Tag Archives: world war

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?

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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o got tTHIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ADOPTED AS LAW IN THE US (1918)


Daylight Saving Time Adopted as Law in the US (1918)

Daylight saving time (DST) is the system of advancing clocks forward one hour near the start of spring to increase “usable” hours of daylight in the afternoon. Though Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784, DST was not widely adopted until World War I. It was first used in Western European countries like Germany and England, and Newfoundland became one of the first North American jurisdictions to adopt DST in 1917. The US followed suit a year later. Which two US states do not observe DST? 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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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: 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