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 on: November 07, 2018, 05:17:12 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by apples
It's probably one of two historical shootouts that match Hollywood [the other is Hickcock's gunfight with Dave Tut]. It has been portrayed in countless movies, including  movies starring James Garner and Jason Robards, Kevin Costner, and Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn and Powers Booth. It was the gunfight at the OK Corral, that pitted Wyatt Earp and his two brothers, Morgan and Virgil, and their friend, "Doc" Holliday, against Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Clairborne.

The fight arose out of a power struggle to control Tombstone, Arizona between the Earp and Clanton-McLaury factions. The immediate cause was a violation by the latter of the town ordinance requiring no guns in town limits.

The battle itself took some thirty seconds. No one, to this day is positive about who fired first. But when it was over, Billy Clanton and the MKLauries were dead, and both Virgil and Morgan Earp, as well as Doc Holliday were wounded.

County Sheriff John Behan arrested the Earps for murder, but they were acquitted at trial. In the end, Morgan Earp was assassinated, Virgil moved to California, Wyatt became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, and used his badge to murder most of the Clanton associates in, and around Tombstone. 

Loved that movie with Russel. Kilmer was great in it too. Never have seen the Gardner movie, will look for it now.

 on: November 05, 2018, 11:30:18 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
Jeannette Rankin, Progressive Republican, Suffragette and Pacifist is the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. She is defeated for re-election in 1918, principally because of her vote against the declaration of War on the Central Powers, which led to America's entry into World war I.

Rankin is again re-elected to the House in 1940. When FDR seeks a Declaration of War against the Empire of Japan after the Japanese attack on ;pearl Harbor, Rankin again votes 'No', the only member of Congress to do so. She is turned out of Congress in 1942, and her ploitical career deservedly ends.

 on: November 03, 2018, 11:50:14 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive. pp. 13 and 17

 on: November 03, 2018, 11:44:06 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.22. See also, p.19 [the 'Antietam' thread]

 on: November 02, 2018, 11:33:30 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p. 22

 on: October 31, 2018, 06:58:01 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
With the breakout of war in 1914, German Admiral Maximillian von Spee was faced with a bit of a problem. His East Asia squadron was based in a German concession in China [Tsingtao]. And he was surrounded, and outgunned, by actual enemies, the British and Australians, and soon to be enemies, the Empire of Japan, and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Spee's advantages were that his ships were newer, and better built. They included the armored cruisers SCHARNHORST and GNIESENAU,  the light cruisers DRESDEN [EMDEN had already been detached for commerce raiding], NURENBURG and LEIPZIG, and several support ships.

Spee decided to 'get out of Dodge', as it were, and made for Chile, which offered coal and supplies, and a German population presence. It also offered a weak British squadron of two armored cruisers, H.M.S GOOD HOP, and H.M.S MONMOUTH, the flagship of Admiral Craddock. Spee outgunned, and could outrun the older British ships [upgrades to Craddock's force were not on the way in time]

The battle of Coronel resulted in a major British defeat. Both ships were lost with all hands [1,600 men]. It was Britain's first defeat on the seas since the War of 1812.

But his victory did von Spee no good. First he would be rounding south Americas and trying to sail back to Germany, in seas with many more, and ships both more modern, and bigger than his. Second, Spee had used up half of his available ammunition, his ONLY ammunition in the fight with Craddoc. This would have deliterious results at the Falklands.

And the Falklands, on the east side of South America, was where Spee showed up five weeks later, intending to raid the island for coal and other supplies.

Unfortunately for Spee, the British battlecruisers INVINCIBLE and INFLEXIBLE, along with three armored cruisers, an armored merchant cruiser, and two light cruisers were waiting for him [they had arrived the day before]. Importantly, Admiral Sturdee's battlecruisers , could outgun and outrun Spee.

Battle was joined on 8 DEC 1914. When it was over, Spee was dead [with his two sons], along with all but some 240 prisoners. All Spee's ships were sunk, except the light cruiser DRESDEN, which escaped, and eluded capture while commerce raiding, until March, 1915, when she was cornered and scuttled, and an auxiliary unit.

Spee had one Germany's three "pocket battleships" [classified in Germany as 'panzerschiffen'-armored ships] named after him. After the Battle of the river Platte, she was scuttled in Uruguay. A second was named after the commander of the High Seas Fleet, Admiral Reinhard Scheer.

 on: October 27, 2018, 02:08:02 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by apples
He had been made a priority for conviction by the President of the United States. He had been the reason Eliot Ness got a movie and a TV series. He had been the best 'government' Chicago ever had. His name was Alphonse Capone. And on 17 OCT 1931, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion.

Big Al was not a native of Chicago. He was a Brooklyn boy, born on President Street.And within the criminal mileau he was an up and comer. Capone was a member of the Five Points gang, the Triple A Club for major league Mobdom. And in the Five Pointers, he met, befriended, and worked with Johnnny torrio, Frankie [Uale] Yale, and Charles 'Lucky' Luciano.

Capone's big break came in the early Twenties, when Torrio went west, to Chicago, to work for his uncle "Big" Jim Colisimo.

Colisimo ran a string of whore houses, but not much else. Nevertheless, Torrio brought Capone out soon after his arrival. Capone, scarface and all [Capone had been cut in Brooklyn by a fellow Italian who objected to remarks and/or advances Al made to his sister. Capone later hired him], became 'muscle' and a bouncer in Colisimo's establishments.

With the arrival of prohibition, Torrio begged his uncle to move into bootlegging. Colisimo refused. And shortly after, he was shot to death in the entry to one of his 'clubs' [rumor had it Al was the trigger].

Torrio set up an organization that took over the south side of Chicago and he was soon trying to organize crime, citywide, as Luciano would do nationally a decade later. But the boss of the predominantly Irish Northside mob, Dion "Deanie" O'Bannion would have none of it. He set up Torrio to take a bootlegging fall, and the war was on.

By 1926, O'Bannion was dead, Torrio was back in Brooklyn after a failed assassination attempt, and Al Capone was the boss of the Southside. Within three years, the next two bosses of the Northside Gang, Hymie Weiss and Vincent 'Schemer' Drucci were dead, and George 'Bugs' Moran, who had been a shooter in a failed attempt on Capone, was in charge. And then the straw that broke the camel's back occurred on February 14th, 1929 - the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In one fell swoop, five of Moran's top executives and triggermen were whacked [with two civilians] in the North Clark St. garage in chicago [Moran just missed being part of the body count]. The garage looked like an abbatoir, with dead men, blood and shell casings all over the place. Chicago business leaders reached out to the President. The IRS and what would be today Federal BATF [including Ness] followed.

The BATF made the splashy headlines [Capone considered his losses part of doing business], but the IRS made the case. The literally followed every dollar Capone spent around, and tallied it against his reported income fro "Al Brown's Dry Cleaning".

At first Capone thought a plea deal was in the works. But the Court sentenced him to 11 years. As a Federal Judge , he owed more to the President than Capone. Capone started serving his sentence in Atlanta, but was soon transferred to Alcatraz, where he served the rest of his time.

Capone didn't serve the 11. Reduced to an 8 year old mentally from the tertiary syphyllis that would take his life at the age of 48, Capone was released after 8 years.

Chicago? The Outfit still runs it. But the "founder of the feast" as it were, surrendered his control of the Windy City on October 17, 1931. 
I didn't know for years that Capone didn't die in prison. Love mob history! Thanks!

 on: October 27, 2018, 11:45:43 am 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.6

 on: October 25, 2018, 11:32:43 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.1 "OPERATION PUNISHMENT"

 on: October 24, 2018, 11:48:59 pm 
Started by PzLdr - Last post by PzLdr
Imagine my conundrum. I'm a YANKEES fan. Been one all my life. It's 1986, and who's in the Series? The BOSTON RED SOX, an enemy we hate as much as Apaches hated Comanches, and the NEW YORK METS [short for "Metropolitans"], who we loathed. So who to root for? The SOX are representing my League, the American League. But in the sense that Queens is considered part of New York [they actually believe it], the METS are from my town.

While my first inclination was to vote for "A pox on both your houses", I realized a choice had to be made. But the choice was easier than I initially thought. On reflection, I chose to root for the SOX, knowing I would have it both ways. I'd root for the League, secure in the knowledge that the Sox would screw it up.

But up to Game 6, it wasn't looking good. The SOX were up 3 games to 2. . But the METS tied the game forcing extra inning. And then, with a man on third, a weak grounder to first went through Bill Buckner's legs. It was a grounder the Venus da Milo could have fielded. And I turned to the buddy I was watching this fiasco with, and said "That's it. Series over". He pointe out there was still Game 7. I pointed out that this was the RED SOX, whose American sign expression was grabbing your own throat and choking yourself.

And sadly, I was right. The SOX lost Game 7. The Mets won the Series.

And their fans proved more annoying than any SOX fan. One, at work came up to me and screamed, "We're a dynasty!". I responded, as the adult in the room, "We've lost more Series to the Dodgers than you've been in. Get a grip". And when the tables were reversed in '97 when we played the Braves, i asked Mr. Met, if he'd root for the YANKEES, the New York, home team. I got a resounding 'No'. So next time, assuming the METS are in the Series, and I'm still alive [I only have about 20 years left on the old actuarial table] , I'll be singing: 

                                                                       Meet the Mets, Greet the Mets!
                                                                       Beat, Eat and excrete the Mets..."

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