Historical (hysterical?) Humor and Trivia

The World According to Student Bloopers 7/26/02
A Most Laconic Reply 
Interesting Historical Trivia 5/8/03
The United States Vs The Sprit of 1776
Palestine/Israel and the First World War
The Real Chicago
Prescott Bush
Sandy Koufax

The World According to Student Bloopers

One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. The following "history" of the world was pasted together from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot.

bullet The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.
bullet The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.
bullet The Bible is full of interesting caricatures.
In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
One of their children, Cain, once asked, "Am I my brother's son?"
God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma.
Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birth mark.
Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it.
One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.
Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw.
Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments.
David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
Solomon, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
bullet Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
bullet Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.
bullet In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought with the Persians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
bullet Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlics in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Idea of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
bullet Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw, and victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
bullet In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
bullet The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
bullet The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
bullet The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors. In one of Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy.
bullet In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the King by attacking his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote "Donkey Hote." The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote "Paradise Lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained."
bullet During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and this was known as Pilgrims Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by the Indians, who came down the hill rolling their war hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them.
bullet The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
bullet One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, the Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
bullet Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
bullet George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to bare arms.
bullet Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. It claimed it represented law and odor. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
bullet Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called "Candy." Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.
bullet Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
bullet France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. The Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear children.
bullet The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
bullet The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code of telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the "Organ of the Species." Madame Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.
bullet The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.
bullet Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.
bullet On April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assassinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
bullet George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. The Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
bullet One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea.
bullet Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miquel Cervantes. He wrote "Donkey Hote". The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote "Paradise Lost." Then his wife died and he wrote "Paradise Regained."
bullet The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple.
bullet Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were to 2 singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, "a horse divided against itself can not stand."
Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
bullet Abraham Lincoln was America's greatest precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation . On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in the moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a suposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.
bullet Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.
bullet Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.

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A Most Laconic Reply

The ancient Spartans were famous for being laconic - that is, laboring to put their thoughts into the fewest possible words. The very word laconic comes from the fact that the district of which Sparta was the central city was Laconia.

The most condensed laconism in history was produced in the fourth century B.C. when Philip of Macedon was reducing all the Greek cities to obedience. The last holdout was Sparta, which, now past its prime of power, nevertheless remained in stubborn isolation.

Philip didn't really need it for his future plans, but it annoyed him that there should be a patch of obstinacy on the map. He therefore sent the Spartans a message that went: "You had better submit without delay, for if I march my army into your land, I will kill all your men and destroy your city."

And the Spartan leaders turned Philip's anger to admiration (so that he decided to leave them alone after all) by sending back a one word answer: "If."
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Interesting Historical Trivia

There is no evidence that Betsy Ross sewed the first U.S. flag. The story didn't even flutter forth from her relatives until 1870.

George Washington did not toss a dollar across the Potomac. Even if he did toss something, the dollar didn't come into being until after the U.S. gained independence.

Francis Scott Key did not write our national anthem. He penned the words then set them to an old English drinking song. It did not become our national anthem until 1931.

Most of the midnight ride of Paul Revere was accomplished by other horsemen. Joining him were William Dawes and Samuel Prescott. It was Prescott, in fact, who carried the warning to Concord, where the next day the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired.

The Declaration of Independence was not approved on July 4, 1776. Only John Hancock, for the assembly, signed it that day. The other signatures were made on August 2.

George Washington wasn't the first U.S. President. John Hanson was the president of the Congress of the Confederation and carried the title of president of the U.S., as did eight men after him.

"Yankee Doodle" is not an American song. It was a British ditty designed to harass ragtag colonists during the French and Indian War.

Incidentally...the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, standing proudly in the front of a small boat is woefully inaccurate. First of all, soldiers never held their gun barrels up because snow and rain would dampen the powder; and the fact that George was probably smart enough not to stand up in a boat, let alone make a target of himself. Plus, the flag shown behind George wasn't designed until several years after the fact.

The Liberty Bell was not made in the U.S. It was cast in London in 1752. It was not rung on the first 4th of July and actually cracked in 1835. Also, it was called the Liberty Bell for slaves seeking freedom...not the colonists.

In 1944 and 1945, Adolf Hitler's war policy revolved around using a V1 or V2 bomb to hit Big Ben. He believed it would be such a tremendous blow to England that Germany would proceed to win the war.

King Philip III of Spain had a 3 inch chin. He was unable to stop dribbling, and he was mercilessly mocked throughout his lifetime by his subjects. He still managed to rule them for about 40 years. He was so in-bred that he only had four great-grand-parents.

Don Carlos, the son of King Philip II of Spain, was 4 feet tall and liked to experiment with eating raw, and often live, rats and insects. He spent the last five years of his life locked in his room, because he started to wander around naked.

Hitler's half brother died in 1977.

Beer was the first trademarked product - British beer Bass Pale Ale received its trademark in 1876.

Playing-cards were known in Persia and India as far back as the 12th century. A pack then consisted of 48 instead of 52 cards.

Excavations from Egyptian tombs dating to 5,000 BC show that the ancient Egyptian kids played with toy hedgehogs.

Accounts from Holland and Spain suggest that during the 1500s and 1600s urine was commonly used as a tooth-cleaning agent.

In 1969 the US launched a male chimpanzee called Ham into space.

In 1963 the French launched a cat called Feliette into space.

The first written account of the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, was made in 565AD.

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The United States Vs The Sprit of 1776
By Denis Mueller

All Robert Goldstein wanted to do was make a movie. Instead, he ended up in court and finally in prison. Goldstein moved to Los Angeles in 1913. His family ran a successful costume business out east, so he opened up a branch on the west coast. In 1915, he supplied D.W. Griffith with the Civil War costumes for Griffith's film, Birth of a Nation. Goldstein also invested in the highly successful production and soon set out to form his own production company.

Goldstein wanted to enter the movie business with a bang. So, he raised about $200,000 and filmed his epic, The Spirit of 1776, a historical drama about the American Revolution. With a cast of thousands, 20,000 to be exact, he created the most expensive movie of his day. It began production in 1916, but with the advent of WWI and the subsequent United States involvement, Goldstein's life was about to change dramatically.

Goldstein began shooting in the fall of 1916. During this time, American banking interests began to drag the U.S. into the European conflict. When war was finally declared, it was met with great opposition. The anti-war forces experienced fierce repression from the government. In Ohio, two thousand people were rounded up after participating in an anti-draft demonstration. In Chicago, the police department raided an anti-draft rally in Grant Park. To counter legitimate dissent, the Wilson administration set out to stifle all opposition to the war. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by Congress while Robert Goldstein prepared for the opening of his film.

Goldstein wanted to cooperate with the police, so he submitted his film to the Chicago Police Department. The police decided the film was anti-British. What they were thinking about is hard for anyone to determine since this was, after all, a film about the American Revolution. The fact that we revolted against the British did not deter the Chicago Police Department, who, in their infinite wisdom, could not understand these simple historical facts.

The Sprit of 1776 ran for three weeks and was a stunning success. Crowds loved it and, while some critics called it a "rambling picture", others, such as the L.A. Daily News, called it the "most startling picture of the year." Goldstein was elated by the film's success but his optimism was short-lived. The American Protective League, a vigilante group, with the support of the Wilson administration, seized the film.

The Wilson administration claimed that Goldstein had made the film with the expressed intent to aid the German enemy, never mind that Goldstein had started the film before the war began. In their courts, the trial began on April 3, 1918. It was listed ironically as The Sprit of 1776 Vs The United States Government. Goldstein was convicted on April 29, 1918, and was sentenced to twelve years in prison.

After the German defeat, Woodrow Wilson reduced his sentence to three years. Goldstein was released early in October of 1920 after spending a year and a half in prison for his film. He tried to get back into the movie business but to no avail. Goldstein drifted into poverty and obscurity after his release, but what happened to him should not be forgotten.

It is an example of how leaders like Woodrow Wilson and the courts are far from perfect. Wilson was not an idealist. Wilson was a man who went to war to defend the investments of the Morgan bank, instituted segregation within the federal government, and carried on the worst abuses of civil liberties in the history of the United States. Wilson wanted to make the world safe for democracy. Yet, within his own country, he fought against free expression. Wilson, the liberal, was no idealist but was one of the worst presidents in American history.

Source: Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States.
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Palestine/Israel and the First World War
By Denis Mueller

Theodore Herzl is considered the father of Zionism. He felt that Jews across the world would always be susceptible to anti-Semitism as long as there was no Jewish state. At first, he looked at Argentina and then Uganda before settling on Palestine for the Jewish homeland.

Arab nationalism was a simple idea. It was search for a long lost Arab identify after hundreds of years under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. At the early part of the 20th century there was a possibility for these two movements to co-exist. This is a story of that lost opportunity.

At the beginning of the 20th century about half a million Arabs lived in Palestine and about 50,000 Jews. The budding discontent within the Ottoman Empire provided the new Zionist movement with its first real choice. Should they work with the Arabs against the Turks and join the upcoming revolt or try to acquire an international charter for a Jewish homeland? The early Zionists sided with the Turks, but a small minority advocated working with the Arabs.

The Arab leaders faced a dilemma of their own. Should they work with the new settlers or oppose them? This is not as unusual as it sounds today. The early deputies of Palestine spoke of the common Semitic heritage among the two people. But Jewish leaders felt that getting along with the Arabs was secondary to the establishment of a Jewish homeland. What they needed was the help of a European state to help them establish a charter.

At first, Herzl went to the Sultan but the conversations went nowhere. Then, he approached Kaiser Wilhelm who considered the idea briefly but was a rigid anti-Semite who eventually sided with the Turks. Finally, Herzl turned to the British who liked the idea because it was a way to extend British control and protect the Suez Canal.

Nothing happened with any of this until the outbreak of the First World War. In November of 1917, the Zionists achieved their goal with the announcing of the Balfour Declaration. The reasons for the British decision are many: an effort to engage the United States in the war, the fear of Bolshevik revolution and, of course, oil.

The British also made a pact with France to divide the Middle East into spheres of influence. So the British had made three separate pledges. One was the establishment of a Jewish state, the other was with France to divide the area, and a third with the Arabs, whom they promised independence, if they would fight with the British. All these pledges were in contradiction to the other.

The leader of the Arabs was Emir Faisel, who was fighting the Turks with the hopes of creating a great Arab kingdom. He was aided in this by T.E. Lawrence, a British agent in Cairo. Lawrence was extremely anti-French and saw the Arab Nationalist movement as a way to cheat the French and extend British control over the area. Faisel, for his part, was sympathetic with the aims of a Jewish state. He felt it should be part of his great kingdom. In a letter to Felix Frankfurter he stated:

"We know the Arabs and Jews are racial relatives. We shall do everything we can, as far as it depends on us, to assist the Zionist proposals by the Peace Conference, and we shall welcome the Jews with all our hearts on their return home."

This was no idle boast. Two months earlier, Faisel and Welzmann, under the guidance of Lawrence, had drawn up such a plan. The agreement never happened. After the war, the French invaded Damascus and drove Faisel out of Syria. The Zionists were rewarded by the British and talk of a great Semite state disappeared. But the possibilities were there, it was a defining moment that was missed, and the people of the Middle East have paid for it ever since.

Sources: Israel Without Zionism, Uri Avnery
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By Denis Mueller

It could be called the cradle of civilization. The Mongols destroyed it; the Ottoman's controlled it for four hundred years, the British shaped its boundary and tried to control the city and the country's oil. It was perhaps the cultural center of the world in the 8th and 9th century and now the attention of the world is on it again.

The city of Baghdad was at the center of the world in the 8th century and was called, among other things, the city of peace. When the Islamic empire began to crumble it was soon overrun by Mongol hordes. In 1258, Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu wrecked the walls of the city and a mountain was purportedly built of the skulls of the scholars and city leaders. The city was fought over by the Mongols, Persians and Turks until the Ottoman Empire conquered it in 1638. The Turks then ruled it until World War I.

During World War I, it was invaded by the British but the initial assault ended up with disaster when General Charles Townsend's army marched from Basra to Baghdad only to be defeated by the Turkish army at the battle of Ctesiphon. The British were forced to retreat and endured a 147-day siege until they finally surrendered.

In the march back nearly half the British force died from the brutality of the Turks. But the British soon returned and captured Baghdad in 1917. It became the administrative center for the British Empire in the Middle East. It was the British who then created the country of Iraq. King Feisel had been driven out of what is now Syria and Saudi Arabia when the British made him the King of the newly formed country of Iraq.

The British filled Baghdad with businessmen, bureaucrats, teachers and all of those who would be needed to administer the country. It was in many ways little more than a British colony until the Iraqi military overthrew the British. This would lead eventually to the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Hussein, at first, was welcomed by the Americans who saw him as a buffer against Iran. In a quite brutal war with the Iranians, which saw the use of chemical weapons, a stalemate resulted. Hussein, who in many ways, had done the dirty work for the corrupt rulers of the Arab world, then invaded Kuwait. Kuwait had long been seen as a province of Iraq but was established as a separate country by the British.

Iraq was defeated by UN forces and forced to surrender which brings us up to date. We will see and hear much more about Baghdad in the next couple of years but it has never been a friendly place for conquerors. We should be very careful. This war may last a long time.

Sources: Bill Glauber, Chicago Tribune
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The Real Chicago
By Denis Mueller

By the time you read this, the film "Chicago" will have already won several Academy Awards. It is a highly successful film, which has had a very long run on Broadway for many years and is based on a true story. But what is the reality, as compared to fiction, of "Chicago"? What is the true story of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan? Read on!

Annan and Gaertner were two hard-living women during the 1920s whose exploits became famous. They were the two most beautiful murderers that Chicago had ever seen and were a gold mine for the newspapermen of the day with their quotable smart mouths and quick wit. Take Gaertner's take on what kind of jury she needed, "Now, if I'm tried, I want worldly men, broad-minded men, men who know what it is to get a bit."

Gaertner was a cabaret singer who first met her second husband, William Gaertner, in 1917. Within two years their marriage seemed to be falling apart and William became convinced that his beautiful wife was cheating on him. Each of them soon hired separate private detectives to work for them and the rival sleuths soon were keeping tabs on each other.

In any case four years later a man, named Walter Law, was found dead slumped over the wheel of his Nash sedan. Belva claimed they were drunk and she couldn't remember what happened. In fact, about all she would say was "gin and guns-either one is bad enough but together they get you in a dickens of a mess, don't they?" The jury looking into her sad eyes refused to convict her and once out of jail promised to re-marry William.

Annan was called the "prettiest women" ever to have spent time in Cook County jail. In April of 1924, a co-worker named Harry Kolstedt asked to spend some time with her over a little wine. That was a bad decision for Harry because they got into a quarrel and Harry ended up dead. Annan changed her story various times until she settled on the claim that Harry had forced himself on her and that she was only protecting her honor. She was a marvel as a witness, her eyes downcast, she hesitated and there wasn't a dry eye in the courtroom once she finished her testimony. She walked out of jail a free woman and soon left her husband who had been totally faithful to her.

What happened to them? Well, Gaertner's marriage broke up with her husband saying she had murderous tendencies and Annan died in a tuberculosis hospital. Their lives filled the pages of the newspapers with lurid accounts of life during the "roaring twenties" but neither of them saw a happy ending to their lives. This would become the job of Hollywood and the movies.

Sources: Chicago Tribune
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Prescott Bush
By Denis Mueller

Ten months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was preparing for its first strike against Nazi forces in North Africa while a young George Bush, who had defied his father Prescott, joined the navy and was training to be a pilot. The Union Banking Corporation was being raided by the federal government for trading with the enemy. The firm was handling the banking operations of the Nazis in New York and the director of these operations was Prescott Bush.

How important was the Union Banking Corporation? It provided funds and credit to Fritz Thyssen, one of Hitler's earliest supporters, whose company produced: 50% of Nazi pig iron, 41% of Germany's plate, 45% of Nazi pipes and tubes and 35% of Nazi Germany's explosives. So, as you can see, they played a huge role in developing the German war machine and Prescott Bush was right there with them.

W.A. Harriman & Company had merged with the British investment house Brown Brothers, who were sympathetic to the Nazis, and formed the Union Banking Corporation, of which Prescott Bush was the director. Among their activities were loans paid to the Germans which were then funneled into the activities of Nazi storm troopers. These criminals were at the time killing Jews, socialists, liberals and anyone else who got in their way. The operation which provided funds, run by German industrialist Friedrich Flick, was under the supervision of Prescott Bush.

It gets worse! Once in power, the Nazis set out to build the German war machine and Union Banking was right there with them again. Herbert Walker, yes, another member of the Bush family, arranged for the credits that allowed Harriman to take control of the Hamburg-Amerika line. This was of particular significance in 1930-1932 when the German government tried to defend its national freedom by ordering the Nazi armies disbanded. The United States embassy reported at the time that the Hamburg-Amerika Line was distributing propaganda attacks against the German government. They also help distribute the guns for Remington arms who supplied these terrorists.

Throughout the 1930s the firm worked hand-in-hand with the Nazis. When the war broke out in Europe, they continued doing business with the German government and, when the United States joined the fight against the Nazis, the firm continued its trade with the enemy. The Roosevelt administration could have arrested the heads of business but the administration viewed that their trial and imprisonment would cause problems for the American war effort. But recent disclosures illustrate that they should have been tried as war criminals.

What has come to surface, due to the disclosures of a Dutch Intelligence agent, are documents that reveal how Prescott Bush and the UBC profited from the Holocaust. This is a startling development but the failure of the press to report this throughout the years is disgusting. During the many decades of public life, the mainstream press has chosen to ignore these facts. It prefers to print stories about JFK's affairs and things like that. The reasons they refuse to publish anything like this should be self-evident. The truth is an example of corporate duplicity and how the press works for corporations. The news services of the United States are not capable of reporting the truth. It has come to that.

Sources Charles Higham, Trading With the Enemy
John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews.

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Sandy Koufax
By Denis Mueller

He straddled two different eras. Sandy Koufax began his career in the pre-television era and finished it in the age of celebrity. He was also the best pitcher in the modern era. But what makes Koufax different, aside from a plus-ninety mile an hour fastball and a curve that fell from a table, was his humility. He walked away from the spotlight at the top of his game while enduring tremendous pain from a continuing arm problem and never said a word about it.

Sandy Koufax came from the streets of Brooklyn and was an all-around athlete who excelled at every sport he tried. His true love was basketball and at 6'2" his slender but muscular frame was made for the game. Baseball was almost and afterthought but Koufax showed enough to gain a scholarship from the University of Cincinnati. There he pitched only three games when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Dodgers were a veteran team who did not take kindly at first to the gifted young man. Sure he threw the ball hard but he was just as likely to heave one over the batter's head as hit the strike zone. As a bonus baby the Dodgers were obliged to keep him on the roster, so Sandy did not appear in many games. In 1958, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and Koufax left his Brooklyn home for the sun baked landscape of L.A.

At first he was just as erratic as he had been in Brooklyn, but in 1961 things began to change. By 1962 he had conquered his early wildness and began to assemble a record that showed dominance unheard of before or since. During the next six years, until an arthritic elbow forced him to retire, Koufax compiled a record of 111-37. During this time he also pitched several no-hitters and a perfect game.

In 1963, he was 25-3 and the light-hitting Los Angles Dodgers were the champions of the world. He was unhittable during this time but plagued with pain. He also was Jewish and his demur on the mound, his coolness, made being Jewish cool. With the move to Los Angles, baseball was no longer a game played in eastern cities. Television and the rise of the mass media created new superstars and Koufax was one of the first in the modern sports era.

But he was a different type of hero. Koufax, while not running away from it, never craved the spotlight, or money, for that manner. It was all about being the best he could be. In the 1965 World Series the pain was too much and Sandy decided to abandon his curveball and go entirely with his heater. "Fuck 'em, we'll blow them away," said Koufax. He sure did and, using only his fastball, Koufax made the hard hitting Minnesota Twins look like a bunch of little leaguers.

By 1966, the pain was too much and, despite going 27-9, Sandy knew the end was near. The pain was enormous but he never complained, so he retired at the top of his game. What made him so special was not only his ability, which was considerable, but the way he carried himself. He was gentlemen, a leader, a friend of minorities and pretty much the type of person that you wished your daughter would marry.

I have never seen anyone quite like him. He walked away from fame and the public eye but remains in our consciousness. I can still hear the Dodger announcer proclaim, "Sandy is going entirely with his fastball," while blowing the hard-hitting Twins away. It is not often we see such excellence in sports, or elsewhere for that matter. But Sandy was special and one of the great joys of my life has been watching him pitch.

Sources: Jane Leavy: Sandy Koufax

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