JFK's Centennial

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 09:25 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (sun))
This month is the Centennial Birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29th).

We celebrate a man who:

Pushed for aid to the elderly (which was passed as Medicare after his death).

Supported the Civil Rights Movement (reluctant at first, he worried that Southern Democrats blocking his programs in Congress would be even more combative but once he decided to support the movement, he was all in, making the first speech about civil rights from the Oval Office (June 11, 1963) and welcoming Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March On Washington organizers to the White House after a successful event on August 28, 1963).

After staring down into the nuclear abyss during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, he began to work toward a detente between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

Oh, yeah, he saved the world from blowing up!

He gave a speech at American University on June 10, 1963, signaling his desire to start thawing relations with the Soviet Union.

He succeeded in pushing through the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on August 5, 1963.

He quietly approved a NSAM memo (October 11, 1963) to withdraw American advisors from Vietnam to conclude by the end of 1965. Withdrawals began before his trip to Dallas. After his death, a subsequent NSAM memo reversed this policy. He gave an interview to Walter Cronkite on September 2, 1963 that said the Government would not withdraw, but no candidate for President in 1964 would ever admit otherwise. The memo showed his intent. During the interview, he also said that the war would have to be won by the Vietnamese. "It's their war." He wanted no part of American ground troops in Southeast Asia.

Constantly held off his own generals, who wanted to invade Cuba (Operation Northwoods was a plot to kill Americans and blame Cuba. JFK walked out of the meeting. Needless to say, he didn't approve the operation.). During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the generals wanted to attack the missile sites, very likely triggering a nuclear response from Russia. They also wanted to launch a pre-emptive strike against Moscow. JFK refused. The generals considered JFK 'soft on Communism'. Air Force General Curtis LeMay (satirized in Dr. Strangelove) despised JFK and his brother, too, openly voicing his contempt.

JFK did come to the Presidency as a Cold Warrior, but no candidate, either Democrat or Repuplican, could afford to be accused of being 'soft on Communism' in 1960. He gradually realized that it was too dangerous to continue the arms race, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He was a visionary who predicted we would send a man to the moon and bring him back safely before the decade was out. The first moon landing was July 20, 1969.

Some links:

https://www.jfklibrary.org/

http://jfkhyannismuseum.org/2017-jfk-100th-commemorative-birthday-year/
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Today is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, the War To End All Wars. Ah, the naivete! But the Americans were desperately needed as the Europeans had been fighting for three years and the shell-shock cases were adding up.

And why wouldn't they be? As a soldier in World War I, trenchfoot was the least of your worries. You were stuck in a trench where you waited for the shell with your name on it, or you were ordered 'over-the-top' into No Man's Land, where you could expect to be cut down by the enemy's machine guns or shells.

You would experience the first tank warfare in modern war, and if an enemy soldier was lucky enough to survive No Man's Land, he could cook you with the first use of flamethrowers in war. But that wasn't even the worst of it! Mustard gas would sear your lungs and damage your skin, and other chemical weapons would just kill you instantly. A trench full of men would be dead in minutes after the first deadly clouds appeared.

All this for a few yards won and lost, and the reason for the war lost, too. The Americans saw their share of horrors, and the Meuse-Argonne was especially rigorous, a true baptism of fire. The Americans who survived the war went home with physical injuries and mental and emotional scars that contemporary medicine was ill-equipped to handle.

World War II was much more spread out over the globe and certainly had its share of horrors, but World War I is almost claustrophobic as conducted, and was a psychic shock as the Utopian optimism of the new century was irrevocably shattered on fields of nightmares.
bradygirl_12: (Default)
Just a little something I came across while doing some research on YouTube:



Remember, LBJ was possibly involved in another conspiracy, the Gulf of Tonkin Incidens. This fraudulent incident gave him the power (handed to him by a spooked Congress) to start sending thousands of combat troops to Vietnam.

BTW, a National Security Action Memo issued by JFK on October 11, 1963, approved of the withdrawal of 1,000 American military advisers by the end of 1963, with gradual complete withdrawal. Four days after his death, a new NSAM (273) approved that policy, with embedded policyspeak added that did signal a change on withdrawal.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Interesting factoid: Four Presidents (3 future) were in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

JFK and LBJ.

Richard Nixon.

George H.W. Bush.

Wow, what are the odds?

Nixon had attended a conference of the Pepsi-Cola Company representing his law firm for the client. After his defeat for Governor of California in 1962 ("You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!") he had returned to private practice. He flew out of Love Field a few hours before Kennedy flew in.

Bush spoke to a meeting of the American Association of Oil Drilling Contractors at the Sheraton Hotel on the evening of November 21, 1963.

Both Nixon and Bush couldn't remember where they were when they heard the news of JFK's shooting, the only two adults of their generation with such memory problems. Nixon finally recalled where he was, but he told two different stories. Bush didn't remember for 30 years, and he said he was in Tyler, Texas, though Barbara Bush's own memoir contradicts him. He was also an active member of the CIA at the time.

Inauguration Stuff

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 05:38 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Hi, all! As we approach the Inauguration (*shudders*), I thought I'd post these YouTube videos for comparison purposes. If JFK isn't your guy, I'm sure you can find plenty of Inaugural speeches and pageantry for other Presidents, but if you stick with me, here are some random thoughts:



This shows JFK's speech of thanks to Frank Sinatra for putting together this Inaugural Gala, and it was mentioned that some Broadway shows had to shut down temporarily as the plays' stars were all in Washington! I'm just guessing that there won't be the same amount of A-listers at Trump's Gala.



This speech is Cold War-heavy, but JFK came to office a committed Cold Warrior. He began to move away from that position, however, especially after staring down into the abyss of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After that he pushed hard for a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (signed by him in 1963), better communications between him and Khrushchev (the infamous Hot Line), and efforts to lay the foundation for detente between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. His speech in June of 1963 at American University emphasized that peace should not be a Pax Americana, but a global peace. He also had quietly committed to pulling the American advisors out of Vietnam, keeping it on the downlow because he had to get re-elected in 1964, but he thought it was crazy talk to commit U.S. ground troops there. He publicly called it Vietnam's war to win.

Anyway, the Inaugural Speech itself is delivered forcefully and with eloquence. Think of that as you listen to Trump hem and haw and probably attack his critics in his speech. I don't know how this guy is going to last in office. Presidents are criticized for what they eat for breakfast. Thin skins don't last long in the Oval Office.



Finally, a short piece by Movietone News (still going strong in 1961!), that gives an overview of the day. It was a brilliant day, cold and clear, and as anyone in snow country knows, the sky is incredibly blue and the air sharp and clean on a day after a major snowstorm. So began the American Camelot, glittering like diamonds. :)

RIP, John Glenn

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 06:37 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))



Godspeed, John Glenn

July 18, 1921-December 8, 2016

https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-astronaut-us-sen-john-glenn-ohio-died-203210458.html

December 7, 1941

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 11:44 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Today is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Equated with JFK's assassination and 9/11, December 7th was a psychic shock for the country. Despite knowing in the backs of their minds that they would be dragged into the war, Americans had hoped against hope to be spared getting involved. After taking part in the War To End All Wars a generation before, they wanted nothing to do with Europe's latest conflagration. Yet this new war was not just in Europe but in the South Pacific, too. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy were all teamed up to conquer the world.

Winston Churchill knew that it was the turning point of the war. FDR had invented Lend-Lease to help Great Britain survive and to aid the U.S.S.R. Yet even Roosevelt could not lead a people that wanted to stay out of the war until Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese were supposed to meet with Secretary of State Cordell Hull on December 7th and deliver their Government's ultimatum, but delays in transcribing meant that they met with Hull after the attack. The image enraged America: the ambassadors from Japan supposedly meeting to talk peace while the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor on a quiet Sunday morning.

Hitler did FDR a favor. He declared war on the U.S. soon after FDR's declaration of war on Japan. Americans would have resisted a Europe First strategy without that German declaration.

The rallying cry throughout the war would be, "Remember Pearl Harbor!" A pity more people don't remember the anniversary.

American Movie Classics are showing World War II movies all day long and the 1970 film, Tora! Tora! Tora! about the attack on Pearl Harbor at 8:00 EST tonight.

Finally, here's a video of JFK visiting the Arizona Memorial in 1963. The Memorial was completed in 1962 and he was the first U.S. President to visit it. All Presidents have followed his lead.


bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
When I hosted Korean War Day over on Vintage_Ads, I embedded two movies in my journal over on LJ but embeds don't duplicate well, so here they area:



Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 27th, 2016 11:07 am
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Recently I've been researching my father's Korean War experiences as part of a project to get a grave marker for him, and even though he did tell us some hair-raising stories before he died (when my sister and I were adults), I'm finding out more things that make me sad but very proud of my father's service. He was 17 when he joined the U.S. Army in February of 1952 and was shipped over to Korea in early 1953. He took part in battles such as Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill (the 1959 movie of the same name starring Gregory Peck is exemplary), and he was a Purple Heart survivor. He was able to watch M*A*S*H* and point out what was realistic and what wasn't, having spent time in a unit as a patient. He became the youngest First Sergeant in the Korean theater of operations and later volunteered for jump school to become a paratrooper.

My father was of that World War II/Korean War generation who came back from the war, returned to civilian life and started a family while quietly dealing with his PTSD (known then as battle fatigue). I understand him better now after my research and wish that he could have been spared the nightmares and survivor's guilt, but that's the world we live in, unfortunately.

The Korean War is often referred to as The Forgotten War, which angers me no end. A war and its veterans should NEVER be forgotten and shunted aside. The war began on June 25, 1950, five years after the end of World War II, and a lot of the veterans called back up were resentful of having to run the gauntlet again after surviving World War II. Stories like the case of Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox were examples, as once again a considerable chunk of his baseball prime years were lost to service (he was a jet ace during the Korean War and was John Glenn's wingman). Others had begun to build lives after the last war and were interrupted once again for a dirty little war that sorely tried skills, patience and faith. Talking with some of the people helping me with the grave marker, I discovered that military people considered Korea an unusually grim and horrific war, even as wars go.

During this weekend of vacation and barbecues and fun, please take a moment to reflect and thank those who came before us to fight our country's wars and who paid a great price for it.

Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Hi, luvs!

Today is Patriots Day (no, not those Patriots, heh heh) and so the traditional events take place on this day: the re-enactment of Lexington and Concord at dawn, the Boston Marathon, and the Boston Red Sox playing an 11:05 game at Fenway Park. This year Mark Wahlberg is filming scenes for his movie about the Boston Marathon bombing. He's a local guy who made good in Hollywood and understands what went on here, so I'll be curious to see how the movie turns out.

Going out later but puttering around the Internet this morning. Lovely spring weather! May get up to 60 degrees later, a week after we had snow! :) I'll be meeting friends for lunch at a local seafood restaurant and while I'm usually a haddock or cod kind of girl, I may go for swordfish or tilapia today to mix it up. We'll share a jumbo shrimp appetizer, which is perfect, because while I like shellfish, I can only eat a small amount in one sitting. One jumbo shrimp will be just right, Baby Bear! :)

May your Monday be festive, holiday or not! :)
bradygirl_12: (kennedy brothers (smiling))
Happy St. Patrick's Day, luvs! :)

'Tis a fine spring day, the birds singin' and the sun warm upon me face. Parades and pubbing and all sorts of shenanigans! To all of the clan, enjoy, and remember, today everyone is Irish! :)

I feel lucky as a charm. Perhaps I should purchase a lottery ticket. At least me shamrock is part of me available icons, so enjoy the pretty pic! :)

'Tis also Evacuation Day, the day in 1776 when the British scooted out o' Boston when the cannons dragged all the way from Fort Ticonderoga in the middle o' winter were placed atop Dorchester Heights. Suffolk County employees have the day off, and any state employees across the great state of Massachusetts may work and take the time off or get nice, green money instead. Ah, a fine day, a fine day, lads 'n' lasses! ;)

December 7, 1941

Monday, December 7th, 2015 06:05 pm
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Today is the 74th anniversary of December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I noticed that AMC had World War II movies on all day.

World War II is becoming very much like World War I and the Civil War: black-and-white photographs of a time long ago, with fewer and fewer people around to possess actual memories of the events. Fortunately, despite the usual historical amnesia of my fellow Americans, some people do remember important events like this one.

It's not that hard to understand the shock of the people alive on that date of infamy. If you were around on November 22, 1963, you understand. If you were around on September 11, 2001, you understand.

Many Americans in 1941 knew in the backs of their minds that war was coming. Some pretended it would never come. Others wanted it because they felt that if the Nazis won in Europe and knocked off Great Britain, we were next. Most of the attention was on Europe, so the attack on Pearl Harbor was probably even more of a shock. Many Americans didn't even know where Pearl Harbor was. It was a U.S. Navy base, with the Army stationed at nearby Hickam Field, and unless you were in the military or knew someone who was and had been stationed there, why would you know about it? But on December 7, 1941, all of America found out.

The great Japanese Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto opposed war with the United States. He had studied at Harvard in 1919-1921 and served as a naval attache in Washington for two postings, traveling the country and learning about Americans. He had seen the industrial capacity of the United States at first-hand and knew that a long war with the U.S would be a disaster.

He did plan the attack on Pearl Harbor as ordered, but upon learning that the diplomatic notification to the Americans had been delivered late, casting the attack in the light of a "sneak attack", he was famously quoted as saying, "I fear all we have done today is to awaken a great, sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." He predicted that he could "run wild" for six months to a year, but could offer no guarantees for the years after that. He was extremely prophetic.

The loss of life and ships was a psychic blow. The particular horror of what happened to the U.S.S. Arizona is commemorated today with the famous memorial in the harbor. Fortunately, the aircraft carriers were not in port that day, and would prove invaluable in battles like the Coral Sea and Midway.

It was a long time ago, but the events of 1941 and the subsequent years formed history (the Cold War and our current era) and led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It's good to remember the sacrifices.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (sun))
Yesterday I posted Was Oswald The Lone Assassin? in observance of the 52nd anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

So today:

Who Wanted JFK Dead, Who Had Opportunity, And Who Had The Means To Cover It Up? )
bradygirl_12: (jfk (sun))
I’ve been hanging out at Youtube a lot lately and while enjoying subjects as diverse as silent movies (Georges Melies a favorite), animated DC and Marvel, and other stuff, I got sucked into JFK assassination videos after starting out with such innocents as JFK swimming at Santa Monica Beach in 1962 or other fun stuff like his press conferences. Man, some of the researchers are definite tin foil hatters, but there’s a lot of solid stuff out there. Some of it I’ve known for years and some was new to me.

Tomorrow is the 52nd anniversary of the JFK assassination, so I thought I'd share some thoughts over the next few days.

Lone Assassin or Conspiracy? )
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Yay, today's the 46th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969! :)

I'd recommend The Astronaut Wives Club that airs every Thursday at 8:00 EDT on ABC. The early '60s fashions are fab! :) And the excitement of the early space program manages to overtake the sudsiness of some of the plotlines. ;)

Hallelujah!!!

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 07:33 pm
bradygirl_12: (superman--batman (flower crowns 1))
Yesterday was a great day! Eleven years after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, the entire United States of America now has marriage equality! Fifty years ago this would have been unthinkable. We've come a long way, baby! :)

April 14, 1865

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 09:33 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Last week was the 150th anniversary of Appomattox, Lee's surrender to Grant at that worthy courthouse. Today is the 150th anniversary of John Wilkes Booth shooting Abraham Lincoln. The President died the next day.

It's one of those events where you wonder, what would history have been like if Lincoln had lived? )
bradygirl_12: (steve--bucky (world war ii sepia))
Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. It was Hitler's last gasp as German troops pushed the Allies back in the Ardennes, creating a 'bulge' in the Allied lines. This battle was the largest land battle that the U.S. Army would ever fight. It was also the worst winter in living memory. Apparently the worst weather waited until World War II to appear in Europe, as a vicious storm had wrecked supply ships and lines after D-Day in June.

American troops were looking forward to being rotated home for Christmas and others were hoping to drive on to Berlin without much resistance. The Battle of the Bulge caught them unawares, but by the end of January, the German resistance had been broken and the race was on for Berlin between the Allies and the Soviet Union.

Studies done of the battle noted that when the American soldiers were cut off from their units and commanders, they excelled in improvising and lower-ranked soldiers stepping up to take command, a characteristic of 'Yankees' but outstanding in this chaotic battle which covered hundreds of miles and snow-laden fields that could hide the fallen. Germans were the better all-around soldiers but the Americans were better at deviating from plans if necessary and not letting rank deter them from successfully completing a mission and doing it with as few lives lost as possible.

This characteristic was shown in the 1965 movie, The Battle Of The Bulge, along with the interesting side story of Germans infiltrating American lines, posing as American soldiers and creating confusion by switching signs and directing troops the wrong way, etc. They also covered the Malmedy massacre. The S.S. murdered dozens of American P.O.W.s and stiffened resistance along the American lines once word got out.

There was also an interesting scene as one character, a Nazi panzer commander, showed his superior a chocolate cake taken from a captured American prisoner. He said that the Americans had no concept of being conquered, and they had the fuel to ferry chocolate cakes across the Atlantic while the Germans scrounged for fuel.

Back home, Americans agonized over the fate of their loved ones as they followed the battle in the newspapers and on the radio. The homefront in the U.S. was a safe place from bombs but not from worry and fear.

The Battle of the Bulge

December 16, 1944--January 25, 1945

December 7, 1941

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 12:20 pm
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Seventy-three years ago on a peaceful Sunday morning, while Americans went to church and read the Sunday paper and enjoyed Sunday dinner, had already started their holiday preparations, everything changed. Remember Pearl Harbor and all the lives lost that day: sailors (all the battleships, and especially the Arizona), soldiers, pilots, civilians. Remember all the souls lost in all of World War II, on every front, everywhere.

There are not many veterans left who remember that day. Not many civilians who were adults then, either. Most of those still around were either babies or children, some old enough to know something important had happened. Everyone became part of the war effort at home and overseas. There was rationing, paper and scrap drives, factories running 24/7, and war bond drives. The War was everywhere, and sometimes took the form of telegrams or grim-faced military men coming to tell widows and other loved ones sad news.

1941 was the last Christmas some families would all be together.

REMEMBER

DECEMBER 7, 1941

June 2017

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