Tag Archives: World War I

Fulwell Acoustic Mirror, Sunderland

A page about this interesting World War I relic – it was supposed to give forewarning of Zeppelin attacks – has been posted on the Spirit Of Place website –

http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/fulwell-acoustic-mirror.html

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Almanac – April 21

753 BC – Romulus and Remus founded Rome, according to legend.

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571 – Prophet Muhammad  born in Makkah.

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1918 –  German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as “The Red Baron”, was shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.

He was considered the top ace of  WWI, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories.

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1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail, supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist.

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1970 – The Hutt River Province Principality seceded from Australia.

The oldest micronation in Australia, the principality claims to be an independent sovereign state having achieved legal status on 21 April 1972, although it remains unrecognised except by other micronations.

The principality is located 517 km (354 mi) north of Perth, near the town of Northampton. If considered independent, it is an enclave of Australia.

The principality was founded Leonard George Casley when he and his associates proclaimed their secession from the state of Western Australia.

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2003 – Nina Simone died. American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music.

Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

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MATA HARI – Femme Fatale

 

 

As today is the 95th anniversary of the execution of  Mata Hari, today’s  offering from our bookstore is –

FEMME FATALE

LOVE, LIES & THE  UNKNOWN LIFE OF

MATA HARI

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AUTHOR-           Pat Shipman

PUBLISHED-
    Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. 2007

FORMAT–           Hb, 450pp, illustrated, refs, notes, index

CONDITION-
    Used…ex-library stock, so expect library stamps/marks/stickers.

                                    Dust-jacket, slight wear.
                                    Book in good, sound & clean condition

 

Mata Hari was  the prototype of the beautiful but unscrupulous female agent who uses sexual allure to gain access to secrets, if she was indeed a spy.

In 1917, the notorious dancer Mata Hari was arrested, tried, and executed for espionage. It was charged at her trial that the dark-eyed siren was responsible for the deaths of at least 50,000 gallant French soldiers.

Irrefutably, she had been the mistress of many senior Allied officers and government officials, even the French Minister of War: a point viewed as highly suspicious. Worse yet, she spoke several European languages fluently and travelled widely in wartime Europe. But was she guilty of espionage ?

For all the publicity Mata Hari and her trial received, key questions remain unanswered. These questions concern not only her inadequate trial and her unproven guilt, but also the events in her personal life.

What propelled Margaretha Zelle, destined to be a Dutch schoolteacher, to transform herself into Mata Hari, the most desirable woman in early 20th-century Paris ?

She danced before enthusiastic crowds in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Milan and Rome, inspiring admiration, jealousy, and bitter condemnation.

This biography pinpoints the powerful yet dangerous attributes that evoked such strong emotions in those who met Mata Hari. Hitherto the focus has been on espionage. This is the first account to explore the events that shaped her life and caused the transformation from rural Dutch girl to international femme fatale.

This book is available (1 copy only) from Wolfs head bookstore for just 1.50 GBP plus P&P in the UK. More details and price convertor for customers outside the UK at this link –
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Almanac – July 22

St. Mary Magdalen’s Day
Patron [matron ?] saint of pharmacists, hairdressers, repentant sinners and prostitutes.
Historically, her name would probably have been Mariam, rather than Mary, and she may well have been the wife of the historical Yeoshua [Jesus].  Gnostic writings describe tensions and jealousy between her  and other disciples, so perhaps the Yoko Ono figure in the group dynamic.

1284 – A musician dressed in a patched, multi-colourd coat – thus known as ther Pied Piper – appeared in the town of Hamel, Brunswick, struck his pest-control deal, and exacted his famous revenge when the burghers reneged.

1889 – James Whale born  –  English film director, responsible for such classics as  Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

1918 –   Death of Indra Lal Roy, Indian  WWI flying ace –  born in Calcutta, he flew with the Royal Flying Corps over France, he claimed 11 victories before being killed in action over Carvin  while flying in formation with two other S.E.5a in a dog fight against Fokker D.VIIs of Jagdstaffel 29. Roy was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in September 1918 for his actions during the period of 6–19 July 1918. He is buried at Estevelles Communal Cemetery.

1934 – Death of Public Enemy #1 -gangster John Dillinger, shot dead by US federal agents outside the Biograph Cinema, Chicago. He was struck three (or four, according to some historians) times, with two bullets entering the chest, one of them nicking his heart, and the fatal shot – which entered  through the back of his neck, severed his spinal cord and tore through his brain before exiting out the front of his head just under his right eye.

There were reports of people dipping their handkerchiefs and skirts into the blood pool that had formed as Dillinger lay in the alley in order to secure keepsakes of the entire affair, and his gravestone, in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, has had to be replaced several times because of people chipping off pieces as souvenirs.

1942 – The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto begins.

1946 –   The Irgun,  a Zionist terrorist organisation,  bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, site of the civil administration and military headquarters for Mandate Palestine, resulting in 91 deaths,   most of them being staff of the hotel or Secretariat:

21 were first-rank government officials; 49 were second-rank clerks, typists and messengers, junior members of the Secretariat, employees of the hotel and canteen workers; 13 were soldiers; 3 policemen; and 5 were members of the public. By nationality, there were 41 Arabs, 28 British citizens, 17 Palestinian Jews, 2 Armenians, 1 Russian, 1 Greek and 1 Egyptian. 46 people were injured. Some of the deaths and injuries occurred in the road outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings. No identifiable traces were found of thirteen of those killed.

The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel’s right-wing Herut (or “Freedom”) party, which led to today’s Likud party. Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977. Which may explain a lot about contemporary Middle Eastern politics…

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 1st

“In this month of July, eschew all wanton bed-sports, and of all things forbear Lettuce.”

Markham, The English Husbandman. 1635

 

1908 –  SOS is adopted as the international distress signal.

1916 – The Battle Of The Somme began. In just this one day, British casualties alone stood at 57,470 [19,240 dead] – “an army two years in the making destroyed in ten minutes.”

1925 – Death of  Erik Satie, French composer

 

 

1945 – Birth of Debbie Harry  (Blondie)

 

 

1972 –  The first Gay Pride march in England takes place.

1979 – Sony introduces the Walkman.

1995 – Death of Wolfman Jack, American radio personality

 

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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