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Old 08-18-2019, 09:39 PM
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Surprising info you found out about an historical figure?


I've always been interested in the age of sail naval battles which of course included the Napoleonic wars but never really read much about the land battles. I stumbled upon Simon Scarrow's "Young Bloods" series and decided to give them a try. I had very basic knowledge of Wellington so finding out how close he came to dying soon after birth was quite the surprise. If his father hadn't decided to risk a road trip to a city that had a proper doctor, more then likely Wellington would have passed died very young. Plus while growing up, he seemed like someone you would vote for "least likely to make much of an impression" never mind one in a military career. Pretty fascinating to read how everything turned around for him to such a degree. I knew nothing about his exploits in India. I doubt his death would have had a huge impact on the outcome of the Napoleonic era, somebody equal or even more talented would have filled in for him but I'm certainly not an expert on the subject.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:58 PM
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That Charles Lindbergh, one of my childhood heroes, was a polygamist with families on two continents.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:07 PM
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That Charles Lindbergh, one of my childhood heroes, was a polygamist with families on two continents.
Yes, I was a bit surprised to find out about that to. We were in Mauri before Christmas and did the "Road to Hana" trip. When we got back to our hotel, I checked out some videos and somebody mentioned about stopping at Lindberghs grave. What!!?? A quick check and I was kicking myself. I never knew he was buried there and we drove right by it. AARRGGHHH!!!
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:53 PM
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When Lafayette was eight, he went on walks in the woods, hunting the Beast of Gévaudan due to ‘an enthusiasm for glorious deeds’.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:30 PM
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Charles Schulz and his first wife divorced after he had an affair with a 25-year-old woman. He then married yet another woman only a year later.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:33 PM
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That Charles Lindbergh, one of my childhood heroes, was a polygamist with families on two continents.
Making up for lost time, perhaps? It's believed that he was a virgin when he married Anne.

He was also a Nazi sympathizer.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:32 AM
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Yes, I was a bit surprised to find out about that to. We were in Mauri before Christmas and did the "Road to Hana" trip. When we got back to our hotel, I checked out some videos and somebody mentioned about stopping at Lindberghs grave. What!!?? A quick check and I was kicking myself. I never knew he was buried there and we drove right by it. AARRGGHHH!!!
I've been there. It's not much to see, just a flat inscribed stone. And It's way past Hana.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:49 AM
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Making up for lost time, perhaps? It's believed that he was a virgin when he married Anne.

He was also a Nazi sympathizer.
He campaigned for Isolationism after a tour of Germany, where he saw the new Luftwaffe first hand and was convinced it couldn't be defeated. Got a special decoration from Hitler and Goering, too (as did, I think, Henry Ford).

After Pearl Harbor, however, he served with some distinction as a civilian in the Pacific, where he was addressed as "Colonel Lindbergh."

He was apparently also a follower of the eugenics movement. In a recent documentary, it was speculated he actually engineered the kidnapping of his child, who suffered from (IIRC) congenital rickets.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:34 AM
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al capone had a brother that was a noted law enforcer in the southwest ......
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:35 AM
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I've been there. It's not much to see, just a flat inscribed stone. And It's way past Hana.

We ended up doing the loop instead of returning the same way so did go by it. It would have been neat to see and explain to the kids the significant role in played in aviation. Just wish I had looked into it more before we did the drive. Must admit that road was getting a bit gnarly and thought we maybe should of returned the way we came but once the worst was out of the way, the scenery was worth it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:44 AM
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Spain has had at least two high-ranking officers known as "half-man" due to their ability to shed body parts: naval officer Blas de Lezo and infantry officer José Millán-Astray. Apparently some guys just can't figure out where they have their own "stop" button.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:54 AM
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Sojourner Truth's first language was Dutch.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:57 AM
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The superintendent of the New Jersey state police who led the investigation into the Lindbergh kidnapping was Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr., the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., the leader of the armed forces during Operation Desert Storm.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:17 AM
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Since this is about non-fictional people, it's probably better in MPSIMS.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:19 AM
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Charles Lindberg was extremely moralistic about his first family, insisting his daughters act correctly, and berating Anne for dating two boys at the same time when she was in college. His daughter Reeve's book "Forward From Here" is a fantastic read, and from which I got this tidbit:

Reeve and her infant son John were visiting her mother Anne, and the baby died suddenly during the night. After calling the authorities, Anne insisted on sitting with the baby in the nursery. Reeve would rather have been anywhere doing anything else, but she did what her mother told her. As the women were sitting there, Anne suddenly said "I never got to do this with my son. I never saw him after he died. I never got to say goodbye."

Mixed in with Reeve's grief was the joy of giving her mother something she had needed for decades.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:33 AM
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I read a fascinating story about Sergei Rachmaninoff. In 1931 he was staying at a very posh hotel in Los Angeles called the Garden of Allah. He wanted to practice the piano, but was annoyed by the musician in the next bungalow who also wanted to practice. They got on each other's nerves so much that the neighbor kept playing the one piece he knew Rachmaninoff hated, Rachmaninoff's own Prelude in C Sharp Minor. Eventually Rachmaninoff gave up and moved to a different bungalow on the far side of the property.

His tormentor?
SPOILER:
Harpo Marx.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:47 AM
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John Sutter, the guy on whose California gold was found in 1848, leading to the gold Rush, was born in Germany and grew up in Switzerland, got a French passport and emigrated to the United States, then moved to Alta California in what was then Mexico, becoming a Mexican citizen. He set up what was practically his own little country of New Helvetia, where he made peace with the local Maida Indians, but employed enslaved Hawaiians (Kanakas) and Miwok (and Maidus) to work for him (some 600-800). He formed a paramilitary corps of them wearing Russian uniforms and commanded in German.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:56 AM
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Roald Dahl was a fighter pilot on World War II, and wrote up some notes when requested to do so by C.S. Forrester, who had been commissioned to do a story on the subject by the Saturday Evening Post. Dahl had his names typed up, sent them to Forrester and forgot about it.

Two weeks later, he gets a letter from Forrester, say he had sold the story in iDahl's original form to the Post, asking "Did you know you are a gifted writer." Attached to the letter was a check for $900 (a fortune back in those days). Dahl's first thought on the subject was "It cannot be this easy."

Yes, it can, but only if you are Roald Dahl. It led to his career as a writer, something he had never though of being.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:23 AM
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King John of England (life dates 1166 --1216) was an ardent bibliophile and collector of books -- a rather rare avocation in that time and place. I find this a feature at least a bit endearing, about someone who was by most accounts a pretty unpleasant human being, and an oppressive yet ineffective monarch.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:41 AM
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As a kid, one of my very favourite authors was Arthur Ransome, who wrote the Swallows and Amazons books, a (mostly) fairly realistic series about pretty normal kids messing about in boats. Boy was that a surprise when I looked more into the author as an adult.

His own life story reads like the sort of overly dramatic nonsense that leaves you going 'Oh, come on'; he once brokered a peace deal between Estonia and the Bolsheviks as part of a successful plan to elope with Trotsky's secretary, sneaking across the Russian border- an active war zone- on foot, on the way out the pair was suspected of smuggling diamonds. Oh, and he was possibly a double agent working for both MI5 and the KGB (MI5 admits he worked for them, Russia apparently claims the file on him was lost in a fire). Then he retired to writing jolly children's stories involving kids playing make-believe in boats.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:54 AM
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That Charles Lindbergh, one of my childhood heroes, was a polygamist with families on two continents.
And that if his grandfather hadn't changed his name when he moved from Sweden to America*, he would have been named Charles Manson.

In "Lindbergh: The Last Hero" by Charles Ross, there is an account of Lindbergh being honored at some ceremony. One of the speakers was very effusive with his praise, calling Lindbergh "one of the finest people who ever lived", and Lindbergh was observed being very uneasy. The author related the incident to illustrate Lindbergh's humility and modesty. But since the book was written in 1968, long before anyone knew about all the "Little Lindy's" in Europe, his reaction may have had a more straightforward explanation. Less Neil Armstrong, more Bill Clinton.

*Ole Lindbergh (ne Manson) was also deserting his wife and seven children when he left Sweden.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:07 AM
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Correction: the author I cite above is named Walter Ross.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:17 AM
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Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day of the same year.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:26 AM
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Sojourner Truth's first language was Dutch.
So was Martin Van Buren's. He learned English when he went to school. He is the only American President whose first language was not English.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:27 AM
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I was surprised to learn that Corrie ten Boom was in her 50s when she went into the concentration camps. I had always thought she was in her 20s or 30s.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:28 AM
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Civil War General Ulysses Grant was not a regular cigar smoker before the war; however, a picture of him with one of his rare cigars prompted admirers from around the North to send him literally hundreds of cigars, which he felt honor-bound to use. It probably contributed to the throat cancer that led to his death in 1885.

Another thing about Grant; while impoverished near the end of his life, he dictated his memoirs to a neighbor and writer of some note. The memoirs sold so well that they allowed his beloved wife Julia and their children to live a comfortable life afterwards (I have a modern-print of his memoirs). The person who listened to the dictation and saw that they were published? Mark Twain.

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Old 08-19-2019, 10:54 AM
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Vince Lombardi began his coaching career as an assistant and later as a head coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. I currently live in Englewood, NJ, and I did not know that fact until five minutes ago.

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Old 08-19-2019, 10:54 AM
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Civil War General Ulysses Grant was not a regular cigar smoker before the war; however, a picture of him with one of his rare cigars prompted admirers from around the North to send him literally hundreds of cigars, which he felt honor-bound to use. It probably contributed to the throat cancer that led to his death in 1885.

Another thing about Grant; while impoverished near the end of his life, he dictated his memoirs to a neighbor and writer of some note. The memoirs sold so well that they allowed his beloved wife Julia and their children to live a comfortable life afterwards (I have a modern-print of his memoirs). The person who listened to the dictation and saw that they were published? Mark Twain.
Just so's you know -- Twain wasn't doing it out of the sheer goodness of his heart. He was trying to become a publisher himself, and was convinced that Grant's biography would become a best-seller (which it did). He badly misjudged his next book, though, a biography of the Pope that he thought every Catholic would feel compelled to buy.

They didn't.

Twain's publishing house eventually failed.



Here's another fun fact about Twain that I didn't know until I visited his house in Hartford, Connecticut -- Harriet Beecher Stowe was literally his next-door neighbor.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:17 AM
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Louisa May Alcott, that writer of wholesome girls' books and herself a pattern of morality, once wrote a story about the joys of eating hashish.

Perilous Play
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:19 AM
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Yes, I was a bit surprised to find out about that to. We were in [Maui] before Christmas and did the "Road to Hana" trip.
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We ended up doing the loop instead of returning the same way so did go by it. It would have been neat to see and explain to the kids the significant role in played in aviation. Just wish I had looked into it more before we did the drive. Must admit that road was getting a bit gnarly and thought we maybe should of returned the way we came but once the worst was out of the way, the scenery was worth it.
We hoped to do the loop around Maui and see Lindbergh's grave during our visit back in 2016. However, even though we started early in the day (~7:30 a.m.), because of numerous delays over the course of the drive for various reasons (including a 15-mile backtrack to find a clean bathroom for my wife ), we didn't get to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka the so-called "Seven Sacred Pools") until nearly sunset. At that point it got very dark very quickly, and the road got increasingly narrow and gnarly. I'd heard there was an unpaved section on the back side of Maui that it seemed foolish to drive on in the dark (plus there was little point in going that way when we couldn't see the scenery), so I made a command decision to go back the way we came, over my wife's objections.

I figured that despite the longer route back, the numerous switchbacks, hairpin turns, one-lane bridges, and the constant rain, we at least knew that the road was paved, and that it was in good condition. Also, there were other drivers present in case of a breakdown, and I'd heard that roadside assistance wouldn't respond on the backside road. It was a long drive back at night in the rain, taking more than 3 hours. My wife now insists she'll never take the Road to Hana again.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:23 AM
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Louisa May Alcott, that writer of wholesome girls' books and herself a pattern of morality, once wrote a story about the joys of eating hashish.

Perilous Play
I once read a book of Alcott's short stories that almost convinced me she was reincarnated as Roald Dahl, another author of classic children's books who also wrote adult horror stories.

And speaking of children's writers, Beverly Clearly is still alive at 103!!!
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:31 PM
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We hoped to do the loop around Maui and see Lindbergh's grave during our visit back in 2016. However, even though we started early in the day (~7:30 a.m.), because of numerous delays over the course of the drive for various reasons (including a 15-mile backtrack to find a clean bathroom for my wife ), we didn't get to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka the so-called "Seven Sacred Pools") until nearly sunset. At that point it got very dark very quickly, and the road got increasingly narrow and gnarly. I'd heard there was an unpaved section on the back side of Maui that it seemed foolish to drive on in the dark (plus there was little point in going that way when we couldn't see the scenery), so I made a command decision to go back the way we came, over my wife's objections.

I figured that despite the longer route back, the numerous switchbacks, hairpin turns, one-lane bridges, and the constant rain, we at least knew that the road was paved, and that it was in good condition. Also, there were other drivers present in case of a breakdown, and I'd heard that roadside assistance wouldn't respond on the backside road. It was a long drive back at night in the rain, taking more than 3 hours. My wife now insists she'll never take the Road to Hana again.
Well, you made the right call if it was that late in the day. Easy to understand the delays. there were 3 locations we stopped at were there was some pretty good waves and it was hard to leave those spots. I could watch that kind of stuff for hours at a time. When we got past Hana, the Sun was getting low but we still had enough daylight conditions for about half of that back loop. Just some great scenery especially one part that I would have loved to stop and take the time to enjoy more but at that point the Sun was so low, it was getting to be a real pain to drive. Even with Sun-glasses and the visor down, I was often at a snails pace going up hills with the Sun right on top the hill and couldn't see anything. Windows down hoping to hear any of those local drivers in time and avoid a head-on. Hardly any traffic compared to the other side though so a bit on my mind about how long it would take to get help if we broke down. I can understand how your wife might be reluctant to do it again. I think all those turns are a lot easier for the driver to handle. My wife and kids are quite the troopers to deal with it with few complaints. I watched a video of a time-lapse of the trip and I was getting pretty woozy after only a few minutes when they got to the twisty portion. If we ever go back, we'll definitely do the trip in the reverse direction.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:11 PM
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Louisa May Alcott, that writer of wholesome girls' books and herself a pattern of morality, once wrote a story about the joys of eating hashish.

Perilous Play
I didn't know about that, but I knew she wrote mysteries -- they sold a book of those at Sturbridge village. She also served as a nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War and wrote hospital Sketches about the experience.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:21 PM
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I expect that many of you already know this, but Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X and Emeril Lagasse all worked at the same hotel in Boston (but not at the same time).
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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Rudyard Kipling, who I had always taken to be a kind of dusty old Empire poster boy (Orwell called him a "jingo imperialist") was a serious technology buff. In 1902 he installed a hydroelectric generator in the grounds of Bateman's, his East Sussex home, and ran the household lighting off it.

j
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:42 PM
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Lorenzo Da Ponte, who wrote the libretti to Mozart's operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosě fan tutte, later moved to the United States. After briefly running a grocery store in Sudbury, Pennsylvania, he moved to New York City.

One of his friends in New York was Clement Moore (author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"), who helped him get a job as a professor of Italian literature at Columbia University. Da Ponte lived in New York for the rest of his life, became a naturalized American citizen in 1828, at the age of 79, and died there ten years later.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:02 PM
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Abe Vigoda isn't alive anymore. He was alive for a really long time, but he died in 2016.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:24 PM
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Enrico Caruso was staying at a hotel in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake hit.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:39 PM
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Quoth Treppenwitz:

Rudyard Kipling, who I had always taken to be a kind of dusty old Empire poster boy (Orwell called him a "jingo imperialist")...
He's rather the definition of a "jingo imperialist". The word "jingo" comes from one of his imperialistic poems.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:44 PM
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Florence Nightingale was named after the city she was born in, while her parents were on a three-year honeymoon. So was her older sister, though since this would have led to her being "Naples Nightingale" she ended up as "Parthenope".

After her time in Crimea, Florence was mostly bedridden from the age of 37 till she died at 90 but this didn't stop her being a noted campaigner, chiefly by letter, for health and sanitation reform. She was an accomplished mathematician and statistician and invented the polar area pie chart.

A rejected admirer of Florence's by the name of Sir Henry Verney ended up marrying her sister Parthenope instead. This led to Parthe's career as an English Civil War historian, since he had the country's most extensive collection of private correspondence of the era stuffed in his attic, and didn't know it
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:13 PM
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Sojourner Truth's first language was Dutch.
Squanto, the Native American who helped the Pilgrims per childhood stories, spoke fluent English because he had previous lived for some time in England.

Also in the Lindbergh thing: Bruno Hauptmann's widow never believed he did it and wore her wedding ring until she died. She also didn't know his name was actually Bruno and not Richard, which was what she always called him.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:51 PM
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Florence Nightingale was named after the city she was born in, while her parents were on a three-year honeymoon. So was her older sister, though since this would have led to her being "Naples Nightingale" she ended up as "Parthenope".
Parthenope Nightingale? That's a name that's destined for... Well, I don't know, exactly, but definitely something.

Also, kudos to her folks for taking a three-year honeymoon. That's the way to live.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:06 PM
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He's rather the definition of a "jingo imperialist". The word "jingo" comes from one of his imperialistic poems.
This is not correct. It was a song, not a poem, and it was written by G. W. Hunt. And the word Jingo as a minced oath predates the song.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism#Etymology
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:07 PM
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We tend to infantilize Hellen Keller, remembering her solely as a child in the late 1800s (I was reminded of her by the reference to Mark Twain upthread, who she befriended), but she lived until 1968.

Also, she was an outspoken socialist.

Last edited by Moriarty; 08-19-2019 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:19 PM
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Rudyard Kipling, who I had always taken to be a kind of dusty old Empire poster boy (Orwell called him a "jingo imperialist") was a serious technology buff. In 1902 he installed a hydroelectric generator in the grounds of Bateman's, his East Sussex home, and ran the household lighting off it.

j
Kipling also wrote about technology. There's a collection out entitled The Science Fiction Stories of Rudyard Kipling

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Ficti...s&sr=1-2-fkmr0
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Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #46  
Old 08-19-2019, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
We tend to infantilize Hellen Keller, remembering her solely as a child in the late 1800s (I was reminded of her by the reference to Mark Twain upthread, who she befriended), but she lived until 1968.

Also, she was an outspoken socialist.
James Loewen, in his book Lies My Teacher Told Me, goes into this at considerable length.

Helen Keller lived until I was almost a teenager. She still showed up in the news occasionally when I was a kid. Her first autobiography, written and published when she was still very young, is justly famous and still read. But she wrote two more installments of her autobiography later in life that don't get read as much, probably because of her politics.

Don't write her off because she was a Socialist (and a Communist, at least for a while). She wrote significantly about blindness and social justice -- the way the poor and disadvantaged are more likely to become blind because of inadequate safety measures or poor health care, and are more likely to suffer when blind because of their lack of resources.
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Harry Bellerophonte
  #47  
Old 08-19-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
Squanto, the Native American who helped the Pilgrims per childhood stories, spoke fluent English because he had previous lived for some time in England.

.
Squanto's story is really amazing. He may have crossed the Atlantic more than twice, lived in Spain for a time, and was involved After the Mayflower days in the politics around King Phillip's War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squanto


"Squanto" , or "Tisquantum", as also given, was probably not his birth name. See the above, or books about him.
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Who is the Calypso Singer that rides Pegasus?
Harry Bellerophonte
  #48  
Old 08-19-2019, 09:30 PM
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He campaigned for Isolationism after a tour of Germany, where he saw the new Luftwaffe first hand and was convinced it couldn't be defeated. Got a special decoration from Hitler and Goering, too (as did, I think, Henry Ford).

After Pearl Harbor, however, he served with some distinction as a civilian in the Pacific, where he was addressed as "Colonel Lindbergh."
I remember reading about that trip to Germany. Indeed he did believe we would lose the war because the Germans were so far ahead in technology. He did volunteer for active duty but was turned down because of his isolationist stance before the war. He was brought in as a consultant in the Pacific to teach how to increase the range of small aircraft over long missions. Something he was obviously good at and was needed during the island hopping campaigns. As a civilian he wound up flying over 30 combat missions and shot down at least one Japanese plane. It was kept quiet until long after.

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The superintendent of the New Jersey state police who led the investigation into the Lindbergh kidnapping was Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr., the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., the leader of the armed forces during Operation Desert Storm.
He didn’t just lead a famous investigation. He founded the State Police after having an Army career where he reached the rank of Brigadier General. He held badge #1 in the NJSP.


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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post

Also in the Lindbergh thing: Bruno Hauptmann's widow never believed he did it and wore her wedding ring until she died. She also didn't know his name was actually Bruno and not Richard, which was what she always called him.

I’ve known several people who looked into the case including a State Police detective who ran the SP museum and had access to all of the original evidence. All have remained convinced that Hauptmann was guilty. He certainly didn’t act alone and most likely wasn’t in charge of the operation but he was involved. They convinced me.

Last edited by Loach; 08-19-2019 at 09:31 PM.
  #49  
Old 08-19-2019, 09:58 PM
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The first Native American to greet the Pilgrims was Samoset. He reportedly walked into their settlement, greeted them in English, and asked them for beer.
  #50  
Old 08-19-2019, 10:22 PM
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I’ve known several people who looked into the case including a State Police detective who ran the SP museum and had access to all of the original evidence. All have remained convinced that Hauptmann was guilty. He certainly didn’t act alone and most likely wasn’t in charge of the operation but he was involved. They convinced me.
I agree that Hauptmann was guilty. I don't agree that "Lindy" orchestrated it.

Now, the people who claim to be the Lindbergh baby, or claimed to be Anastasia? Nope.
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