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All Quiet on the Western Front  Final Scene One of the few movies that was better than the novel upon which it was based: All Quiet On The Western Front (1930). It's the story of a German youth, Paul Baumer, who patriotically volunteers for service in the First World War with his classmates. His enthusiasm quickly fades to cycicism as the horrors and brutality of modern warfare become apparent. This famous final scene (which does not appear in the novel) shows Baumer being shot by a French sniper while he reaches for a butterfly.
Tags: All  Quiet  on  the  Western  Front 
Added: 10th December 2007
Views: 2140
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Australian PM Vanishes - 1967 Harold Holt, the 58-year-old prime minister of Australia, who had been in office only 22 months, vanished while swimmiming in the ocean late in 1967. On the morning of Sunday, December 17, Holt together with friends Christopher Anderson, Jan Lee and George Illson and his two bodyguards, drove down from Melbourne to see the British yachtsman Alec Rose sail through Port Phillip Heads in his boat Lively Lady to complete a leg of his solo circumnavigation of the globe, which started and ended in England. Around noon, the party drove to one of Holt's favorite swimming and snorkelling spots, Cheviot Beach on Point Nepean near Portsea, on the eastern arm of Port Phillip Bay. Holt decided to go swimming, although the surf was heavy and Cheviot Beach was notorious for its strong currents and dangerous rip tides. Ignoring his friends' pleas not to go in, Holt began swimming, but soon disappeared from view. Fearing the worst, his friends raised the alarm. Within a short time, the beach and the water off shore were being searched by a large contingent of police, Royal Australian Navy divers, Royal Australian Air Force helicopters, Army personnel from nearby Point Nepean and local volunteers. This quickly escalated into one of the largest search operations in Australian history, but no trace of Holt was ever found. Two days later, the government made an official announcement that Holt was presumed dead. Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen was sworn in as caretaker Prime Minister until such time as the governing Liberal party could elect a new leader. There were many rumors surrounding Holt's strange death, including claims that he had committed suicide or faked his own death in order to run away with his mistress. The mystery became the subject of numerous urban myths in Australia, including persistent claims that he was kidnapped (or rescued) by a Chinese submarine, or the far-fetched claim that he had been abducted by a UFO.
Tags: Australia  Harold  Holt  PM  vanishes 
Added: 6th February 2014
Views: 1505
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Marion Parker Murder - 1927 Fair warning: This story is unsettling. One of the most brutal crimes in American history was the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old schoolgirl Marion Parker. On Thursday, December 15, 1927 a young man appeared at Mount Vernon Junior High School in Los Angeles claiming to be an associate of Perry Parker, a prominent local banker. The man coolly told the school's registrar that the banker had been seriously injured in a car accident and had requested to speak to his daughter. There were actually twin Parker sisters enrolled in the school--Marion and Marjorie. By chance the registrar fetched Marion who rode off with the man. He was later identified as 19-year-old William Edward Hickman. The Parker family became alarmed when Marion did not return from school. Shortly thereafter they received a ransom note and phone calls from the kidnapper asking for $1500 in gold certificates in exchange for Marion's safe return. One attempt by Marion's father to pay the ransom was thwarted when Hickman spotted police detectives lurking nearby. Another meeting time was secretly arranged by Hickman and Marion's father on December 17 where the money was given to a man in a parked car. Perry Parker saw his daughter wrapped in a blanket slumped in the back seat with her eyes open. At gunpoint the ransom was paid and the driver pushed the girl onto the street and drove away. Marion's father was horrified to find that his daughter was dead. Her eyelids had been sewn open to give the illusion that she was alive. Worse, her head had been severed, her arms and legs had been cut off and she had been disemboweled. (The missing limbs were found the next day in a city park.) The ghastly crime spawned the largest manhunt in southern California's history, one that included 20,000 volunteers. A reward of $100,000 was offered for the capture of the culprit. Several clues, including the discovery of the stolen car used on the night of the money exchange, led to Hickman being named as the key suspect. He was eventually arrested in Echo, OR after spending some of the gold certificates there. Hickman had been a former employee at Parker's bank and had been fired for embezzlement in a forged check scam. He served prison time for the crime. The fingerprint records from the embezzlement charge were used to match those found on the stolen car from the kidnapping. Hickman willingly told police in graphic detail that he had decided to kill Marion because she had discovered his name. She had only been dead about 12 hours before the money exchange. Hickman said he had choked her with a towel to make her unconscious and then began his dismemberment while she was still alive. Hickman--who said he intended to use the $1500 to pay his tuition to attend a bible college!--hoped to avoid the gallows by claiming insanity. He was one of the first defendants in California to try that ploy after it had become an acceptable legal defense. It failed when a fellow prisoner claimed Hickman had asked his advice on how to appear crazy. A jury rejected Hickman's insanity defense in February 1928. Hickman was executed at San Quentin Prison eight months later on October 19. His hand-written confession is on display at the Los Angeles Police Museum. Marion Parker's ghost is said to occupy her former house.
Tags: Marion  Parker  murder  kidnapping  1927 
Added: 13th April 2015
Views: 1991
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Agatha Christie 1926 Disappearance The greatest mystery created by Agatha Christie wasn't in the plot of one of her novels. It was her odd 11-day disappearance in 1926 that has never been adequately explained. On December 3, 1926, the famous 36-year-old mystery novelist vanished from her home. Her car was found a short distance away. Inside it were some scattered personal belongings. Police initially feared Christie had committed suicide by drowning herself in a nearby natural pool. Others suspected she had been murdered by her philandering husband Roger. At one point some 15,000 volunteers were looking for her. Then, on December 14, Christie turned up safe and sound at a nearby spa/hotel where she had checked in under an assumed name. Several guests at the spa had recognized Christie from her newspaper photos, but she cheerfully denied being the missing author. Eventually a hotel employee summoned police who notified Mr. Christie. The couple went into seclusion for several weeks. Agatha had been suffering from depression following the death of her mother earlier that year. Her husband's barely concealed affair probably added to her mental strain. What was behind the 11-day absence? Some Christie fans think it was a publicity stunt or a form of revenge against Roger. Psychologists, however, theorize that the stressed Christie may have been in a 'fugue state'--a rare form of out-of-body amnesia where she could not recognize herself. Christie (shown here in a 1967 photo) lived until 1976, but she always refused to discuss her strange 1926 disappearance; her autobiography makes no mention of it. She and Roger divorced in 1928.
Tags: Agatha  Christie  disappearance 
Added: 15th September 2009
Views: 1655
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Polio Vaccine Campaign 1954 From 1916 through 1952 the United States and Canada experienced horrible outbreaks of polio every few years. At one point, one out of every 5000 children was diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Polio is a virus which can be contracted through contacting bodily fluids from someone already infected. Early symptoms might include headaches and a runny nose. However, once the virus moves to the central nervous system, it can cause paralysis and even death. Sneezing and coughing accelerate the spread of polio. Therefore there was justifiable panic in communities when outbreaks occurred. Public gathering places would be declared off limits. (Swimming pools were typically the first places to be closed.) Municipal parks would be eerily vacant. Researchers later determined, somewhat ironically, that young children were most susceptible to polio because most North American births in the 20th century occurred in the sterile environs of hospitals. These newborns did not naturally come in contact with small amounts of the disease as did their ancestors who were born at home. Accordingly, their immune systems did not develop sufficient resistance to the virus. Researchers Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin worked separately to find a cure. Both believed that by exposing children to minute traces of the virus through immunizations their immune systems would build up a lifetime immunity to polio. Salk favored vaccine containing the dead polio virus while Sabin favored live-virus vaccine. In 1954, two years after the terrible 1952 outbreak, more than 1.83 million children volunteered to be "polio pioneers" and serve as guinea pigs for Salk's virus. As a reward for their bravery, each was given a lollipop, plus a button and certificate acknowledging participation in the program. None of the volunteers contracted polio.
Tags: polio  research  vaccine  volunteers 
Added: 13th May 2012
Views: 2323
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Posted By: Lava1964

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