Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nov. 20, 1945 - Nuremberg Trials Begin

On Nov. 20, 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

On the opening day of the trial, the twenty-one indicted war trial defendants took their seats in the dock at the rear of the sage-green draped and dark paneled room. Behind them stood six American sentries with their backs against the wall. At 10 a.m., the marshal shouted, "Attention! All rise. The tribunal will now enter." The judges from the four countries walked through a door and took their seats at the bench. Sir Geoffrey Lawrence rapped his gavel. "This trial, which is now to begin," said Lawrence, "is unique in the annals of jurisprudence." The Major War Figures Trial was underway in Nuremberg.

The trial began with the reading of the indictments. The indictments concerned four counts. All defendants were indicted on at least two of the counts; several were indicted on all four counts. Count One, "conspiracy to wage aggressive war," addressed crimes committed before the war began. Count Two, "waging an aggressive war (or "crimes against peace"), addressed the undertaking of war in violation of international treaties and assurances. Count Three, "war crimes," addressed more traditional violations of the laws of war such as the killing or mistreatment of prisoners of war and the use of outlawed weapons. Count Four, "crimes against humanity," addressed crimes committed against Jews, ethnic minorities, the physically and mentally disabled, civilians in occupied countries, and other persons. The greatest of these crimes against humanity was, of course, the mass murder of Jews in concentration camps--the so-called "Final Solution." For an entire day, defendants listened as prosecutors read a detailed list of the crimes they stood accused of committing.

The last stage of the long trial was a defense of the Nazi organizations, followed by final statements by each of the defendants. On Saturday, August 31, the first of the indicted defendants, Hermann Goering, moved to the middle of the dock where a guard held before him a microphone suspended from a pole. Goering told the court that the trial had been nothing more than an exercise of power by the victors of a war: justice, he said, had nothing to do with it. Rudolf Hess offered an odd final statement, filled with references to visitors with "strange" and "glassy" eyes. He ended by saying it had been his "pleasure" to work "under the greatest son which my people produced in its thousand-year history." Some defendants offered apologies. Some wept. Albert Speer offered a warning. He spoke of the even more destructive weapons now being produced and the need to eliminate war once and for all. "This trial must contribute to the prevention of wars in the future," Speer said. "May God protect Germany and the culture of the West."

On Tuesday, October 1, the twenty-one defendants filed into the courtroom for the last time to receive the verdict of the tribunal. Sir Geoffrey Lawrence told the defendants that they must remain seated while he announced the verdicts. He began with Goering: "The defendant, Hermann Goering, was the moving force for aggressive war, second only to Adolf Hitler....He directed Himmler and Heydrich to 'bring about a complete solution of the Jewish question.'" There was no mitigating evidence. Guilty on all four counts. Lawrence continued with the verdicts. In all, eighteen defendants were convicted on one or more count, three (Schact, Von Papen, and Fritzsche) were found not guilty. The three acquitted defendants did not have long to enjoy their victory. In a press room surrounded by reporters, they received from a German policeman warrants for their arrests. They were to next be tried in German courts for alleged violations of German law.

Sentences were announced in the afternoon for the convicted defendants. Again, Lawrence began with Goering: "The International Military Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging." Goering, without expression, turned and left the courtroom. Ten other defendants (Ribbentrop, Keitel, Rosenberg, Frank, Frick, Kaltenbrunner, Streicher, Sauckel, Jodl, and Seyss-Inquart) were also told they would die on a rope. Life sentences were handed down to Hess, Funk, and Raeder. Von Schirach and Speer received 20-year sentences, Von Neurath a 15-year sentence, while Doenitz got a 10-year sentence. The trial had lasted 315 days.

Over the next two weeks, the condemned men met for the last times with family members and talked with their lawyers about their last-ditch appeal to the Allied Control Council, which had the power to reduce or commute sentences. On October 9, the Allied Control Council, composed of one member from each of the four occupying powers, met in London to discuss appeals from the IMT. After over three hours of debate, the ACC voted to reject all appeals. Four days later, the prisoners were informed that there last thin hope had disappeared.

On October 15, the day before the scheduled executions, Goering sat at the small desk in his prison cell and wrote a note:

"To the Allied Control Council:

"I would have had no objection to being shot. However, I will not facilitate execution of Germany's Reichsmarschall by hanging! For the sake of Germany, I cannot permit this. Moreover, I feel no moral obligation to submit to my enemies' punishment. For this reason, I have chosen to die like the great Hannibal."

Then Goering removed a smuggled cyanide pill and put it in his mouth. At 10:44 p.m., a guard noticed saw Goering bring his arm to his face and then began making choking sounds. A doctor was called. He arrived just in time to see Goering take his last breath.

A few hours later, at 1:11 a.m. on October 16, Joachim von Ribbentrop walked to the gallows constructed in the gymnasium of the Palace of Justice. Asked if he had any last words, he said, "I wish peace to the world." A black hood was pulled down across his head and the noose was slipped around his neck. A trapdoor opened. Two minutes later, the next in line, Field Marshal Keitel, stepped up the gallows stairs. By 2:45 a.m., it was all over.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving...coming soon!

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in the United States today. No matter what you are giving thanks for this year, it’s a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, share stories and relax.

Origins of Thanksgiving

While harvest festivals have been celebrated around the world since time immemorial, the modern holiday we call Thanksgiving is generally considered to date back to 1621. Following a long and brutal winter, the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest in the New World with a Thanksgiving feast.

This feast was attended by 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe, including their chief Massasoit. The Native Americans initially went to investigate the sounds of gunfire, which turned out to be the Pilgrims’ celebration. Upon this discovery, Massasoit sent his hunters out and they returned with five deer and numerous fowl to share with the Pilgrims over the course of their three day Thanksgiving celebration. Thus the tradition was born!

Thanksgiving Trivia

Thanksgiving wasn’t considered a national holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln released a proclamation, officially establishing the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving holiday was later moved to the fourth Thursday in November by President Franklin Roosevelt to extend the Christmas shopping season and improve the economy.

Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving; however theirs is on the 2nd Monday in October.

Over 84% of adults in the United States will attend Thanksgiving dinners this year.
Over 94% of those Thanksgiving dinners will include cranberry sauce.

Turkey Trivia

Benjamin Franklin argued that the turkey, and not the bald eagle, should be the national symbol of America. He claimed that the “vain and silly” turkey was a far better choice than the bald eagle, which he thought was a “coward.”

Even though they are generally seen as large and ungainly, turkeys:

• Can fly up to 55 MPH over short distances
• Run up to 25 MPH on the ground
• Have excellent hearing but no ears
• Have a poor sense of smell
• Can see in color
• Have a 270 degree field of vision, making them difficult to sneak up on
• Sometimes sleep in trees

Over 45 million turkeys are prepared and eaten in the United States for Thanksgiving each year.

The five most popular ways to eat the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving includes: soups or stews, sandwiches, casseroles, stir-fries and salads.

Age does matter. Older male turkeys are generally considered to be tastier than young males (stringy) or females (tough).

Young turkeys have a number of unfortunate names including “fryer” when they are less than 16 weeks old, and “roaster” when they are between 5 and 7 months old.

Only male “Tom” turkeys gobble, and they can be heard a mile away; the females only cluck or click.

The “Turkey Trot” dance was named after the short, jerky steps that turkeys make.

The Native Americans called turkeys “firkees,” which some believe to be the origin of the word. However, when turkeys are spooked they make a “turk turk turk” sound, which is where the name likely originates.

Turkeys may “gobble gobble” in English, but in Portuguese they say “Gluglu gluglu.”

Tommy Dorsey, Jr. (Nov 19, 1905 – Nov 26, 1956)

Tommy Dorsey, Jr. (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956)

Thomas Francis "Tommy" Dorsey, Jr. (November 19, 1905 – November 26, 1956) was an American jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era. He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", due to his smooth-toned trombone playing. He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. After Dorsey broke with his brother in the mid-1930s, he led an extremely popular band from the late '30s into the 1950s. Dorsey had a reputation for being a perfectionist. He was volatile and also known to hire and fire (and sometimes rehire) musicians based on his mood.

Tommy Dorsey's first band was formed out of the remains of the Joe Haymes band. The new band was popular from almost the moment it signed with RCA Victor with "On Treasure Island", the first of four hits for the new band in 1935. The Dorsey band had a national radio presence in 1936 first from Dallas and then from Los Angeles. Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra took over comedian Jack Pearl's radio show in 1937.

By 1939, Dorsey was aware of criticism that his band lacked a jazz feeling. He hired arranger Sy Oliver away from the Jimmie Lunceford band. Sy Oliver's arrangements include "On The Sunny Side of the Street" and "T.D.'s Boogie Woogie"; Oliver also composed two of the new band's signature instrumentals, "Well, Git It" and "Opus One." In 1940, Dorsey hired singer Frank Sinatra from bandleader Harry James. Frank Sinatra made eighty recordings from 1940 to 1942 with the Dorsey band. Two of those eighty songs are "In The Blue of Evening" and "This Love of Mine". Frank Sinatra achieved his first great success as a vocalist in the Dorsey band and claimed he learned breath control from watching Dorsey play trombone. In turn Dorsey said his trombone style was heavily influenced by that of Jack Teagarden. Among Dorsey's staff of arrangers was Axel Stordahl who arranged for Frank Sinatra in his Columbia and Capitol records years. Another member of the Dorsey band was trombonist Nelson Riddle, who later had a partnership as one of Sinatra's arrangers and conductors in the 1950s and afterwards. Another noted Dorsey arranger, who in the 1950s, married and was professionally associated with Dorsey veteran Jo Stafford, was Paul Weston. Bill Finegan, an arranger who left Glenn Miller's civilian band, arranged for the Tommy Dorsey band from 1942 to 1950.Dorsey branched out in the mid-1940s and owned two music publishing companies, Sun and Embassy. After opening at the Los Angeles ballroom, The Hollywood Palladium on the Palladium's first night, Dorsey's relations with the ballroom soured and he opened a competing ballroom, The Casino Gardens circa 1944. Dorsey also owned for a short time a trade magazine called The Bandstand. Dorsey was also part owner of the Bob Chester band in 1940. He was also an early investor in Glenn Miller's second successful band of 1938.

Tommy Dorsey disbanded the orchestra at the end of 1946. Dorsey might have broken up his own band permanently following World War II, as many big bands did due to the shift in music economics following the war, but Tommy Dorsey's album for RCA, "All Time Hits" placed in the top ten records in February, 1947. In addition, "How Are Things In Glocca Morra?" a single recorded by Dorsey became a top ten hit in March, 1947. Both of these successes made it possible for Dorsey to re-organize a big band in early 1947. The Dorsey brothers were also reconciling. The biographical film of 1947, The Fabulous Dorseys describes sketchy details of how the brothers got their start from-the-bottom-up into the jazz era of one-nighters, the early days of radio in its infancy stages, and the onward march when both brothers ended up with Paul Whiteman before 1935 when The Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra split into two. In the early 1950s, Tommy Dorsey moved from RCA Victor back to the Decca record label.

Jimmy Dorsey broke up his own big band in 1953. Tommy invited him to join up as a feature attraction and a short while later, Tommy renamed the band the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra featuring Jimmy Dorsey. In 1953, the Dorseys focused their attention on television. On December 26, 1953, the brothers appeared with their orchestra on Jackie Gleason's CBS television show, which was preserved on kinescope and later released on home video by Gleason. The brothers took the unit on tour and onto their own television show, Stage Show, from 1955 to 1956. On one episode they introduced future noted rock musician Elvis Presley to national television audiences.

Dorsey's married life was varied and, at times, lurid. His first wife was 16-year-old Mildred Kraft, with whom he eloped in 1922, when he was 17. They had two children, Patricia and Tom (nicknamed "Skipper"). They divorced in 1943 after Dorsey's affair with his former singer Edythe Wright. He then wed movie actress Pat Dane in 1943, and they were divorced in 1947, but not before he gained headlines for striking actor Jon Hall when Hall embraced Dorsey's wife. Finally, Dorsey married Jane Carl New on March 27, 1948 in Atlanta, Georgia. She had been a dancer at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City. Tommy and Jane Dorsey had two children, Catherine Susan and Steve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Edna May Oliver (Nov 9, 1883 – Nov 9, 1942)

Edna May Oliver (November 9, 1883 – November 9, 1942)

American film actress. During the 1930s, she was one of the American screen's best-known character actresses often playing tart-tongued spinsters.

Born Edna May Nutter in Malden, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ida May and Charles Edward Nutter, Edna was a descendant of the sixth American president, John Quincy Adams. She quit school at age fourteen in order to pursue a career on stage and achieved her first success in 1917 on Broadway in Jerome Kern's musical comedy Oh, Boy!, playing the hero's comically dour Quaker Aunt Penelope.

In 1925, Oliver appeared in The Cradle Snatchers co-starring Mary Boland, Margaret Dale, Gene Raymond, Raymond Hackett & a young Humphrey Bogart. Oliver's most notable stage appearance was as Parthy, wife of Cap'n Andy Hawks, in the original 1927 stage production of the musical Show Boat. She repeated the role in the 1932 Broadway revival, but turned down the chance to play Parthy in the 1936 film version of the show so that she could play the Nurse in that year's film version of Romeo and Juliet, her only role in a Shakespeare film or play.

Her film debut occurred in 1923 in the film Wife in Name Only and she continued to appear in films until Lydia in 1941. Oliver first gained major notice in films for her appearances in several comedy films starring the team of Wheeler & Woolsey including Half Shot at Sunrise, her first film under her RKO Radio Pictures contract in 1930.

While most often playing featured parts, she starred in 10 films, including the women's stories Fanny Foley Herself and Ladies of the Jury. Edna May Oliver's most popular star vehicles were mystery-comedies starring Oliver as spinster sleuth Hildegarde Withers from the popular Stuart Palmer novels. The series ended prematurely when Oliver left RKO to sign with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1935; the studio attempted to continue the series with Helen Broderick and then ZaSu Pitts as Withers, but these later films were not well-received.

Since Oliver was cast in several film versions of classic British literature, including Alice in Wonderland (1933), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), David Copperfield (1935), the 1936 film version of Romeo and Juliet, and Pride and Prejudice (1940), many film-goers have incorrectly assumed that she is British. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for her appearance in Drums Along the Mohawk.

Oliver was one of the many movie stars caricatured in the 1937 cartoon Porky's Road Race, and her notably "bottom-heavy" physique was satirized in cartoons such as Friz Freleng's The Hardship of Miles Standish (1940).

Oliver died on her 59th birthday in 1942 following a short intestinal ailment that proved terminal, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glenda, California.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Victorian Ladies

Some Victorian Ladies:

Douglas Walker's Modern Delft

Douglas Walker's Modern Delft

Douglas Walker’s recent paintings on cracked surfaces are reminiscent of the blues and whites of Delft pottery or classical Chinese painting, all bridges and waterfalls. Walker’s portraits and silhouettes evoke the glamour days of the silent screen or images of Victorian ladies, updated in a curious palette and embellished with swirls and curlicues. Often the brushstrokes are feathery, revealing a hint of vanity or a lushness, and one almost suspects that a peacock may be lurking in the pale blue backgrounds.

Artist: Douglas Walker

The Carriage

A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters (palanquins) and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use and for comfort or elegance, though some are also used to transport goods. It may be light, smart and fast or heavy, large and comfortable. Carriages normally have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs (in the 19th century) or leather strapping. A public passenger vehicle would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus. Working vehicles such as the (four-wheeled) wagon and (two-wheeled) cart share important parts of the history of the carriage, as does the fast (two-wheeled) chariot.

The word carriage (abbreviated carr or cge) is from Old Northern French cariage, to carry in a vehicle. The word car, then meaning a kind of two-wheeled cart for goods, also came from Old Northern French about the beginning of the 14th century; it was also used for railway carriages, and was extended to cover automobile around the end of the nineteenth century, when early models were called horseless carriages.
A carriage is sometimes called a team, as in "horse and team". A carriage with its horse is a rig. An elegant horse-drawn carriage with its retinue of servants is an equipage. A carriage together with the horses, harness and attendants is a turnout or setout. A procession of carriages is a cavalcade.

Some horsecarts found in Celtic graves show hints that their platform was suspended in a frame, elastically.[4] Four wheeled waggons were used in prehistoric Europe, and their form known from excavations suggests that the basic construction techniques of wheel and undercarriage (that survived until the age of the motor car) were established then.

The earliest type of carriage recorded was the chariot during the 9th century. Used in Egypt, the near East and Europe, it was typically a component of war, which was made up of a light basin and two wheels essentially. The light basin held one or two passengers and was pulled by one to two horses. The chariot was so successful in war because it made a soldier faster. Chariots however, quickly became outdated and were not capable of carrying enough people to be used as a method of transport.

First century BCE Romans used sprung wagons for overland journeys. The kingdoms of the Zhou Dynasty and Warring States were also known to have used carriages as transportation. With the decline of these civilizations these techniques almost disappeared. It is likely that Roman carriages employed some form of suspension on chains or leather straps, as indicated by carriage parts found in excavations.

The medieval carriage was typically a four-wheeled wagon type, with a rounded top ('tilt') similar in appearance to the Conestoga Wagon familiar from the USA. Sharing the traditional form of wheels and undercarriage known since the Bronze Age, it very likely also employed the pivoting fore-axle in continuity from the ancient world. Suspension (on chains) is recorded in visual images and written accounts from the 14th century ('chars branlant' or rocking carriages), and was in widespread use by the 15th century. Carriages were largely used by royalty, aristocrats (and especially by women), and could be elaborately decorated and gilded. These carriages were on four wheels often and were pulled by two to four horses depending on how they were decorated (elaborate decoration with gold lining made the carriage heavier). Wood and iron were the primary requirements needed to build a carriage and carriages that were used by non-royalty were covered by plain leather. Another form of the carriage was the pageant wagon of the 14th century. Historians debate on the structure and size of pageant wagons however, they are generally miniature house-like structures that rest on four to six wheels depending on the size of the wagon. The pageant wagon is significant because up until the 14th century most carriages were on two or 3 wheels; the chariot, rocking carriage, and baby carriage are two examples of carriages which pre-date the pageant wagon. Historians also debate whether or not pageant wagons were built with pivotal axle systems, which allowed the wheels to turn. Whether it was a four or six wheel pageant wagon, most historians maintain that pivotal axle systems were implemented on pageant wagons because many roads were often winding with some sharp turns. Six wheel pageant wagons also represent another innovation in carriages; they were one of the first carriages to use multiple pivotal axles. Pivotal axles were used on the front set of wheels and the middle set of wheels. This allowed the horse to move freely and steer the carriage in accordance with the road or path.

One of the great innovations of the carriage was the invention of the suspended carriage or the chariot branlant (though whether this was a Roman or medieval innovation remains uncertain). The 'chariot branlant' of medieval illustrations was suspended by chains rather than leather straps as had been believed. Chains provided a smoother ride in the chariot branlant because the compartment no longer rested on the turning axles. In the 15th century, carriages were made lighter and needed only one horse to haul the carriage. This carriage was designed and innovated in Hungary. Both innovations appeared around the same time and historians believe that people began comparing the chariot branlant and the Hungarian light coach. However, the earliest illustrations of the Hungarian 'Kochi-wagon' do not indicate any suspension, and often the use of three horses in harness. Most importantly, the passengers were typically men and not women.

Under King Mathias Corvinus (1458–90), who enjoyed fast travel, the Hungarians developed fast road transport, and the town of Kocs between Budapest and Vienna became an important post-town, and gave its name to the new vehicle type. The Hungarian coach was highly praised because it was capable of holding 8 men, used light wheels, could be towed by only one horse (it may have been suspended by leather straps, but this is a topic of debate). Ultimately it was the Hungarian coach that generated a greater buzz of conversation than the chariot branlant of France because it was a much smoother ride. Henceforth, the Hungarian coach spread across Europe rather quickly, in part due to Ippolito d'Este of Ferrara (1479–1529), nephew of Mathias' queen Beatrix of Aragon, who as a very junior Archbishopric of Esztergom developed a liking of Hungarian riding and took his carriage and driver back to Italy. Around 1550 the 'coach' made its appearance throughout the major cities of Europe, and the new word entered the vocabulary of all their languages. However, the new 'coach' seems to have been a concept (fast road travel for men) as much as any particular type of vehicle, and there is no obvious change that accompanied the innovation. As it moved throughout Europe in the late 16th century, the coach’s body structure was ultimately changed, from a round-top to the 'four-poster' carriages that became standard by c.1600.

The coach had doors in the side, with an iron step protected by leather that became the 'boot' in which servants might ride. The driver sat on a seat at the front, and the most important occupant sat in the back facing forwards. The earliest coaches can be seen at Veste Coburg, Lisbon, and the Moscow Kremlin, and they become a commonplace in European art. It was not until the 17th century that further innovations with steel springs and glazing took place, and only in the 18th century, with better road surfaces, was there a major innovation with the introduction of the steel C-spring.
It was not until the 18th century that steering systems were truly improved. Erasmus Darwin was a young English doctor who was driving a carriage about 10,000 miles a year to visit patients all over England. Darwin found two essential problems or shortcomings of the commonly used light carriage or Hungarian carriage. First, the front wheels were turned by a rotating front axle, which had been used for years, but these wheels were often quite small and hence the rider, carriage and horse felt the brunt of every bump on the road. Secondly, he recognized the danger of overturning.

A rotating frontal axle changes a carriage’s base from a rectangle to a triangle because the wheel on the inside of the turn is able to turn more sharply than the outside front wheel. Darwin proposed to fix these insufficiencies by proposing a principle in which the two front wheels turn about a centre that lies on the extended line of the back axle. Darwin argued that carriages would then be easier to pull and prevent carriages from overturning.

Carriage use in the U.S. came with the establishment of England’s thirteen colonies. Early colonial horse tracks quickly grew into roads especially as the colonists extended their territories southwest. Colonists began using carts as these roads and trading increased between the north and south. Eventually carriages or coaches were sought to transport goods as well as people. As in Europe, chariots, coaches and/or carriages were a mark of status. The tobacco planters of the South were some of the first Americans to use the carriage as a form of human transportation. As the tobacco farming industry grew in the southern colonies so did the frequency of carriages, coaches and wagons. Upon the turn of the 18th century wheeled vehicle use in the colonies was at an all time high. Carriages, coaches and wagons were being taxed based on the number of wheels they had. These taxes were implemented in the South primarily as the South had superior numbers of horses and wheeled vehicles when compared to the North. Still, when comparing the colonies to the Europeans; Europe still used carriage transportation far more often and on a much larger scale than anywhere else in the world.

Carriages and coaches began to disappear as use of steam propulsion began to generate more and more interest and research. Steam power quickly won the battle against animal power as is evident by a newspaper article written in England in 1895 entitled “Horseflesh vs. Steam”. The article highlights the death of the carriage as the means of transportation.

The most complete working collection of carriages can be seen at the Royal Mews in London where a large selection of vehicles is in regular use. These are supported by a staff of liveried coachmen, footmen and postillions. The horses earn their keep by supporting the work of the Royal Household, particularly during ceremonial events. Horses pulling a large carriage known as a "covered brake" collect the Yeoman of the Guard in their distinctive red uniforms from St James’s Palace for Investitures at Buckingham Palace; High Commissioners or Ambassadors are driven to their Audiences with The Queen in Landaus; visiting Heads of State are transported to and from official arrival ceremonies and members of the Royal Family are driven in Royal Mews coaches during Trooping the Colour, the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle and carriage processions at the beginning of each day of Royal Ascot.

An almost bewildering variety of horse-drawn carriages existed. Arthur Ingram's Horse Drawn Vehicles since 1760 in Colour lists 325 types with a short description of each. By the early 19th century one's choice of carriage was only in part based on practicality and performance; it was also a status statement and subject to changing fashions.

Zenyatta (foaled April 1, 2004 in Kentucky)

Zenyatta (foaled April 1, 2004 in Kentucky) is an American champion Thoroughbred racehorse, undefeated in her 19 starts—and one of the relatively few undefeated horses in American Thoroughbred racing history.

Owned by Jerry Moss and his wife Ann, Zenyatta is trained by John Shirreffs and has been ridden by American "Hall of Fame" jockey Mike Smith for 16 of 19 starts. Jockey David Flores rode Zenyatta in her first three starts. She races in the teal and pink colors of her owners, her groom is Mario Espinoza, she stands 17.2 hands (183 cm) tall and she weighs 1,217 pounds (552 kg).

According to a 2010 60 Minutes report, Zenyatta was purchased at the low price of $60,000 because she suffered from a form of ringworm; she has since won purses totaling over $6 million and is noted for overtaking her competition in an intense surge after starting each of her races "lingering languidly" at the rear of the pack.[1] She has been featured in W Magazine, and will end her racing career with the 2010 Breeder's Cup.

On October 2, 2010, Zenyatta broke the All-time North American record (set by two-time champion Bayakoa) for Grade/Group I victories by a filly/mare. She won her thirteenth Grade/Group I race out of Post 5 in Race 7 at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park. She ran her unbeaten streak to 19–0. Zenyatta also tied the All-time North American record for consecutive victories without defeat (List of Undefeated Thoroughbreds) and won her ninth consecutive Grade/Group I victory. Zenyatta also broke the All-time North American female earnings record (formerly held by Ouija Board, who retired in 2006 with earnings in excess of $6,312,552). Zenyatta (who carried 123 lb) won her third Lady's Secret Stakes by a half length over Hollywood Oaks winner Switch and was ridden by Mike Smith. She finished the 1 1⁄16 miles in 1:42.97 and pushed her total career earnings to $6,404,580. She earned 150,000 of the 250,000 purse. She paid 2.20 to Win, 2.10 to Place with no Show bets. If a person had of bet $100.00 on Zenyatta her first Race and then used all winnings of that race and each race thereafter reinvesting in a win bet each time, they would have a total of $ 1,498,616.03 so far.

Zenyatta's next and final race will be the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 6 at Churchill Downs.

***I love this horse! Good luck today sweet Zenyatta!!!

Jill Clayburgh (April 30, 1944 – November 5, 2010)

Jill Clayburgh (April 30, 1944 – November 5, 2010) was an American actress.

Clayburgh was born in New York City, the daughter of Julia Louise (née Dorr), a theatrical production secretary for David Merrick, and Albert Henry "Bill" Clayburgh, a manufacturing executive. Her paternal grandmother was concert and opera singer Alma Lachenbruch Clayburgh.

Clayburgh's father's family was Jewish and wealthy; she was raised in a "fashionable" neighborhood on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where she attended the prestigious Brearley School. Clayburgh attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she decided that she wanted to be an actress.

Clayburgh married screenwriter and playwright David Rabe in 1979. They had one son, Michael Rabe and one daughter, actress Lily Rabe.

Clayburgh joined the Charles Street Repertory Theater in Boston. She appeared in numerous Broadway productions in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Rothschilds and Pippin. Clayburgh made her screen debut in The Wedding Party, filmed in 1963 but not released until six years later, and gained attention with roles such as that of Gene Wilder's love interest in the 1976 comedy-mystery Silver Streak, co-starring Richard Pryor.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for 1978's An Unmarried Woman, for which she won the "Best Actress Award" at the Cannes Film Festival, and for 1979's Starting Over, a comedy with Burt Reynolds. She also received strong notices for a dramatic performance in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (which co-starred Geraldine Page).

Her other films include Portnoy's Complaint, Gable and Lombard (in which she portrayed screen legend Carole Lombard), as a pro football team owner's daughter in Semi-Tough, as a mathematician in It's My Turn (in which she teaches the proof of the snake lemma), as a conservative Supreme Court justice in First Monday in October and in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial La Luna, a role in which her character masturbates her son in an attempt to ease his withdrawal from heroin.

Television audiences know Clayburgh from numerous roles in series and movies including Law and Order, The Practice and as Ally McBeal's mother. She received Emmy Award nominations for her work in the made-for-television movie Hustling in 1975 and for guest appearances in the series Nip/Tuck in 2005.

In 2006, she appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park with Patrick Wilson and Amanda Peet; she played Peet's mother, a role originated by Mildred Natwick. She also returned to the screen as a therapist's eccentric wife in the all-star ensemble dramedy Running With Scissors, an autobiographical tale of teenage angst and dysfunction based on the book by Augusten Burroughs. During 2007, Clayburgh appeared in the ABC television series Dirty Sexy Money, playing Letitia Darling.

Jill Clayburgh survived chronic lymphocytic leukemia for more than two decades. She died at her home during the morning hours of November 5, 2010, surrounded by her family.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Loretta Swit (born November 4, 1937)

Loretta Swit (born November 4, 1937)
is best-known for her portrayal of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H.
When Swit arrived in Hollywood in 1970, she performed in television shows, including Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, and Mannix.

Starting in 1972, Swit played Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in the television series M*A*S*H. She inherited the star-making role from actress Sally Kellerman, who portrayed Houlihan in the feature film. Swit, Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, and William Christopher stayed for all 11 seasons of the show, from 1972 to 1983.

She and Alda were the only two actors to have been on the pilot episode and the finale; she appeared in all but 11 of the total of 251 episodes. Swit received two Emmy Awards for her work on M*A*S*H. Later, she was also the first M*A*S*H star to visit South Korea, when she narrated the documentary Korea, the Forgotten War.

In 1981, Swit played the "Cagney" role in the movie pilot for the television series Cagney & Lacey, but was precluded by contractual obligations from continuing the role. Actress Meg Foster portrayed Cagney for the first six episodes of the television series with Sharon Gless taking over the role from that point on.

Swit also guest-starred in shows such as The Love Boat, Match Game, Pyramid, and Hollywood Squares. She also starred in Christmas programs such as the television version of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and 1987's PBS Special A Christmas Calendar. Loretta's latest appearance was on GSN Live on October 10, 2008.

Swit married actor Dennis Holahan in 1983 and divorced him in 1995. Holahan played Per Johannsen, a Swedish diplomat who became briefly involved with Swit's character in an episode of M*A*S*H. Swit has not remarried and has no children.

Swit has written a book on needlepoint (A Needlepoint Scrapbook). Swit is a very strong advocate for animals and animal rights, donating much of her time to animal-related causes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marie Antoinette - 2 Nov 1755 - 16 Oct 1793

Marie Antoinette (Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and of Navarre. She was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Emperor Francis I.

At the age of fourteen, on the day of her marriage to Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France, she became Dauphine de France. At the death of King Louis XV, in May 1774, her husband ascended the throne of France as King Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette assumed the title of Queen of France and of Navarre. After seven years of marriage she gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the first of their four children.

Initially charmed by her personality and beauty, the French people generally came to dislike her, accusing "the Austrian" of being profligate, promiscuous, and harboring sympathies for France's enemies.

At the height of the French Revolution, Louis XVI was deposed and the royal family was imprisoned. Nine months after her husband's execution, she was tried, convicted of treason, and executed by guillotine on 16 October 1793.

Louis was executed on 21 January 1793, at the age of thirty-eight. The result was that the "Widow Capet", as the former queen was called after the death of her husband, plunged into deep mourning; she refused to eat or do any exercise. There is no knowledge of her proclaiming her son as Louis XVII; however, the comte de Provence, in exile, recognised his nephew as the new king of France and took the title of Regent. Marie-Antoinette's health rapidly deteriorated in the following months. By this time she suffered from tuberculosis and possibly uterine cancer, which caused her to haemorrhage frequently.

Despite her condition, the debate as to her fate was the central question of the National Convention after Louis's death. There were those who had been advocating her death for some time, while some had the idea of exchanging her for French prisoners of war or for a ransom from the Holy Roman Emperor. Thomas Paine advocated exile to America. Starting in April, however, a Committee of Public Safety was formed, and men such as Jacques Hébert were beginning to call for Antoinette's trial; by the end of May, the Girondins had been chased out of power and arrested. Other calls were made to "retrain" the Dauphin, to make him more pliant to revolutionary ideas. This was carried out when the eight year old boy Louis Charles was separated from Antoinette on 3 July, and given to the care of a cobbler. On 1 August, she herself was taken out of the Tower and entered into the Conciergerie as Prisoner No. 280. Despite various attempts to get her out, such as the Carnation Plot in September, Marie Antoinette refused when the plots for her escape were brought to her attention.

She was finally tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal on 14 October. Unlike the king, who had been given time to prepare a defence, the queen's trial was far more of a sham, considering the time she was given (less than one day) and the Jacobins' misogynistic view of women in general. Among the things she was accused of (most, if not all, of the accusations were untrue and probably lifted from rumours begun by libelles) were orchestrating orgies in Versailles, sending millions of livres of treasury money to Austria, plotting to kill the Duke of Orléans, incest with her son, declaring her son to be the new king of France and orchestrating the massacre of the Swiss Guards in 1792.

The most infamous charge was that she sexually abused her son. This was according to Louis Charles, who, through his coaching by Hébert and his guardian, accused his mother. After being reminded that she had not answered the charge of incest, Marie Antoinette protested emotionally to the accusation, and the women present in the courtroom – the market women who had stormed the palace for her entrails in 1789 – ironically began to support her. She had been composed throughout the trial until this accusation was made, to which she finally answered, "If I have not replied it is because Nature itself refuses to respond to such a charge laid against a mother."

However, in reality the outcome of the trial had already been decided by the Committee of Public Safety around the time the Carnation Plot was uncovered, and she was declared guilty of treason in the early morning of 16 October, after two days of proceedings. Back in her cell, she composed a moving letter to her sister-in-law Madame Élisabeth, affirming her clear conscience, her Catholic faith and her feelings for her children. The letter did not reach Élisabeth.

On the same day, her hair was cut off and she was driven through Paris in an open cart, wearing a simple white dress. At 12:15 pm, two and a half weeks before her thirty-eighth birthday, she was executed at the Place de la Révolution (present-day Place de la Concorde). Her last words were, "Pardon me Sir, I meant not to do it", to Sanson the executioner, whose foot she had accidentally stepped on before she was executed by guillotine. Her body was thrown into an unmarked grave in the Madeleine cemetery, rue d'Anjou, (which was closed the following year).

Her sister-in-law Élisabeth was executed in 1794 and her son died in prison in 1795. Her daughter returned to Austria in a prisoner exchange, married and died childless in 1851.

Both her body and that of Louis XVI were exhumed on 18 January 1815, during the Bourbon Restoration, when the comte de Provence had become King Louis XVIII. Christian burial of the royal remains took place three days later, on 21 January, in the necropolis of French Kings at the Basilica of St Denis.

In popular culture, the phrase "Let them eat cake" is often attributed to Marie Antoinette. However, there is no evidence to support that she ever uttered this phrase, and it is now generally regarded as a "journalistic cliché". It originally appeared in Book VI of the first part (finished in 1767, published in 1782) of Rousseau's putative autobiographical work, Les Confessions.

Monday, November 1, 2010

James MacArthur (Dec 8, 1937 – Oct 28, 2010)

James Gordon MacArthur (December 8, 1937 – October 28, 2010)

James was an American actor best known for the role of Danny "Danno" Williams, the reliable second-in-command of the fictional Hawaiian State Police squad Hawaii Five-O.

In 1967, Leonard Freeman, the producer of Hang 'Em High, made the pilot for a new television cop show, Hawaii Five-O. Before it went to air, the pilot was well-received by test audiences, except for some dislike of the actor playing Dan Williams. Freeman remembered MacArthur's portrayal of the traveling preacher in Hang 'Em High: He had come on the set and done the scene in one take. He called MacArthur and offered him the role of Dan Williams. Hawaii Five-O ran for twelve years — eleven with MacArthur. Leaving Hawaii Five-O at the end of its eleventh season, MacArthur returned to the theatre, appearing in The Lunch Hour with Cybill Shepherd.

He appeared in A Bedfull of Foreigners in Chicago in 1984, and in Michigan in 1985. He followed this with The Hasty Heart, before taking a year out of show business. In 1987, he returned to the stage in The Foreigner, then played Mortimer in the national tour of Arsenic and Old Lace with Jean Stapleton, Marion Ross and Larry Storch. In 1989, he followed another stint in The Foreigner with Love Letters and, in 1990–1991, A Bedfull of Foreigners, this time in Las Vegas.

After leaving Hawaii Five-O, McArthur guest-starred on such television shows as Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Vega$, as well as in the mini series Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story and The Night the Bridge Fell Down, and in the 1998 television movie Stormchasers: Revenge of the Twister, with Kelly McGillis.

Throughout his career, MacArthur had also found time for various other ventures. From 1959–60, he partnered with actor James Franciscus and Alan Ladd, Jr. in a Beverly Hills telephone answering service; in June 1972, he directed The Honolulu Community Theatre in a production of his father's play The Front Page, and, for a period in the 1990s he was part-owner of Senior World publication, as well as writing the occasional celebrity interview. In 2000 MacArthur was awarded his own "sidewalk star" in Palm Springs. He continued to appear at conventions, collectors' shows, and celebrity sporting events. A keen golfer, he was the winner of the 2002 Frank Sinatra Invitational Charity Golf Tournament.

He also appeared in television and radio specials and interview programs. His most recent appearances include spots on Entertainment Tonight, Christopher's Closeup and the BBC Radio 5 Live obituary program Brief Lives, in which he paid tribute to his Hawaii Five-O castmate, the late Kam Fong. In 1997, MacArthur returned without Jack Lord (who was in declining health) to play Governor Danny Williams in the 1997 unaired pilot of Hawaii Five-O which starred actor Gary Busey. In April 2003, he traveled to Honolulu's historic Hawaii Theatre for a cameo role in Joe Moore's play Dirty Laundry. Negotiations were underway in late 2010 for MacArthur to make a cameo appearance in the new CBS prime time remake of Hawaii Five-0 at the time of his death.

MacArthur died of natural causes on October 28, 2010, age 72, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He was survived by his third wife, H. B. Duntz, and his four children and six grandchildren.