Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “Society

Alan Shepard being recovered from the Freedom 7 capsule after the first American human spaceflight; May 5th, 1961

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Another angle:

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(Here is NASA’s full click through gallery of this mission)


Crater from the “Sedan” underground nuclear test as part of Operation Plowshare in Nevada. The 104 kiloton blast displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet deep and 1,280 feet wide; ca. 1962

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There’s an urban legend that says that this blast is responsible for John Wayne’s death (and most of the film crew) due to cancer:

Of the 220 persons who worked on The Conqueror on location in Utah in 1955, 91 had contracted cancer as of the early 1980s and 46 died of it, including stars John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead, and director Dick Powell. Experts say under ordinary circumstances only 30 people out of a group of that size should have gotten cancer. The cause? No one can say for sure, but many attribute the cancers to radioactive fallout from U.S. atom bomb tests in nearby Nevada.

The Conqueror, a putative love story involving Genghis Khan’s lust for the beautiful princess Bortai (Hayward), was a classic Hollywood big budget fiasco, one of many financed by would-be movie mogul Howard Hughes. Originally director Powell wanted to get Marlon Brando for the lead, but John Wayne, then at the height of his popularity, happened to see the script one day and decided he and Genghis were meant for each other. Unfortunately, the script was written in a cornball style that was made even more ludicrous by the Duke’s wooden line readings. In the following sample, Wayne/Genghis has just been urged by his sidekick Jamuga not to attack the caravan carrying Princess Bortai: “There are moments fer wisdom, Juh-mooga, then I listen to you–and there are moments fer action — then I listen to my blood. I feel this Tartar wuh-man is fer me, and my blood says, ‘TAKE HER!'” In the words of one writer, it was the world’s “most improbable piece of casting unless Mickey Rooney were to play Jesus in The King of Kings.”

The movie was shot in the canyonlands around the Utah town of St. George. Filming was chaotic. The actors suffered in 120 degree heat, a black panther attempted to take a bite out of Susan Hayward, and a flash flood at one point just missed wiping out everybody. But the worst didn’t become apparent until long afterward. In 1953, the military had tested 11 atomic bombs at Yucca Flats, Nevada, which resulted in immense clouds of fallout floating downwind. Much of the deadly dust funneled into Snow Canyon, Utah, where a lot of The Conqueror was shot. The actors and crew were exposed to the stuff for 13 weeks, no doubt inhaling a fair amount of it in the process, and Hughes later shipped 60 tons of hot dirt back to Hollywood to use on a set for retakes, thus making things even worse.

Many people involved in the production knew about the radiation (there’s a picture of Wayne himself operating a Geiger counter during the filming), but no one took the threat seriously at the time. Thirty years later, however, half the residents of St. George had contracted cancer, and veterans of the production began to realize they were in trouble. Actor Pedro Armendariz developed cancer of the kidney only four years after the movie was completed, and later shot himself when he learned his condition was terminal.

Howard Hughes was said to have felt “guilty as hell” about the whole affair, although as far as I can tell it never occurred to anyone to sue him. For various reasons he withdrew The Conqueror from circulation, and for years thereafter the only person who saw it was Hughes himself, who screened it night after night during his paranoid last years.

(Source)


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A Race Education Class at a School for German Girls; ca.1943

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The German embassy in Sweden flying the flag at half mast on the day Hitler died; April 30th, 1945

Man look at all the Volvos, VÄLFÄRD!

Man look at all the Volvos, VÄLFÄRD!

A picture of a different angle from the same day of the Germany Embassy:

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And here, a request by the leader of the Swedish Nationalist Socialist Party (SNSP) made to the Swedish police in Stockholm to get permission for Adolf Hitler to in March 1931 be allowed to speak at a public meeting:

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Translation on the letter:

To the chief of police in Stockholm

I hereby humbly request an answer on the following:

I. Permission for the National Socialist German Workers Party leader, Mr Adolf Hitler, Munich, and the German [member of parlament], Doctor Joseph Goebbles, Berlin, to hold speeches and public meetings in Stockholm during the next month, March ?

II. Could the police department be responible for the safety of above mentioned persons during their visit in Stockholm ?

February 14, 1931

From the Swedish Nationalsocialist Party

(Signature)


 

Lastly, a picture of the German national team doing the Hitler salute at a game vs Sweden in Stockholm 1941.

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Here’s how the building looks today.

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Frozen corpses of dead German soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad; ca. winter 1942-1943

The steel hob nails seen in the soldier's boot were part of the reason the Germans were at a disadvantage in the cold. Their feet got colder much faster due to all the steel.

The steel hob nails seen in the soldier’s boot were part of the reason the Germans were at a disadvantage in the cold. Their feet got colder much faster due to all the steel.


A young man snatches the ceremonial sword of King Baudouin of Belgium during a procession with the newly appointed President Kasa-Vubu, on the eve of the independence of the Belgian Congo, Leopoldville; June 30, 1960

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Ambroise Boimbo was a Congolese citizen who snatched the ceremonial sword of King Baudouin I of Belgium on June 29, 1960 in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) on the eve of the independence of the Belgian Congo. He was a former soldier who originated from Monkoto in the Équateur Province.

The king’s entourage was driving from the airport into the city when it slowed to enable the monarch to stand and salute the flag of an honour guard of the Force Publique drawn up by the side of the road. A widely published photograph, taken by journalist Robert Lebeck, shows an exuberant Ambroise Boimbo, in jacket and tie, flourishing the sword while Baudouin and Congolese President Joseph Kasa-Vubu appear unaware of the incident. Further photographs taken by Lebeck show Boimbo encircled by Belgian and Congolese colonial gendarmes, as they wrestled him to the ground. According to media reports the “nationalist demonstrator” was taken away in a police vehicle but released later the same day at the king’s request. The sword was apparently quickly retrieved and returned to King Baudouin, who was filmed wearing it at the Independence speech-making ceremonies the next day on June 30.

To some commentators the seizure of the sword symbolized the independence of the Congo, although others saw it as simply an instance of high-spirited behavior at a time of celebration.

(From Wikipedia)


Mugshot of Boris Nikolayevich Rozenfeld, a victim of the Great Purge; ca. 1935

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From a series of Great Purge-era mugshots.


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A patient in a restraint chair at the West Riding Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, Yorkshire; ca. 1869

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Guard dogs taking a nap, Russian Empire; ca. 1910

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An American soldier demonstrates an M3 ‘Grease Gun’ that can shoot around corners; ca. 1953

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Caddy Mozart Johnson wearing the latest safety device for golf courses fashioned from wire-mesh and worn over the head and upper torso to protect caddies and bam wild golf balls; ca. 1920’s

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Sir Evelyn Baring, the British Governor of Kenya; ca. 1954

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Photographers and reporters gather near Frenchman Flat to observe the Priscilla nuclear test; June 24, 1957

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Famous Russian sideshow performer Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy sitting with his father; ca. 1875

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Hitler asking a frostbitten and snow ravaged soldier not to salute him, but to instead rest and recover; ca. 1941- 42

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Most likely taken sometime between November 1941 and March 1942. During the Winter Crisis, the majority of the Wehrmacht were still equipped with their worn out summer uniforms and summer boots (often stuffed with newspapers to try to make them warmer). This was a direct failure of the German High Command to properly equip their soldiers for winter combat in the inhospitable Russian terrain.

Additionally, across large portions of the front, the Germans were not able to successfully enter prepared defensive positions until late in the winter. As a result, the soldiers were literally lying in the snow in their summer uniforms while the temperature was regularly -40 degrees. For a German General’s view on this see Gotthard Heinrici’s recently published letters and diaries.


I don’t think this is a PR photo. At this point in time the German senior leadership was still trying to present events in the East in the most favorable light possible. Obviously, a photograph of this man’s injuries would shock anyone who saw it in a newspaper.

Also, this man’s injuries are directly attributable to Hitler himself. During the early autumn of 1941, he refused to ship adequate cold weather clothing to the front line as he perpetually believed that the Soviets would collapse in only a few weeks. Needless to say, this did not come to pass.


Dead child on the street in Tampere, Finnish Civil War; ca. 1918

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The 1918 Finnish civil war was horrible: about 37,000 people died, most of them Reds.

The war was related to the aftermath of WWI, and to the communist revolution and civil war in the neighboring Russia. In Finland the revolutionary socialist Reds were supported by the Soviets, and the anti-socialist Whites by the German Empire.

The civil war itself lasted only 3½ months with White victory, but still after that more than 11,000 Reds or suspected Reds died in prison camps due to hunger, disease, and executions.


 

The aftermath of an execution of Social Democrat sympathizers/militiamen, Finnish Civil War, 1918:

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The picture is taken May 11th, 1918 in Västankvarn, Inkoo (Ingå).

The incidence is known as Västankvarnin teloitukset (Västankvarn’s executions). During 2-26th May the whites executed over sixty of their prisoners suspected as reds including at least three women (Tekla Åhl (35), Hilja Heino (20), and Hilda Björk (32)).

They all were sentenced to death by  Erik Grotenfelt. He also did the killings himself at first, but later it was done by a white Västnyland’s Battalion commanded by Edward Ward. (Grotenfelt committed a suicide in 1919.)


 

Most of the civil war victims can be found in a searchable online database: The registry of names of the war dead between 1914-1922


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Live samples of the measles virus (used to make the measles vaccine) are stored in an incubator at a Pfizer virus laboratory; ca. 1963

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Danish disabled soldiers from the Second Schleswig War; ca. 1864

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Adolf Hitler salutes a parade of his personal bodyguard regiment, the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler; January 30th,1937

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Navajo medicine man, Southwest U.S.; ca. 1904


President Lyndon B. Johnson holds his dog “Her” by the ears as his other dog “Him” looks on, the White House lawns; April 27, 1964

To be fair Lyndon Johnson wasn't all that nice to humans, either.

Him and Her, the most well known of the President Johnson’s dogs, were registered beagles born on June 27, 1963. The President frequently played with the dogs and was often photographed with them. In 1964, President Johnson raised the ire of many when he lifted Him by his ears while greeting a group on the White House lawn.

Her died at the White House in November 1964, after she swallowed a stone. Him died in June 1966, when he was hit by a car while chasing a squirrel on the White House. (Source)


Execution of the women SS Guards of Stutthof concentration camp for “sadistic abuse of prisoners” after on trial by the Polish Special Law Court at Danzig. The women did not seem to take the trial seriously until the end; July 4th, 1946

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It was one of the few public executions in Poland after the war. This one was witnessed by about 100 000 people. They had been standing on trucks which drove off (which is why they swing a bit). Among the witnesses were former prisoners of Stutthof.


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World War I soldiers – blinded by poison gas, making baskets; ca. 1917-1919

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The Norwegian Arctic exploration ship Fram in ice; ca. 1894

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The windmill was actually very practical and a major component of their planning before the trip. It was used to generate electricity to power lighting. Since they were going for so long it helped alleviate the necessity to bring large stocks of oil for lamps especially since space was at a premium.

This ship spent three years 1893-1896 stuck ice trying to get to the North Pole on this expedition. She would later take two additional multi year expeditions into the arctic. She is now a museum ship. She holds the record for getting the furthest north out of any wooden hulled ship. Of course that’s a record that is getting easier and easier to break each year with the receding polar ice caps.

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The record of a voyage of exploration of the ship “Fram” 1893-96 (and of a fifteen months’ sleigh journey by Dr. Nansen and Lieut. Johansen):

Farthest North, Vol. I by Fridtjof Nansen

Farthest North, Vol. II by Fridtjof Nansen