haphazard_history haphazard_history

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Historians Union  Please join me in exploring one of my great passions - history! Posts focus around WWII & aviation, but I'll post anything I find interesting. Thanks!

JULY 13th, 1977 - THE BLACKOUT OF NEW YORK CITY: On this day 40 years ago, several lightning strikes created a "blackout" of the New York City and most of Westchester County. July 13th is sometimes referred to as "the worst night in New York City's history, as there were thousands of cases of looting and vandalism including arson in the city on the night of the 13th. It took nearly a full day to restore power. "The robbers weren’t shy or afraid of punishment. A lot of different cars were coming close to shops and loading trunks of their cars by stolen goods. On a next day, people can buy a colour TV for 25 dollars or expensive sneakers only for 1 dollar. It was like a nightmare" (newyorkretrospective.com).
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#history #historiansunion #haphazardhistory #dailyhistory #newyorkcity #city #blackout #worldtradecenter #brooklynbridge #manhattan #nyc

JULY 10th, 1940 - LONDON, ENGLAND: The Battle of Britain begins. Over the course of the summer, I will be doing a series of posts to commemorate the Battle of Britain, in an effort to give you an idea of what "the few" and the people they defended went through.
On July 10th, 1940, the Battle of Britain officially began with the first of many German bombing raids. In the above picture, taken on July 14th, a British convoy is bombed on the English Channel. At the outset of the battle, Britain had several advantages: more maneuverable aircraft, an intricate radar system, and the sheer will to protect their homeland. The Germans, however, had more planes, more pilots, and more raw materials such as aluminum. Bombing of convoys like the one in the above picture had a great hand in making precious materials sparse in Britain. The Germans' main goal was to destroy the Royal Air Force in preparation of an invasion of Great Britain by the Wehrmacht. What started with purely strategic attacks eventually turned into attacks meant to break the will of the British people. More on this to follow...
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#history #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #historiansunion #aviation #worldwartwo #wwii #military #militaryaviation #airforce #Luftwaffe #Heinkel #battleofbritain #royalairforceuk #spirfire #hurricane

OCTOBER 11th - 22nd, 1968 - THE NEAR "MUTINY" OF APOLLO 7: Before I get into the nitty gritty of the flight, this is a pre-flight photo of the Apollo 7 crew (Walter Cunningham, Donn Eisele, and Wally Schirra). On to the details of the flight! An Apollo spacecraft was cramped quarters under the best of circumstances. On Apollo 7, the crew immediately learned of one of the drawbacks: it was very easy to catch an illness.

Schirra came down with a cold only 15 hours after launch, and reportedly passed along the illness to Cunningham and Eisele. (Accounts differ on the severity of their colds.) In the microgravity environment of space, fluids don't drain as they do on Earth. This meant blocked ears and noses for the crew, who tried to alleviate the symptoms through taking medication. But with 11 days of space travel, performing their tasks was difficult.

According to several accounts by other Apollo astronauts and mission controllers, the Apollo 7 crew then became unforgivingly snippy with the folks they were talking to on the ground (at one point saying "Go to hell"). Schirra pulled the plug on the one of the television broadcasts. Eisele complained about one test the crew performed, saying he wanted to speak to the person who "thought up that little gem." (The person ended up being a high-ranking NASA official: flight director Glynn Lunney.) When the crew was asked to make changes to the flight plan, they were reportedly sullen and for the most part, unwilling to deviate.

But they did make one major alteration to the mission: they refused to wear their suit helmets during re-entry because they worried they would not be able to blow their noses. This drew the ire of senior NASA managers. "It was insubordinate ... This crew shouldn't fly again," wrote Chris Kraft in his memoirs, "Flight: My Life in Mission Control." (Space.com, NASA History Office).
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Regardless of the near mutiny of the crew, it is still important to recognize the service of these men to the United States, both before and during their NASA careers! #history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #nasa #apollo #capsule #mutiny #space #spacerace #photography

1946 - "THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES:" This clip is from the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives," directed by William Wyler. The movie is about three servicemen who return home after World War Two - a bombardier who has PTSD, an army sergeant who has drinking problems, and a sailor who was disabled during his service. This is truly a remarkable and special film, as it is one of the first looks at how our servicemen and women have to adjust to going back to civilian life. The movie is also fantastic due to the directing genius of William Wyler. During the war, he suffered from almost complete hearing loss as a result of his work filming the bomber crews in action during World War Two. In my opinion, one of the reasons why the movie was so good was because he was able to relate to many veterans as a result of his injuries. In this clip, the bombardier played by Dana Andrews visits a boneyard in his town. If you haven't seen this film yet and are a history buff, you need to ASAP! (Video courtesy of Boeing B-17 Resource (Youtube), with fact checks from imdb.com). I do not own this video - simply displaying it here for reference). #dailyhistory #history #historiansunion #b17 #flyingfortress #classicfilms #classicmovies #ptsd
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Check out these accounts for more awesome historic images!:
@historical_paparazzi
@ww2_daily_photography
@82nd_rum_runner
@fuehrer_of_photography
@war_history_enthusiast
@war_colourised
@ww2_anything_history_
@ww2_worldwarhistory
@w.w.2_history
@modern_military_history

DECEMBER 5th - 9th, 1952 - THE "GREAT SMOG" OF LONDON, ENGLAND: (2/2) Authorities advised parents to keep their children home from school in fear they would get lost in the smog. Burglaries and purse snatchings increased as emboldened criminals easily vanished into the cloaking darkness. Birds lost in the fog crashed into buildings. Eleven prize heifers brought to Earls Court for the famed Smithfield Show choked to death, and breeders fashioned improvised gas masks for their cattle by soaking grain sacks in whiskey. Weekend soccer games were cancelled, although Oxford and Cambridge carried on with their annual cross-country competition at Wimbledon Common with the help of track marshals who continually shouted, “This way, this way, Oxford and Cambridge” as runners materialized out of the thick haze. The smog seeped inside as well. A greasy grime covered exposed surfaces, and movie theaters even closed as the yellow haze made it impossible for ticket-holders to see the screen.

Unfortunately, the Great Smog was much more than a nuisance. It was lethal, particularly for the elderly, babies and those with respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Outside of the coughing and the wheezing, death came silently to London. It wasn’t until undertakers began to run out of coffins and florists out of bouquets that the deadly impact of the Great Smog was realized. Deaths from bronchitis and pneumonia increased more than sevenfold. The death rate in the East End increased nine fold. Initial reports estimated that upwards of 4,000 died prematurely in the immediate aftermath of the smog, which finally lifted on December 9, 1952, after a cold wind from the west swept the toxic cloud away from London and out to the North Sea. The detrimental effects lingered, however, and death rates remained above normal into the summer, which have caused some experts to estimate the Great Smog claimed as many as 12,000 lives (history.com).#history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #london #britishhistory #unitedkingdom #greatbritain #smog #londonbus #pollution

DECEMBER 5th - 9th, 1952 - THE "GREAT SMOG" OF LONDON, ENGLAND: (1/2) Ever wonder where the word "smog" came from? Read below! Clear skies dawned over London on December 5, 1952. An unusual cold snap had gripped the British capital for weeks, and as Londoners awoke, coal fireplaces worked overtime to take the chill from the air. As the day progressed, a light veil of fog began to enshroud Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the rest of the city. By the afternoon, though, the fog began to turn a sickly shade of yellow as it mixed with the thousands of tons of soot being pumped into the skies of London by its forest of chimneys and industrial smokestacks. Smog was nothing new in London, but this particular “pea souper” quickly thickened into a poisonous brew unlike anything the city had ever experienced. A high-pressure system parked over London caused a temperature inversion—with the air 1,000 feet above the surface warmer than that at ground level—that prevented the smoke from the record amount of coal being burned into the skies from rising. And with nary a breeze to be found, there was no wind to disperse the soot-laden soup... (history.com, historytoday.com). 2014/01)
#history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #haphazardhistory #london #britishhistory #unitedkingdom #greatbritain #smog #londonbus #pollution
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Check out some of these accounts for more awesome historic images!:
@historical_paparazzi
@ww2_daily_photography
@82nd_rum_runner
@fuehrer_of_photography
@war_history_enthusiast
@war_colourised
@ww2_anything_history_
@ww2_worldwarhistory
@w.w.2_history
@modern_military_history

SEPTEMBER, 1940 - DUXFORD, ENGLAND: Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, with the pilots of No. 242 Squadron, in front of his Hawker Hurricane at RAF Duxford.
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Ever wonder why RAF pilots had different colored flight suits at the beginning of the war? As seen in the above picture, pilots wore white, khaki, black, and blue flight suits. The summer of 1940 was particularly hot, leaving many pilots to fly in just their blue service uniforms rather than the traditional colder weather flying suits. However, before the war, some pilots were issued specially colored coveralls like those in the picture above, or they wore them when racing cars and flying in civilian life to prevent oil and grease from getting on their clothes. For that reason, the coveralls that these pilots wore were nicknamed "Prestige Suits," as they showed that a pilot wasn't simply a "wartime pilot," and that they had served in the skies before the war. This is certainly a rather interesting and unnoticed fact regarding chivalry in the air at the beginning of the war! (Credits: iwm.org.uk, Journal of Aeronautical History Paper No. 2014/01)
#history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #raf #royalairforce #worldwar2 #wwii #ww2 #haphazardhistory #aviation #military #militaryaviation #airforce #hurricane
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Check out some of these accounts for more awesome historic images!:
@historical_paparazzi
@ww2_daily_photography
@82nd_rum_runner
@fuehrer_of_photography
@war_history_enthusiast
@war_colourised
@ww2_anything_history_
@ww2_worldwarhistory
@w.w.2_history
@modern_military_history

OCTOBER 3rd, 1949 - Oakland, California: Bill Crouch, of the Oakland Tribune, captured this Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a VERY close call at an air show in 1949.

Pilot Chet Derby was performing a loop-the-loop in his biplane, before a crowd of 60,000. Three B-29s were aiming to fly through Derby's smoke trail, but due to mistiming, the B-29s were over show centre too early. At the top of his loop, Chet Derby's biplane came within five feet of hitting the B-29's wing (www.Sierrahotel.net).
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#historiansunion #dailyhistory #history #aviationhistory #aviation #superfortress #b29 #airshow #pulitzerprize #pulitzer #photography #boeing #barnstormers #militaryaviation

MAY 16th, 1943 - MÖHNESSE, GERMANY: On this day in 1943, the British Royal Air Force sets into motion a plan to bomb key dams in order to flood the Ruhr region of Germany. Operation Chastise, part of a larger strategy of “area bombing” begun a year earlier was led by Guy Gibson, one of the RAF’s best bomber pilots. Leading 18 bombers at low altitude across the North Sea and Holland, Gibson lost six bombers and 56 of his crew (out of 133) who were shot down before reaching their destinations, the Mohne, Eder, and Sorpe dams. The surviving aircraft succeeded in destroying two of their three targets, causing the Ruhr river, a tributary of the Rhine, to flood the surrounding area, killing 1,268 people, including, unfortunately, 700 Russian slave laborers. Gibson would be awarded the Victoria Cross for his successful, though costly, raid (Caption - History.com, Photo - Dailymail).
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Last summer, I had the fortune of being able to travel to England and to RAF Scranton, the home of the RAF Red Arrows and the former home of 617 Squadron. It was magnificent to sit in Guy Gibson's office chair, and to see shells of the bombs and depth charges dropped by Lancasters throughout the war. There was truly a great tribute to all of the airmen who perished during this raid. If you're ever in the area I really recommend you go!
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#history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #raf #royalairforce #dambusters #operationchastise #möhne #617squadron #lancaster #avrolancaster #rafredarrows #worldwar2 #wwii #ww2 #haphazardhistory

MAY 7th, 1945 - DAM SQUARE, AMSTERDAM: Dutch civilians hide behind lamp posts after German soldiers open fire on a crowd celebrating the surrender of Germany. 32 people were killed and 231 people were wounded (photos courtesy of Amsterdam Red Light District Tours).
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Today is May 8th, the anniversary of the Victory in Europe! On this day in 1945, thousands of people rejoiced as one front of the global conflict finally concluded. This post demonstrates that the end to the fighting in Europe was not clear cut, as seen on May 7th, 1945. Units of the German Army in extremely remote locations (parts of Norway, for example) surrendered as late as September of 1945, as there was a complete and utter break down of communications at the end of the war. In the case of Norway, a German weather station heard news of the surrender, but continued to broadcast weather observations to peace time Europe until a Norwegian boat captain finally came to their remote island in September of that year. Be sure to thank a veteran for their service today!
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#history #dailyhistory #historiansunion #wwii #damsquare #netherlands #amsterdam #veday #worldwartwo

MAY 1st, 2011 - TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY: Firefighters from Ladder 4 of the FDNY react to the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. 7 firefighters from Ladder 4 were killed on September 11th, 2001, when the Twin Towers collapsed (NY Times).
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#history #dailyhistory #historiansunion #fdny #firefighter #newyork #nyc #worldtradecenter #wtc

APRIL 17th, 1970 - ABOARD THE U.S.S. IWO JIMA: With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth.

On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.

The astronauts and mission control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, as well as providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Navigation was another problem, and Apollo 13‘s course was repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested maneuvers. On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean (Photo - NASA.gov. Caption - history.com). #history #historiansunion #dailyhistory #nasa #apollo #apollo13 #space #spacetravel

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