09 February 2008

Get the Ack Ack Jack!

After posting up the UFO story with Jack Webb and others, I heard from some folks about my mentioning the Battle of Los Angeles. It's a facinating story, so I'll post up an abbreviated version and some links so that everyone can get the backstory on it. I'll leave it to your best judgement on what actually happened!

It's early 1942 and America has been at war for a bit. The east coast is awash in U-boats and sunken merchant ships, while the west coast stirs and fumes, waiting for the shoe to drop on them. (1) Everyone is nervous and this can especially be seen in Life, for the last of February and early March of 42. Articles on barrage balloons and the shelling of the west coast by Japanese submarines fills the pages.

Suddenly, it's the night of February 25, 1942!

All heck breaks loose in the skies over California! From Santa Monica to Long Beach the scream of air raid sirens, thumping artillery and searchlights break up the night sky! It's an AIR RAID!

The next day, with two conflicting stories from the government, 2 dead civilians, and homes and vehicles destroyed, the truth is an elusive answer. Stimson proclaims it was a raid by at least 15 aircraft while the secretary of the Navy says it was nothing. For Hugh Landis, one of the civilians caught in the uproar, it meant a lot of damage to home and car. (1)

Ok, so big deal, war nerves, right? Yes and no....

According to UFOologists, what actually happened was a raid or visit by aliens of unexplained origins!

Says Wikipedia:

"...A top secret document of questioned authenticity (see Majestic 12), dated March 5, 1942, from Gen. Marshall to President Roosevelt, says that the Army had supposedly recovered an unconventional craft east of Los Angeles and Rear Admiral Walter S. Anderson, chief of Naval intelligence, had also informed the War Department..."

The reality is, as usual, that the actual truth may never be known!

In looking some source material (Life Magazine), I can't really make out anything. However, some of the links at the bottom seem to point out something that could be unexplained. Hard to say, but for whatever reason, it's still neat to read and think about! Enjoy the links and see you Monday!

Battle of Los Angeles (Wikipedia)

The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco

Da** Interesting Web Page Article (Great Links to source material)

225th Searchlight Battalion--the Skylighters!

Time Magazine entry

(1) Life Magazine, Feb.-Mar. 1942

08 February 2008

Jack Webb, Nelson Riddle, and little green men!

I was going through some old TV shows on YouTube this morning and ran across this one:

I actually remember watching this one growing up. I was amazed however, to find out that this was another one of Jack Webb's projects. The guy was fantastic....so many of his shows have influenced history as well as today's TV. The neat thing or maybe ironic thing is that many don't realize it! Included also in this short preview is the arrangement by Nelson Riddle.

Loosely based on ideas gathered from Project Blue Book, I believe the series ran for 3 years.

Project Blue book was the official US Air Force investigation on the UFO mania sweeping the country beginning in the late 1940's and accelerating from there. Here's a clip of an image I found over at the FBI:

(Source: http://foia.fbi.gov/bluebook/bluebook.pdf)
also main link:
(Source: http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/bluebook.htm)

I have yet to mention the Battle of Los Angeles...hmm..maybe a good idea for a future post?

Have a great weekend and don't forget to check the links below for details!

FBI Project Blue Book

Wikipedia Project Blue Book

Project UFO -Jack Webb's show

IMDB Link on Project UFO

Direct Link To ClassicTelevisionFan's Channel

Here's a site that looks really great:

Project Blue Book Archive

"(from the site)"The Project Blue Book Archive provides free access
to tens of thousands of official documents
related to the U.S. government's investigation
of the UFO phenomenon."

Note from the Management

Hi all,

First off, thank-you for stopping for a while and reading/subscribing to my blog! In prepping for today's link, I suddenly realized today that I never really introduced myself.

I apologize.

Professionally, I've been a librarian for a while now. It's got to be one of the most fascinating jobs ever. No, we don't just set at a desk and read books all day. Reading is part of it, but a reference librarian never has the same day twice...especially if you work a public service desk. We literally get ALL types of questions. That's what makes it fun!

I'm also a parent and father....and it is one of the hardest jobs I have ever loved. In today's busy world, I want to be there both for my wife and my kids...it's hard to do that sometimes. Is it that way for you also?

Recently, I've tried to move a bit into the freelance article world, thinking perhaps to combine my love of history with writing. I'm no Hemingway, but I enjoy writing and still have a lot to learn.

I also have some pictures on Flickr that you might be interested in. I try to focus on some of the same topics you see here: history, military history, etc. Maybe that's not interesting or maybe it is, but I guess I'll leave that up to you to decide. Here's the link just in case: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonybandy/

Enough about me, let's talk about you. I'm not sure if you are just stopping by or you are a daily reader, but it is my goal that each time you stop, you can read about some fun and interesting facts about history, libraries or something along those lines. If you have ideas, let me know...drop a line or leave a comment. I read my own blog everyday and I'll try to respond quickly. If I should change something, let me know...I'll consider it.

Lastly, in case you are not aware, you can get this blog and each day's posts via the subscription link to the right. If you don't have an RSS reader, that might be the best option.

Now if you will excuse me for rambling on, I've got some great ideas for today's post. I should have them up a bit later today.

Talk to you later,


07 February 2008

Vintage Disney! Let's ride the monorail!

With family members a little under the weather today, I don't really have the time for a proper post, but did want to share with you a great blog I found last night! It's chock-full of vintage Disney pictures from the fifties and sixties and is really a wonderful site! Here's one of the pics:

Whatta shot! Below are the links to this particular post as well as links for the blog.

Have a great day!

Link to above full post

Gorillas Don't Blog (full blog)

06 February 2008

"...What’s good for the country is good for General Motors..."

That quote, now a classic, has come to symbolize American manufacturing and mindset in the Fifties and Sixties. GM (General Motors) was a behemoth, fresh from the expansion of defense contract work during the war. A unique time, Americans were consuming and looking to the future, to try to get what had been denied in the prewar and war years. In comparison to today's gloomy, gotta-be-real, mindset, this is a pretty cool film.

With this in mind, let's take a look...

(Link from Youtube)

Higher resolution versions as well as differing formats are available at archive.org.

Have a great day!

Archive.org link

Wikipedia Motorama Link

Wikipedia Charles Wilson Link

05 February 2008

Wham-O responsible for the Super Bowl?

Well, the Super Bowl for this year was quite a show! After the event, I started doing some research on the history, trivia, and other aspects of this gridiron battleground.

In particular, how did it get named?

Well, the amazing fact I found out is that Wham-O indirectly was responsible for the "Super Bowl" naming!

Hmm??? Conspiracy or just luck? See below the movie for the answer!

As it turns out, the whole naming convention was by Lamar Hunt, who according to Wikipedia, saw his kids playing with a Wham-O super ball, thereby giving him the inspiration for the name. Check the links below for more details.

Have a great day!

Wikipedia Super Bowl entry

Wikipedia Super Ball entry

Wikipedia Wham-O entry

Wham-O site

04 February 2008

Ernie Pyle....War Correspondent. NEWS FLASH!

I had just finished my post on Elvis and was floating across Yahoo when I saw the notice about Ernie Pyle's death photo had been released by a Richard Strasser (source: Yahoo news). Evidently, from what I can gather from the story:

"...That photo, of unknown origin, appears to be an amateur snapshot, said Katherine Gould, assistant curator of cultural history at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, which acquired it and Bannan's photo last year from the Dana historic site...." (Source: direct quote from Yahoo news. See link for complete story)

I guess, in the defense of history, the photo must be shown, but part of me probably wishes it hadn't....

Wars seem to take the brightest.....

See the links below for more information:

Yahoo News Link

Some World War II articles from Ernie

Wikipedia entry

Indiana Historical Society

Elvis, Vegas and the eternal jumpsuit!

I've always been amazed by the early-seventies Elvis. Gone is the clean-cut, All-American boy who caused such parental anguish in the fifties. Instead, echoing the times, the groovy, swinging Elvis and his entourage comes through with wild karate kicks and outrageous jumpsuits.

The jumpsuits, as much as anything else, seemed to define the older Elvis. I remembered that this weekend as I read in the Wall St. Journal the obituary/article on Bill Belew, the creator of many of them. Bill's stylistic background included work in tv and stage, as well as many other famous celebrities. He started with Elvis in the late sixties and up until the time Elvis passed. (Source: Elvis Australia)

Of the many costumes, I was amazed to find out that they assumed a life of their own, a name associated with each. Some of these included:

  • "The Red Dragon"*
  • "Burning Flame of Love"*
(*Source: WSJ article)

I guess for Elvis they must have worked and fit (stylistically) the time period in which they were worn. However, it just seems to me, a lotta work. Then again, I'm not a celebrity!

Have a great Monday! Don't forget to check the links below for more information!

(Have not fully chcked the sites for family friendliness, be careful!)

LA Times Obit

Interview with Bill Belew (Australian source)

Seventies Styles

Wikipedia link for Elvis