Babe Ruth Hits Final Home Run (25 May 1935)

Babe Ruth in his first season with the New York Yankees during a game in 1920.
Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

It was a game to be remembered. The Boston Braves had only won 8 and had lost 19 games as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field in Pennsylvania on 25 May 1935. Babe Ruth, who had been with the New York Yankees for most of his best years, had been released by them in February but was picked up by the Boston Braves. Now at 40, his career was coming to an end. Although given other responsibilities by the Braves, those were mostly promotional and disappointed Ruth he would never manage a team. This game though would set a record that would not be broken for 40 years.

By the seventh inning of the game, Ruth had hit two homeruns, but the Pirates still led 7-5. Ruth came to bat. Fans were excited at seeing him play and he did not disappoint. His 714-career homerun came with the ball clearing Forbes Field right field roof. There was no doubt when he hit the ball that it was a homer. Fans could hit that familiar smack that Ruth was so well known for. He rounded the bases and saluted the fans with his cap. He was old and fat, but he had come through. The fans roared in delight. The Braves tied the score 7-7 later in the inning, but the Pirates came back scoring three runs later in that inning and scoring again in the eight for final score of 11-7.

Although he would play five more games with the Braves, this homerun was his last and was a league record for 40 years. He would retire from baseball on June 1, 1935. He would die of throat cancer on 16 August 1948.  On 8 April 1974, Hank Aaron would hit his 715-homerun ending Ruth’s record.

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Cambridge Ontario Chinese Settlers Has Titanic Connection

Here is an interesting story about Chinese settlers that had a connection to Titanic.

One Of Cambridge’s Early Chinese Settlers Survived the Sinking of The Titanic
CBC, 25 May 2022

Archival material for early Chinese settlers in Waterloo region is hard to come by, but records appear to show that the City of Cambridge was once home to a family with an incredible tie to the Titanic. The Bing family was first recorded in 1894, when Sam Lee is listed as having arrived in Galt, Ont. His nephew, Lee Bing, was manager of Galt’s White Rose Cafe in the 1930s and is one of the people profiled in the documentary film The Six — which tells the stories of the six Chinese men who survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. “You have a whole family that comes here, his uncle Sam, his other uncle — Coon Lee, and then Lee himself. He’s listed as 19-years-old in 1921,” said Dan Schmalz, an analyst with Cambridge Archives.

 


Food Served on Titanic; Tragedy Strikes Couple Trying To Recreate Famous Movie Scene

 

Titanic Lunch Menu 14 April 1912
Photo: AP

What Did People On The Titanic Eat Onboard?
Cruise.blog, 23 May 2022

Enjoying fine cuisine has been a long-standing tradition for ocean liners, which continues to be an integral part of cruising. On cruises today, the entire experience revolves around indulging in delicious meals, whether that’s in the main dining room or specialty dining options.Because of artifacts saved from the sunken ship, we have a pretty clear picture of what Titanic passengers ate during their 4 day voyage.

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The following news story is a sad one. A couple in Turkey walked out on a pier to recreate the famous scene in Cameron’s Titanic where Jack and Rose were on the bow of the ship. Unfortunately in doing so, they both fell into the water. Nearby fishermen rushed  to assist. The woman was saved but alas her friend did not survive and he drowned. Truly a sad outcome that was supposed to be a happy moment in both of their lives. Our prayers go out to her and the family and friends of the young man who died.

Man Drowns While Recreating Titanic ‘King Of The World’ Pose
Daily Mail, 17 May 2022

George Hodan, publicdomainpictures.net

A man has drowned while recreating the ‘king of the world’ pose from the Titanic with his girlfriend on a Turkish pier after the couple slipped and plunged into the sea. Furkan Ciftci and his girlfriend Mine Dinar, both 23, had stood at the edge of the Izmit Marina Pier in the north-western Turkish province of Kocaeli to recreate Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s famous flying pose in the 1997 film. But the couple, who had been drinking alcohol before coming up with the idea of recreating the ‘King of the World’ pose from the Oscar-winning film, fell into the ocean at around 9.15pm on Sunday. Local fishermen saw the couple fall off the pier and rushed to help them.

Remembering History: Germany and Italy Sign Pact of Steel (22 May 1939)

The signing of the Pact of Steel on 22 May 1939 in Berlin
Photographer unknown
Public Domain/WIkimedia Commons

On 22 May 1939, Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Friendship and Alliance that became known later as the Pact of Steel. This began the formal military and political alliance between the two countries. Initially Japan was to be part of the agreement but there was disagreement on the focus of the pact. Germany and Italy wanted it aimed at the British Empire and France, while Japan wanted the Soviet Union to be the focus. The agreement was signed without Japan but would later join in September 1940.

The agreement brought together two countries that opposed each other in World War I. It also required each country to come to the aid of the other if it were in armed conflict with another nation. Neither party could make peace without the agreement of the other. One of the assumptions of the agreement was that war would start in three years at the latest. Italy needed the time to get its war production into high gear. The agreement was for ten years but there was some concern within the Italian government the agreement would suppress Italian autonomy. The agreement was still signed despite these objections, which also came from Mussolini’s son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Hitler, however, would soon declare his intentions of invading Poland. Mussolini was not happy he was not consulted on this, nor about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Agreement. Italian forces did not commit fully to war until June 1940 when German forces had defeated British and French forces with lightning speed. Italy seized Nice as its prize. Other countries it tried to invade proved more difficult. Greek partisans brought the Italian force to a halt. Germany would intervene to help there and in Yugoslavia where Italian troops also pushed back by partisans. A disastrous attack on British Egypt from Italian Libya required German assistance as well. The economic consequences of the war were bad for most Italians generating widespread resentment that would lead one day to Mussolini’s fall from power in 1943.

Sources:

History.com
School History
World War II Database


Remembering the 1932 Flight of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart circa 1928 Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress digital ID# cph.3a22092)
Amelia Earhart circa 1928
Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress digital ID# cph.3a22092)

On 20 May 1932, five years after Charles Lindbergh made his famous solo nonstop flight from the U.S. to France, Amelia Earhart set out to be the first female aviator to accomplish the same feat. Unlike Lindbergh, Earhart was already well known before this flight. She gained fame in 1928 as part of a three person crew to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane. On that trip, she kept the plane’s log.

Early on 20 May 1932, her Lockheed Vega 5B took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. She intended to replicate Lindbergh’s flight but encountered strong northerly winds, mechanical problems, and icy conditions. Instead of landing in France, she landed in a pasture at Culmore(north of Derry)in Northern Ireland. When asked by a farmhand how far she had flown, she famously said “From America.” Her feat received international acclaim. She received the Distinguished Flying Cross in the U.S., Cross of Honor of the Legion of Honor from France, and the Gold Medal from the National Geographic Society. Her fame allowed her develop friendships with many important and influential people such as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Earhart would continue to make solo flights and set records. Sadly her next most famous mission would forever be shrouded in mystery. In 1937 she attempted–along with copilot Frederick Noonan–to fly around the world. On 2 Jul 1937, her plane disappeared near Howland Island in the South Pacific. Despite extensive searching by the U.S.Navy and Coast Guard, no trace of the plane or its pilots were ever found. The search was called off on 19 July. Earhart was declared legally dead on 5 Jul 1939 so that her estate could pay bills. Since then numerous theories as to what happened have been put forth. Many believe her plane either crashed and sank or that they landed on an island and perished awaiting rescue. Some intriquing evidence recovered in 2012 off Nikumaroro might be from their plane which supports the crash and sank hypothesis. More speculative theories have her being a spy for FDR or being captured and executed (along with Noonan)by the Japanese on Saipan (the area checked for the pilots bodies revealed nothing). A 1970 book claiming she had survived, moved to New Jersey, and changed her name to Irene Craigmile Bolam. There really was an Irene Bolam who had been a banker in New York in the 1940’s. She sued the publisher and obtained an out-of-court settlement. The book was taken off the market. National Geographic throughly debunked it in 2006 on Undiscovered History.


Remembering the Historic Flight of Charles Lindbergh(20 May 1927)

Charles Lindbergh, with Spirit of St. Louis in background. Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress,digital id# cph.3a23920)
Charles Lindbergh, with Spirit of St. Louis in background.
Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress,digital id# cph.3a23920)

It was a cold morning and the runway was muddy from the rain when an unknown contract Air Mail pilot by the name of Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, New York in his Wright Whirlwind monoplane named Spirit of St.Louis. His destination was Paris, France. Others had tried and failed. Scrimping together his own funds and financing from backers, he would attempt a feat that would prove transatlantic air travel was possible.

After taking off at 07:52 am on 20 May 1927, he would fly solo for his entire trip. He had to fly over storm clouds on occasion and other times just above the water having to avoid wave tops. There was fog that made it hard to see and icing on his wings. He had to fly, when possible, by the stars and dead reckoning.

He would land in France at Le Bourget Airport at 10:22 pm(22:22) on Saturday 21 May. The airfield was seven miles northeast and he originally thought, due to all the lights he saw, it was a industrial plant. In fact it was the headlights of thousands of cars whose passengers had come out to see Lindbergh land. Which he did to great acclaim. He was mobbed by thrilled spectators although a few were souvenir hunters who grabbed items from the plane. A combination of French aviators, police, and even soldiers got him and the plane away from the mob.

He would not only receive the $25,000 Orteig Prize for an aviator who achieved this feat, he would receive several other honors as well. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by France, U.S. President Coolidge awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the U.S Post Office issued a special 10 cent Air Mail stamp with his plane and map of the flight on it. He also had a ticker tape parade in New York. And the U.S. Congress would award him the Medal of Honor which tells you how much in awe of his achievement they were. The Medal of Honor is usually reserved for heroism in combat and only rarely given to civilians (usually the Congressional Gold Medal is given to civilians). And Lindbergh was just 25 years of age when he did all this.

Aside from changing his life forever, his flight was a major boost not only to the aviation industry but encouraged many to become aviators. It was the Lindbergh Boom. The use of Air Mail would increase and last until 1977 when its use for domestic mail was discontinued. Today most first class mail destined outside a regional delivery area (like New York to San Francisco)is put on airplanes. Lower class mailings go the slow route via trucks and rails. The only mail delivered by air today are in remote areas such as in Alaska or other remote areas of the U.S.

The Spirit of St. Louis was given to the Smithsonian Institution by Lindbergh in 1928. It has been on display in the atrium of the National Air and Space Museum and worth the trip to see it.


Titanic News: Titanic Copycats that Have Sunk, Marconi First Radio Broadcast, and Titanic Cake Divides Internet

 

Like the SS Pendleton, it appears the Titanic replicas have sunk too.

The Titanic Copy-Cats That Have Been As Ill-Fated As The Original Ship (Belfast Telegraph, 16 May 2022)

But whatever happened to the two full-size replicas, the projects for which were ‘launched’ years ago in Australia and China? Have they turned out to be as ill-fated as the original ship? The short answer is yes. Reports in Australia suggest that Palmer has got cold feet over his vanity project’s Edwardian-period details and colonial-era elegance which, frankly, are not in keeping with prospective passengers’ modern-day cruise ship expectations. At least work actually started on the ‘other’ full-scale Titanic replica at the Romandisea Seven Star International Culture Tourism Resort and theme park in China’s Sichuan Province. The £150m project itself, however, looks sunk. For ‘Unsinkable’, read ‘unsustainable’. There was an audible gasp in the room, however, when Seven Star boss Su Shaojun revealed that a replica iceberg would also be built, to help ‘simulate’ what was, in 1912, an unparalleled maritime disaster. Needless to say, this didn’t go down particularly well, especially here. Former Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers, whose grandfather had worked on the Titanic, told the Belfast Telegraph the idea was “disgraceful and shameful.” Actor Bernard Hill, who played Captain Edward Smith in the 1997 movie and took part in the Hong Kong launch, initially rejected suggestions that the replica iceberg idea was inappropriate but later regretted his involvement in the project.

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This New ‘Titanic’ Expedition Will Take You Down to the Legendary Shipwreck Before It Disappears Entirely (Robb Report, 13 May 2022)

The 2022 Titanic Expedition will start on June 15. There are a limited number of openings for this year’s missions and a spot will set you back $250,000. Aspiring mission specialists can contact OceanGate Expeditions for additional info. Oh, and there’s another expedition slated for next year if you miss out.

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The only picture of the Marconi radio room onboard the Titanic. Harold Bride is seated at his station. Photo was taken by Father Francis Browne, SJ, while aboard Titanic.
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Marconi’s First Radio Broadcast Made 125 Years Ago
(BBC, 13 May 2022)

On 13 May 1897, Guglielmo Marconi sent the world’s first radio message across open water, and he did it while visiting a seaside resort in Somerset. Marconi came to Weston-super-Mare looking to experiment with what he called “telegraphy without wires” – known to us now as radio. He was initially interested in contacting ships, but his work led to a communications revolution. It paved the way for the radio and television broadcasts that we take for granted today.

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Child’s ‘Inappropriate’ Birthday Cake Divides The Internet
(Honey Parenting, 13 May 2022)

An internet user took to the popular Mumsnet Talk forum this week to share an image of a child’s birthday cake and ask others if they thought it was inappropriate. The elaborate cake features a model of the Titanic ship split in two and sinking into the blue cake that depicts the North Atlantic Ocean. Nearby are fondant icebergs, as well as a ticket and a boarding pass. On close inspection, it appears the cake is for a child turning five, as the words, “Titanic 5th Birthday Tehl” are written on the ticket, while the name “Tehl” also appears on the boarding pass.

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Titanic lost: Belfast Telegraph front page on 16 April 1912
Source: Belfast Telegraph

Chilling Video Shows What Sinking On The Titanic Would Really Look Like (Newsweek, 12 May 2022)

A haunting video showing what passengers and crew members aboard the Titanic may have experienced as the doomed luxury liner sank has gone viral on TikTok, amassing more than 3 million views. The clip, which appears to be the second part of a series, was shared by @titanichistory1912, a content creator whose account is dedicated to videos about the Titanic. “What the lighting would have really looked like,” read the text over the clip.

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International Ice Patrol: Remembering The Titanic 110 Years Later
(Homeland Security Today, 12 Mar 2022)

This trip also included an additional mission, honoring the lives lost during the Titanic tragedy by participating in a ceremony commemorating the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The crew’s first stop was in Halifax to kick off the multi-mission patrol. They were greeted by the welcoming faces of the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada at the Local Women’s Council house. A sense of melancholy and reverence filled the room as the events of the Titanic were revisited.

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Yes Virginia, Titanic was a real ship that sank in 1912 with over 1,500 people who died.

10 People Who Literally Didn’t Know the Titanic Was A Real Ship
(Twisted Sifter, 6 May 2022)

You know with all the hoopla about Titanic over the years-the books, movies and ongoing debates-it is hard to imagine anyone who does not know it was a real ship. In fact, I bet it was the source of some jokes making fun of people who knew nothing about Titanic. Turns out that many in fact had no idea the film was based on a real historical event. If the posts shown in the article are to be believed (and I have no reason to think not), it shows how fallen history has dropped out of education these days and replaced by other things.

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And just for fun….

Titanic sails away with €4,300 in Kilmallock
(Irish Farmers Journal, 9 May 2022)

Adam Woods reports from the Irish Angus Munster branch sale held in Kilmallock mart, Co Limerick, at the weekend.


Remembering History: Lewis & Clark Expedition Begins (14 May 1804)

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Public Domain (Wikipedia)

Under President Jefferson, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1803 for a price of 3 cents per acre for some 828,000 square miles of land. It is considered one of the best land deals ever. Jefferson commissioned the expedition of Lewis and Clarke to explore this territory  from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. On 14 May 1804 this “Corps of Discovery” as it was called, left St. Louis with 45 men (only 33 would make the full journey) for the newly purchased American interior.

Traveling up the Missouri River in six canoes and two longboats they would winter in Dakota before crossing into Montana where they saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time. They would meet the Shoshone Indians on the other side of the Continental Divide, who would sell them horses. The journeyed through the Bitterroot Mountains, down the rapids of the Clearwater and Snake rivers, until they reached the Columbia River and to the sea. They arrived at the Pacific Ocean on 8 November 1805 and were the first European explorers to do this overland from the east. The paused for the winter and then made their journey back to St. Louis in the spring.

The journals that were kept noted longitude and latitude with detailed notes on soil, climate, animals, plants, and native peoples. They identified new plants and animals (the grizzly bear for one). They also named geographic locations after themselves, loved ones, friends and even their dog. They experienced a variety of diseases and injuries during their journey but only one person perished. Their expedition is considered one of the most consequential and remarkable in U.S. history. Their travels in Oregon would lead the U.S. to able claim territorial rights later.

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Remembering History: Lindbergh Baby Found Dead (12 May 1932)

Lindbergh Child Poster 1932
Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby would shock the nation and bring heartbreak to the Lindbergh family. Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne lived in a house in Hopewell, New Jersey. Around 9:00 pm on 1 March 1932, the kidnapper or kidnappers climbed a ladder into the second-story nursery and abducted the child. A ransom note of $50,000 was left behind. The child was found missing an hour by the nanny, Betty Gow. The local police were notified and turned the case over to the New Jersey State Police. The search found the ransom note, muddy footprints in the nursery, and a ladder a distance away from the home. Footprints from the ladder led into the woods at the edge of the property.

Two other ransom notes would be received raising the demand to $70,000. Attempts to contact the kidnappers failed. Ultimately a retired New York City teacher named John Condon placed advertising in a Bronx newspaper offering to act as intermediary. He got a note from the kidnappers that he would be acceptable. Condon used newspaper columns under the name of Jafsie to send messages. The kidnappers responded with leaving secret written messages at locations in New York City. Additionally, the kidnappers sent the child’s sleeping suit as proof of identity. On 2 April 1932, a meet was set up to deliver the ransom with Lindbergh nearby. Condon talked with someone called John. He accepted $50,000 (the original amount) and said they would find the baby on a boat named Nelly Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. A search for the boat turned up nothing. The money paid were gold certificates whose serial numbers were recorded by the Treasury Department.

Sadly, on 12 May 1932 the body of child was found less than 5 miles from the Lindbergh home. The child was positively identified as the missing child Charles Lindbergh, Jr. An autopsy determined the baby had been killed by a blow to the head either during or just after the kidnapping. The Lindbergh’s were deeply saddened and decided to leave the area, and the house was given to a charity. Investigators checked everyone connected to Lindbergh and John Condon. Nothing was found. Outrage over the kidnapping convinced President Roosevelt to order the U.S. Bureau of Investigation (renamed later to Federal Bureau of Investigation) to investigate.  Congress passed the Federal Kidnapping Act (known as the Lindbergh Law) on 12 June 1932. The law makes kidnapping a crime across state lines and that the person(s) convicted of it would face the death penalty.

Aftermath

A year later a service station attendant in New York City recorded the license plate of a man who had paid with a $10 gold certificate. The gold certificate was registered as one that was used to pay the kidnappers a year before. It was traced to a Bronx residence who matched the description of John who Condon had met with. On 10 Sept 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested and a $20 gold certificate from the ransom payment was found on him. More gold certificates would be found, and his penmanship was similar to what the kidnapper(s) used. Hauptmann claimed he was holding the money for Isidore Fisch, who had returned to Germany and had died. Hauptmann was indicted for murder on 8 Oct 1934. He went on trial in January 1935. This “trial of the century” was mostly circumstantial rather than direct evidence. Condon’s telephone number though was found on a closet door frame and Lindbergh recognized his voice as the one heard the night of the ransom payment. Hauptmann took the stand in his defense claiming he was innocent. He claimed he was beaten by the police and forced to give handwriting samples. He was found guilty on 13 February 1935. His legal appeals, including to the U.S. Supreme Court were rejected. He was executed on 3 April; 1936.

There have been many books over the years that dispute the fingerprints, the police methods and the investigation claiming he was at best innocent or worse framed for the crime. Some have argued that Lindbergh himself was responsible though the outcome of the dead infant was unplanned. Others have sifted through all the evidence and found the evidence compelling enough to warrant the conviction. The strongest support of that is he fit the description that Condon gave, and Lindbergh recognized his voice.

Spoiler Alert Warning!

A more fantastic idea comes the alternative history novel The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth. In this book, Lindbergh becomes president in 1940 instead of Franklin Roosevelt. As president, he signs peace accords with both Nazi Germany and Japan keeping the U.S. out of the war during his time in office. He also enacts policies against the Jews and other things that start moving America more towards a fascist state. After his presidency ends (he flies off and disappears never to be seen again), it is revealed that the Germans had organized the kidnapping and brought his child to Germany. They used this as leverage to compel Lindbergh to enact policies in line with the Nazi’s. At the same time, it was spread that Jew’s were responsible for the kidnapping encouraging antisemitism in America.

However, Lindbergh was not as keen in doing what they wanted (about the Jews in particular) and resisted. His vice president though was in tune with implementing the more radical policies they favored. It is not clear what really happened to Lindbergh. Was his plane brought down by engine failure, did he deliberately crash his plane, or did the Nazi’s have something to do with it? His disappearance allowed the vice president to take control and operate more like an authoritarian leader the Nazi’s would approve of lending credence to this theory. It fell apart thanks to Lindbergh’s wife taking to the radio and asking for it to stop. It does and ultimately Roosevelt would be president in the next election ending the Nazi plot.

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