Friday, February 28, 2014

Flag Of Turkey

The flag of Turkey (Turkish: Türk bayrağı, meaning: Turkish flag) is a red flag with a white crescent moon and a star in its centre. The flag is called Ay-yıldız (moon-star) or Al bayrak (red flag). The Turkish flag is referred to as Al sancak (red banner) in the Turkish national anthem.

The star and the moon are two sky elements symbolizing the Tengriist beliefs of the sky-worshiping ancient Turks. In Turkic Mythology four colours are associated with four cardinal directions: blue (gök) with east, white (ak) with west, red (al) with south, black (kara) with north. These colours represent the direction towards the zenith where the Tengri is residing in the sky. The Black Sea (Karadeniz) is named for its position in the north, and the Turkish/Qırımtatar name of the Mediterranean, Akdeniz ('White Sea'), refers to its position in the west. The red and white colours on the flag of Turkey thus symbolize the south-western branch of Turks called Oghuzes who are the founders of present-day Turkey as well as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Gagauzia and the historic Ottoman Empire. Turkestan's flag is the same of Turkey's, the only difference being the background is light blue instead of red.

Standards and symbols were sacred objects to the people involved in Tengrism since these emblems represented their gods, kings, people and homelands in Central Asia or in their new homelands. For instance, flags of Turkic people would not only reveal their identity to the opposing sides, but would also bring along the representations of their gods to give them courage and moral help needed in their struggle with their enemies. The origin of the star, sun, eagle and crescent symbols used in the flags of Turkic people goes back to the Shamanistic culture that the ancient Central Asiatic peoples had developed during pre-historic times.





The flag is red with a vertical white crescent moon (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and a white five-pointed star centred just outside the crescent opening; the flag colours and designs closely resemble those on the banner of Ottoman Empire, which preceded modern-day Turkey; the crescent moon and star serve as insignia for the Turks; according to a legend, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors.

The flag of the Republic of Turkey is the same of the latest flag of the Ottoman Empire, adopted in 1844 with the Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire. The geometric proportions of the flag were legally standardised with the Turkish Flag Law in 1936 during the republic period of Turkey.

The current design of the Turkish flag is directly derived from the late Ottoman flag, which had acquired its final form in 1844. Its measures have passed by a law during the Republic period on May 29, 1936 which formed the shapes and measures of the current flag of the Republic of Turkey.
The Ottomans in the 18th and 19th centuries used several different designs, most of them featuring one or more crescents, for different purposes, such as the flag with green background signifying the caliphate. During the late imperial period, the distinctive use of the color red for secular and green for religious institutions became an established practice.

In 1844, the eight-pointed star was replaced with a five-pointed star and the flag reached the form of the present Turkish flag.

Historically, in accounting for the crescent and star symbol, Ottomans sometimes referred to a legendary dream of the eponymous founder of the Ottoman house, Osman I, in which he is reported to have seen a moon rising from the breast of a qadi whose daughter he sought to marry. "When full, it descended into his own breast. Then from his loins there sprang a tree, which as it grew came to cover the whole world with the shadow of its green and beautiful branches." Beneath it Osman saw the world spread out before him, surmounted by the crescent.

Fundamentals of the Turkish flag were laid down by Turkish Flag Law No. 2994 on May 29, 1936. Turkish Flag Regulation No. 2/7175 dated July 28, 1937, and Supplementary Regulation No. 11604/2 dated July 29, 1939, were enacted to describe how the flag law would be implemented. The Turkish Flag Law No. 2893 dated September 22, 1983, and Published in the Official Gazette on September 24, 1983, was promulgated six months after its publication. According to Article 9 of Law No. 2893, a statute including the fundamentals of the implementation was also published.



Sources: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Blackbeard" Edward Teach: The Pirates

Edward Teach (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies. Although little is known about his early life, he was likely born in Bristol, England. He may have been a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence, a base for Captain Benjamin Hornigold, whose crew Teach joined sometime around 1716. Hornigold placed him in command of a sloop he had captured, and the two engaged in numerous acts of piracy. Their numbers were boosted by the addition to their fleet of two more ships, one of which was commanded by Stede Bonnet, but toward the end of 1717 Hornigold retired from piracy, taking two vessels with him.

Teach captured a French merchant vessel, renamed her Queen Anne's Revenge, and equipped her with 40 guns. He became a renowned pirate, his cognomen derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. He formed an alliance of pirates and blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After successfully ransoming its inhabitants, he ran Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. He parted company with Bonnet, settling in Bath Town, where he accepted a royal pardon. But he was soon back at sea and attracted the attention of Alexander Spotswood, the Governor of Virginia. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to try to capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a ferocious battle, Teach and several of his crew were killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there is no known account of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive. He was romanticised after his death and became the inspiration for a number of pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.

Little is known about Blackbeard's early life. It is commonly believed that at the time of his death he was between 35 and 40 years old and thus born in about 1680. In contemporary records his name is most often given as Blackbeard, Edward Thatch or Edward Teach; the latter is most often used today. However, several spellings of his surname exist—Thatch, Thach, Thache, Thack, Tack, Thatche and Theach. One early source claims that his surname was Drummond, but the lack of any supporting documentation makes this unlikely. Pirates habitually used fictitious surnames while engaged in the business of piracy, so as not to tarnish the family name, and this makes it unlikely that Teach's real name will ever be known.

The 17th-century rise of Britain's American colonies and the rapid 18th-century expansion of the Atlantic slave trade had made Bristol an important international sea port, and Teach was most likely raised in what was the second-largest city in England. He could almost certainly read and write; he communicated with merchants and when killed had in his possession a letter addressed to him by the Chief Justice and Secretary of the Province of Carolina, Tobias Knight. The author Robert Lee speculated that Teach may therefore have been born into a respectable, wealthy family. He may have arrived in the Caribbean in the last years of the 17th century, on a merchant vessel (possibly a slave ship). The 18th-century author Charles Johnson claimed that Teach was for some time a sailor operating from Jamaica on privateer ships during Queen Anne's War, and that "he had often distinguished himself for his uncommon boldness and personal courage". At what point during the war Teach joined the fighting is, in keeping with the record of most of his life before he became a pirate, unknown.

With its history of colonialism, trade and piracy, the West Indies was the setting for many 17th and 18th-century maritime incidents. The privateer-turned-pirate Henry Jennings and his followers decided, early in the 18th century, to use the then uninhabited island of New Providence as a base for their operations; it was within easy reach of the Florida Strait and its busy shipping lanes, which were filled with European vessels crossing the Atlantic. New Providence's harbour could easily accommodate hundreds of ships, and was too shallow for the Royal Navy's larger vessels to navigate. The island then was not the popular tourist destination it later became; the author George Woodbury described it as "no city of homes; it was a place of temporary sojourn and refreshment for a literally floating population," continuing, "The only permanent residents were the piratical camp followers, the traders, and the hangers-on; all others were transient." Law and order were unheard of; in New Providence, pirates found a welcome respite.

Teach was one of those who came to enjoy the island's benefits. Probably shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, he moved there from Jamaica, and with most privateers once involved in the war, became involved in piracy. Possibly about 1716, he joined the crew of Captain Benjamin Hornigold, a renowned pirate who operated from New Providence's safe waters. In 1716 Hornigold placed Teach in charge of a sloop he had taken as a prize. In early 1717, Hornigold and Teach, each captaining a sloop, set out for the mainland. They captured a boat carrying 120 barrels of flour out of Havana, and shortly thereafter took 100 barrels of wine from a sloop out of Bermuda. A few days later they stopped a vessel sailing from Madeira to Charleston, South Carolina. Teach and his quartermaster, William Howard, may at this time have struggled to control their crews. By then they had probably developed a taste for Madeira wine, and on 29 September near Cape Charles all they took from the Betty of Virginia was her cargo of Madeira, before they scuttled her with the remaining cargo.

It was during this cruise with Hornigold that the earliest known report of Teach was made, in which he is recorded as a pirate in his own right, in command of a large crew. In a report made by a Captain Mathew Munthe on an anti-piracy patrol for North Carolina, "Thatch" was described as operating "a sloop 6 gunns and about 70 men". In September Teach and Hornigold encountered Stede Bonnet, a landowner and military officer from a wealthy family who had turned to piracy earlier that year. Bonnet's crew of about 70 were reportedly dissatisfied with his command, so with Bonnet's permission, Teach took control of his ship Revenge. The pirates' flotilla now consisted of three ships; Teach on Revenge, Teach's old sloop and Hornigold's Ranger. By October, another vessel had been captured and added to the small fleet. The sloops Robert of Philadelphia and Good Intent of Dublin were stopped on 22 October 1717, and their cargo holds emptied.

On 28 November Teach's two ships attacked a French merchant vessel off the coast of Saint Vincent. They each fired a broadside across its bulwarks, killing several of its crew, and forcing its captain to surrender. The ship was La Concorde of Saint-Malo, a large French guineaman carrying a cargo of slaves. Teach and his crews sailed the vessel south along Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to Bequia, where they disembarked her crew and cargo, and converted the ship for their own use. The crew of La Concorde were given the smaller of Teach's two sloops, which they renamed Mauvaise Rencontre (Bad Meeting), and sailed for Martinique. Teach may have recruited some of their slaves, but the remainder were left on the island and were later recaptured by the returning crew of Mauvaise Rencontre.

Teach immediately renamed La Concorde as Queen Anne's Revenge and equipped her with 40 guns. In late November, near Saint Vincent, he attacked the Great Allen. After a lengthy engagement, he forced the large and well-armed merchant ship to surrender. He ordered her to move closer to the shore, disembarked her crew and emptied her cargo holds, and then burned and sank the vessel. The incident was chronicled in the Boston News Letter, which called Teach the commander of a "French ship of 32 Guns, a Briganteen of 10 guns and a Sloop of 12 guns." When or where Teach collected the ten gun Briganteen is unknown, but by that time he may have been in command of at least 150 men split between three vessels.

On 5 December 1717 Teach stopped the merchant sloop Margaret off the coast of Crab Island, near Anguilla. Her captain, Henry Bostock, and crew, remained Teach's prisoners for about eight hours, and were forced to watch as their sloop was ransacked. Bostock, who had been held aboard Queen Anne's Revenge, was returned unharmed to Margaret and was allowed to leave with his crew. He returned to his base of operations on Saint Christopher Island and reported the matter to Governor Walter Hamilton, who requested that he sign an affidavit about the encounter. Bostock's deposition details Teach's command of two vessels: a sloop and a large French guineaman, Dutch-built, with 36 cannon and a crew of 300 men. The captain believed that the larger ship carried valuable gold dust, silver plate, and "a very fine cup" supposedly taken from the commander of Great Allen. Teach's crew had apparently informed Bostock that they had destroyed several other vessels, and that they intended to sail to Hispaniola and lie in wait for an expected Spanish armada, supposedly laden with money to pay the garrisons. Bostock also claimed that Teach had questioned him about the movements of local ships, but also that he had seemed unsurprised when Bostock told him of an expected royal pardon from London for all pirates.

Bostock's deposition describes Teach as a "tall spare man with a very black beard which he wore very long". It is the first recorded account of Teach's appearance and is the source of his cognomen, Blackbeard.

Teach's movements between late 1717 and early 1718 are not known. He and Bonnet were probably responsible for an attack off Sint Eustatius in December 1717. Henry Bostock claimed to have heard the pirates say they would head toward the Spanish-controlled Samaná Bay in Hispaniola, but a cursory search revealed no pirate activity. Captain Hume of HMS Scarborough reported on 6 February that a "Pyrate Ship of 36 Guns and 250 men, and a Sloop of 10 Guns and 100 men were Said to be Cruizing amongst the Leeward Islands". Hume reinforced his crew with musket-armed soldiers and joined up with HMS Seaford to track the two ships, to no avail, though they discerned that the two ships had sunk a French vessel off St Christopher Island, and reported also that they had last been seen "gone down the North side of Hispaniola". Although no confirmation exists that these two ships were controlled by Teach and Bonnet, author Angus Konstam believes it very likely they were.

In March 1718, while taking on water at Turneffe Island east of Belize, both ships spotted a sloop from Jamaica, Adventure, making for the harbour. She was quickly stopped and her captain, David Harriot, invited to join the pirates. Harriot and his crew accepted the invitation, and Teach sent over a crew to run Adventure. They sailed for the Bay of Honduras, where they added another ship and four sloops to their flotilla. On 9 April Teach's enlarged fleet of ships looted and burnt Protestant Caesar. His fleet then sailed to Grand Cayman where they captured a "small turtler". Teach probably sailed toward Havana, where he may have captured a small Spanish vessel that had left the Cuban port. They then sailed to the wrecks of the 1715 Spanish fleet, off the western coast of Florida. There Teach disembarked the crew of the captured Spanish sloop, before proceeding north to the port of Charleston, South Carolina, attacking three vessels along the way.

By May 1718 Teach had awarded himself the rank of Commodore and was at the height of his power. Late that month his flotilla blockaded the port of Charleston (then known as Charles Town) in South Carolina. All vessels entering or leaving the port were stopped, and as the town had no guard ship, its pilot boat was the first to be captured. Over the next five or six days about nine vessels were stopped and ransacked as they attempted to sail past Charleston Bar, where Teach's fleet was anchored. One such ship, headed for London with a group of prominent Charleston citizens which included Samuel Wragg (a member of the Council of the Province of Carolina), was the Crowley. Her passengers were questioned about the vessels still in port and then locked below decks for about half a day. Teach informed the prisoners that his fleet required medical supplies from the colonial government of South Carolina, and that if none were forthcoming, all prisoners would be executed, their heads sent to the Governor and all captured ships burnt.

Wragg agreed to Teach's demands, and a Mr Marks and two pirates were given two days to collect the drugs. Teach moved his fleet, and the captured ships, to within about five or six leagues from land. Three days later a messenger, sent by Marks, returned to the fleet; Marks's boat had capsized and delayed their arrival in Charleston. Teach granted a reprieve of two days, but still the party did not return. He then called a meeting of his fellow sailors and moved eight ships into the harbour, causing panic within the town. When Marks finally returned to the fleet, he explained what had happened. On his arrival he had presented the pirates' demands to the Governor and the drugs had been quickly gathered, but the two pirates sent to escort him had proved difficult to find; they had been busy drinking with friends and were finally discovered, drunk.

Teach kept to his side of the bargain and released the captured ships and his prisoners - albeit relieved of their valuables, including the fine clothing some had worn.

Before sailing northward on his remaining sloop to Ocracoke Inlet, Teach marooned about 25 men on a small sandy island about a league from the mainland. He may have done this to stifle any protest they made, if they guessed their captain's plans. Bonnet rescued them two days later. Teach continued on to Bath, where in June 1718 - only days after Bonnet had departed with his pardon - he and his much-reduced crew received their pardon from Governor Eden.

He settled in Bath, on the eastern side of Bath Creek at Plum Point, near Eden's home. During July and August he travelled between his base in the town and his sloop off Ocracoke. Johnson's account states that he married the daughter of a local plantation owner, although there is no supporting evidence for this. Eden gave Teach permission to sail to St Thomas to seek a commission as a privateer (a useful way of removing bored and troublesome pirates from the small settlement), and Teach was given official title to his remaining sloop, which he renamed Adventure. By the end of August he had returned to piracy, and in the same month the Governor of Pennsylvania issued a warrant for his arrest, but by then Teach was probably operating in Delaware Bay, some distance away. He took two French ships leaving the Caribbean, moved one crew across to the other, and sailed the remaining ship back to Ocracoke. In September he told Eden that he had found the French ship at sea, deserted. A Vice Admiralty Court was quickly convened, presided over by Tobias Knight and the Collector of Customs. The ship was judged as a derelict found at sea, and of its cargo 20 hogsheads of sugar were awarded to Knight and sixty to Eden; Teach and his crew were given what remained in the vessel's hold.

Ocracoke Inlet was Teach's favourite anchorage. It was a perfect vantage point from which to view ships travelling between the various settlements of northeast Carolina, and it was from there that Teach first spotted the approaching ship of Charles Vane, another English pirate. Several months earlier Vane had rejected the pardon brought by Woodes Rogers and escaped the men-of-war the English captain brought with him to Nassau. He had also been pursued by Teach's old commander, Benjamin Hornigold, who was by then a pirate hunter. Teach and Vane spent several nights on the southern tip of Ocracoke Island, accompanied by such notorious figures as Israel Hands, Robert Deal and Calico Jack.

Maynard found the pirates anchored on the inner side of Ocracoke Island, on the evening of 21 November. He had ascertained their position from ships he had stopped along his journey, but unfamiliar with the local channels and shoals he decided to wait until the following morning to make his attack. He stopped all traffic from entering the inlet - preventing any warning of his presence - and posted a lookout on both sloops to ensure that Teach could not escape to sea. On the other side of the island, Teach was busy entertaining guests and had not set a lookout. With Israel Hands ashore in Bath with about 24 of Adventure's sailors, he also had a much-reduced crew. Johnson (1724) reported that the pirate had "no more than twenty-five men on board" and that he "gave out to all the vessels that he spoke with that he had forty". "Thirteen white and six Negroes", was the number later reported by Brand to the Admiralty.

At daybreak, preceded by a small boat taking soundings, Maynard's two sloops entered the channel. The small craft was quickly spotted by Adventure and fired at as soon as it was within range of her guns. While the boat made a quick retreat to the Jane, Teach cut the Adventure's anchor cable. His crew hoisted the sails and the Adventure manoeuvred to point her starboard guns toward Maynard's sloops, which were slowly closing the gap. Hyde moved Ranger to the port side of Jane and the Union flag was unfurled on each ship. Adventure then turned toward the beach of Ocracoke Island, heading for a narrow channel. What happened next is uncertain. Johnson claimed that there was an exchange of small-arms fire following which Adventure ran aground on a sandbar, while Maynard anchored and then lightened his ship to pass over the obstacle. Another version claimed that Jane and Ranger ran aground, although Maynard made no mention of this in his log.

What is certain though is that Adventure turned her guns on the two ships and fired. The broadside was devastating; in an instant, Maynard had lost as much as a third of his forces. About 20 on Jane were either wounded or killed and 9 on Ranger. Hyde was dead and his second and third officers either dead or seriously injured. His sloop was so badly damaged that it played no further role in the attack. Again, contemporary accounts of what happened next are confused, but small-arms fire from Jane may have cut Adventure's jib sheet, causing her to lose control and run onto the sandbar. In the aftermath of Teach's overwhelming attack, Jane and Ranger may also have been grounded; the battle thenceforth would have become a race to see who could float their ship first.

The lieutenant had kept many of his men below deck and in anticipation of being boarded told them to prepare for close fighting. Teach watched as the gap between the vessels closed, and ordered his men to be ready. The two vessels contacted one another as the Adventure's grappling hooks hit their target and several grenades, made from powder and shot-filled bottles and ignited by fuses, broke across the sloop's deck. As the smoke cleared, Teach led his men aboard, buoyant at the sight of Maynard's apparently empty ship, his men firing at the small group formed by the lieutenant and his men at the stern.

The rest of Maynard's men then burst from the hold, shouting and firing. The plan to surprise Teach and his crew worked; the pirates were apparently taken aback at the assault. Teach rallied his men and the two groups fought across the deck, which was already slick with blood from those killed or injured by Teach's broadside. Maynard and Teach fired their flintlocks at each other, then threw them away. Teach drew his cutlass and managed to break Maynard's sword. Against superior training and a slight advantage in numbers, the pirates were pushed back toward the bow, allowing the Jane's crew to surround Maynard and Teach, who was by then completely isolated. As Maynard drew back to fire once again, Teach moved in to attack him, but was slashed across the neck by one of Maynard's men. Badly wounded, he was then attacked and killed by several more of Maynard's crew. The remaining pirates quickly surrendered. Those left on the Adventure were captured by the Ranger's crew, including one who planned to set fire to the powder room and blow up the ship. Varying accounts exist of the battle's list of casualties; Maynard reported that 8 of his men and 12 pirates were killed. Brand reported that 10 pirates and 11 of Maynard's men were killed. Spotswood claimed ten pirates and ten of the King's men dead.

Maynard later examined Teach's body, noting that it had been shot no fewer than five times and cut about twenty. He also found several items of correspondence, including a letter to the pirate from Tobias Knight. Teach's corpse was thrown into the inlet while his head was suspended from the bowsprit of Maynard's sloop (so the reward could be collected)

Despite his infamy, Teach was not the most successful of pirates. Henry Every retired a rich man, and Bartholomew Roberts took an estimated five times the amount Teach stole. Treasure hunters have long busied themselves searching for any trace of his rumoured hoard of gold and silver, but nothing found in the numerous sites explored along the east coast of the US has ever been connected to him. Some tales suggest that pirates often killed a prisoner on the spot where they buried their loot, and Teach is no exception in these stories, but that no finds have come to light is not exceptional; buried pirate treasure is often considered a modern myth for which almost no supporting evidence exists. The available records include nothing to suggest that the burial of treasure was a common practice, except in the imaginations of the writers of fictional accounts such as Treasure Island. Such hoards would necessitate a wealthy owner, and their supposed existence ignores the command structure of a pirate vessel, in which the crew often served by free suffrage. The only pirate ever known to bury treasure was William Kidd; the only treasure so far recovered from Teach's exploits is that taken from the wreckage of the Queen Anne's Revenge, which was found and excavated in 1997. As of 2007 more than 15,000 objects have been rescued and preserved, some of which are on display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum.



Sources: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons





Saturday, February 22, 2014

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver (by January 1864 – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864.

Carver's reputation is based on his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, which also aided nutrition for farm families. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops both as a source of their own food and as a source of other products to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. He also developed and promoted about 100 products made from peanuts that were useful for the house and farm, including cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerin. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP.

During the Reconstruction-era South, monoculture of cotton depleted the soil in many areas. In the early 20th century, the boll weevil destroyed much of the cotton crop, and planters and farm workers suffered. Carver's work on peanuts was intended to provide an alternative crop.

He was recognized for his many achievements and talents. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a "Black Leonardo.

Carver was born into slavery in Diamond Grove, Newton County, near Crystal Place, now known as Diamond, Missouri, possibly in 1864 or 1865, though the exact date is not known. His master, Moses Carver, was a German American immigrant who had purchased George's parents, Mary and Giles, from William P. McGinnis on October 9, 1855, for $700. Carver had 10 sisters and a brother, all of whom died prematurely.

When George was only a week old, George, a sister, and his mother were kidnapped by night raiders from Arkansas. George's brother, James, was rushed to safety from the kidnappers. The kidnappers sold the slaves in Kentucky. Moses Carver hired John Bentley to find them, but he located only the infant George. Moses negotiated with the raiders to gain the boy's return, and rewarded Bentley.

After slavery was abolished, Moses Carver and his wife Susan raised George and his older brother James as their own children. They encouraged George to continue his intellectual pursuits, and "Aunt Susan" taught him the basics of reading and writing.

Black people were not allowed at the public school in Diamond Grove. Learning there was a school for black children 10 miles (16 km) south in Neosho, George decided to go there. When he reached the town, he found the school closed for the night. He slept in a nearby barn. By his own account, the next morning he met a kind woman, Mariah Watkins, from whom he wished to rent a room. When he identified himself as "Carver's George," as he had done his whole life, she replied that from now on his name was "George Carver". George liked this lady very much, and her words, "You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people", made a great impression on him.

At the age of thirteen, due to his desire to attend the academy there, he relocated to the home of another foster family in Fort Scott, Kansas. After witnessing a black man killed by a group of whites, Carver left the city. He attended a series of schools before earning his diploma at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.

Carver applied to several colleges before being accepted at Highland College in Highland, Kansas. When he arrived, however, they rejected him because of his race. In August 1886, Carver traveled by wagon with J. F. Beeler from Highland to Eden Township in Ness County, Kansas. He homesteaded a claim near Beeler, where he maintained a small conservatory of plants and flowers and a geological collection. He manually plowed 17 acres of the claim, planting rice, corn, Indian corn and garden produce, as well as various fruit trees, forest trees, and shrubbery. He also earned money by odd jobs in town and worked as a ranch hand.

In early 1888, Carver obtained a $300 loan at the Bank of Ness City for education. By June he left the area. In 1890, Carver started studying art and piano at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. His art teacher, Etta Budd, recognized Carver's talent for painting flowers and plants; she encouraged him to study botany at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames. When he began in 1891, he was the first black student, and later taught as the first black faculty member.

When he completed his B.S., professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel convinced Carver to continue at Iowa State for his master's degree. Carver did research at the Iowa Experiment Station under Pammel during the next two years. His work at the experiment station in plant pathology and mycology first gained him national recognition and respect as a botanist.

Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton. Together with other agricultural experts, he urged farmers to restore nitrogen to their soils by practicing systematic crop rotation: alternating cotton crops with plantings of sweet potatoes or legumes (such as peanuts, soybeans and cowpeas). These both restored nitrogen to the soil and the crops were good for human consumption. Following the crop rotation practice resulted in improved cotton yields and gave farmers alternative cash crops. To train farmers to successfully rotate and cultivate the new crops, Carver developed an agricultural extension program for Alabama that was similar to the one at Iowa State. To encourage better nutrition in the South, he widely distributed recipes using the alternative crops.

In addition, he founded an industrial research laboratory, where he and assistants worked to popularize the new crops by developing hundreds of applications for them. They did original research as well as promoting applications and recipes which they collected from others. Carver distributed his information as agricultural bulletins.

Carver's work was known by officials in the national capital before he became a public figure. President Theodore Roosevelt publicly admired his work. Former professors of Carver's from Iowa State University were appointed to positions as Secretary of Agriculture: James Wilson, a former dean and professor of Carver's, served from 1897 to 1913. Henry Cantwell Wallace served from 1921 to 1924. He knew Carver personally as his son Henry A. Wallace and the researcher were friends. The younger Wallace served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1933 to 1940, and as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's vice president from 1941 to 1945.

In 1916 Carver was made a member of the Royal Society of Arts in England, one of only a handful of Americans at that time to receive this honor. Carver's promotion of peanuts gained him the most notability. In 1919, Carver wrote to a peanut company about the potential he saw for peanut milk. Both he and the peanut industry seemed unaware that in 1917 William Melhuish had secured patent #1,243,855 for a milk substitute made from peanuts and soybeans.

In 1921 peanut farmers and industry representatives planned to appear at Congressional hearings to ask for a tariff. Based on the quality of Carver's presentation at their convention, they asked the African-American professor to testify on the tariff issue before the Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives. Due to segregation, it was highly unusual for an African American to appear as an expert witness at Congress representing European-American industry and farmers. Southern congressmen, reportedly shocked at Carver's arriving to testify, were said to have mocked him. As he talked about the importance of the peanut and its uses for American agriculture, the committee members repeatedly extended the time for his testimony. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922 was passed including one on imported peanuts. Carver's testifying to Congress made him widely known as a public figure.

During the last two decades of his life, Carver seemed to enjoy his celebrity status. He was often to be found on the road promoting Tuskegee, peanuts, and racial harmony. Although he only published six agricultural bulletins after 1922, he published articles in peanut industry journals and wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Professor Carver's Advice". Business leaders came to seek his help, and he often responded with free advice. Three American presidents - Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt - met with him, and the Crown Prince of Sweden studied with him for three weeks. From 1923 to 1933, Carver toured white Southern colleges for the Commission on Interracial Cooperation.

From 1933 to 1935, Carver worked to develop peanut oil massages to treat infantile paralysis (polio). Ultimately researchers found that the massages, not the peanut oil, provided the benefits of maintaining some mobility to paralyzed limbs.

From 1935 to 1937, Carver participated in the USDA Disease Survey. Carver had specialized in plant diseases and mycology for his master's degree.

Carver never married, but at age forty, he began a three-year courtship with Miss Sarah L. Hunt, an elementary school teacher and the sister-in-law of Tuskegee Institute Treasurer Warren Logan, which lasted until she took a teaching job in California.

When he was seventy, Carver established a friendship and research partnership with the scientist Austin W. Curtis, Jr, a much younger graduate of Cornell University who had some teaching experience. Carver bequeathed to Curtis his royalties from an authorized 1943 biography by Rackham Holt.

After Carver died in 1943, Curtis was fired from Tuskegee Institute. He left Alabama and resettled in Detroit. He manufactured and sold peanut-based personal care products.

Upon returning home one day, Carver took a bad fall down a flight of stairs; he was found unconscious by a maid who took him to a hospital. Carver died January 5, 1943, at the age of 78 from complications (anemia) resulting from this fall. He was buried next to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee University. Due to his frugality, Carver's life savings totaled $60,000, all of which he donated in his last years and at his death to the Carver Museum and to the George Washington Carver Foundation.

On his grave was written, He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.

On July 14, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated $30,000 for the George Washington Carver National Monument west-southwest of Diamond, Missouri—the area where Carver had spent time in his childhood. This was the first national monument dedicated to an African American and the first to honor someone other than a president. The 210-acre national monument complex includes a bust of Carver, a ¾-mile nature trail, a museum, the 1881 Moses Carver house, and the Carver cemetery. The national monument was not opened until July 1953.

In December 1947, a fire broke out in the Carver Museum, and much of the collection was damaged. Time Magazine reported that all but three of the 48 Carver paintings at the museum were destroyed. His best-known painting, displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, depicts a yucca and cactus. This canvas survived and has undergone conservation. It is displayed together with several of his other paintings. Carver appeared on U.S. commemorative stamps in 1948 a second stamp of face value 32¢ was issued on 3 February 1998 as part of the Celebrate the Century stamp sheet series, and he was depicted on a commemorative half dollar coin from 1951 to 1954. Two ships, the Liberty ship SS George Washington Carver and the nuclear submarine USS George Washington Carver (SSBN-656) were named in his honor.

In 1977, Carver was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. In 1990, Carver was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1994, Iowa State University awarded Carver Doctor of Humane Letters. In 2000, Carver was a charter inductee in the USDA Hall of Heroes as the "Father of Chemurgy".

George Washington Carver reputedly discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. Among the listed items that he suggested to southern farmers to help them economically were adhesives, axle grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes (a biofuel), ink, instant coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain. Three patents (one for cosmetics; patent number 1,522,176, and two for paints and stains; patent numbers 1,541,478 and 1,632,365) were issued to George Washington Carver in the years 1925 to 1927; however, they were not commercially successful. Aside from these patents and some recipes for food, Carver left no records of formulae or procedures for making his products. He did not keep a laboratory notebook.

Carver's research was intended to provide replacements for commercial products, which were generally beyond the budget of the small one-horse farmer. A misconception grew that his research on products for subsistence farmers were developed by others commercially to change Southern agriculture. Carver's work to provide them with resources for more independence from the cash economy foreshadowed the "appropriate technology" work of E.F. Schumacher.

George Washington Carver believed he could have faith both in God and science and integrated them into his life. He testified on many occasions that his faith in Jesus was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science. George Washington Carver became a Christian when he was ten years old. When he was still a young boy, he was not expected to live past his twenty-first birthday due to failing health. He lived well past the age of twenty-one, and his belief deepened as a result. Throughout his career, he always found friendship with other Christians. He relied on them especially when criticized by the scientific community and media regarding his research methodology.



Sources: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

G.I. Blues / Follow That Dream DVD Review

G.I. Blues


"I got the occupation G.I. Blues."

In Frankfurt, the G.I. Tulsa McLean bets all the money his friends Cookie and Rick and he are saving to buy a night-club of their own in USA that his mate Dynamite will seduce and spend a night with the untouchable cabaret dancer Lili. When Dynamite is transferred to Alaska, Tulsa has to replace him in the bet, but he falls for Lili and tries to call off the game. (Co-starring, Juliet Prowse)

One of my favorite Elvis films. This is the first film he did after returning from hsi service in the military. (If i am not mistaken) Here is a little tidbit about the king you may or may not have known - but Elvis never had any formal acting training. (true story)

My rating .... a solid 7 stars.







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Follow That Dream


When the Kwimper family car runs out of gas on a new Florida highway and an officous state supervisor tries to run them off, Pop Kwimper digs in his heels and decides to do a little homesteading. He and his son Toby and their "adopted" children - Holly, Ariadne and the twins - start their own little community along a strip of the roadside. The fishing is good and the living is easy until the mob sets up a gambling operation and the state supervisor sics a sexy social worker on the Kwimpers in an effort to take away Ariadne and the twins.

I am saying it here and now, Elvis doesn't nearly get the credit he deserves for his acting. Or for being funny. His is great at both in this one. It really is a hoot and Elvis does a fantastic job with comedy in this one.

My rating ... I give this one a solid 8 stars. For its time, I thought it was pretty darn good. You will too. 







 
 
 



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Presidents

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942-43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

Eisenhower was of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry and was raised in a large family in Kansas by parents with a strong religious background. He attended and graduated from West Point and later married and had two sons. After World War II, Eisenhower served as Army Chief of Staff under President Harry S. Truman then assumed the post of President at Columbia University

Eisenhower entered the 1952 presidential race as a Republican to counter the non-interventionism of Senator Robert A. Taft and to crusade against "Communism, Korea and corruption". He won by a landslide, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson and ending two decades of the New Deal Coalition. In the first year of his presidency, Eisenhower deposed the leader of Iran in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and used nuclear threats to conclude the Korean War with China. His New Look policy of nuclear deterrence gave priority to inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing the funding for conventional military forces; the goal was to keep pressure on the Soviet Union and reduce federal deficits. In 1954, Eisenhower first articulated the domino theory in his description of the threat presented by the spread of communism. The Congress agreed to his request in 1955 for the Formosa Resolution, which enabled him to prevent Chinese communist aggression against Chinese nationalists and established the U.S. policy of defending Taiwan. When the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957, he had to play catch-up in the space race. Eisenhower forced Israel, the UK, and France to end their invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956. In 1958, he sent 15,000 U.S. troops to Lebanon to prevent the pro-Western government from falling to a Nasser-inspired revolution. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed because of the U-2 incident. In his 1961 farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed his concerns about future dangers of massive military spending, especially deficit spending, and coined the term "military–industrial complex".

On the domestic front, he covertly opposed Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking the modern expanded version of executive privilege. He otherwise left most political activity to his Vice President, Richard Nixon. He was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security.

Among his enduring innovations, he launched the Interstate Highway System; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which led to the internet, among many invaluable outputs; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), driving peaceful discovery in space; the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act; and encouraging peaceful use of nuclear power via amendments to the Atomic Energy Act.

In social policy, he sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the first time since Reconstruction to enforce federal court orders to desegregate public schools. He also signed civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 to protect the right to vote. He implemented desegregation of the armed forces in two years and made five appointments to the Supreme Court. He was the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd Amendment. Eisenhower's two terms were peaceful ones for the most part and saw considerable economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. Eisenhower is often ranked highly among the U.S. presidents.

The Eisenhauer (German for "iron hewer/miner") family migrated from Karlsbrunn, Germany, to North America. The Eisenhower family settled in York, Pennsylvania, in 1741, and in the 1880s they moved to Kansas. Accounts vary as to how and when the German name Eisenhauer was anglicized to Eisenhower. Eisenhower's Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors, who were primarily farmers, included Hans Nikolaus Eisenhauer of Karlsbrunn, who migrated to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1741.

Hans' great-great grandson, David Jacob Eisenhower (1863–1942), was Dwight's father, and was a college-educated engineer, despite his own father Jacob's urging to stay on the family farm. Eisenhower's mother, Ida Elizabeth (Stover) Eisenhower, born in Virginia, of German Lutheran ancestry, moved to Kansas from Virginia. She married David on September 23, 1885, in Lecompton, Kansas, on the campus of their alma mater, Lane University.

David owned a general store in Hope, Kansas, but the business failed due to economic conditions and the family became impoverished. The Eisenhowers then lived in Texas from 1889 until 1892, and later returned to Kansas, with $24 to their name at the time. David worked as a mechanic with a railroad and then with a creamery. By 1898, the family was self-sustaining with suitable accommodations for their large family.

Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas, the third of seven boys. His mother originally named him David Dwight but reversed the two names after his birth to avoid the confusion of having two Davids in the family. All of the boys were called "Ike", such as "Big Ike" (Edgar) and "Little Ike" (Dwight); the nickname was intended as an abbreviation of their last name. By World War II, only Dwight was still called "Ike".

In 1892, the family moved to Abilene, Kansas, which Eisenhower considered as his home town. As a child, he was involved in an accident that cost his younger brother an eye; he later referred to this as an experience teaching him the need to be protective of those under him. Dwight developed a keen and enduring interest in exploring outdoors, hunting/fishing, cooking and card playing from an illiterate named Bob Davis who camped on the Smoky Hill River.

While Eisenhower's mother was against war, it was her collection of history books that first sparked Eisenhower's early and lasting interest in military history. He persisted in reading the books in her collection and became a voracious reader in the subject. Other favorite subjects early in his education were arithmetic and spelling.

His parents set aside specific times at breakfast and at dinner for daily family Bible reading. Chores were regularly assigned and rotated among all the children, and misbehavior was met with unequivocal discipline, usually from David. His mother, previously a member (with David) of the River Brethren sect of the Mennonites, joined the International Bible Students Association, later known as Jehovah's Witnesses. The Eisenhower home served as the local meeting hall from 1896 to 1915, though Eisenhower never joined the International Bible Students. His later decision to attend West Point saddened his mother, who felt that warfare was "rather wicked," but she did not overrule him. While speaking of himself in 1948, Eisenhower said he was "one of the most deeply religious men I know" though unattached to any "sect or organization". He was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in 1953.

Eisenhower attended Abilene High School and graduated with the class of 1909. As a freshman, he injured his knee and developed a leg infection which extended into his groin and which his doctor diagnosed as life threatening. The doctor insisted that the leg be amputated but Dwight refused to allow it, and miraculously recovered, though he had to repeat his freshman year. He and brother Edgar both wanted to attend college, though they lacked the funds. They made a pact to take alternate years at college while the other worked, in order to earn the tuitions.

Edgar took the first turn at school, and Dwight was employed as a night supervisor at the Belle Springs Creamery. Edgar asked for a second year, Dwight consented and worked for a second year. At that time, a friend "Swede" Hazlet was applying to the Naval Academy and urged Dwight to apply to the school, since no tuition was required. Eisenhower requested consideration for either Annapolis or West Point with his U.S. Senator, Joseph L. Bristow. Though Eisenhower was among the winners of the entrance-exam competition, he was beyond the age limit for the Naval Academy. He then accepted an appointment to West Point in 1911.

At West Point, Eisenhower relished the emphasis on traditions and on sports, but was less enthusiastic about the hazing, though he willingly accepted it as a plebe. He was also a regular violator of the more detailed regulations, and finished school with a less than stellar discipline rating. Academically, Eisenhower's best subject by far was English. Otherwise, his performance was average, though he thoroughly enjoyed the typical emphasis of engineering on science and mathematics.

In athletics, Eisenhower later said that "not making the baseball team at West Point was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, maybe my greatest." He did make the football team, and was a varsity starter as running back and linebacker in 1912, tackling the legendary Jim Thorpe of the Carlisle Indians that year. Eisenhower suffered a torn knee in that, his last, game; he re-injured his knee on horseback and in the boxing ring, so he turned to fencing and gymnastics.

Eisenhower later served as junior varsity football coach and cheerleader. Controversy persists over whether Eisenhower played minor league baseball for Junction City in the Central Kansas League the year before he attended West Point, where he played amateur football. He graduated in the middle of the class of 1915, which became known as "the class the stars fell on", because 59 members eventually became general officers.

Eisenhower met and fell in love with Mamie Geneva Doud of Boone, Iowa, six years his junior, while he was stationed in Texas. He and her family were also immediately taken with one another. He proposed to her on Valentine's Day in 1916. A November wedding date in Denver was moved up to July 1 due to the pending US entry into World War I. In their first 35 years of marriage, they moved many times.

Eisenhower was a golf enthusiast later in life, and joined the Augusta National Golf Club in 1948. He played golf frequently during and after his presidency and was unreserved in expressing his passion for the game, to the point of golfing during winter, and ordered his golf balls painted black so he could see them better against snow on the ground. He had a small, basic golf facility installed at Camp David, and became close friends with the Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts, inviting Roberts to stay at the White House on several occasions; Roberts, an investment broker, also handled the Eisenhower family's investments. Roberts also advised Eisenhower on tax aspects of publishing his memoirs, which proved to be financially lucrativ.

After golf, oil painting was Eisenhower's second hobby. While at Columbia, Eisenhower began the art after watching Thomas E. Stephens paint Mamie's portrait. He painted about 260 oils during the last 20 years of his life to relax, mostly landscapes but also portraits of subjects such as Mamie, their grandchildren, General Montgomery, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. Wendy Beckett stated that Eisenhower's work, "simple and earnest, rather cause us to wonder at the hidden depths of this reticent president". A conservative in both art and politics, he in a 1962 speech denounced modern art as "a piece of canvas that looks like a broken-down Tin Lizzie, loaded with paint, has been driven over it."

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Eisenhower was assigned to the General Staff in Washington, where he served until June 1942 with responsibility for creating the major war plans to defeat Japan and Germany. He was appointed Deputy Chief in charge of Pacific Defenses under the Chief of War Plans Division (WPD), General Leonard T. Gerow, and then succeeded Gerow as Chief of the War Plans Division. Then he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of the new Operations Division (which replaced WPD) under Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who spotted talent and promoted accordingly.

At the end of May 1942, Eisenhower accompanied Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces, to London to assess the effectiveness of the theater commander in England, Maj. Gen. James E. Chaney. He returned to Washington on June 3 with a pessimistic assessment, stating he had an "uneasy feeling" about Chaney and his staff. On June 23, 1942, he returned to London as Commanding General, European Theater of Operations (ETOUSA), based in London and with a house on Coombe, Kingston upon Thames, and replaced Chaney.

In June 1943 a visiting politician had suggested to Eisenhower that he might become President of the United States after the war. Believing that a general should not participate in politics, one author later wrote that "figuratively speaking, [Eisenhower] kicked his political-minded visitor out of his office". As others asked him about his political future, Eisenhower told one that he could not imagine wanting to be considered for any political job "from dogcatcher to Grand High Supreme King of the Universe", and another that he could not serve as Army Chief of Staff if others believed he had political ambitions. In 1945 Truman told Eisenhower during the Potsdam Conference that if desired, the president would help the general win the 1948 election, and in 1947 he offered to run as Eisenhower's running mate on the Democratic ticket if MacArthur won the Republican nomination.

President Truman, symbolizing a broad-based desire for an Eisenhower candidacy for president, again in 1951 pressed him to run for the office as a Democrat. It was at this time that Eisenhower voiced his disdain for the Democratic party and declared himself and his family to be Republicans. A "Draft Eisenhower" movement in the Republican Party persuaded him to declare his candidacy in the 1952 presidential election to counter the candidacy of non-interventionist Senator Robert Taft. The effort was a long struggle; Eisenhower had to be convinced that political circumstances had created a genuine duty for him to offer himself as a candidate, and that there was a mandate from the populace for him to be their President. Henry Cabot Lodge, who served as his campaign manager, and others succeeded in convincing him, and in June 1952 he resigned his command at NATO to campaign full-time. Eisenhower defeated Taft for the nomination, having won critical delegate votes from Texas. Eisenhower's campaign was noted for the simple but effective slogan, "I Like Ike". It was essential to his success that Ike express his opposition to Roosevelt's policy at Yalta and against Truman's policies in Korea and China, matters in which he had once participated. In defeating Taft for the nomination, it became necessary for Eisenhower to appease the right wing Old Guard of the Republican Party; his selection of Richard M. Nixon as the Vice-President on the ticket was designed in part for that purpose. Nixon also provided a strong anti-communist presence as well as some youth to counter Ike's more advanced age.

Due to a complete estrangement between the two as a result of campaigning, Truman and Eisenhower had minimal discussions about the transition of administrations. After selecting his budget director, Joseph M. Dodge, Eisenhower asked Herbert Brownell and Lucius Clay to make recommendations for his cabinet appointments. He accepted their recommendations without exception; they included John Foster Dulles and George M. Humphrey with whom he developed his closest relationships, and one woman, Oveta Culp Hobby. Eisenhower's cabinet, consisting of several corporate executives and one labor leader, was dubbed by one journalist, "Eight millionaires and a plumber." The cabinet was notable for its lack of personal friends, office seekers, or experienced government administrators. He also upgraded the role of the National Security Council in planning all phases of the Cold War.

Prior to his inauguration, he led a meeting of advisors at Pearl Harbor addressing foremost issues; agreed objectives were to balance the budget during his term, to bring the Korean War to an end, to defend vital interests at lower cost through nuclear deterrent, and to end price and wage controls. Eisenhower also conducted the first pre-inaugural cabinet meeting in history in late 1952; he used this meeting to articulate his anti-communist Russia policy. His inaugural address as well was exclusively devoted to foreign policy and included this same philosophy as well as a commitment to foreign trade and the U. N.

Eisenhower made greater use of press conferences than any prior president, holding almost 200 in his two terms. While he saw a positive relationship with the press as invaluable, his primary objective in press conferences was to maintain an indispensable direct contact with the people.

Throughout his presidency, Eisenhower adhered to a political philosophy of dynamic conservatism. He continued all the major New Deal programs still in operation, especially Social Security. He expanded its programs and rolled them into a new cabinet-level agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, while extending benefits to an additional ten million workers. He implemented integration in the Armed Services in two years, which had not been completed under Truman.

One of Eisenhower's enduring achievements was championing and signing the bill that authorized the Interstate Highway System in 1956. He justified the project through the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 as essential to American security during the Cold War. It was believed that large cities would be targets in a possible war, hence the highways were designed to facilitate their evacuation and ease military maneuvers.

Eisenhower's goal to create improved highways was influenced by difficulties encountered during his involvement in the U.S. Army's 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy. He was assigned as an observer for the mission, which involved sending a convoy of U.S. Army vehicles coast to coast. His subsequent experience with German autobahns during World War II convinced him of the benefits of an Interstate Highway System. Noticing the improved ability to move logistics throughout the country, he thought an Interstate Highway System in the U.S. would not only be beneficial for military operations, but provide a measure of continued economic growth. The legislation initially stalled in the Congress over the issuance of bonds to finance the project, but the legislative effort was renewed and the law was signed by Ike in June 1956.

On the whole, Eisenhower's support of the nation's fledgling space program was modest until the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957, gaining the Cold War enemy enormous prestige around the world. He then launched a national campaign that funded not just space exploration but a major strengthening of science and higher education. He rushed construction of more advanced satellites, created NASA as a civilian space agency, signed a landmark science education law, and fostered improved relations with American scientists.
In strategic terms, it was Eisenhower who devised the American basic strategy of nuclear deterrence based upon the triad of B-52 bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).[

The Eisenhower administration declared racial discrimination a national security issue, as Communists around the world used the racial discrimination and history of violence in the U.S. as a point of propaganda attack. The day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Eisenhower told District of Columbia officials to make Washington a model for the rest of the country in integrating black and white public school children. He proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. The 1957 act for the first time established a permanent civil rights office inside the Justice Department and a Civil Rights Commission to hear testimony about abuses of voting rights. Although both acts were much weaker than subsequent civil rights legislation, they constituted the first significant civil rights acts since 1875.

In 1957, the state of Arkansas refused to honor a federal court order to integrate their public school system stemming from the Brown decision. Eisenhower demanded that Arkansas governor Orval Faubus obey the court order. When Faubus balked, the president placed the Arkansas National Guard under federal control and sent in the 101st Airborne Division. They escorted and protected nine black students' entry to Little Rock Central High School, an all-white public school, for the first time since the Reconstruction era. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote to Eisenhower to thank him for his actions, writing "The overwhelming majority of southerners, Negro and white, stand firmly behind your resolute action to restore law and order in Little Rock".

Eisenhower was a chain smoker until March 1949. He was probably the first president to release information about his health and medical records while in office, On September 24, 1955, while vacationing in Colorado, he had a serious heart attack that required six weeks' hospitalization, during which time Nixon, Dulles and Sherman Adams assumed administrative duties and provided communication with the President. He was treated by Dr. Paul Dudley White, a cardiologist with a national reputation, who regularly informed the press of the President's progress. Instead of eliminating him as a candidate for a second term as President, his physician recommended a second term as essential to his recovery.

As a consequence of his heart attack, Eisenhower developed a left ventricular aneurysm, which was in turn the cause of a mild stroke on November 25, 1957. This incident occurred during a cabinet meeting when Eisenhower suddenly found himself unable to speak or move his right hand. The stroke had caused an aphasia. The president also suffered from Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestine, which necessitated surgery for a bowel obstruction on June 9, 1956. He was still recovering from this operation during the Suez Crisis.

Eisenhower's health issues forced him to give up smoking and make some changes to his dietary habits, but he still indulged in alcohol. During a visit to England he complained of dizziness and had to have his blood pressure checked on August 29, 1959; however, before dinner at Chequers on the next day his doctor General Howard Snyder recalled Eisenhower "drank several gin-and-tonics, and one or two gins on the rocks ... three or four wines with the dinner".

The last three years of Eisenhower's second term in office were ones of relatively good health. Eventually after leaving the White House, he suffered several additional and ultimately crippling heart attacks. A severe heart attack in August 1965 largely ended his participation in public affairs. In August 1966 he began to show symptoms of cholecystitis, for which he underwent surgery on December 12, 1966 when his gallbladder was removed, containing 16 gallstones. After Eisenhower's death in 1969 (see below), an autopsy unexpectedly revealed an adrenal pheochromocytoma, a benign adrenaline-secreting tumor that may have made the President more vulnerable to heart disease. Eisenhower suffered seven heart attacks in total from 1955 until his death.

The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1951, and it set term limits to the presidency of two terms. It stipulated that Harry S. Truman, the incumbent at the time, would not be affected by the amendment. In 1961, Eisenhower became the first U.S. president to be constitutionally prevented from running for re-election to the office, having served the maximum two terms allowed.

Eisenhower was also the first outgoing President to come under the protection of the Former Presidents Act; two living former Presidents, Herbert Hoover and Harry S. Truman, left office before the Act was passed. Under the act, Eisenhower was entitled to receive a lifetime pension, state-provided staff and a Secret Service detail.

In the 1960 election to choose his successor, Eisenhower endorsed his own Vice President, Republican Richard Nixon against Democrat John F. Kennedy. He told friends, "I will do almost anything to avoid turning my chair and country over to Kennedy." He actively campaigned for Nixon in the final days, although he may have done Nixon some harm. When asked by reporters at the end of a televised press conference to list one of Nixon's policy ideas he had adopted, Eisenhower joked, "If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don't remember." Kennedy's campaign used the quote in one of its campaign commercials. Nixon narrowly lost to Kennedy. Eisenhower, who was the oldest president in history at that time (then 70), was succeeded by the youngest elected president, as Kennedy was 43.

In January 17, 1961, Eisenhower gave his final televised Address to the Nation from the Oval Office. In his farewell speech, Eisenhower raised the issue of the Cold War and role of the U.S. armed forces.

Eisenhower retired to the place where he and Mamie had spent much of their post-war time, a working farm adjacent to the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, only thirty miles from his ancestral home of York. In 1967 the Eisenhowers donated the farm to the National Park Service. In retirement, the former president did not completely retreat from political life; he spoke at the 1964 Republican National Convention and appeared with Barry Goldwater in a Republican campaign commercial from Gettysburg. However, his endorsement came somewhat reluctantly because Goldwater had attacked the former president as "a dime-store New Dealer".

On March 28, 1969, Eisenhower died in Washington, D.C. of congestive heart failure at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The following day his body was moved to the Washington National Cathedral's Bethlehem Chapel, where he lay in repose for 28 hours. On March 30, his body was brought by caisson to the United States Capitol, where he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. On March 31, Eisenhower's body was returned to the National Cathedral, where he was given an Episcopal Church funeral service.

That evening, Eisenhower's body was placed onto a train en route to Abilene, Kansas. His body arrived on April 2, and was interred later that day in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Eisenhower is buried alongside his son Doud, who died at age 3 in 1921. His wife Mamie was buried next to him after her death in 1979.



Sources: Wikipedia

This work released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Leif Garrett: Teen Idol

Leif Garrett (born Leif Per Nervik; November 8, 1961) is an American singer, actor and television personality. He became famous in the late 1970s as a child pop star and teen idol, but received much publicity in later in his adult life for his drug abuse and legal troubles making him infamous.

Garrett was born in Hollywood, California to Carolyn Stellar and Rik Nervik, and started his entertainment career at age five. Garrett's father was absent for most of his life, but Garrett has since reconciled with him, stating "He feels so badly about missing the years when you know you’re so proud to have son, like from age 12 to manhood, when you help influence and guide your son’s life. Well, he missed out on all that stuff. He is regretting missing that and he now treats me like that."

Garrett and his sister, Dawn Lyn of My Three Sons, worked a variety of small acting jobs. They co-starred in the horror movie Devil Times Five as juvenile mental patients who almost innocently go on a murder spree at an isolated ski resort. Dawn and Leif also guest-starred in an episode of Gunsmoke as well as Wonder Woman.

In the first few years of his career Garrett performed under the name of "Leif Per"; however, casting agents found the name difficult to pronounce (Per is pronounced the same as "pair" or "pear"). In 1971, Garrett received a check in the mail incorrectly addressed to a "Leif Garrett". After Garrett and his mother undertook research on the name, they found that the name "Garrett" held connotations of strength, so the name stuck.

Garrett’s more notable performances include the breakthrough role of Jimmy Henderson in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969); the protagonist’s son Mike Pusser from the Walking Tall movies (1973, 1975, 1977) and the recurring role of Zack Russell on the ABC TV series Family. Leif also played the role of Leonard Unger, the son of Felix Unger (Tony Randall), on the ABC series The Odd Couple, a part that previously was played by Willie Aames.

In the fall of 1975, Garrett, at fourteen, appeared in the role of Endy Karras in a 12-week CBS drama series Three for the Road, with Alex Rocco as his father, Peter Karras, and Vincent Van Patten as his older brother, John Karras. The story line is that of a father and two sons, grief-stricken over the death of their wife and mother sell their house, buy a recreational vehicle, and roam throughout the United States. Garrett’s appearance in the program triggered a response from teenage girls, and led to his first appearances in teenage magazines, such as Tiger Beat. Garrett also played alongside Lee Van Cleef in two Spaghetti Westerns shot in Israel God's Gun and Kid Vengeance.

In the 1980s, Garrett returned to acting, appearing in a small role as Bob Sheldon in the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola film The Outsiders. In 1985 he starred in Shaker Run as a mechanic and in Thunder Alley as the lead singer of a pop band that is torn apart by drugs. Other notable Leif Garrett movies from the decade include Delta Fever and the horror film Cheerleader Camp.

In autumn of 1976, Garrett signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and recorded his first album, Leif Garrett. The album was released in 1977, and his first four singles charted modestly on the US Hot 100. All of these hits were covers of late 1950s and early 1960s hits such as "Runaround Sue." In mid-1978 he signed with Scotti Brothers Records and recorded his second album, Feel the Need. Its first single, "I Was Made For Dancin'", reached #10 on the US Hot 100 and #4 on the British chart in early-1979. It became his greatest hit in both the US and the UK. However, subsequent singles failed to crack the Top 20 in either country. Nevertheless, Garrett continued to record, releasing the albums Same Goes For You (1979), Can't Explain (1980) and My Movie of You (1981) in quick succession.

After a break from 1990 to 1995, Garrett returned to acting and singing, appearing in the 1995 low-budget horror film Dominion, touring with The Melvins and recording vocals for their cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on The Crybaby (2000). In 1998, a greatest hits compilation, The Leif Garrett Collection, was released. Garrett, however, has stated: "My former record label was bought out. The label was started by me … meaning my music started it, funded it. And then it was bought out by some company that released the Greatest Hits Collection. Not only have I not seen any royalties from that, but they wanted me to promote it - the compensation being a couple of CDs." In 1999 he formed the band Godspeed with Christopher Wade Damerst and Michael Scott (The Distortions, Deadtime Stories). They recorded a three-song EP on Garrett's own label - Tongue and Groove Records - and debuted on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, but broke up after only a few performances.

Garrett's stage work includes playing the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and, in late 2000, appearing in the National Theatre of the Deaf's production of A Child's Christmas In Wales. He also appeared in summer stock at The Barn Theatre's production of Old Timer in 2001. In the same year, he voiced himself in the animated television series Family Guy episode, "The Thin White Line".

In 2003, Garrett appeared as himself in the David Spade film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He also co-wrote and sang "Former Child Star" for the film's soundtrack and was one of the singers of "Child Stars on Your Television", which played over the ending credits.

In September 2006, Garrett appeared on the celebrity edition of Fear Factor. He won the grand prize of $50,000. On New Year's Eve 2006, Garrett first appeared in Las Vegas with retro act Original Idols LIVE!, hosted by Barry Williams. The show also featured the Bay City Rollers, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods and The Cowsills, with selected appearances by Merrill Osmond, Tony DeFranco and Danny Bonaduce.

In August 2007, CMT cast Garrett in the short-lived Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, among nine celebrities appearing on the show. However, he quit after one episode, citing soreness and lack of desire to continue.

In November 2007, Garrett released the album Three Sides of..., which constituted songs he recorded with his current band F8 and his 1990s band Godspeed as well as some new songs.
In 2008, the producers of TruTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... added Garrett to their cast, which features comedic commentary from celebrities like Garrett who have had brushes with the law. Garrett has frequently spoofed his troubled past and participates in a wide variety of sketches and skits written specially for him by the show's producers. In a 2010 episode, Garrett reenacted his most recent arrest with two actors portraying police officers.

Garrett toured South Korea in May 2010, with shows in Seoul and Busan. This marked the 30th anniversary when Garrett performed in Korea in June 1980. He embarked on another tour of the country in 2013.

Garrett was a cast member in the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented Garrett's struggle with addiction to heroin. The season premiered December 1, 2010. Garrett's mother, Carolyn Stellar, who was battling Stage 4 lung cancer, appeared in Episode 7, which was filmed during Family Day, when the recovering addicts were visited by their loved ones to discuss how their addiction affected their family relationship.

In the early 2010s, Garrett began collaborating with punk-rock artist and songwriter Craig Else. Garrett has released two digital-exclusive singles sharing Else's credits, "Everything" (released in 2010) and "Help You, Make You" (released in 2012). The two have also recorded a cover of Neil Young's "Old Man".

Beginning in 1979, Garrett dated English actress Nicolette Sheridan; the two split six years later. Two decades later, Garrett credited Sheridan for helping him at the start of his career, and said of her "She's a special person in my life."

In 1986, Garrett joined the Church of Scientology and provided lead vocals to the song "The Way to Happiness", as well as backing vocals to the title track of the L. Ron Hubbard album The Road to Freedom. However, Garrett left the church in 1992 after becoming a qualified Scientologist.

Garrett also dated celebrities such as his former Family co-star Kristy McNichol, Tatum O'Neal and Justine Bateman. In the 1990s, Garrett was also in a long-term relationship with actress Elaine Bilstad, who died in 1999 of a heart problem. Of Bilstad, Garrett said: "The person that I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with passed away and that one hurt real bad. She was an angel. She was amazing to me - that someone of that much beauty, not only physically, but also in her heart and in her soul could be taken from here so quickly."

In a 2012 interview, Garrett stated, "At 16 I always used to say that I never want to have a kid because I don’t want to bring it into this world. And I’ve kind of kept to that - but my paternal instincts have become very strong." He also expressed his wishes to adopt a child whom he would name Kerrie.



Sources: Wikipedia

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Monday, February 10, 2014

John Lear On UFO's: UFO Files

John Lear is a retired airline captain and has flown over 19,000 hours in his career. He has flown in over 100 types of planes, and in sixty different countries. His father is Lear Jet inventor, Bill Lear. He has flown in secret missions for the C.I.A. between 1966 and 1983. So how is it, a man so decorated, and well respected becomes a leading authority on the existence of UFO's?

To learn more about John Lear, and his UFO theories, check out this interview he did with Art Bell. John Lear Interview.

After reading that, you may enjoy the videos I am leaving here for you to watch. 













Friday, February 7, 2014

Flag Of Pakistan

The national flag of Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان کا قومی پرچم‎—Pākistān kā Qaumī Pārčam) was adopted in its present form during a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, just three days before the country's independence, when it became the official flag of the Dominion of Pakistan. It was afterwards retained by the current-day Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The flag is a green field with a white crescent moon and five-rayed star at its center, and a vertical white stripe at the hoist side. Though the green color is mandated only as 'dark green', its official and most consistent representation is Pakistan green, which is shaded distinctively darker. The flag was designed by Amiruddin Kidwai, and is based on the All-India Muslim League flag.

The flag is referred to in the national anthem as پرچم ستاره وہلالParčam-e Sitārah o-Hilāl (lit. Flag of the Crescent and Star). It is flown on several important days of the year including Republic Day and Independence Day. A designer named Amiruddin Kidwai studied the League’s flag, as he tried to design a flag for a new, independent nation. Finally he arrived at a design, and he presented it to the men who would run the new Pakistan government. The Pakistan government adopted his design on August 11, 1947. The Pakistan government has pronounced rules about the flying of the Pakistan flag. The government has called for display of the flag at full mast on March 23 of each year. That display recognizes both the adoption of the Lahore Resolution in 1940 and the Declaration of the Republic of Pakistan in 1956. Flag raisers in Pakistan also make a point of hoisting the flag each year on the fourteenth day of August. That is considered to be Pakistan’s Independence Day. Pakistan was carved out from British India as a home to Indian Muslims.



Before the Second World War, Muslims and Hindus lived together under the British Raj. A number of the Muslims formed the All India Muslim League. After the Second World War, when the partition of India led to the creation of Dominion of Pakistan, the flag of the Muslim League served as the basis for the flag of Pakistan.

The green represents Islam and the majority Muslims in Pakistan and the white stripe represents religious minorities and minority religions. In the centre, the crescent and star symbolizes progress and light respectively. The flag symbolizes Pakistan's commitment to Islam and the rights of religious minorities. It is based on the original flag of the Muslim League, which itself drew inspiration from the flag of the Sultanate of Delhi and the Mughal Empire in India and the flag of the Ottoman Empire.

The official design of the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly together with a definition of the features and proportions.

According to the specifications it is a dark green rectangular flag in the proportion of length and width as 3:2 with a white vertical bar at the mast, the green portion bearing a white crescent in the center and a five-pointed white heraldic star. The size of the white portion is one quarter the size of the flag, nearest the mast, so the green portion occupies the remaining three quarters.

The use of the national flag is regulated by the Pakistan Flag Rules, which were introduced in 2002 by Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali. The Rules are not available online but there have been instances of misuse such as officials using flags on their vehicles when they are not entitled to do so. The national flag is flown on the official residences and vehicles (cars, boats, planes) of the following public officials.



Source: Wikipedia

This work is released through CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons