Tag Archives: World War I

Picture of the day: Sinking of the Lusitania


Sinking of the Lusitania

During the second year of WWI, the British Cunard ocean liner Lusitania , on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, sank off the coast of Ireland in only 18 minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat U-20. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,195 died. Of the fatalities, 123 were Americans. Even though the Germans maintained the liner was carrying arms purchased in America to Britain, the sinking of a passenger ship aroused intense anger against the German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare and hastened America’s entrance into the war.

Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.xSZJtze5.dpuf

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Special Feature: Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points



Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points
On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a hastily convened joint session of Congress, publicly stating the Fourteen Points–his idealistic plan for a world forever free from conflict. Most of Wilson’s Fourteen Points addressed specific European territorial concerns, but he also called for fair and generous treatment of Germany, absolute freedom of the seas, national boundaries determined on the basis of language, and the establishment of a general assembly of nations. When World War I ended in November 1918, Wilson personally attended the peace negotiations, believing that with his guidance, ‘peace without victory’ was possible and a new world order was at hand. What he had not counted on was the bitterness and cynicism of his allies, who had lost much. As the negotiations progressed, more and more of the Fourteen Points were sacrificed to vengeance and a grab for land. The German magazine Simplicissimus remarked on Wilson’s betrayal of his principles in June 1919 with God asking, ‘Woodrow Wilson, where are your 14 Points?’ Wilson responds, ‘Don’t get excited, Lord, we didn’t keep your Ten Commandments either!’ – See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.8Ilgr56s.dpuf

The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914): people who sings same carols in different languages, on Christmas, at least, cannot by enemies, even in the most helish circumstances (not of their own making)


The “Christmas Truce” of World War I (1914)

As Christmas approached in the early months of World War I, British and German troops stationed on the Western Front took it upon themselves to stage an unofficial cease-fire. Roughly 100,000 troops participated in this inspiring display of humanity. Over the course of the brief cessation of hostilities, enemy soldiers caroled together, exchanged gifts, played football, and even attended funerals together. What steps did officials later take to prevent such a cease-fire from happening again? More… Discuss

The Champs-Élysées


The Champs-Élysées

This avenue in Paris, France, leads from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. It is divided in two by the Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. The lower part, toward the Place de la Concorde, is surrounded by gardens, museums, theaters, and restaurants. The upper part, toward the Arc de Triomphe, was traditionally a luxury commercial district. Twelve avenues radiate to form a star at the avenue’s upper end, with the Arc de Triomphe at its center. To what does the avenue’s name refer? More… Discuss

Joe Dassin Champs Elysées Lyrics

 
Les Champs-Élysées Video:

Paroles de Les Champs-Élysées Je m’baladais sur l’avenue
Le coeur ouvert à l’inconnu
J’avais envie de dire bonjour
À n’importe qui
N’importe qui ce fut toi
Je t’ai dit n’importe quoi
Il suffisait de te parler
Pour t’apprivoiser

Aux Champs-Élysées
Aux Champs-Élysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie
À midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez
Aux Champs-Élysées

Tu m’as dit “J’ai rendez-vous
Dans un sous-sol avec des fous
Qui vivent la guitare à la main
Du soir au matin”
Alors je t’ai accompagnée
On a chanté, on a dansé
Et l’on n’a même pas pensé
À s’embrasser

Aux Champs-Élysées
Aux Champs-Élysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie
À midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez
Aux Champs-Élysées

Hier soir deux inconnus
Et ce matin sur l’avenue
Deux amoureux tout étourdis
Par la longue nuit
Et de l’Étoile à la Concorde
Un orchestre à mille cordes
Tous les oiseaux du point du jour
Chantent l’amour

Aux Champs-Élysées
Aux Champs-Élysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie
À midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez
Aux Champs-Élysées

[ Ces sont Les Champs-Élysées Paroles sur http://www.parolesmania.com/ ]

Edward Elgar – “Falstaff”- Symphonic study in C minor op. 68 – III Allegro Molto: make music part of your life series


Edward Elgar – “Falstaff“- Symphonic study in C minor op. 68 – III Allegro Molto

Guide Dogs


Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are service dogs that have been specially trained to help the visually impaired safely navigate their environments. The first school for guide dogs was established by the German government after World War I to provide service dogs to blinded veterans. Schools now exist in several European countries and in the US, where the pioneer Seeing Eye, Inc., founded by Dorothy Harrison Eustis in 1929, is one of the best known. What breeds are most frequently trained to be guide dogs? More… Discuss

Nursery Suite: Aubade (Awake): make music part of your life series


Military Camouflage


Military Camouflage

Though today nearly all combat uniforms and military vehicles are designed with camouflage in mind, this was not always the case. Men once marched into battle in bright, eye-grabbing uniforms, but as more accurate firearms were developed, camouflage became increasingly important. It was greatly developed during World War I, and though radar use diminished its utility, conflicts like the guerrilla campaigns of the Vietnam War again made it important. What is dazzle camouflage? More… Discuss

Code Talkers


Code Talkers

“Code talkers” were Native American soldiers in the US military who transmitted secret messages using codes based on their native languages. Though code talking was used as early as World War I, it is chiefly associated with Navajo language speakers in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The Navajo code baffled the Japanese, and, according to military officers, was key to the American victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima. What was it about this “code” that made it so difficult to crack? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Georges Clemenceau (1841)


Georges Clemenceau (1841)

Clemenceau was a French journalist and statesman whose politics brought him into conflict with Napoleon III’s government. After spending several years in the US, he returned to France and became mayor of Montmartre. In 1880, he began publishing La Justice, which became the primary organ of Parisian radicalism, and he later published Emile Zola’s “J’accuse,” a passionate criticism of the Dreyfus Affair. He served as premier during World War I and was a key architect of what treaty? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Bulgaria Gains Independence (1908)


Bulgaria Gains Independence (1908)

Bulgaria was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1396, but Turkish rule was often oppressive, and rebellions were frequent. In 1908, taking advantage of the Young Turk revolution in Constantinople and the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, Prince Ferdinand proclaimed Bulgaria independent with himself as czar. Bulgaria then became involved in a series of conflicts—two Balkan Wars and World War I—that led to Ferdinand’s abdication. Why was Bulgaria regarded as the Balkan Prussia? More…

today’s birthday: Herbert Hoover (1874)


Herbert Hoover (1874)

Hoover rose to fame for his relief efforts during and after World War I, which included arranging the return of Americans stranded abroad and securing supplies for civilians of war-devastated Europe. Elected US president in 1928, his administration was dominated by the economic depression that followed the 1929 stock market crash. Believing the economy would regenerate spontaneously, he was reluctant to extend federal activities. What event spurred Hoover to order federal troops to the capital? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Mata Hari (1876)


Mata Hari (1876)

Born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, this Dutch courtesan, dancer, and alleged spy went by the stage name Mata Hari. During World War I, she had intimate relationships with high-ranking Allied military officers and government officials. Though details are unclear, she apparently spied for Germany from 1916. In January 1917, French intelligence intercepted German messages about a spy they identified as Mata Hari, and she was executed by the French on espionage charges. What happened to her corpse?

today’s birthday: Alexander Fleming (1881)


Alexander Fleming (1881)

English: Alexander Fleming receives the Nobel ...

English: Alexander Fleming receives the Nobel Prize from King Gustaf V of Sweden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Motivated by the devastating infections he saw in hospitals during World War I, Fleming, a Scottish bacteriologist, began searching for an effective antiseptic.

English: Chemical structure of Penicillin G. H...

English: Chemical structure of Penicillin G. High-resolution .PNG made with Chem3D and IrfanView — see WikiProject Chemistry – structure drawing for detailed instructions. Please drop me a note if you need the source file. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1922, he discovered lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme present in saliva and tears. In 1928, he isolated the substance penicillin, which became the first successful antibiotic for human bacterial infections. His work earned him a Nobel Prize and has forever changed modern medicine. In what accidental way did he discover penicillin? More… Discuss

 

 

today’s birthday: Gertrude Bell (1868)


Gertrude Bell (1868)

Bell was a British traveler, author, and one of the builders of the modern state of Iraq. After graduating from Oxford, she journeyed throughout the Middle East and, in World War I, placed her unmatched knowledge of Middle Eastern conditions and her fluent Arabic and Persian at the disposal of the British government. In 1915, she became the first woman appointed to the British intelligence service and later helped determine Iraq’s borders. Bell worked closely with what famous adventurer? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Bascarsija Nights


Bascarsija Nights

One of Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s biggest events, Bascarsija Nights is a month-long celebration of culture. Artistic expressions ranging from street theatre to classical symphony make up this festival held in the country’s capital, Sarajevo; one well-established tradition is the opening night performance by the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. The remaining days are marked by events offering sophisticated entertainment—theatre, book readings, ballet, art exhibits—as well as popular fare like rock concerts, movie screenings, and folklore presentations.
More… Discuss

[youtube.com/watch?v=zQvTfZbRCkA]

Allegro [0:05]
Andante [3:34]
Allegro Vivo[7:15]
Sonata by Joaquín Turina for solo guitar performed by Rafael Andia at Baščaršija Nights Festival in Sarajevo 1998
CD Harmonia Mundi, see http://www.rafaelandia.com

quotation: Edith Wharton: “Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.”


Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Discuss

“At the antipodes of bloggers everywhere! “

THE FIRST RED SCARE


The First Red Scare

After World War I, the US was gripped by fears of communist and anarchist infiltration. Pressured by Congress, the Justice Department launched massive raids—led by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer—targeting communists, anarchists, and foreigners. More than 10,000 people were arrested and hundreds were deported, some for membership in Communist or left-wing groups, others on no greater pretext than that they looked or sounded foreign. What non-event effectively ended the Scare in 1920? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: “RED BARON” SHOT DOWN BY ALLIED FIRE (1918)


“Red Baron” Shot Down by Allied Fire (1918)

Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” was the World War I German aviator who commanded the flying squadron that became known as Richthofen’s Flying Circus. He was the war’s most successful flying ace, shooting down 80 aircraft before being killed in action. In April 1918, he was shot in the chest while dogfighting over France. He managed to land his plane but died soon after. The Red Baron has since become a symbol of dexterity, daring, and victory. Who fired the shot that killed him? More… Discuss

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Farage: The whole European project is based on a dangerous falsehood


[youtube.com/watch?v=PE65BoJLwos&feature=em-uploademail]
Farage: The whole European project is based on a dangerous falsehood
http://www.ukipmeps.org | http://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage
• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 16 April 2014

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament –http://www.nigelfaragemep.co.uk

• Debate: 100 years on from the First World War: lessons to learn and future of Europe
Council and Commission statements
[2014/2670(RSP)]
1 round of political group speakers

Transcript:

In you introduction you said that the First World War was an industrial war. And indeed, you’ve only got to drive two hours up the A4 from here and visit the battlefield at Verdun to see exactly what you were talking about. For those who haven’t visited I think it’s probably the grimmest battlefield I’ve certainly visited on the Western Front or indeed anywhere in the world.

And it was something that had such a huge psychological effect on France that it very much dominated the thinking of Monnet and Schumann post-1945, that this awful think must not happen again. And those of us in politics will all remember the rather famous photograph of quite a large German Chancellor Kohl and a rather small French president Mitterrand, holding hands, standing in front of that ossiary at Douaumont.

And so the whole European project comes from the disaster that was sparked by the First World War and it is entirely understandable that people should have sought ways to prevent such awfulness.

The difficulty is that they chose the wrong target. Monnet and Schumann decided – and it’s shared today by Mr Barroso and the Cohn-Bendits and others – they decided that it was the existence of Nation State that led to war and therefore we have to abolish Nation State.

Actually, what we should have focussed on post-1945, isn’t the abolition of states, it’s to make sure that the European states were democratic, because democratic nation states do not go to war with eachother.

So I have to say that I believe the whole European project is based on a falsehood – and it’s potentially a dangerous falsehood, because if you try to impose a new flag, a new anthem, a new president, a new army, police force, foreign policy, whatever else – if you try to impose that without first seeking the consent of the people, you’re in danger actually of creating the very nationalisms and resentment that you sought to snuff out in the first place. 

We’ve done this all before. We did it after the First World War in the Balkans. We said we can’t have all these little Balkan states go around fighting with eachother – let’s bring them together, let’s give them one flag, one anthem, one president and let’s call it Yugoslavia. And it led to horrific wars since 1990, the deaths of tens of thousands of people, as people have fought to get out of a false state.

The European Union is making a very similar mistake because there is no consent for this project. I’ve heard people this morning, talking about the need for a United States of Europe on a federal model. You can only have that if people give consent for it, and nobody has. 

And when you put the Constitution [Lisbon treaty prototype] to the peoples of Europe – the first time you really come clean with the electors – they rejected it.

I’m not against Europe, but I’m against this Europe. I want a Europe of independent, sovereign nation states that trade together, that work together, that cooperate together, and I believe the European Elections this year will mark a turning point. The tide is turning. You’re backing an outdated model that seeks to get rid of a problem that actually hasn’t existed since 1945.

Thank you.
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Video source: EbS (European Parliament)
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• EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom

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MAX ERNST (1891)


Max Ernst (1891)

Having served in World War I, German-born French painter and sculptor Max Ernst at first gravitated toward the Dada movement, but the former student of psychology and philosophy eventually became one of the founders of surrealism. Apart from the medium of collage, for which he is well known, Ernst developed other devices to express his fantastic vision, like frottage, in which a drawing tool is rubbed over paper laid on a textured surface, and grattage, a technique consisting of what? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE WASHINGTON NAVAL TREATY IS SIGNED (1922)


The Washington Naval Treaty Is Signed (1922)

Also known as the Five-Power Treaty, the Washington Naval Treaty was an agreement signed in the wake of World War I in an effort to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction. Signed by five of the major Allied Powers—Great Britain, the US, Japan, France, and Italy—the treaty limited the tonnage of aircraft carriers and capital ships and imposed proportional limits on the number of warships each signatory nation could maintain. For how long did signatories adhere to these terms? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE SILVERTOWN EXPLOSION (1917)


 

 

The Silvertown Explosion (1917)

 

The Millennium Mills in the aftermath of the S...

The Millennium Mills in the aftermath of the Silvertown explosion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

During World War I, a chemical factory in the highly populated area of Silvertown, England, was used to purify TNT in order to meet the urgent demand for explosive shells. Although a newer, safer plant was built elsewhere, production continued at the factory until a fire ignited 50 tons of TNT in 1917. The explosion killed 73 people, injured hundreds more, and destroyed the plant, many nearby buildings, and a gasholder—sparking an enormous fireball. To what is the low death toll attributed? More… Discuss

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Birthday: GEORGES-MARIE GUYNEMER (1894)


Georges-Marie Guynemer (1894)

A top French fighter ace during World War I and a national hero, Guynemer shot down 53 enemy planes and survived being shot down several times before he presumably died in a firefight on September 11, 1917. During an engagement that fateful day, Guynemer’s plane disappeared, reportedly shot down by a German pilot who was himself killed in action weeks later. To ease the blow of the loss of their young hero, French schoolchildren were taught that what had happened to him? More…

 

ATONALITY


Atonality

Musical compositions that do not use an established musical key are said to be atonal. Atonality is a radical alternative to the diatonic system—the natural major or minor scales that form the basis of the key system in Western music. After World War I, an atonal system of composing emerged using 12 tones. By World War II, however, “atonality” had become a pejorative term to condemn music perceived as lacking structure and coherence. In Nazi Germany, atonal music was also criticized as what? More…

 

Today’s Birthday: MARIE OF EDINBURGH, QUEEN OF ROMANIA (1875)


Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania (1875)

No ordinary queen, Marie took an active role in Romania‘s wartime activities, beginning with helping bring the country into the Allied camp in World War I and ending with her representation of Romanian interests in territory negotiations at the close of the war. In the interim, the “Soldier Queen” also contributed to the war effort by volunteering as a nurse with the Red Cross and publishing a book whose proceeds went to the same cause. Marie later became the first royal adherent of what faith? More…Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: EDWARD “EDDIE” RICKENBACKER (1890)


Edward “Eddie” Rickenbacker (1890)

A skilled American racecar driver, Rickenbacker entered World War I as a driver but soon became a fighter pilot. He shot down 26 enemy aircraft, earning the Congressional Medal of Honor and the moniker “Ace of Aces.” After a failed foray into automobile manufacturing, he ran several airlines for General Motors and eventually acquired one of them. In 1942, his plane was lost while on a tour of military bases in the Pacific, and he was presumed dead, but he was rescued after how many days adrift? More…Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: GERMANY, ITALY, AND JAPAN SIGN TRIPARTITE PACT (1940)


Germany, Italy, and Japan Sign Tripartite Pact (1940)

The World War II alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan was fully realized in September 1940, with the signing of the Tripartite Pact. The agreement called for the Axis Powers to come to each other’s aid if attacked by a nation not already involved in the European War or the Sino-Japanese Conflict and to assist one another in their efforts to “establish and maintain a new order of things”—Germany and Italy in Europe and Japan in Greater East Asia. How did the treaty get the nickname “Roberto”? More…Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: MAURICE CHEVALIER (1888)


Maurice Chevalier (1888)

Chevalier was a French actor, singer, and vaudeville entertainer known for his trademark tuxedo and straw hat. While a prisoner of war during World War I, Chevalier studied English. After the war, he began acting in the US, where he appeared in movies that helped establish the musical as a film genre. Though he put on a heavy French accent while performing in English, he actually spoke the language quite fluently with only a subtle accent. Why did his popularity dwindle during World War IIMore…Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: WALTER ROBERT DORNBERGER (1895)


Walter Robert Dornberger (1895)

A German artillery officer during World War I, Dornberger was captured and spent two years in a French prisoner-of-war camp. After his release, he studied engineering, and, beginning in 1932, directed construction of the V-2 rocket, the forerunner of all post-war spacecraft. Along with other German scientists, Dornberger was brought to the US as part of Operation Paperclip and worked as an advisor on guided missiles for the US Air Force. He became a key consultant on what major American venture? More… Discuss

 

NO MAN’S LAND


No Man’s Land

No man’s land is territory whose ownership is unclear or under dispute and is often unoccupied. The term—then spelled “nonesmanneslond”—was likely first used in medieval Europe to describe a contested territory or refuse dumping ground between fiefdoms. During WWI, it was used to refer to the land between enemy trenches too dangerous to occupy, and during the Cold War, it became associated with territories near the Iron Curtain. What stretch of no man’s land is known as the “Cactus Curtain“? More… Discuss

 

This Day in History: The signing of the Weimar Constitution


Weimar Constitution Signed into Law (1919)

Written immediately after World War I, the Weimar Constitution was the document that governed the short-lived Weimar Republic of Germany. It declared the nation a federal republic governed by a president and parliament and was a strong attempt to establish a liberal democracy in Germany. However, it was adopted during a time of civil conflict and failed with the ascent of the Nazi Party in 1933. How did Hitler manage to subvert the Weimar Constitution after he came to power? More… Discuss