Friday, November 10, 2017

Veterans Day History

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day.  It is the day the peace treaty ending WWI went into effect, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918.  It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.  It is a day set aside to remember all veterans.  Memorial Day, in May remembers all those service men who passed away in war.  National Armed Services Day, also in May, honors those currently serving. 
November 10, 1775 is the birthday of the Marines.  When Mark was in the Marines they had a yearly  party, which included a formal dance.  (Gleaned from Wikepedia)

Logging Up Blacksmith Fork Canyon

I came upon some history of Blacksmith Fork Canyon, and Hyrum which I didn't know.  This is from an article in "An Early History of Cache County."  Apparently a lot of trees were taken out of the canyon, along with other canyons for railroad ties.  they would be floated down the river in the spring, which in turn lead to the Logan River and then the Bear River.  They were removed from the river in Corrine where they were used for railroad ties.  Also much wood was removed for home construction as well as the other buildings in Cache Valley.  This article tells the story of logging, including the deaths of several loggers.  There is also a story in the Herald Journal.  They are looking for more information about James Smyth, one of the loggers who was killed in a snow slide in 1877.  This is a memorial to him just below Hardware Ranch.  He is from Kansas.  He was in the canyon logging with others from Kansas.  More than that is not known.  His companions from Kansas gave up after the slide and returned home to Kansas. 
Blacksmith Fork Canyon from Hyrum

Thursday, November 9, 2017

History of Rigby First and Fourth Wards

I found a program for the dedication of the Rigby First and Fourth Ward chapel, which included a history of the wards. 
History of Rigby First and Fourth Wards
As the Snake River continued to meander across the sage-brush plains cutting channels through former Indian territory, our pioneers emigrated from northern Utah, settling in the areas now known as Menan, Annis, LaBelle, Lewisville, Milo, Willow Creek and in 1885, Rigby. 
A branch of the Lewisville Ward of the L.D.S. Church was established in this area August, 1883, by Wm F. Rigby of Driggs.  Dan Robins was sustained as Presiding Elder.
By the spring of 1886 many Saints were in the area and they began the construction of a log church house about a mile northwest of the present city.  It was never completed there, however, because early in 1886 the town site became available and the building was hauled to the church plot and finished.  It became the church house, community hall and school. 
Elder John W. Taylor of the Bannock Stake Presidency organized the Rigby Ward, May 22, 1886.  The name was selected to honor Wm F. Rigby, who had been instrumental in the organization of the former Branch.  George A. Cordon was ordained Bishop and served for the next 31 years.  He was followed by his son, Omer, in this calling, December 2, 1917.
The white limestone ward house was completed in 1898 and has served the community since.  It has been expanded twice.  In 1909, the north wing was erected and in 1931 the additions to its present size were begun. 
Growth of the community warranted division of the Rigby Ward January 18, 1919.  No change of the Bishop took place in the First Ward, but John Omer Call was chosen as Bishop of the new Second Ward.
Having served nearly 24 years as Bishop, Omer S. Cordon was released May 10, 1936, and John R. Sayer was sustained.  He served as the third Bishop until September 5, 1937, when Oluf Jensen became the leader.
The Rigby First Ward was again divided May 10, 1942, and the Rigby Fourth Ward was organized.  The First Ward supported Alden Poulsen as Bishop until August 11, 1946, when Henry W. Pieper was chosen to serve.
The Fourth Ward was presided over by Cecil A. Call until September 22, 1946 when Edwin H. Lee was sustained.  He served faithfully until February 8, 1953.  At this time J. garth Zundel was ordained.
Such rapid growth and development had taken place in the community that on January 8, 1956, the Rigby First and Fourth Wards were reorganized to form the Rigby First, Fourth and Fifth Wards with Bishops Bruce a Eckersell, Lyle R. Peterson and Floyd Wood being sustained.
Bishop Peterson of the Fourth Ward pushed for the construction of a new and badly needed church and the First Ward supported Bishop Eckersell in joining in this movement.
Construction began November 1, 1958 with ground breaking ceremonies and has steadily progressed.  However, Bishop Peterson was sustained in the Stake Presidency March 26, 1962, and on April 29, 1962 Joseph C. George was approved as Bishop of the Fourth Ward. 
Now under the able leadership of Bishops Eckersell and George, with great honor due President Peterson and many others, we humbly present this building for dedication unto the Lord, September 16, 1962.
Compiled by Charles Henry.
old church
New church
Add caption

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Book Review: The Courage of Sarah Noble

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard, Aladdin Books, New York, 1954. 

This is purported to be a true story, although many of the details are imagined.  That there was a girl, Sarah Noble, and eight-year-old girl travels with her father into the wilderness, to build a new house on land her father had purchased.  This was in Connecticut in 1707.  Sarah was worried about the Native Americans.  Turns out they were friendly.  An Indian family takes Sarah in while her father travels to bring back the family.  There is some controversy about this book, and that Sarah makes up names for some of the Indian children because she had difficulty pronouncing them.  Her father also makes up a name for their father.  Some think this shows a racist flavor.  However this book does show that people of different ethnic backgrounds can get along, and language does not have to be a barrier.  Nor do different colors of skin, or different cultures.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Place-Names of California's North San Joaquin Valley

Place Names of California's North San Joaquin Valley: Includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties, by David L Durham, Word Dancer Press, Clovis, California, 2000.

It is fascinating how many place names there are.  There are rives and sloughs and channels and islands surrounded by rivers.  That is what you get with a delta.  Of course this is not room to hit on every place name, so let me offer some high lights.  The San Joaquin River shapes much of the area, with its many channels. 

Charles Weber laid out Stockton and French Camp.  This was after he received a land grant Campo de los Franceses.  The are was called this based on some French fur trappers who had camped in the area.  Stockton is the County Seat, and most prominent city of San Joaquin County.  Weber laid out the town of Stockton in 1847 on his land grant.  Other names were suggested, but in the end Stockton took the name of Commodore Robert F. Stockton, who was commander of military forces in California at the time and largely responsible for conducting of the Mexican American War in California and the annexation of Alta California into the United States.  In Stockton there is Mormon Slough, but no idea why it took this name.

Manteca, which means butter or lard, took its name from the local creamery.  The rail way station was first called Cowell in honor of Joshua Cowell who had granted the rail company right-of-way. 

New Hope, the Mormon community is mentioned in the section on the Sanislaus River.  This community was near the mouth of the Stanislaus River, and lasted only about a year.  This was later known as Staislaus City and there was a ferry in the area.  Ripon developed nearby.  There is another New Hope in the county in the Lodi area.  Lodi is north of Stockton.  It was originally named Mokelumne.  Lodi Lake is located near Lodi (originally Smith Lake.)

Banta is near Tracy where Kasson and Grant Line roads meet.  There was a prominent Inn there.  Lathrop is along the San Joaquin River.   Tracy took the name of Lathrop tracy, an official of the rail road.  The alternate is Judge F.P. Tracy, a contemporary of Leland Stanford. 

Also south of Tracy in the Diablo Range is Corral Hollow.  I had heard of the name being the result of a corral made to catch wild horses.  This book gives and alternative.  It may have been named for Edward Corral.  The canyon and creek were also known by the Mexicans as Buenos Ayres Creek.

San Joaquin City was a river town with the Dunham Ferry close by.  From here originally oak, and later wheat was shipped.  Sturgeon Bend in the San Joaquin River is close to this spot. 

Knights Ferry fascinates me.  The name-sake of the town was actually killed in a gun battle.  There is a geologic feature near here known as Lover's Leap or The Jumping Off Place.

There of course is much more in this book available at the Manteca Library.  I have focused mostly on San Joaquin County. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review: Historic Monuments of America

Historic Monuments of America by Donald Young, Portland House, New York, 1990.

This is a very good look  at National Monuments.  It is pictures with narration.  This includes some natural wonder, but also many significant places in history.  It mostly talks about places managed by the National Park Service.  It does center around the North East.  It has a fascinating look at Civil War Battlefields and Revolutionary War Battlefields.  Also all of the monuments in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area.  A few of them I have visited, including grant's Tomb in New York, past the Statue of Liberty, The Capitol Mall is such a wonder, along with the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, and much more.   Independence Hall along with the Liberty Bell are also fascinating.  Fort McHenry is another place I have visited.  The fort withstood the assault, and thus the British had to abandon their plans of going up the peninsula to Washington. 
The pictures of Gettysburg also fascinate me.  This is a battlefield I hope to visit.  Of course there are other significant battles, but this one includes a two-page mural of the battle.  The Chickamauga section is also very interesting. The Battle of Vicksburg was another significant Civil War battle.   Speaking of the Civil War For Sumter where the war started, and Appomattox where the war ended are both monuments. 
As we head west there are less monuments, but still some very significant ones.  This includes Lincoln's birth and burial places, many Native American mounds which are fascinate me.  And then the St. Louis Arch and Mount Rushmore and incomparable monuments.
Battle of the Little Big Horn site is remembered as a monument.  Also many missions in the southwest,   and the Anasazi left the four corners area dotted with monuments one can hardly fathom.  Also many old barns have been memorialized, including a beautiful structure at the base to the Tetons.  Fort Laramie, and a few other old forts are monuments.  Fort Point sits below the Golden Gate Bridge.  Scotty's Castle in Death Valley is marvelous.  Then of course in Hawaii is the monument to the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the Arizona.
This is a great coffee table book, because these pictures bring history to life. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old Train Car at Santa Clara Station

My attempts to take a picture of the interior failed and I just got reflection of station, but the exterior pictures worked well.  The interior is set up more like a living quarters, than a rail car with seats; like it was someone's personal car.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sea Turtles: National Geographic Kids

Sea Turtles by Laura Marsh, National Geographic Kids, Washington, D.C., 2011.
Many things in this little book about Sea Turtles of which I  was not aware.  For example, there are six different types of sea turtles.  Five types have shells, but one type, the largest type of sea turtle, does not have a shell.  This is the leatherback.  Instead of a shell it has rubbery skin with bones underneath.  The Kemp Ridley is the smallest sea turtle.  It is also the most endangered.  The Olive Ridley has an olive color.  The flat back has the flattest body.  The green turtle is the only sea turtle which likes to warm itself in the sand on the beach.  The hawksbill usually stays closer to the surface.  Turtles are reptiles.  The breath like we do.  They must stay close to the surface, but some can dive  very far down.  However they must resurface to take another breath.  Some things we can do to help turtles, pick up trash on the beach and don't let trash get in the ocean.  Flying balloons by the ocean can be especially bad.  Help pick up trash.  Turn of unnecessary lights by the ocean as lights can confuse the turtles.  Follow warning signs about turtle hatching  areas.  Stay away.  You can accidentally step on a nest.  Tell others about turtles and how to keep them safe.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bobette and Charlie Giles

The Giles Memorial Park, the park outside where the Boys and Girl's Club is located in Manteca is named for Charlie and Bobette Giles.   This bench in Woodward Park is dedicated to Charlie Giles.  Who are Charlie and Bobette Giles and how are they important to Manteca?
Charlie Leo Giles, with his wife, built Mountain Valley Express trucking Company.  He founded the company in 1976 with just one truck and built the company to 400 vehicles and 250 employees.  The  company was known for its safety record.  However he is honored not only for his business successes, although that is part of the equation.  He and his wife Bobette were always big supporters of the Manteca Boys & Girls Club.  They are among those who made the club possible, supported it though out their lives, and even made donations to the club in their wills.  Charlie Giles also supported the Manteca Morning Rotary.  Bobette ran a restaurant, and would take the left overs at the en of the day to a programs feeding the homeless.  Mr. Giles passed away in 2003.  His family continues to run the business which now has terminals throughout the Western United States.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Santa Clara Tower: Dedicated to Safety

At the Santa Clara Station is a tower, which is an unusual feature for a train station.  It is the building most noticed at the station for those on the train.  I can understand a tower at an airport.  This tower was once a very important hub for train transportation as from this tower many tracks were monitored and regulated, and red lights displayed to avoid accident.  It has now been replaced by a modern looking pole of lights.  I don't know from where the train lines are monitored now, but there must be a central place with someone monitoring the trains.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Mesa Verde: Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House, The Mesa Verde Museum Association.
Mesa Verde was inhabited by the Anasazi around 1200.  Spruce Tree House is the third largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde.  It was likely the residence of about 100 people.  When discovered by White people, they entered by climbing a Douglas Spruce Tree, which was later cut down.  From this tree the cliff dwelling takes its name.  The structure included eight Kivas, many dwelling rooms, and refuse rooms, as well as storage rooms.  Many of the windows and doors were built in a t fashion.  Many of the walls were covered with a plaster, into which there were designs at times.   A Kiva had a natural ventilation system.  They included a Firepit, and a Sipapu (often now missing) which represented the hole through which man came to Earth.

Book Review: My Story: Elizabeth Smart with Chris Stewart

My Story: Elizabeth Smart with Christ Stewart, St. Martin's Press, New York, 2013.
This book is a very good and quick read.  It is about a fourteen year old girl, who writes her own story, and the couple who stole her away from her family.  It describes the man, Bryan David Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, who took her and raped her daily, saying she was his wife.  Also his wife, Wanda Barzee, who did nothing to stop this descent into depravity.  The descent "below all things" as Mitchell said was his goal, included consumption of alcohol, drugs, rape, homelessness, hunger, thirst, living outdoors, pornography,  a cruel steel cord around her ankle, and other acts unable to even be mentioned.  Smart does an excellent job of portraying these events in a sensitive way.  At times she admits there is worse, but does not go into specifics.  Sometimes specifics are not needed. 
She also talks of surviving such an ordeal.  At one point, early on, she feels death, suicide would be better than what she is enduring, but finally concludes she must survive.
This is a book of faith and miracles.  She finds comfort in feeling God's spirit, and that of her deceased grandfather.  She also receives miracles, rain when it was needed, and a glass of water when she was dying of thirst.
It is difficult to imagine someone so evil as to do these things to another human being.  However, Mitchell was not a prophet, but a pedophile who would manipulate and do whatever he needed to establish control. 
There are times this book brings tears.  When she talks about the pain of her parents.  Being a father I empathize when this.  However, her rescue also brings great joy, and again tears. 
She finally talks of resiliency, the power to overcome.    She drew strength from the words of her mother--don't let this person steal more of your life.  Be happy.  There is a great lesson there.
I highly recommend this book.  Even though it describes terrible events, it is a book about overcoming and moving on.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: Lighthouses of California

Lighthouses of California: A Guidebook and Keepsake, by Bruce Roberts and Ray Jones, Insiders' Guide, Guilford, Connecticut, 2005.
This is a fascinating reference book, which leads me to adding a new bucket list.  I have visited a few California lighthouses, but not very many.  There is the one close to Rodeo Beach which always closes before we get there.  Cabrillo Point in San Diego.  There is the one on Yerba Buena we drove past, but it is hard to see from the road.  There is one north of Santa Cruz.
Any way, back to the book.  This book adds a historical context for the light houses.  Why were they built? and what is the history.  Some have been rebuilt, many modernized with modern lights.  Most are now automated.  Some include fog horns.  I am most interested in northern California light houses, and have a personal goal to visit Point Arenas.  This is a tall one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Moche (of Peru) Burials Uncovered

by Christopher B. Donnan photographs Kenneth Garret and art by Christopher A. Klein, National Geographic, March 2001.
The Moche predate the Inca by about 1000 years.  They inhabited the northern coast of Peru.  This article tells of the discovery of three tombs, whole and intact.  This find is rare in this area where people have been looting for 300 years.  The 105 foot pyramid at Dos Cabezas had been virtually destroyed by Conquistadores looking for gold.  It has also been pock marked by those seeking artifacts.  However these tombs were left undisturbed, and provide a wealth of information about the people.  This included a ceramic death mask.  It also included miniature tombs, a model of the actual tombs.   There were artistic potteries of animals which are very fascinating.
There are mysteries surrounding the Moche people, where did they come form and where did they go.  The inhabited one of the most arid regions on earth, and did so with irrigation methods.  They were there form about 100 a.d to 800 a.d.  They appear to have had classes, as one of the tombs honors someone of some import.  The people found appear to have been related.  They are unique in that the seem larger than other Moche people who were generally short.

Monday, September 11, 2017

National Geographic - George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

This video is fascinating.  It is an interview with President Bush about ten years after the event of 9/11.  His insight, from that of the President is intriguing.  With the third and fourth planes he determined America was at war; and accepted the fact that his would be a war presidency.  That first day started with the President being flown away, and ended after he had gotten back to Washington, and was whisked to the bunker when they thought there was an attack on the White House.  Turned out a friendly plane just had the wrong transmitter.  This also shows a few days after 9/11.  Addresses to the American people, visiting the Pentagon, and visiting New York.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review: Post Dates: A Chronology of Intriguing Event in the Mails and Philately

by Kenneth A. Wood, Van Dahl Publications, Albany, OR, 1985.
This is a book of much more history about post and stamps than you would ever want to know.  It starts from 4000 BC where some type of post is known among the Chinese people.  There were forms of message delivery in India as well.  Most early message delivery involved rulers.  It wasn't until much later that message delivery was offered to the general public.
The Penney Black was issued in 1840.  Before this time there were stamps used to verify the payment of postage.  The first of these were in England, 1680.  The first American stamps were issued in 1847. This book also contains tidbits on specific mail routes.  The includes overland stage routes and the Pony Express, where light weighted men were recruited to fun the mail on horseback.  It also includes many international routes.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

National Parks: Article Review

July 1979 edition of National Geographic was dedicated to the National Parks.  I love to look of pictures of National Parks, to places I've been and places I hope to go.  In 1979 the National Park Service managed 306 parks and monuments.  They now manage over 400, of which about 80 are National Parks.  Ulysses Grant signed into law the bill that established Yellowstone National Park in 1872.  The national Park Service was established in 1916.  National Parks represent the most historical, the most beautiful, the most significant of our nation.  In other words the best of the best.  I love looking at the pictures.  This magazine is a keeper.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Book Review: It Happened in Northern California

It Happened in Northern California: Remarkable Events that Shaped History, by Erin H. Turner, Twodot, Guilford, CT, 2016.
This book presents 33 short stories of history in Northern California.  It lists them chronologically, although some stories take place over a period of time. 
Among other stories it includes, the first siting of California by non-Native Americans.  Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lead the expedition, which never did make landfall because the tides and winds were not favorable.  However Cabrillo would not survive the trip.  He had previously fallen on rocks in the San Diego area and broken his arm.  He continued on, but eventually gangrene set in and killed him.  His first-mate made a final attempt to make it to shore, but eventually his men insisted it was not to be and the returned to Mexico.
He tells of an early Native American story teller.
A romance between a Russian trader and the magistrate at San Francisco Bay; Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov and Maria de la Concepcion Arguello y Morage.  In this the guy does not get the girl, but intends to.
The Bear Flag Revolt of 1846.
He tells the bravery of Patty Reed of the Donner Party in 1847.
The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill by James Marshall.
The story of Joaquin Murieta, who was considered a bandit by some.  By others he was compared to Robin Hood, fighting against injustice after the Mexican American War and many Hispanics were forced off their land.  However Murieta became a cold blooded killed.  In his wrath he killed many.  He could gather 80 men or more, people who had been offended by the Whites, and they would take out their vengeance.  This included killing Chinese.  The reward offered for his capture eventually bore fruit.  He was killed and his head taken as proof, as well as the hand of the three-fingered bandit, his side-kick.  Although displayed, his wife said it was not him.  She said Joaquin Murieta had escaped to Mexico. 
The story of Ulysses Grant in California before the Civil War.
The mail delivered by Snowshoe Thompson.
Start of the wine making business in Sonoma,
Jessie Benton Fremont confronting those who would take her property.  She was the wife of John C. Fremont.
A terrible massacre of Indians.  The responsible parties were never identified.
Mary Ellen Pleasant, and African American business woman had an early incident similar to that of Rosa Parks. 
Emperor Norton, who was treated as royalty because he had a delusion that he was.
The take of Captain Jack, chief of the Modocs, who refused to be relocated, and the had an effective stronghold in lava caves.
The story of Caruso during the San Francisco earthquake.  Damage would have been much less had not the fires started. 
The story of Ishi, last of the Yahi, a small tribe of Yana Indians.
The fire that destroy the dream of Jack London, and in a real way also took his will to live, and he passed away not long after.
Sarah Winchester and her mystery house in San Jose, when the tools did not go silent until after her death.
The state of Jefferson; proposed from parts of Northern California and Southern Oregon, which may have really happened if not for the advent of WWII which took everyone’s focus.
Japanese internment.  Those who wouldn't say yes to the loyalty question were kept at Tule Lake. 
The Olympics in Squaw Valley, 0960.
Bodega Bay and the birds,
Haight Ashbury summer of love in San Francisco, which came out of the protest movement.
The Native American take over at Alcatraz.
How a computer club developed into Apple, McIntosh and the iphones.
An art project you could see from space.
The mayor and supervisor in San Francisco murdered, George Moscone nd Harvey Milk.
And the World Series being stopped by an earthquake.

I think there are a couple left out, such as the explosion during WWII, the train robbery in Manteca, the story of New Hope, The Brooklyn, or the history of Drawbridge in the San Francisco Bay, The Battle between Mexican forces and Native Americans close the Riverbank.  I will be using this post as a link for some of these stories. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

ESPN Documentary:Jordan Rides the Bus: 30 for 30

I have often wondered why Michael Jordan gave up a year of play basketball for baseball.  He really wasn’t that good at baseball, because it was something he had not been doing every day.  After a year of playing ball, riding the bus, he was getting better.  He played right field, and played in the Autumn League.  This was a league for the best of double AA.   He really started to come into his stride.  He stole bases, fielded ok.  And brought his batting average up to 250.  It is possible for Michael Jordan to have made the majors in a couple more years if he continued to improve.  However a threatened baseball strike loomed large, and Jordan likely would have been in the middle.  He decided to return to basketball instead. 
An interesting point of Jordan’s baseball career centers around the murder of his father.  His father was murdered in a botched robbery.  Jordan’s father always wanted Michael to play baseball, and so he did.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Article Review: Finding Their Navajo Way

There is a very good article in the Utah State magazine Spring 2017 written by John DeVilbiss about a couple who lived the Indian Placement life.  This program provided an education to Native American children by placing them in the homes of church members where opportunities may be better than on the reservation.  For a period of time, the church sponsored this program and many people started their education this way.  In this case, the couple Teresa and Curtis Frazier left the reservation, living with their placement families.  As a result they struggle with their native language.  It also put them between two worlds, which can be a hard place to be.  However they have both been able to find a balance, and now work in providing educational opportunities to others.  However, those others do not have to leave their homes, as they work in Blanding, Utah for the Utah State extension.
Curtis mentions that he felt the church accomplished their goal of providing opportunities that were not available.  The children were well-fed and clothed.  Many thrived better in this type of environment, than at the Indian boarding schools available.  However the program created a separation between the children and their families with sometimes negative consequences.  In this case there was a positive result.  In their case they are able to love both families.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blunders of WWII: Hitler's Luftwaffe

At the beginning of the war, the Luftwaffe was the most modern air force in  the world.  They had investing many resources, and because of the Treaty of Versailles, all of the planes were newly built and modern, rather than old relics.  However, they failed their country on several occasions.  The fist major failure was their inability to annihilate the British and Allies at Dunkirk.  Much of the expeditionary force was able to make it back to England.  During the Battle of Britain, again the Luftwaffe failed to control the Royal Air Force, and consequently the invasion of England could not take place.  The industrial machine of Germany was not on a war footing.  Consequently resources were often scarce, and shared with other branches of the military.  Even within the Luftwaffe there was competition for resources.  ground troops, including parachute and anti aircraft guns too at least ten percent of the resources.  Consequently there were never enough resources.  This was especially felt in Russia.  After the invasion of Russia, the German resources were spread more and more thinly.  And when the Russians pushed the Germans back, the Russian industrial complex was out of reach of German bombers.  A great lack of the Luftwaffe was a good long-range bomber as the relied on dive bombing.  This lack crippled them in the end.  Experienced air pilots also became more scarce.  German pilots flew sortie after sortie until they were shot down.  Replacements lacked resources for training.  Consequently, as the war continued, the German pilots had less experience and training.  This became even more acute after an Allied bomber attack on German fuel supplies.  There was not fuel to spare for training.
The one think which could have evened the field for the Luftwaffe was the development of the jet.  The Germans had developed jet planes, which could fly 100 mph faster than any planes on the allied side.  However, Hitler wanted these planes to be fighter bombers, which delayed production, and so they had hardly no effect on the war.

Great Blunders of WWII: The Pilot Who Bombed London

The first bombing of London was a mistake, but it would trigger policy on both sides which would result in the loss of millions of civilians.  At the beginning of the war, the mass bombing of cities was a great fear, and both sides avoided it, although they prepared for it.  The built air raid shelters, issued gas masks and prepared defenses.  The initial policies held that aircraft would only bomb military targets.
However the Nazis did bomb Warsaw, after the Poles declared that they would defend the city to the last.  The city was surrendered after all utilities were destroyed.  The British bombers, after finding their planes were more readily shot down during the day, began bombing at night.  Navigation issues lead to bombs missing military sites and causing civilian casualties.
Another Nazi attack against a city was that of Rotterdam in Holland.  This bombing took place after the surrender was too slow.
However, full scale bombing on both sides did not take place until after an accidental bombing in London.  Both sides had escalated bombing against targets closer and closer to population centers.
Early in August of 1940 that Luftwaffe was commanded to go after the British RAF.  This would take German planes over population centers.  Hitler ordered there there should be no terror bombing.  This was a period of intense air battles.  Germans had strength in numbers, while the British were closer to home and able to stay over the battle area longer.  The German's changed tactics by having bombers attack at night.  They were hoping to stretch the British air defenses.  However, the germans had problems with night navigation.  Some of the planes became confused.  At least one dropped its bombs anyway, hitting civilians in London.  Nine civilians were killed.
The British retaliated, and then things escalated from there.  Berlin was an immediate target for the RAF.  Before the end of the war there were fire bombings of major population centers.

Was Daniel Boone a Traitor? from Unsolved Mysteries

Unsolved Mysteries of American History by Paul Aron, Barnes and Nobler Books, New York,1997.
This refers to an incident surrounding Boonesborough, Kentucky.  This was a fort founded by Daniel Boone.  However at the height of the Revolutionary War, Daniel Boone surrendered the fort to Native Americans.  It first happened he was taken prisoner.  He then negotiated a sort of peace if Boone turned over the men looking for salt who were with him.  He did so, and in captivity was adopted by a Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee.   Then with the British and the Shawnee he arranged for turning over Fort Boonesborough.  This he did.  If you were to look at this you would think Boone was a traitor; however he had his own explanation.  A peace party met outside the fort.  The Shawnee laid siege.  However this did not last long and they gave up.  He contended his actions were for the benefit of the people.  The Shawnee outnumbered them and they would have been killed without his intervention.   He had gained time for them to prepare their defense.  He was brought to trial for treason; but the jury found in favor of Daniel Boone.  What has become known since is that the wife of Daniel Boone was a Tory.  Daniel Boone for sure was torn between loyalties.  After the war there was no British influence, but Daniel Boone was no longer welcome in the town he founded. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Documentary Review: I Am Jane Doe

This movie brings to my awareness a problem we have had here in the United States; that of sex trafficking of young girls.  This trafficking has been made easier by internet laws, the Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996.  This law allows for third parties to publish information on a host, and the host is not liable for the content, even if they know that laws are often broken.  The courts have been unwilling to resolve the problem, and congress has been very slow to change the law.  In the case of, it appears that the hosting website would coach those advertising to place their ads in such a way as to evade the law, and be harder to trace.  The most common place for marketing of young girls in on this site.  However, the site has taken down their adult services site where most of this traffic took place.  I looked at the site briefly.  It appears this traffic has moved to the massage category and that the promotion of sex with pimped girl (enslaved girls) is going on.  The very first ad is for "New Young Girls."  There is language in these ads which those familiar with the scene know, which points them to what they want.  Some of this behavior illegal. and is exploiting our children.
This documentary presents the cases of several young woman, some abducted, some brought into prostitution when they ran away.  Most are controlled with drugs.  All were advertised on this website, and made it so the young women could be raped multiple times every day.  There is a story on the internet of a young woman in Chicago who did not survive.  She was the victim of murder by a sex client.  We must stand with our children, and demand that any trafficking of sex over the internet be stopped.
I watched this on instant Netflix.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run a Country You’ve Never Been To by Dana Loesch, Sentinel, New York, 2016.

This is a few from a Conservative woman from Missouri (She was very liberal when young but slowly converted to conservatism after giving birth to a son).  Many of the topics are those which worry people from the heartland of the country.  Things for which the heartland traditionally takes heat form elitists, as they are thought to be uneducated.  Some of these include: abortion, Black Lives Matter vs Lives Matter, gun control, having a network of family to support you, media bias, and just the attitude of many politicians towards the heartland of the country.  I enjoyed this read, and she expressed many things in a good way.  

Documentary Review: Amanda Knox

This is a documentary with the main character of a murder investigation participating as narrator.  However the film includes the evidence against her, as well as the reason she won upon appeal.  This deal with a murder in Italy.  It was assumed Amanda and her boyfriend murdered Amanda's room mate Meredith Kercher as part of some kind of sex games.  Meredith was from England.  Twice she and her boy friend were convicted, and twice it was overturned upon appeal.  A third person was convicted.  His prints were all over the room.  They talked of some DNA evidence, but this was eventually thrown out.  This is a very good review.  Amanda uses the F' word too much.  And in the end, if she wanted to maintain her anonymity she would not have made this documentary.  Of course as a look at the credits, she s not listed as director or producer.  She was interviewed several times on camera.  I most like this movie as I can listen to the Italian, and read the subtitles.  I am surprised how much I can follow along.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Documentary Review: Great Blunders of WWII: Hitlers's Declaration of War on the United States

Adolf Hitler was persuaded by Japan to declare war on the United States after Pearl Harbor.  However there was no reason to have done so according to treaty.  The Germans has pledged to defend Japan if Japan were attacked.  That was not the case here.  However Hitler was quick to declare war against the United States.  Perhaps Hitler was hoping Japan would tie the Soviets down in the West.  This did not happen.  By doing so, United States entered the war in Europe.  Winston Churchill had been negotiating for this for some time, as England could not win the war on her own.  Hitler  with his declaration resolved this problem for Churchill.  The United States put is industrial might, as well as armed forces to defeating Germany and Japan.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Documentary Review: 30 30 Fernando Nation

This ESPN documentary tells the story of Fernando Valenzuela, Mexican man who had a dream of pitching in major league baseball; and was actually doing so at the age of 18 when he was rookie of the year and the Cy Young Award winner.  He rode his screw ball to pitch in the World Series in the third game, which game they won, and went on to become champions.  This movie is presented over the backdrop of the construction of Dodger Stadium in Chavez Canyon, which was the home of many Mexican Americans.  They were evicted to make way for the stadium.  In 1981,  the Dodgers made amends with the Latino community with Fernando being part of the team, and the opening day starter.  Fernando had other career high lights, including a no-hitter in 1990; but nothing was like that first year.  His career record was 173-153 with and ERA of 3.54 and his career spanned 17 years.  His first ten years were with the Dodgers, and then several teams after this including the Jalisco Charros in Mexico.  He retired in 1997  but still plays independent ball or Mexican ball at times.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Documentary Review: 30 for 30 June 17th, 1994

Directory Brett Morgan; ESPN Documentary on the arrest of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.  This documentary using only footage from news sources, and covers the hysteria over O.J. Simpson.  It deals with other sports events happening at the same time; the retirement of Arnold Palmer, the New York Rangers winning the Stanley Cup, and the New York Knicks winning game five of the NBA Finals.  But the big news was O.J. Simpson in his Bronco being chased by more and more policemen and 20 media helicopters.  People lined the freeway to wave to Simpson.  He reportedly had a gun to his head.  After he stopped it took a long time for police to convince him to throw the gun away.  Crazy good job of editing and putting this together.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What Did Reagan Know of Iran-Contra

Unsolved Mysteries of American History, by Paul Aron, Barnes and Noble, New York, 1997.

What Did Reagan Know of Iran-Contra.  The bottom line is President Reagan was blamed for setting an atmosphere where Iran-Contra took place, but not with actually knowing about any specific plans.  Congress had passed laws forbidding the financing of the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua.  Reagan looked to them as fighters against Communism.  He wanted funding to continue, but did not give any specifics, and his hands were tied by congress.  Lawrence Walsh was appointed the independent counsel.  The resulted in criminal charges against fourteen people.  These were crimes like taking an illegal gratuity, withholding evidence etc.  By the end, Wash’s investigation looked much like a witch hunt, as he tried to go after the Secretaries of Defense and State, Casper Weinberger and George Schultz.  President Reagan said he simply could not remember much about the negotiations with Iran to sell arms, to fund the Contras.  Perhaps this was the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

What Caused the Salem Witch-Hunt?

Unsolved Mysteries of American History, by Paul Aron, Barnes and Noble, New York, 1997.
The Salem Witch Trials as they are known, resulted in twenty executions, fourteen woman.  Also five people died while imprisoned, including two children.  What Caused the Salem Witch-Hunt?  This is a question with many answers.  What is known for sure is that an area was effected with mass hysteria.  Some made accusations to free themselves.  It started when two girls had attacks which were not contributed to epilepsy.  Their Black servant who dabbled in voo-doo provided an excellent excuse, which then resulted in more and more accusations.  Upwards of fifty persons spent time in prison.  There was a preexisting feud going on between the Putnams and the Porters.  The Putnams being the second wife, and her son, who inherited a very large estate, which the descendants of the first wife thought should belong to them.  Joseph Putnam, of the second wife, married a bride of considerable wealth, a Porter.  The Putnams were among the accusers.  The daughter of Thomas Putnam was one of those who had fits blamed on witchcraft.  The Porters and their friends were often named as witches.  However the Porter side of the family remained rich, while the Putnam side remained poor, and most of them moved away.  In addition to the feud, there were other motives.  The magistrate who carried out the arrests benefited greatly.  One of the priest, who wasn’t fully drawn to the idea, prospered when a rival priest was accused.  The judges also may have been in on the profiteering.   

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The German Blunder at Dunkirk

The German invasion of Western Europe was militarily stupendous.  they scored a significant success.  First Poland was forced to surrender.  the British and French supported Poland, but only from a distance.  they were not prepared for an offensive campaign.  Hitler wanted to attack France and Britain, but was convinced to wait, and develop a new plan for invasion.  This would include invasion of Holland and Denmark.  Another group would keep the Allies occupied at the Maginot Line, while a third group, with most of the armor would attack to the north.  This group attacked through the forest and hills of Ardennes.  This area was such an unlikely place to attack, it was not well defended.  This group flanked the Allied forces, and cut them off.  They then turned north to confront them directly.  The Allied forces were now surrounded on three sides, and trapped in a pocket around Dunkirk.  The Belgians indicated they were close to surrender.  The British commander called for an evacuation by sea.  The Panzers stopped outside Dunkirk to regroup for the final battle.  However Hitler gave the job of finishing off the British to the Luftwaffe.  Hermann Gohring had requested this honor to prove the might of German air power.  The evacuation rescued hundreds of thousands.  The final blow could not be administered from the air.  The British did suffer heavy losses, but not near as disastrous as it could have been.  Many ships were sunk, including private ships and merchant ships which were pushed into action.  Eventually the rescue was limited to night time action.  The Royal Air Force extracted a toll form the Luftwaffe.  The Allied losses included over 170 aircraft and over 200 ships.  Also 50,000 prisoners.  Total in men killed included almost 70,000 British, and over 300,000 total casualties.  338,000 men were evacuated, including 140,000 non British.
By the numbers, this was  a tremendous German victory.  However the British army lived on to fight another day.  Had Hitler deployed the Panzers, the result would have been even more lopsided.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Native American Art and Artifacts at San Juan Bautista

Intricate basket for fishing or for storage
arrow head
grinding rock mortar and pestle
tule boat

duck decoy
dream catcher (this was in the store rather than the museum