Animals in War: “Lobo,” Vietnam

1 February 2013

[Zim's Note: I have wanted to do a post about the use of animals in war for a while now. Instead of glossing over their collective war efforts, I thought it would be best to make it into a series. Animals have been instrumental during the wars and have been credited with saving many lives. However, they rarely (until fairly recently) receive their due credit. Here are their stories.]

During the Vietnam War, more than 4,000 dogs served in various positions with the United States military forces. Though their scouting and sentry duties, it is believed that these dogs saved up to 10,000 American servicemen. The number of dogs killed in action has been tallied at 232, while 295 dog handlers were also killed during the war. By the end of the conflict, only about 200 dogs returned to the United States, the rest were either euthanized or given to the South Vietnamese who, reportedly, did not know how to handle them. These dogs were considered “a surplus of war.”

Lobo

I came across some Marine Corps photographs of Sgt. Spano and his war dog Lobo. This series shows Sgt. Spano and Lobo completing a parachute jump in Da Nang, Vietnam in August 1968.

“Lift—Lobo gets a lift onto the plane as the jump gets near.”

“Lift—Lobo gets a lift onto the plane as the jump gets near.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Away they go—Spano and Lobo dive out of the plane for the long awaited jump.”

“Away they go—Spano and Lobo dive out of the plane for the long awaited jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Soaring high—With Lobo lowered for the touchdown the two just ride out the jump.”

“Soaring high—With Lobo lowered for the touchdown the two just ride out the jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Water—Sgt. Spano shares a canteen of water with Lobo after the jump.”

“Water—Sgt. Spano shares a canteen of water with Lobo after the jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Success—Sgt. Spano and Lobo show their joy after successfully making their first jump.”

“Success—Sgt. Spano and Lobo show their joy after successfully making their first jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

Online research came up with very little on both Sgt. Spano and Lobo. Sgt. Spano’s name (or at least his last name) does not appear on either the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall or on lists of killed dog handlers. There were more than one dog named “Lobo” serving in Vietnam and two baring the name were killed in action. Lobo (with ear tattoo of “58M4″) was killed February 15, 1969 and Lobo (with ear tattoo of “729M”) was killed June 25, 1970. However, I’ve ruled them out as the Lobo in these photographs since the two killed were listed as Army.

If you know of any other information on these two heroes, please let me know!

Sources:
Jessica Ravitz, “War dogs remembered, decades later,” CNN, February 12, 2010.
The United States War Dog Association

“Got wings? Let’s Fly!”

31 January 2013
Lane County Historical Museum (Catalog Number L82-516-16068)

Lane County Historical Museum (Catalog Number L82-516-16068)

“These young women in costume, including ”wings” on their shoulders, short skirts and boots are posing behind propeller of a bi-plane for the 4th National Amateur Air Meet held at Springfield [Oregon] Airport July 23 & 24, 1938.”

The Face of the One-Dollar Bill

30 January 2013
Salmon P. Chase on the obverse side of the first official $1 bill of the United States in 1862. (Source)

Salmon P. Chase on the obverse side of the first official $1 bill of the United States in 1862. (Source)

“Show me the money!” In order to pay the expenses for the Union Army during the Civil War, the U.S. Treasury decided upon a national “greenback.” Up to this point there was no national paper currency (as we know it today) issued by the government. Initially, it started with the $1 and $2 bills. The one-dollar bill has an interesting history, especially since George was not the first man to be featured on the bill.

Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government. (Cropped Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress)

Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government. (Cropped Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress)

The U.S. Treasury was ordered the task of creating the currency. Salmon P. Chase, a former senator, was serving as Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln. He was responsible for designing the original $1 bill in 1862. When searching for a portrait to grace the front of the bill, he did not look far. He chose himself. Hoping to run for president, he probably used this opportunity to get his ‘face’ out there.

A few years later the Supreme Court declared that the money designed during the Civil War unconstitutional. By 1869 a newly created $1 bared the portrait of the first president – George Washington – who has been on the bill ever since.

Chase and Lincoln had, what one could call, a love/hate relationship. Lincoln depended on Chase and his contacts to hold the interest of the Radical Republicans. Chase and Lincoln both shared strong anti-slavery ideals and agendas. Chase tried twice to resign but Lincoln denied both attempts. He finally accepted Chase’s third resignation, but gave Chase the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court position later that year.

Chase failed to receive the nomination to run for the presidency twice. However, his portrait graced the $10,000 Federal Reserve Note from 1929 until it was discontinued after the Great Depression. Chase National Bank was named after him, even though he was not connected to the bank. The bank has since evolved into JPMorgan Chase, if you have a credit card that bares part of that name – you now know why.

Salmon Chase on the $10,000 bill. It was the highest denomination US currency ever to publicly circulate. Although a $100,000 bill featuring the portrait of Woodrow Wilson was issued, its purpose was to transfer funds between Federal Reserve Banks, and not to pass in retail transactions. Since 1969, the highest denomination note issued in the US has been the $100 bill. (Photo Credit: Museum of American Finance)

Salmon Chase on the $10,000 bill. “It was the highest denomination US currency ever to publicly circulate. Although a $100,000 bill featuring the portrait of Woodrow Wilson was issued, its purpose was to transfer funds between Federal Reserve Banks, and not to pass in retail transactions. Since 1969, the highest denomination note issued in the US has been the $100 bill.” (Photo Credit: Museum of American Finance)

Sources:
Ethan Trex, “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Salmon Chase,” Mental Floss, May 21, 2010.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Museum of American Finance
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

New York Public Library Lions, 1948

29 January 2013
Photo Credit: National Archives

Photo Credit: National Archives

“The lion statues at the New York Public Library, with a mantle of snow during the record December 1948 snowfall.”

“The bitter tears of Johnny Cash”

28 January 2013

[via Salon]

[Zim's Note: The article is a bit long but definitively worth the read if you like Johnny Cash and/or Native American topics.]

The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry

By Antonino D’Ambrosio, Sunday, Nov 8, 2009

Johnny Cash touring Wounded Knee with the descendants of those who survived the 1890 massacre in December of 1968.

Johnny Cash touring Wounded Knee with the descendants of those who survived the 1890 massacre in December of 1968.

In July 1972, musician Johnny Cash sat opposite President Richard Nixon in the White House’s Blue Room. As a horde of media huddled a few feet away, the country music superstar had come to discuss prison reform with the self-anointed leader of America’s “silent majority.” “Johnny, would you be willing to play a few songs for us,” Nixon asked Cash. “I like Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie From Muskogee’ and Guy Drake’s ‘Welfare Cadillac.’” The architect of the GOP’s Southern strategy was asking for two famous expressions of white working-class resentment.

“I don’t know those songs,” replied Cash, “but I got a few of my own I can play for you.” Dressed in his trademark black suit, his jet-black hair a little longer than usual, Cash draped the strap of his Martin guitar over his right shoulder and played three songs, all of them decidedly to the left of “Okie From Muskogee.” With the nation still mired in Vietnam, Cash had far more than prison reform on his mind. Nixon listened with a frozen smile to the singer’s rendition of the explicitly antiwar “What Is Truth?” and “Man in Black” (“Each week we lose a hundred fine young men”) and to a folk protest song about the plight of Native Americans called “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.” It was a daring confrontation with a president who was popular with Cash’s fans and about to sweep to a crushing reelection victory, but a glimpse of how Cash saw himself — a foe of hypocrisy, an ally of the downtrodden. An American protest singer, in short, as much as a country music legend.

(more…)

Free Chest X-Rays for Tuberculosis, 1955

27 January 2013
Photo Credit: Jackson, H. Francis/University of Washington Libraries

Photo Credit: Jackson, H. Francis/University of Washington Libraries

“Crowd standing by sign advertising free chest x-ray screening on Crown Hill, Seattle, ca. 1955.”

Odd Ads: Scotch Tape

26 January 2013

I came across this 1940′s advertisement on Pinterest and had to share it. I have heard of odd things being used as haircut templates but this is the first time Scotch Tape has been thrown into the mix. According to the ad, “Fix fringe to forehead with “SCOTCH” Tape and cut across top of tape. Fringe cuts straight, hair trimmings stick to tape – and won’t fall in eyes.” Based on that cut, bangs falling into her eyes will not be a problem for a LONG time….

This ad has also inspired a new website series, “Odd Ads of the Past.” So stay tune for odd advertisements of the past!

In Their Words – Betty White

25 January 2013
(Found via Huffington Post/Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

(Found via Huffington Post/Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

“Friendship takes time and energy if it’s going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn’t last if you don’t give it proper appreciation. Friendship can be so comfortable, but nurture it-don’t take it for granted.”

- Betty White, actress, comedian and writer

Attempting the World’s Largest Omelet, Washington, ca. 1929-1932

24 January 2013
Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Woman with slabs of bacon tied to her feet standing in a giant skillet holding an enormous wooden spatula in an attempt to create the world’s largest omelet, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932.

Crowd surrounding a woman skating around a giant skillet with slabs of bacon tied to her feet, holding a giant wooden spatula, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932

Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Crowd surrounding a woman skating around a giant skillet with slabs of bacon tied to her feet, holding a giant wooden spatula, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932.

Alaska – 2 Cents per Acre

23 January 2013
The cancelled check for the purchase of the Alaska territory. The check was issued August 1, 1868, and made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States, Edouard de Stoeckl. The receipt indicates that de Stoeckel accepted full payment on behalf of the Emperor of Russia at the U.S. Treasury Department, Washington, DC. (National Archives)

The cancelled check for the purchase of the Alaska territory. The check was issued August 1, 1868, and made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States, Edouard de Stoeckl. The receipt indicates that de Stoeckel accepted full payment on behalf of the Emperor of Russia at the U.S. Treasury Department, Washington, DC. (National Archives)

In 1867 the United States, led by Secretary of State William Seward, purchased the Alaska territory from Russia. After controlling most of the area that is now Alaska from the late 1700s until 1867, Russia sold the territory for $7.2 million dollars. This equals out to roughly two cents per acre. The U.S. gained a new territory of around 600,000 square miles. Alaska was admitted into the union as the 49th state in 1959, also making it the largest state in the United States.

Alaska’s Heritage

Bicycle for Four

22 January 2013
Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

“Four-man bicycle is powered by five chains and has brakes on both its wheels. The bike was built by Art Rothschild (top position) who broke three ribs while learning how to ride it.”

W. Eugene Smith, Battle of Saipan, 1944

21 January 2013

W. Eugene Smith—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

“Photographer W. Eugene Smith’s picture of a Marine drinking from his canteen during 1944′s Battle of Saipan is as iconic a war picture as any ever made. In fact, when the U.S. Postal Service released a “Masters of American Photography” series of commemorative stamps in 2002, Smith was included — and this image was chosen as representative of his body of work.”

LIFE

Vintage Mug Shots of Musicians

20 January 2013

[Zim's Note: I came across a mug shot of Frank Sinatra and it got me thinking. Lately music and mug shots just seem to go hand-in-hand, I wondered if it was always this way. I stumbled across the following mug shots of famous musicians, there are far more but I decided to just post a few of the more famous ones. I labeled the post "vintage" so all of these are before 1980.]

All photos and captions via The Smoking Gun

Clown Bathing, ca.1955

19 January 2013
Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Joseph Janney Steinmetz/State Archives of Flordia (Florida Memory)

“Ringling Circus clown Emmett Kelly in a bubble bath in Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1955.”

A bit of background behind this photo: “Photo taken as a favor to Kelly, who wanted the image for his Christmas card. [Photographer] Joe’s [Joseph Janney Steinmetz] wife, Lois Foley Steinmetz, was crouched down out of sight behind the chair that held Kelly’s clothing, with an egg beater in her hand. After every shot Joe took, Lois would leap out of hiding, use the egg beater to increase the foam in the tub, and conceal herself once again.”

FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”

18 January 2013
Photo Credit: FBI

Photo Credit: FBI

On March 14, 1950, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program. A year before, on February 7, 1949, the Washington Daily News asked the FBI to name and describe the “toughest guys” that should be captured for an article. Hoping for the publicity in tracking down these fugitives, the FBI gave ten names. The public responded well to the story. So much so that the FBI decided to make the program permanent and the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” was created a year later. Relying heavily on media and public help, the program was successful. It led to the arrest of nine of the first 20 “Top Tenners.”

"The Washington Daily News," Feb. 7, 1949 (FBI Tour/Newseum)

“The Washington Daily News,” Feb. 7, 1949 (FBI Tour/Newseum)

Other facts about the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”:

  • In order to get off the list, one has to have been arrest, surrendered, died, charges are dropped or removed because they no longer fit the criteria.
  • The first person to be placed on the list was Thomas James Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother.
  • William Raymond Nesbit was the first fugitive to be captured as a result of the 10 most wanted list. Only two days after the FBI posted the list with his picture, a boy in Minnesota recognized him. He had been living in a cave along the Mississippi river
  • Since 1949, 494 fugitives have appeared on the list and 463 have been located.
  • 154 fugitives have been captured/located as a result of citizen cooperation.
  • Two fugitives were apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour.
  • James Earl Ray, wanted for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, is one of six people put on the list twice. He was added again in 1977 when he escaped from the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Tennessee. Bloodhounds tracked him down after 54 hours.
  • Only eight women have been on the list. The first was Ruth Eisemann-Schier in 1968. She spent three months on the list for her role in a kidnapping with ransom case before being arrested.
  • Katherine Ann Power was the women who spent the longest time on the FBI list. She was wanted for the 1970 shooting of a Boston police officer. She moved undetected to Oregon, established a false identity and lived quietly there. She turned herself in 14 years later, in 1984.
  • The longest a person has been on the list is 29 years while the shortest is two hours.

Sources
FBI, “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” Program Frequently Asked Questions
FBI, FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” Program (History)
Jason Ryan, “11 Facts About the FBI Top-10 Fugitive List,” ABC.com, May 12, 2012.
FBI’s Ten Most Wanted: The Story Behind the List,” Newseum.org

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