karenga is 1st celebrated; Kwanzaa is born from amalgamation of many nations harvest festivals
  • 1972  Former President Harry S. Truman dies (b.1884)
  • 1996  JonBenét Ramsey case switches gears when her body is found beaten and strangled in basement of her family home
  • 2004  Underwater earthquake spawns 500-mph Pacific tsunami that will leave 230,000 dead; effects felt from Sumatra to Somalia
  • 2006 Former President Gerald Ford dies at home California (b. 1913); only office holder never elected president or vice-president

Do you feel safer now than you did last year? How about more free?

The Clockwork Conservative

So, here’s a little more holiday cheer from “big brother”.  Watch Remy’s new video “Grandma Got Indefinitely Detained (A Very TSA Christmas) “.

Are you not overwhelmed by the outpouring of holiday spirit from the administration?

And for those of you who haven’t heard in a while the unforgettable “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”, enjoy this blast from the past.  Here is Dr. Elmo making the rounds on the 30th anniversary of this comedic holiday classic.

(Hat tip goes to Tad M. on Facebook for sending me the Remy video.)

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We have much to celebrate this Christmas morning. Take a moment and remember those brave men and women that sacrifice much to ensure that we do. Merry Christmas and God bless.

The Clockwork Conservative

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
T’was the night before Christmas, He lived all alone
In a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.
 
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give,
And to see just who, in this home, did live.
 

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Lost and Found – December 25th Edition

What to remember about December 25th…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

  • 1776  At 11pm, 5400 troops under General Washington begin their crossing of the Delaware River in bid to surprise Hessians
  • 1868  President Andrew Johnson unconditionally pardons all Civil War Confederate soldiers
  • 1899  American actor Humphrey Bogart is born in New York City (d. 1957)
  • 1941  British garrison in Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese after loss of last water reservoirs and power stations
  • 1991  Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union, communist super power is dissolved the following day
  • 1996  Body of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey is found in her Boulder, Colorado home just hours after ransom note discovered
  • 2009  Nigerian “Underwear Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempts to destroy aircraft en rout to Detroit