Here’s the 66-word speech Eisenhower would have given if D-day had been a failure

June 6, 2014 | No comments

Plans for the 1944 Normandy landings began in 1943. Over the course of that year of preparation, much thought certainly went into all the different possible outcomes, but it wasn’t until the day before the largest seaborne invasion in history, that General Eisenhower took a moment to jot down what he would say if, despite everything, it all failed.

At the end of the scrawled, 66-word, hypothetical speech, he holds himself accountable for the horrors that the use of this paper would have meant…

If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

(A complete transcription is below.)

In Case of Failure - Eisenhower's unused D-day speech

The speech reads…

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone. [By mistake, he dated the speech July 5 rather than June 5.]

We can be grateful that this note is an obscure piece in the national archives and does not represent a moment that ever actually took place.

D-Day photos from 1944 and photos of vacationers at the exact same locations today [28 pics]

June 5, 2014 | 22 comments

June 6, 1944, marked a turning point in World War II as Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, forcing the end of the German occupation of France.

To mark this Friday’s 70th anniversary of D-Day, Reuters photographer Chris Helgren compiled a number of photos from that fateful day and took his own photographs from the exact same locations.

It’s sobering to compare the heavy events of that day 70 years ago with the casual vacationers relaxing there today, enjoying a lifestyle that’s enabled by those who sacrificed their lives on the same land…

Normandy Then Now 01

Normandy Then Now 02

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A military recruitment tool disguised as a gay romance disguised as an action movie

June 4, 2014 | No comments

Finally. An honest trailer for Top Gun…

The heart-rending story of a WWII vet tormented his whole life by a young German he had to kill

May 26, 2014 | No comments

Joseph Robertson died in 2009 at the age of 90. Several years earlier, he recorded the story of what he called the saddest moment of his life, a moment from the 40′s which stayed with him for the rest of his life…

WWII vet tells the story of catching a mouse in a foxhole and why he had to release it

May 26, 2014 | No comments

Thomas driver fought in World War II from 1943 to 1945. Recently, his grandson found recordings of him talking about his experience.

One of his stories was about two different rodents he came into contact with in different ways as he stood guard in a foxhole through the night.

His grandson made this little film out of his granddad’s lighthearted but eerie memory…

Man finds early 20th-century shop in condemned building, restores it with original merchandise [23 pics]

May 25, 2014 | No comments

Redditor ArtfulAusten‘s dad bought an old, condemned property an hour north of Philadelphia from a friend and set about restoring it to livable condition. The building contained a general store that had operated for about thirty years in the first half of the 20th century.

As the new owner, Austen’s dad decided to restore the facility to its original condition…

Restored General Store 02

Austen said about the project,

When my dad starts a project, he does it full-out. So he made sure that everything inside the museum is “new-old” stock, as he likes to call it, which means that they are not reproductions of any kind and (for this project) are all dated between the years 1929 to 1939.

Everything inside the museum theoretically could have been sold at the store. He even included all the same brand names that the original store had once carried. The celling is made from pressed tin and hand painted (by me), the floor is painted instead of stained (like the original), the colors he used were all from swatches that he found in the room, and the counters and shelves are all in their original places.

My dad has an insane ability to pay attention to detail.

Unfortunately, the meticulously-restored store isn’t open to the public, so these remarkable photos will have to suffice for now…

Restored General Store 03

Restored General Store 01

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Is the song Led Zeppelin borrowed for the intro to “Stairway to Heaven” also borrowed?

May 20, 2014 | 1 comment

Led Zeppelin is being accused of plagiarism again and this time it’s another official lawsuit instead of just accusations in barroom conversations between armchair music historians while the jukebox plays.

The claims are nothing new — People have noted the similarities between Jimmy Page’s riff at the beginning of “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus” ever since “Stairway” was released in 1971…

Spirit’s “Taurus” was written in 1967 and released the next year. Then Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit the year after that on their first American tour. They were certainly familiar with Spirit’s repertoire, even including a cover of one Spirit song in their set.

So when “Stairway” was released in 1971, there was little doubt in the minds of the members of Spirit that they’d been ripped off. In 1997, the year he died, Randy California, who wrote “Taurus,” said,

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Chiropractors used to hold beauty contests and the winner was named “Miss Correct Posture” [6 pics]

May 14, 2014 | No comments

Beginning in the 1920′s and going all the way through the 60′s, chiropractors across the U.S. held beauty contests that judged not only contestants’ appearance but the straightness of her spine and her overall posture as well. The winners were proclaimed “Miss Correct Posture.”

The contests were a way to get some good PR during a time when chiropractic medicine was heavily resisted by the mainstream medical community and thousands of chiropractors were being prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. The political fight to get separate licensing for chiropractors had its first success in Kansas in 1913 and lasted all the until 1974 when Louisiana finally gave in.

During most if this period and peaking in the 50′s, chiropractor beauty contests were a simple, non-confrontational way to get the word out about chiropractics and to make the practice seem both legit and healthful.

Here are some photos from the contest held at a national convention of chiropractors in Chicago in 1956…

Chiropractors eyeball a contestant’s spine, comparing its straightness to a plumb-bob

Chiropractor's Beauty Contest, 1956 - 03

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Native-born Americans try to answer questions about the U.S. from the citizenship test

May 8, 2014 | 8 comments

When immigrants want to become citizens of the United States part of the process is a quiz about our history and government. Guess what happens when lifelong citizens try to answer some of the questions on this exam…

(via Tastefully Offensive)

How well did you do? Or do you not want to admit?

The 320-year-old, 800-page guide to every conceivable color hand-painted 271 years before Pantone [6 pics]

May 7, 2014 | No comments

Originally intended to be a guide to mixing watercolors, Dutch artist A. Boogert’s handwritten 1692 work turned into a painter’s manual as he wrote it, with tutorials on creating various hues and tones. The massive volume came in at nearly 800 pages, all handwritten and hand-painted…

Color Swatches 1

It took another 271 years before the definitive Pantone Color Guide was published. Comparisons between the two are obvious, but without the technology to replicate the book he called Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, Boogert’s incredible work languished in obscurity…

Color Swatches 2

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Student photographer imagines herself as a teenager from every decade in the last hundred years [20 pics]

May 3, 2014 | 19 comments

For a class project, budding photographer Annalisa Hartlaub imagined herself as a teenager in every decade since the 1920′s. In one photo she is mainstream and beside it she emulates the counter-culture of the time. And for all the photos, she filtered them to imitate how photos of each era look…

1920′s

Decades of Photography - 1920s

1930′s

Decades of Photography - 1930s

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