Letters From the Front – Korea

24 February 2013

Letter From the Front Photo

[Zim's Note: While not a typical letter, this poem gives the reader insight into the wartime experiences of those who served in the Korean War as well as any letter could.]

Korea, The Chosen Place, a poem

Korea, the chosen place
Ravished by war, laid to waste
All United Nations there engaged
In another history Page.

Korea, tis not a beauty site
To see by day or by night.
The eye beholds only the gloom
Of a country buried in war’s tomb.

Korea, it’s been torn up
and torn down;
Marched up
and marched down.

Korea, blood shed, land and mountains
Have been bathed by youthful fountains.
Brave men here have gone to their reward
Perishing ‘neath the sword.

Korea, twas not a war they say;
Only a police action day by day,
A testing place
For the human race.

Korea, two ideals clashing
Communism and democracy smashing;
The U.N.’s firm stand
Against the hammer red hand.

Korea, a question of peace there,
A question of peace everywhere
Soon it may be inflamed
Again in blood and war’s shame.

Korea, a prayer of the free
That inpeace here we may see
The sword no more to rise
On any land or any skies.
—S/Sgt. Irvin V. Worden

The poem is by S/SGT Irvin V. Worden, on 14 December 1953, while stationed in Korea. This poem is included in the book “Korea, The Chosen Place, a view from Old Smokey”, the story of my fathers experiences in Korea. –Stephen H. Worden

Korean War Project

“Women Bowling,” ca. 1900

23 February 2013
William M. Vander Weyde/

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

William M. Vander Weyde

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

William M. Vander Weyde

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

Source

William M. Vander Weyde/George Eastman House Collection

“Women Bowling,” ca. 1900. William M. Vander Weyde captures a bowling game between two women around the turn of the century. To some, the women seem to emit an eerie glow. Everything else in the black and white photograph is in stark focus the women are not, giving them an ethereal quality. Did Weyde plan the photo shot on a staged set or are these merely candid shots of friendly game in a dark and wooden bowling aisle? But, more importantly, did you notice there are only two finger holes?! I can barely bowl with the three finger holes that modern bowling balls now have…and by barely, I mean not at all.

Balancing an egg, 1939

23 February 2013
Photo Credit: Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida (Florida Memory)

Photo Credit: Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection, State Library and Archives of Florida (Florida Memory)

Joseph Steinmetz doing an egg balancing trick on August 30, 1939, possibly in Philadelphia.

Joseph Janney Steinmetz was a world-renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier’s, and Town & Country. His work has been referred to as “an American social history,” which documented diverse scenes of American life from affluent northeasterners to middle-class Floridians. Steinmetz moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Sarasota, Florida in 1941.

Mail Call in the Pacific, 1944

22 February 2013

(Photo Credit: National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection)

“US naval personnel gathered around a mail clerk during mail call at an unidentified location in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. Mail continues to be a critical morale builder for America’s military service members (ca. 1944).”

Daylight Saving Time

22 February 2013
Senate Sergeant at Arms Charles Higgins turns forward the Ohio Clock for the first Daylight Saving Time, while Senators William Calder (NY), William Saulsbury, Jr. (DE), and Joseph T. Robinson (AR) look on, 1918. Photo Credit: Senate Historical Office

Senate Sergeant at Arms Charles Higgins turns forward the Ohio Clock for the first Daylight Saving Time, while Senators William Calder (NY), William Saulsbury, Jr. (DE), and Joseph T. Robinson (AR) look on, 1918. Photo Credit: Senate Historical Office

As railroads dominated the landscape of the American West and Canada, standard time in time zones became a necessity. By 1883 standard time was initiated but was not signed into U.S. law until March 19, 1918 with the Standard Time Act.

World War I poster showing Uncle Sam turning a clock to Daylight Savings time as a clock-headed figure throws his hat in the air. The clock face of the figure reads "One hour of extra daylight." The poster was sponsored by United Cigar Stores Company. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

World War I poster showing Uncle Sam turning a clock to Daylight Savings time as a clock-headed figure throws his hat in the air. The clock face of the figure reads “One hour of extra daylight.” The poster was sponsored by United Cigar Stores Company. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

The Standard Time Act also established daylight saving time (DST). Signed into law during World War I, “War Time” was meant to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power. The United States was hardly the mastermind of this wartime initiative. The Central Powers, notably Germany and Austria, were the forerunners of wartime DST when they started the program on April 30, 1916 by advancing the time by one hour until October. Three weeks later, many European countries and some Canadian territories followed suit.

It took the United States two years to formally adopt this program on March 19, 1918. The program established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin at the end of the month. “War Time” ran for seven months but once the war ended, the Standard Time Act was dropped and DST became a local option, however standard time in time zones still remained in law. Some states (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) and cities (New York, Philadelphia and Chicago) continued with DST.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a declaration of war in 1941. "War Time," a variation on daylight-saving time, followed. Again the idea was to save fuel. Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images/NPR

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a declaration of war in 1941. “War Time,” a variation on daylight-saving time, followed. Again the idea was to save fuel. Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images/NPR

During World War II, President Roosevelt re-established “War Time,” for the same reasons as the First World War – to conserve energy. Since DST was a hot-button issue, the Act explicitly states that it will end.  “This Act cease to be in effect six months after the termination of the present war or at such earlier date as the Congress shall be concurrent resolution designate.” The program ran from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945.

After World War II, DST varied again among states and cities, which naturally caused confusion for broadcasting and service companies. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act of 1966 which established a beginning and end date for DST for those local jurisdictions that decide to use it.

The “energy crisis” in the 1970’s spurred Congress and President Nixon to enact the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act that enacted earlier starting dates for DST. The Act was in response to the Arab oil embargo and the Department of Transportation estimated that 100,000 barrels of oil was saved each day because of the Act.

Currently most areas in the United States observe DST, except for Arizona (the Navajo Nation does observe DST), Hawaii and overseas territories.

Sources
“Daylight Time”, United States Naval Observatory.
“A Time-Change Timeline”, NPR. March 9, 2007.
The Act of 1918 & the Act of 1942.
History of Daylight Saving Time

World’s Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, 1893

21 February 2013

After three years of preparation, the World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago from May 1, 1893 to October 30, 1893. One of the major attractions was the debut of the original Ferris Wheel designed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., a Pittsburgh-based bridge builder. With 36 seating compartments, holding 60 people each, the Ferris Wheel could carry a maximum load of 2,160 passengers. These photographs help to convey the 1893 Ferris Wheel’s vast size and intricate construction.

Source

View through support wires from one gondola to gondolas on the opposite side of the Ferris Wheel. Brooklyn Museum Archives/Goodyear Archival Collection

View of girders of the Ferris Wheel from inside a gondola. Brooklyn Museum Archives/Goodyear Archival Collection

Source

View of Ferris Wheel, which dwarfs surrounding buildings. Brooklyn Museum Archives/Goodyear Archival Collection

Check out History By Zim’s post on fun facts about the original Ferris Wheel here.

“The World’s Columbian Exposition,” Chicago Historical Society

100,000th Fordson Tractor on Final Assembly Line, February 21, 1920

19 February 2013
The Henry Ford Collection (THF22055)

100,000 Fordson Tractor on Final Assembly Line, February 21, 1920. The Henry Ford Collection (THF22055)

“Henry Ford developed the first mass-produced and inexpensive lightweight tractor to meet the needs of small farmers. The Fordson, introduced in 1917, rapidly became the most popular tractor in America. This photograph shows the 100,000th Fordson tractor being assembled in 1920. That year, the United States Census Bureau began recording enormous declines in the population of farm horses. (February 21, 1920)”

President’s Day 2013

18 February 2013

Presidents of the United States morphed in sequence from George Washington to (President Elect) Barack Obama.

Happy President’s Day Everyone! If you’re interested in presidential trivia check out the Presidents category for a whole slew of it!

Zim’s Side Note: I finally figured out how to upload videos…after a year and a half….

Two Boys Sledding, Minidoka Relocation Camp, 1943

17 February 2013
Photo Credit: Francis Stewart/University of Washington Libraries

Photo Credit: Francis Stewart/University of Washington Libraries

Two boys sledding at the Minidoka Relocation Camp located in Jerome County, Idaho on January 9, 1943. From 1942 to 1945, the Minidoka Relocation Camp housed more than 9,000 Japanese Americans, most of whom were from Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

Odd Ads: Schlitz Beer

16 February 2013

This advertisement for Schlitz beer was first printed in 1952 and states:

Anyway, you didn’t burn the Schlitz!” There’s hope for any young bride who knows her man well enough to serve him Schlitz Beer. For what man (or woman) can resist the taste of Schlitz Beer…a taste millions prefer to the taste of any other beer. No, we’re not just saying that. Here’s the simple proof: Schlitz tastes so good to so many people, it’s first in sales in the U.S.A.

The advertisement  itself is not that “odd” but more sexist by today’s standards. For a more in depth look at this ad, check out this blog.

Can I give you a hand with your cigar?

15 February 2013
Photo Credit: Liljenquist Family Collection (Library of Congress)

Photo Credit: Liljenquist Family Collection (Library of Congress)

Two unidentified soldiers in Union uniforms holding cigars in each others’ mouths, photographed between 1861 to 1865. The uniform of the solider on the right has blue chevrons which would rank him as an Infantry Sergeant.

First President Photograph

15 February 2013
James Knox Polk, three-quarter length portrait, three-quarters to the right, seated. Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress

James Knox Polk, three-quarter length portrait, three-quarters to the right, seated. Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress

James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States, was the first president to be photographed while in office. The daguerreotype was taken by famous photographer Matthew Brady in New York City on February 14, 1849. Polk was also the first president to be extensively photographed during his presidency.

White House History

Valentine’s Day By the Numbers

14 February 2013

Valentine's Day by the numbers

Valentine’s Day By the Numbers. (2013). The History Channel website. Retrieved February 13, 2013.

Valentine School Dance, 1956

13 February 2013
Photo Credit: Library of Virginia

Photo Credit: Adolph B. Rice Studio/Library of Virginia

The photo is of a Valentine’s dance at a Virginia school on February 15, 1956. Sometimes there is nothing better than one of those school dances where kids are looking everywhere but at their partners, the gap between partners could actually fit a whole other person and the ladies man of the class is dancing with a broom…

World War I Gas Masks

12 February 2013

Photo Credit: “The Literary Digest History of the World War”, volume V, p. 55./Online

Photographed are the various gas masks employed on the Western Front during the First World War. The photo quality is not the best but it does shows how varied, and creepy, some of the masks were made.

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