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Archive for the month “December, 2011”

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE FROM JFK+50

December 31, 2011


HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE FROM JFK+50


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) We would like to wish all our visitors to JFK+50 a Happy New Year’s Eve 2011.  At the same time, some visitors are already celebrating NEW YEAR’S DAY 2012.



                         Times Square 
                        New York City
                      January 1, 2011
                 Photo by 1dragon22


Tonight we will watch on television the traditional “ball dropping” from Times Square in New York City.


The Times Square ball dropping event was 1st held in 1907.


A 11,875 pound Waterford crystal ball located high above the square is lowered beginning at 11:59:00 pm.



                   Times Square Ball
      Photo by Clare Cridland (2007)


The ball reaches the bottom of its tower at Midnight & the NEW YEAR lights up!


The custom of ball dropping comes from the time signal that used to be given at noon in city harbors.



      New Year’s Fireworks Celebration
                     Sydney Harbour
           Sydney, New South Wales
                         Australia 
       Photo by Rob Chandler (2007)


December 31, 1962


KENNEDYS CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE IN FLORIDA


West Palm Beach, Florida (JFK+50) President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy celebrated New Year’s Eve tonight by attending a party at the estate of Charles Wrightsman here in West Palm Beach.


Guests at the party included Prince & Princess Radziwill, Pat & Peter Lawford, Ambassador & Lady Ormsby Gore, Leland Hayward, George Plimpton, Eunice & Sargent Shriver & Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.


December 31, 1759


GUINNESS SIGNS LEASE ON DUBLIN BREWERY


Dublin, Ireland (JFK+50) Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease today on the St. James Gate Brewery here in Dublin.


Guinness leased the 4 acre site from Sir Mark Rainsford for 45 pounds per annum.*



                        9000 Year Lease
         Photo by Greenstreetm (2011)


*Arthur Guinness was an Irish protestant who was opposed to any movement toward Irish independence.


Guinness, married to Olivia Whitmore & who fathered 21 children, started selling dark beer porter in 1778.



                      Arthur Guinness


Throughout most of its history, the company produced 3 varieties of its beer:


porter or single stout, double or extra & foreign stout for export.


Company headquarters have been located in London since 1932.


Guinness, brewed in 50 countries & sold in 100, is one of the most successful beer brands in the world.



                 Guinness Original Beer
         Photo by Ojw on en.wikipedia





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JACKIE KENNEDY NAMED INTERNATIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR

December 30, 1961


JACKIE KENNEDY NAMED “INTERNATIONAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR”


Buenos Aires, Argentina (JFK+50) The First Lady of the United States of America, Jacqueline Kennedy, was named the International Woman of the Year today here in Buenos Aires by 100 international magazine editors.


Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy was born at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, New York on July 28, 1929.*


Jackie’s parents are John Vernou “Blackjack” Bouvier III & Janet Norton Lee.  


They divorced in 1940 & Janet married Hugh D. Auchincloss in 1942.


Jacqueline Kennedy’s ancestry is Irish, English, French & Scottish. 


Her mother is the granddaughter of 4 immigrants from County Cork who came to New York in the 1840s .


*Jacqueline Kennedy is the 1st First Lady born in a hospital.



                    Jacqueline Kennedy
                          International 
              Woman of the Year (1961)


December 30, 1853


TREATY SIGNED BY GADSDEN & SANTA ANNA IN MEXICO CITY


Mexico City, Mexico (JFK+50) United States ambassador to Mexico, James Gadsden & President of Mexico, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, signed a treaty here in Mexico City today which will cede lands south of the Gila River & west of the Rio Grande from Mexico to the United States.



                 Map of the Gadsden Purchase
                                  by XcepticZP


The United States will pay $10,000,000 for the “Gadsden Purchase”.


Among the reasons for the U.S. interest in the territory is reportedly to construct a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route.*



                       James Gadsden
          US Ambassador to Mexico


*The Gadsden Purchase Treaty was passed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 1854.  The treaty went into effect on June 30, 1854.



                        Santa Anna
              President of Mexico


The Gadsden Purchase Treaty was consummated by the raising of the flag of the United States in Mesilla (New Mexico) Plaza by Fort Fillmore troops.**


**Source: http://www.oldmesilla.org



 Gadsden Purchase Historic Marker
Photo by Solarapex at en.wikipedia

JFK WELCOMES CUBAN EXILES IN MIAMI

December 29, 1962


JFK WELCOMES CUBAN EXILES IN MIAMI


Miami, Florida (JFK+50) Members of Brigade 2506, who took part in the ill-fated invasion at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, were welcomed to the United States today at the Orange Bowl by President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy.



               Manuel Artime, Mayor High
                       JFK & Mrs. Kennedy
                             Orange Bowl
                      December 29, 1962


The brigade’s prisoners, almost 1200, had been held in captivity in Fidel Castro’s prison for  20 months.


The President’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, worked behind the scenes to attain the release of the prisoners.



 Mrs. Kennedy speaks with Brigade


The Attorney General was able to raise a ransom of $53 million in baby food & medicines which was provided by American baby food  & pharmaceutical companies.


The President was presented with the flag of Brigade 2506 by Erneido Oliva.


JFK accepted the flag on behalf of the people of the United States & said:


“I can assure you that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana.”



            Mrs. Kennedy Shakes Hands 
                        with the Brigade


The President added:


“I need not tell you how happy I am to welcome you here to the United States.  I can assure you that it is the strongest wish of the people of this country….that Cuba should one day be free again.” 



                 Men who suffered injuries
                             listen to JFK*


*All photos in today’s posting were made by Cecil Stoughton & are JFK Library photographs.


For more information on the Bay of Pigs click on Labels: Bay of Pigs Landing & Bay of Pigs Invasion.

CONGRESS GIVES OFFICIAL SANCTION TO THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

December 28, 1945


CONGRESS GIVES OFFICIAL SANCTION TO “THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE”


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Congress of the United States today gave official sanction to “The Pledge of Allegiance” to the Flag.


The legislation, introduced earlier this year by Representative Herman P. Eberharter (D) Pennsylvania, amends the law adopted on June 22, 1942 by which “The Pledge of Allegiance” was formally included in the U.S. Code.*


*U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 4.
  Source:  rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com (12/28/2008)


The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed by Francis Bellamy, a minister & Christian socialist, & 1st used in public schools on October 12, 1892 during Columbus Day celebrations.


“I pledge allegiance to my Flag & the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty & justice for all.”*


*The Pledge was 1st published in “The Youth’s Companion”, SEPT 8, 1892.



        Students Pledge to the Flag
                                 1899




In 1923, the words “my Flag” were changed to “the Flag of the United States” so that newly arrived immigrants would not be confused as to pledging to the flag of their native country or to the flag of the United States.


One year later, “of America” was added to the Pledge.


Another addition came on June 14, 1954 when the phrase “Under God” was incorporated by a Joint Resolution of Congress.


“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”



December 28, 1962


JFK ISSUES PROCLAMATION ON EMANCIPATION


West Palm Beach, Florida (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation today declaring….


“The Emancipation Proclamation expresses our nation’s policy, founded on justice & morality, & that it is fitting & proper to commemorate the centennial of the historic Emancipation Proclamation throughout the year 1963.”



     The Emancipation Proclamation
                 by W. Roberts (1864)
                  Library of Congress


President Kennedy will meet privately later today with the leaders of the Bay of Pigs invasion.


Tomorrow JFK will officially welcome those freed from Castro’s prison to the United States in a ceremony at the Orange Bowl in Miami.


December 28, 1964


“BAKER STREET” PREMIERS IN BOSTON


Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) “Baker Street”, a musical composed by Canadians Marion Grudeff & Ray Jessel, premiers today here in Boston following a 2 week run in Toronto.


The musical is based on the Sherlock Holmes mystery “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle.  



      Statue of Sherlock Holmes
                      Edinburgh
Photo by Siddharth Krish (2007)


The story is set in London in 1897 during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.*


*”Baker Street” opened at the Broadway Theater in New York City on Feb 16, 1965 where it played for 9 months.


The musical won a TONY AWARD for “Best Scene Design”.

JFK GETS GOOD REPORT ON PHYSICAL EXAM

December 27, 1961


JFK GETS GOOD REPORT ON PHYSICAL EXAM


West Palm Beach, Florida (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy had a physical examination today while vacationing at his father’s estate here in West Palm Beach.


The official report says that JFK is “in excellent general health except for his back.”


The President’s continuing back problem, however, has improved according to the report.


Dr. Preston Wade, a New York specialist, says that JFK has made substantial progress in strengthening his back over the past 2 1/2 months through exercise.


The President has taken injections, worn a corset & a shoe lift, & used a rocking chair to relieve his “aching back.”*


This afternoon the 1st Family enjoyed a cruise on the Honey Fitz.


*JFK was asked once at a press conference “How is your  aching back?”.  He responded: “It depends on the weather, political & otherwise.”



      JFK in Rocking Chair with LBJ
                  September 17, 1963
          Photo by Abbie Rowe, NPS
                         NARA Photo

White House Historical Association


December 27, 1978


KING CARLOS RATIFIES DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION IN SPAIN


Madrid, Spain (JFK+50) King Carlos ratified Spain’s 1st democratic constitution in 38 years today here in Madrid.


The last ruling King of Spain, King Carlos’ grandfather, was forced into exile in 1931 after Spain became a republic.



                       Royal Palace 
                     Madrid, Spain
      Photo by J.L. De Diego (2007)


Juan Carlos returned to Spain in 1955 & was designated successor to General Francisco Franco.  


Carlos assumed power with Franco’s death.


During recent years, King Carlos has presided over a period of democratization in his country.*


*Juan Carlos & his bride, Princess Sophia of Greece, visited JFK at the White House during their honeymoon in 1962.



               Juan Carlos of Spain 
              Photo by Aleph (2007)


JFK+50 SAYS HELLO TO MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) We have noted a number of visitors to JFK+50 from Mountain View, California & would like to take this opportunity to welcome them & tell other visitors about their city.


Mountain View, with a population of 74,000, is located in Santa Clara County & in the San Francisco Bay area of California.



                         Castro Street
         Mountain View, California
Photo by Finlay McWalter (2004)


Situated in Silicon Valley, Mountain View is home to many hi-tech companies.


The Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory was the 1st to locate in Silicon Valley.



             Site of Shockley Corporation
               Mountain View, California


Mountain View is also home to GOOGLE, the #1 employer in the city today.



                        Google Campus
           Mountain View, California 
      Photo by Sebastian Bergmann 


It is also home to Symantec, Microsoft & Intuit.


Mountain View is the 1st city in the United States to provide FREE WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS to its entire population.



           Computer History Museum
           Mountain View, California
                  Photo by Dzou (2005)

CHURCHILL ADDRESSES JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

December 26, 1941


CHURCHILL ADDRESSES JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed a joint session of the United States Congress today at the Capitol.



                       Winston Churchill 
                      Speech to Congress
                       December 26, 1941


The Prime Minister began his speech with these words:


“I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American & my mother British instead of the other way round, I might have gotten here on my own.”


Churchill continued:


“To me the best tidings of all–the United States, united as never before (since the Pearl Harbor attack of Dec 7), has drawn the sword for freedom….”


He reminded the members of Congress that together the United Kingdom & the United States are “facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin.”


Then, the Prime Minister concluded his well-received remarks with these words:


“Here we are together, defending all that to free men is dear.  I avow my hope & faith….that in the days to come the British & American peoples will….walk together in majesty, in justice & in peace.”


December 26, 1961


YEMEN BREAKS TIES WITH EGYPT


Sana’a, Kingdom of Yemen (JFK+50) The Kingdom of Yemen, which had joined Egypt & Syria in March 1958 to become part of the United Arab Republic, broke ties today with the government of Egypt under Gamel Abdel Nasser. 


The Kingdom of Yemen, located in the Middle East, is bordered to the north by Saudi Arabia, to the east by Oman & to the west by the Red Sea.



                        Map of Yemen
                         www.cia.gov


The country is one of the poorest & least developed in the Arab world.


Between 1918 & 1962, Yemen was a monarchy ruled by the Hamidaddin family.*



                Sanan’a, Yemen (2009)
              Photo by Ferdinand Reus


*Between 1962 & 1970, a civil war was fought & North Yemen became a republic while South Yemen adopted a communist system.  The 2 countries were united as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.


In 2011, uprisings sparked by poor economic conditions & governmental corruption broke out in Yemen.  


On Nov 23, 2011, President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement transferring power to his Vice President. 

Ali Abdullah Saleh & George W. Bush
           White House Photo (2007)


Since then, however, demonstrations & violence have continued.



                    Embassy of Yemen
               2319 Wyoming Ave NW
              Washington, D.C. (2010)
     Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid


December 26, 1972


“MR. CITIZEN” HARRY S TRUMAN DIES


Independence, Missouri (JFK+50) Former President Harry S Truman died at 7:50 this morning.


Mr. Truman, who retired from the Presidency in January 1953, referred to himself as “Mr. Citizen” of Independence, Missouri.



The former chief executive had been hospitalized since December 4 with lung congestion, heart irregularity, kidney blockages & failure of the digestive system.


Mr. Truman is survived by wife Bess & daughter Margaret.  


He will be buried at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library here in Independence.*


*During his visit with President Kennedy at the White House in Jan 1961, Mr. Truman told JFK:


“Within the 1st few months I discovered that being president is like riding a tiger.  A man has to keep riding or be swallowed.”



           Funeral of President Truman
           Truman Presidential Library
                 Independence, Missouri

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JFK+50

December 24 & 25, 2011


MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JFK+50


Knoxville, Tennessee, USA (JFK+50) The White family extends the best wishes of the season to all visitors of JFK+50.


I will take the liberty of repeating the most appropriate JFK quotation sent out in an email by the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas this year:


“All of us….want the same things for America, we want security for our families, we want peace in the world, & we want to see the cause of freedom strengthened. That is our obligation.”


John F. Kennedy

      
             President & Mrs. Kennedy
    With White House Christmas Tree
                   December 12, 1962
           Photo by Robert Knudsen
                         JFK Library
                    
December 25, 1961


KENNEDYS SPEND CHRISTMAS DAY IN FLORIDA


West Palm Beach, Florida (JFK+50) President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy along with their children are spending Christmas Day here in West Palm Beach.


The 1st Family is staying at the home of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. 


The President’s father is undergoing treatment at the hospital for the stroke he had just 6 days ago.


Caroline, who is 4 years old, & John Junior, who is 1, opened their presents this morning under the Christmas tree.


Afterwards, the family motored to St. Mary’s Hospital where they visited the elder Kennedy & attended mass in the hospital chapel.

JFK MOURNING ENDS WITH CANDLELIGHT SERVICE

December 23, 1963


JFK MOURNING ENDS WITH CANDLELIGHT SERVICE

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke last night at a candlelight service at the Lincoln Memorial to officially end the 30 day period of mourning for the late President John F. Kennedy.


LBJ said:


“As it was 100 years ago, so it is now.  We have been bent in sorrow, but not in purpose.  We buried Abraham Lincoln & John Kennedy, but we did not bury their dreams or their visions.”



             Lincoln Memorial At Night
                 Photo by Cafzal (2006)


December 23, 1962


CASTRO FREES 1st GROUP OF BAY OF PIGS POWS


Havana, Cuba (JFK+50) Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba released today the 1st group of prisoners captured during the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961.


This group of POWs had been held in captivity for 20 months.


The release of the prisoners was gained in exchange for $53 million worth of food & medicine.



             POWs of the Bay of Pigs
  http://www.latinamerican.studies.org


December 23, 1946


TRUMAN APPOINTS WWII AMNESTY BOARD


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Harry S Truman today appointed an amnesty board to review the cases of those imprisoned for refusal to serve the United States in WWII.


The 15,000 cases involve men who were drafted into the service but refused to serve in any capacity, combatant or otherwise.


The President wants the board to review individual cases to determine if any were unjustly punished & thus eligible for presidential pardon.*


*The board reported back one year later that 1500 of the 15,000 cases merited “full amnesty.”  They included those belonging to pacifist religious groups.  On December 23, 1947, President Truman granted a pardon in these cases & restored political & civil rights to those so pardoned.



            President Harry S. Truman

CHURCHILL IN U.S. FOR WAR CONFERENCE

December 22, 1941


CHURCHILL IN U.S. FOR WAR CONFERENCE 


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Just 3 weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor & the subsequent declaration of war on Japan by the United States, British PM Winston Churchill arrived in Washington today for a week long conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.*



                  PM Winston Churchill


*The 1st Washington Conference, which extended beyond the scheduled 1 week, was code named ARCADIA.  


The conference (December 22, 1941 to January 14, 1942) resulted in a joint declaration by the UK & US that the defeat of Nazi Germany would be the 1st primary objective.


This meeting is the 1st on military strategy between the two leaders.**



                  Churchill & FDR 
          Joint Press Conference
                 The White House
                      Dec 23, 1941
               FDR Library Photo


**Churchill spent most of the conference at the White House.


He slept in the Queen’s Bedroom on the 2nd floor.  Presidential adviser, Harry Hopkins, called it the “Headquarters of the British Empire.”



             The Queen’s Bedroom
                  The White House
                      WHHA Photo


The Prime Minister, who arrived with a contingent of military chiefs & civilian advisers, is expected to stay at the White House during the conference.


With Nazi Germany’s war declaration on the U.S. on December 11, high on the agenda of the meeting will be how to balance the resources of the United Kingdom & United States against the Germans in Europe & Africa vs. the Japanese in the Pacific.


Churchill, who is believed to be leaning toward a strategy recognizing the greater threat of Germany to the British Empire, has been working on 3 reports  to be presented to FDR on “the whole plan of the Anglo-American defense.”***


***Within days of the Pearl Harbor attack, Churchill was on board the newly commissioned battleship “Duke of York” steaming toward the U.S. for the meeting with FDR.  Churchill later wrote:


“We knew….that the outrage at Pearl Harbor had stirred (Americans) to their depths.  We were conscious of a serious danger that the U.S. might pursue the war against Japan in the Pacific & leave us to fight Germany & Italy in Europe, Africa & the Middle East.****

****Source: “The Grand Alliance, Vol. 3,” by Winston Churchill



While Churchill was concerned with the British situation in Europe, Africa & the Middle East, Prime Minister John Curtin of Australia was critical of a British policy which by concentrating on the Germans & Italians would leave Australia under threat of an unchecked Japanese navy.



     Commonwealth Prime Ministers
            Conference, May 1, 1944
       Library & Archives of Canada


On December 26, 1941, PM Curtain said:


“Without any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the U.K.”


FDR, at 1st reading, thought Curtain’s statement disloyal, but later changed his view when he learned that Australia was an independent nation, not a British colony.*****


*****Source:  www.pacificwar.org.au

GENERAL PATTON DIES IN GERMANY

December 21, 1945


GENERAL PATTON DIES IN GERMANY


Heidelberg, Germany (JFK+50) U.S. Army General George S. Patton, “Old Blood & Guts,” died today in a military hospital here in Heidelberg.


The cause of death was pulmonary edema & congestive heart failure that followed a severe injury to his head sustained in an automobile accident on December 9.


General Patton was a rear seat passenger in a car that was struck by a 2.5 ton truck.


Patton was on his way to a hunting trip at the time of the accident.


Although the car crash at 1st glance seemed minor, General Patton’s head had struck a metal part of a partition that separated the front & rear seats causing a severe cervical spinal cord injury.


When he arrived at the hospital, Patton reportedly said: “Jesus Christ, what a way to start a leave.”


George S. Patton was born into a military family in San Gabriel, California in 1885.  He attended V.M.I. & graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1909.


Patton served in WWI where he organized the American tank school in France.


He won the Distinguished Service Cross & Distinguished Service Medal.


General Patton won fame in WWII & in 1944 became commander of the U.S. Third Army which “advanced further, captured more prisoners & liberated more territory in less time than any other army in history.”*



       Patton & Lt.Col. Lyle Bernard 
                    Near Brolo, Sicily
                                (1943)


*Source:


“Patton & His Third Army” by Brenton G. Wallace (1946)


In a speech to his soldiers before their landing in Sicily, General Patton said:


“When we land against the enemy, don’t forget to hit him & hit him hard.  When we meet the enemy we will kill him.  We will show him no mercy.  He has killed thousands of your comrades & he must die!”**


**On December 22, 1945, 7th Army General Orders 635 said:


“With deep regret, announcement is made of the death of General George S. Patton, Jr. Probably no soldier has had a greater compliment paid to him than that given (Patton) by his most powerful & skilled opponents.  He was termed the ablest American field commander by the German army on any front.”***


***In an interview for “Stars & Stripes” just after his capture, Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt said: “Patton….is your best!”


An honor guard of 6000 GIs stood at attention as Patton’s body was taken from the hospital to the railroad station for transport for burial.



Grave of General George S. Patton
      Hamm, Luxemburg (2006)
      Photo by Michel Dieleman


An excellent source of information on Patton can be found at www.generalpatton.org, the General George Patton Museum of Leadership at Fort Knox, Kentucky.


December 21, 1961


JFK MEETS WITH MACMILLAN IN BERMUDA


Bermuda, British West Indies (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy met here in Bermuda today with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.


The purpose of the meeting is to discuss world issues including atmospheric nuclear tests, the Congo & Berlin.


Upon arrival at Kindley Air Force Base, JFK was greeted by the Prime Minister & Sir Julian Gascoigne, Governor General of Bermuda.


The meetings are taking place at Government House.


December 21, 1962


JFK & MACMILLAN SIGN NASSAU PACT


Nassau (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy & British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan signed the Nassau Pact here today.


The two leaders of the Free World agreed to the abandonment of the troubled Skybolt missile project.


They also agreed to the sale of submarine-based Polaris missiles by the United States to Great Britain as well as the creation of a nuclear force within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization supported by the French.



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