America Comes of Age - The Korean War
Like Lambs to the Slaughter
US defense spending had reached a modern day low. The military was ill-prepared and ill-equipped, those in authority embraced questionable doctrines.
From a post World War II soft life in Japan, with servants to wash their clothes and shine their boots, these American youth were suddenly uprooted and flung into harm's way. There was no "Remember Pearl Harbor."
The North Korean People's Army was on a roll. The North Korean People's Army had invaded the Republic of Korea in South Korea only 11 days earlier and overwhelmed the ill-equipped Republic of Korea armed forces. The North Korean People's Army steamrolled into Seoul, driving refugees and regrouping Republic of Korea Army units before it, clogging roads and throwing the countryside into a panic.
The invasion caught General Douglas MacArthur and his Far East Command and Eighth Army by surprise, despite recent intelligence reports that North Korea was planning for an attack on the Republic of Korea. General MacArthur had disregarded the reports, saying he did not believe war with North Korea was imminent.
The events that unfolded on the Korean peninsula some 45 years ago offer a telling reminder of what happens when a force goes to war unprepared. Disaster lurks around every bend.
Facing a force of 130,000 NKP soldiers, 3,000 Soviet advisors, a full array of heavy weapons, aircraft and the formidable T-34/85, arguably the best tank to come out of World War II.
American GIs fought bravely at times. At other times when confronted with overwhelming, numerically superior forces, they "bugged-out" to the rear, cursing their government for sending them to this stinking, God-forsaken place where human feces were used to fertilize the land.
The Library of Congress
The Korean War National Museum
U.S. Army Center of Military History
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The Library of Congress - Veterans History Project
Wessel's Living History Farm
Far Away Places
Fanfare for the Common Man
Saving Private Ryan
Hymn to the Fallen
conceived and produced by:
For more information about the Korean War
Added: 25th September 2008
Posted By: dalecaruso
Since 1942, Armed Forces Radio and later, Television Service (AFRTS) has been providing information, education, and most importantly, entertainment to U.S. military forces everywhere.
From broadcasts to the troops serving around the world in WWII, from Soul during the Korean War, Saigon throughout the Vietnam War, to stations in Europe and Iraq today.
Since 1942, through today, wherever American men and women serve, a bit of the "hometown" travels with them. Thanks to Armed Forces Radio and later the Armed Forces Network the entertainment that they held so dear is never really far away. In a way that is perhaps never realized at the moment, when we heard the music that we really never are Far Away From Home
Film Clips and Video Footage: Official and Amateur footage
Vincent Romano Archives
The Armed Forces Network
(pronounced 'oh-tee-R cat' - from Old Time Radio Catalog)
nowhere to run - Martha and the Vandellas
going up the country - Canned Heat
somebody to love - Jefferson Airplane
sunshine of your love - Cream
papa's Got a Brand New Bag - James Brown
i can't get no satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
reflections - Diana Ross & the Supremes
war - Edwin Starr
we've gotta get out of this place - the Animals
changes - David Bowie
fat bottom girls - Queen
smoke on the water - Deep Purple
featuring the voices of
Harry von Zell
and of course ...
conceived and produced by
Added: 26th September 2008
Posted By: dalecaruso
One of the most recognizable characters in the Our Gang comedies was William (Buckwheat) Thomas who was a troupe member from 1934 until the series concluded in 1944. Thomas recalled his mother taking him to a tryout at age three--where he was quickly added as a minor character. He was being groomed to replace Stymie as the Gang's black character. Like Farina before him, Buckwheat's gender was a bit of a mystery at first, but he eventually grew into a male role. His trademark 'Otay!' was part of his garbled-English shtick. His wardrobe usually consisted of a striped shirt, a floppy hat, and pants held up by just one suspender. Thomas made an easy transition out of showbiz. He worked as a film laboratory technician for years and also served in the Korean War. (His gravestone wrongly lists him as a WWII veteran.) In August 1980 he was moved to tears after he was given a standing ovation by fans at an Our Gang reunion. Two months later Thomas died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. Remarkably, Buckwheat got plenty of posthumous fame. Comedian Eddie Murphy had an ongoing Buckwheat-impersonation routine on Saturday Night Live. In 1990, the ABC news program 20/20 aired a segment about a man working in a Tempe, Arizona grocery store who claimed to be Buckwheat. The network was flooded with calls from knowledgeable Our Gang fans who pointed out that the real Buckwheat had died a decade earlier. An angry Spanky McFarland appeared on television to denounce the fraudster, a man named Billie English who had been masquerading as Buckwheat for 30 years. The producer of the 20/20 segment was summarily fired for his shoddy research. Buckwheat's son sued ABC for negligence.
Added: 2nd December 2009
Posted By: Lava1964
The North Korean soccer team qualified for the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa. Their chances of success were considered slim. In fact North Korean television, fearing an embarrassment, planned no coverage of the team's games. They lost their first match to mighty Brazil by a close 2-1 score. With cause for optimism, arrangements were made for the team's second game to be broadcast in North Korea. To the chagrin of the communist regime, Portugal routed the North Koreans 7-0. As soon as the score reached 2-0, the signal was yanked off the air. In their final game, Ivory Coast beat North Korea 3-0. When the players returned home, they were publicly shamed: the team and its manager were forced onto a stage at the People's Palace of Culture in front of 400 government officials, students, and journalists. According to reports, the athletes were subjected to a six-hour barrage of criticism for their poor performances that was led by a TV commentator and sports minister Pak Myong-chol. The players were asked to step up in turn and publicly criticize manager Kim Jong-hun, who had apparently been singled out for punishment. He was forced into a construction job because, it is thought, his team's failure was seen as a personal betrayal of Kim Jong-un, the son of leader Kim Jong-il.
Added: 13th May 2011
Posted By: Lava1964
Some people never age--at least in the world of women's gymnastics. Kim Gwang Suk was a North Korean gymnast who competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She was also at the forefront of the one of the biggest scandals in her sport's history when it was discoverd she was listed as 15 years old for three consecutive years! (At that time, a gymnast had to be at least 15 to compete in senior events; the age minimum was raised to 16 in 1997.) Kim's petite frame fooled everyone, including the folks at FIG, the governing body for international gymnastics. They never did manage to obtain her real age. Nevertheless, the impossibility of Kim being 15 for three years prompted FIG to ban the entire North Korean team from the 1993 World Championships.
Added: 29th August 2011
Posted By: Lava1964
Raymond Burr, the popular Canadian-born actor who starred in both Perry Mason and Ironside, wildly fabricated parts of his past, presumably to hide his homosexuality. Most of the blatant falsehoods weren't exposed until after his death in 1993. Burr married actress Isabella Ward on January 10, 1949. They lived together for less than a year and divorced after four years. Neither remarried. At various times in his career, Burr or his managers offered biographical details that appear spurious or unverifiable. These include marriage to a Scottish actress named Annette Sutherland, supposedly killed in the same plane crash as Leslie Howard. A son named Michael Evan was said to have resulted from another invented marriage to Laura Andrina Morgan. Burr provided the only evidence of the boy's existence and death from leukemia at age 10. As late as 1991, Burr told Parade magazine that when he realized his son was dying, he took him on a one-year tour of the United States. He said, "Before my boy left, before his time was gone, I wanted him to see the beauty of his country and its people." Later research proved Burr was working in Hollywood throughout the year he was supposedly travelling with his ill son. Burr also claimed to have served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War and said he had been seriously wounded on Okinawa. Many of these fictions were believed and widely reported during Burr's lifetime. In the mid 1950s, Burr met Robert Benevides, a young actor and Korean War veteran, on the set of Perry Mason. According to Benevides, they became a couple around 1960. He later became a production consultant for 21 of the Perry Mason TV movies. Together they owned and operated an orchid business and then a vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley. They were partners until Burr's death. Burr left Benevides his entire estate.
Later accounts of Burr's life explain he hid his sexuality to protect his career. In 2000, AP reporter Bob Thomas recalled the situation:
"It was an open secret...that Burr was gay. He had a companion who was with him all the time. That was a time in Hollywood history when homosexuality was not countenanced. Ray was not a romantic star by any means, but he was a very popular figure...If it was revealed at that time in Hollywood history [that he was gay] it would have been very difficult for him to continue."
Added: 18th September 2011
Posted By: Lava1964
During the mid-1980s, Detroit's Anthony Hembrick, a member of the U.S. Army, was a three-time American amateur middleweight boxing champion. He was perceived to be a medal hopeful when he arrived at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. However, Hembrick never got the chance to show his stuff because he never got the opportunity to fight there. Hembrick and his coach, Ken Adams, were misinformed about the time of Hembrick's first-round match and missed catching a bus from the Olympic Village that would have gotten him to the boxing venue in ample time. By the time Hembrick and Adams arrived at Chamshil Students' Gymnasium, Hembrick had been disqualified and the match was awarded to South Korean Ha Jong-Ho. The 1988 Olympic boxing tournament was replete with odd incidents and controversies. Anti-American sentiment among the host South Koreans was widespread. Some conspiracy-minded people believe Hembrick was deliberately misled about the time of his match so the South Korean boxer would win by walkover. Hembrick later embarked on a pro boxing career, usually at light heavyweight, that was largely disappointing. He was often introduced before his bouts as "the man who missed the bus."
Added: 2nd November 2011
Posted By: Lava1964
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