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Winston Churchill - Finest Hour Speech On June 18, 1940 Allied resistance to the German invasion of France ended with the surrender of the French forces. Great Britain, the last remaining unoccupied country in western Europe, would be next to face the brunt of a German offensive. At its most imperiled hour, Great Brtiain is inspired to resist by new Prime Minister Winston Churchill in this famous speech.
Tags: Winston  Churchill  Finest  Hour  speech 
Added: 25th October 2013
Views: 2338
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Posted By: Lava1964
Failed Nungesser-Coli Flight 1927 Twelve days before Charles Lindbergh's famous first successful trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, two Frenchmen attempted the feat in the reverse direction but tragically vanished. Charles Eugène Jules Marie Nungesser and Francois Coli left Paris’s Le Bourget Airport on May 8, 1927, to fly across the Atlantic non-stop. They hoped to win the $25,000 Orteig Prize offered by a New York City hotelier while confirming France's place atop the postwar aviation world. The two co-pilots had been aviators in the First World War. Nungesser, a fighter pilot, had the third-highest rating for air combat victories amongst French pilots. François Coli was also an ace pilot who commanded a wartime squadron even though he had lost an eye while serving in the French infantry. They set off in the Levasseur PL.8 biplane – a fixed-wing aircraft with two superimposed main wings – named l’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird) to fly the 3,600 miles from Paris to New York City without halting. The cockpit had been enlarged so that both could fit in. Their task was more difficult than Lindbergh's because they were flying into the wind and thus required more fuel. Their plane carried 11,000 pounds and barely got off the ground. Initial news reports circulated in France that the aviators had safely landed in New York, causing joyous celebrations to erupt in Paris. However, those reports were completely untrue: Nungesser and Coli’s plane disappeared somewhere over the Atlantic. The last verified sighting was when l’Oiseau Blanc was seen near Etretat off the coast of Upper Normandy. The twosome's flight plan would have taken them across southern England, then across Ireland to the Canadian coast and from there down to New York City. There were unverified reports of l’Oiseau Blanc being seen near Ireland and being heard near Newfoundland and the French islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon. Nevertheless, no sign of the airplane has ever been found. Three attempts to find wreckage--the last one occurring in June 2012--have all resulted in nothing.
Tags: aviation  Nungesser  and  Coli 
Added: 24th November 2013
Views: 1246
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Posted By: Lava1964
Polo at the Olympics Polo was contested at five Summer Olympics: 1900, 1908, 1920, 1924 and 1936. Over the years only nine different countries participated. That's not to say the tournaments were necessarily small: At the 1900 Olympics in Paris there were 13 teams--but six of them were French and the other seven were British! At the 1908 London Olympics the entire field of 12 teams were comprised of British squads. At the final Olympic tournament in Berlin in 1936, the Argentinian team (show in the photo) was easily the class of the five-team field. In their only two matches they outscored Mexico and Great Britain by a combined score of 26-5. The IOC invited India and the Unites States to enter teams, but neither country showed any desire to send a polo squad to Berlin. Why was polo discontinued at the Olympics? The expense of transporting horses overseas combined with a general lack of interest doomed polo to extinction from the Olympic program.
Tags: polo  Olympics 
Added: 5th March 2015
Views: 939
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Posted By: Lava1964
Charles De Gaulle Resigns April 28, 1969 President Charles De Gaulle Resigns
Tags: De  Gaulle  Resigns  rioting  French  President  France 
Added: 28th April 2015
Views: 885
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Posted By: BigBoy Bob
Ampersand - The 27th Letter of the Alphabet There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, right? That's only the modern count. For many years the ampersand was considered the 27th. Nineteenth-century text books almost always had the ampersand listed as an additional letter. According to scholars, the ampersand was created by combining the letters E and T, which forms the French word for "and": "et". Today is it considered bad form to write an ampersand in place of the word "and" in any scholarly work. It survives mostly in business names such as Barnes & Noble. The word ampersand comes from a corruption of the phrase "and per se and" that concluded the recitation of the alphabet in the 19th century.
Tags: ampersand  alphabet  English  language 
Added: 23rd May 2015
Views: 1137
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Posted By: Lava1964
Bedroom of WWI Soldier Unchanged Since 1918 In October 2014, a French publication reported on a remarkable tribute to one of France's fallen soldiers from the First World War. A home in Belabre, a small central French village, contains a young man's bedroom that has remained unchanged since its occupant died in the final year of the Great War. Dragoon officer Hubert Rochereau was killed in Belgium on April 26, 1918. His grieving parents, as a tribute to their late son, left his room exactly as it was the last time he set foot in it. Over the years the house has changed ownership numerous times, but each new owner has kept the promise not to alter the bedroom's appearance that accompanied the original sales agreement made by the Rocherau family--although it is completely unenforceable by law. The room contains several articles of clothing, photographs, books, and other personal effects. The mayor of Belabre hopes the recent publicity surrounding the bedroom will eventually lead to the house being converted into a museum.
Tags: bedroom  WWI  soldier  France 
Added: 14th June 2015
Views: 1341
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Posted By: Lava1964
Theda Bara - Forgotten Movie Star Theda Bara is a largely forgotten movie star for two reasons: Her career ended in 1926 so she did not make a single sound film, and most of her 40 feature films were lost in a 1937 studio vault fire. Although she was born in Cincinnati in 1885, studio publicists tried to make her ancestry more exotic than it really was. At one point Bara was listed as being born in a Middle Eastern desert to French and Arabian parents. Bara's faux first name was either a childhood nickname or an anagram of the word 'death'--depending on which fan magazine you read. Her birth name was Theodosia Burr Goodman. Be that as it may, Bara became very famous for her portrayal of Cleopatra in a 1917 feature film. She wore a risque costume and described herself as a 'vamp'--an abbreviation of the word vampire. Only a few seconds of her breakthrough performance survives. She declared she would continue playing vamps 'as long as people sin.' After getting married in 1921, Bara only made two more films before retiring five years later. She died of stomach cancer in 1955 at age 69. Only four of her films are known to exist.
Tags: Theda  Bara  silent  films  star  vamp  Cleopatra 
Added: 23rd June 2015
Views: 1345
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Posted By: Lava1964
Citroen Ad on Eiffel Tower One of the great architectural marvels ever created was the Eiffel Tower, named for its engineer Gustave Eiffel whose company built it. It was originally supposed to be a temporary structure erected to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the French Republic for the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. Not everyone in 1889 was enamored by it. One French newspaper referred to it as "Mr. Eiffel's monstrosity." When it was completed in 1889 it stood 1,046 feet tall and was the tallest man-made structure in the word--a distinction it held for 40 years when it was eclipsed slightly by the Chrysler Building in New York City. (In 1957 a 17-foot antenna was added to the top of the Tower, making it slightly taller than the Chrysler Building.) For about nine years, from 1925 through 1934, the tower that dominated the Parisian skyline featured tacky advertising for Citroen automobiles. Thankfully it hasn't been marred by such commercialism in more than 80 years.
Tags: Eiffel  Tower  Citroen  advertising 
Added: 14th July 2015
Views: 1069
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Posted By: Lava1964
Dempsey-Carpentier Bout - First Million-Dollar Gate On Saturday, July 2, 1921, world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey defended his title versus France's Georges Carpentier. The venue was a specially built stadium at a place called Boyle's Thirty Acres in Jersey City, NJ. More than 92,000 fans filled the wooden bowl paying between $5.50 for a distant perch in the far bleachers and $50 for a ringside seat. All told, the crowd paid nearly $1.8 million for the privilege of watching a prize fight--the first time the million-dollar mark had ever been eclipsed. The huge gate was the result of several factors: Dempsey was an exciting heavyweight with plenty of knockouts on his record. Carpentier was a glamorous and handsome French war hero whose every move was followed in the society pages of New York City's newspapers. Thus women attended the fight in huge numbers. (In contrast, Dempsey was disliked in some quarters for having no service record during the First World War.) The fight was broadcast on the new medium of radio for the first time. With the stadium dangerously swaying due to the weight of the enormous crowd, the main event started about 30 minutes early. Before the fight started, promoter Tex Rickard pleaded with Dempsey not to knock out the much smaller Carpentier in the first round so the fans would get their money's worth. Dempsey agreed, but he was solidly hit with a hard right hand from the Frenchman. This was bad news for the challenger: Carpentier broke his thumb with the blow--and he had angered the fearsome champion. Dempsey wore down Carpentier with hard body shots into the fourth round. In that fourth round Carpentier was knocked down twice. The second time he did not get up. Dempsey received $300,000 for about 11 minutes of work.
Tags: boxing  Jack  Dempsey  Georges  Carpentier. 
Added: 19th July 2015
Views: 1076
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Posted By: Lava1964
Verdun Ossuary - 1964 Most Americans are barely aware of it, but one of the most terrible battles in history occurred near the northern French city of Verdun from February through November 1916. The Germans launched a massive attack on February 21 with both numerical superiority and the element of surprise. Verdun was supposed to be a quiet French sector on the Western Front and was held largely by lightly regarded territorial troops. The Germans hoped to bleed the French army to at least force an armistice on the Western Front. The embattled French considered the defense of Verdun to be symbolic of resistance. "They shall not pass!" became the rallying cry of the defenders. At some point during the battle virtually every able-bodied French soldier served at the Verdun front. The carnage was atrocious as positions sometimes changed hands several times each day. Eventually the German High Command called off the attack. In those nine months of ceaseless fighting casualties approached one million, with at least 500,000 killed. In 1964 Life magazine published a pictorial feature about what Verdun looked like 48 years after the battle. Perhaps the most shocking photo was the one shown here: An ossuary containing the bones of about 130,000 unknown soldiers from both sides. Interestingly, Life's photographer was Alfred Eisenstaedt--a German veteran of the war.
Tags: Verdun  battle  ossuary  First  World  War 
Added: 22nd July 2015
Views: 1315
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Posted By: Lava1964

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