RedState’s Water Cooler – February 18, 2018 – Open Thread – The REAL “Resistance”

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Much has been made of the “#Resistance”, a self-styled moniker for opposition to the party in power in today’s Washington.

Today, the RedState Department of History takes look back at a special anniversary, to when the word Resistance meant not only actual opposition but the very real possibility of getting yourself killed if anyone found out what you were doing.

In 1940, the German Army overran most of Western Europe, including the Netherlands. The history of the Dutch people under German occupation was complicated; segments of the population performed heroic deeds in shielding Jews from persecution and men from forced labor, with those sympathetic to the resistance numbering about one million; but on the other hand, the Netherlands provided at least 60,000 men for the German armed forces during the war, who were stripped of their citizenship and property after it was over.

But vast numbers of ordinary Dutchmen were involved with the resistance – as many as 300,000 by some estimates — and was known to be apolitical, which was remarkable for the time.

There were four main resistance groups, and eventually these groups would want to publish a newspaper. Eventually, there came a man for action.

Dr. Jan Albertus Hendrik Johan Sieuwert Bruins Slot was actively involved with the Dutch Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) before the war. Unlike in France, where resistance elements were generally progressive if not Communist in nature, the Dutch resistance was primarily led by the same conservative elements which had led the national government prior to 1940.

But they needed to communicate, and on this date in 1943, Bruins Slot published the first edition of Trouw. Meaning “true”, or “loyal” as one might derive from the name, the paper accomplished many noble goals.

First, it served as a voice for the ARP, which like almost all other Dutch political parties had been banned by the Germans. The NSB, or National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands, was the only political party they allowed.

But Bruins Slot was also a Calvinist, and Trouw was founded as a religious paper as much as anything else. It published articles that denounced the Nazi worldview as anti-Christian, gave resistance instructions, carried statements by QBut ueen Wilhelmina who was then in exile, and also reported the D-Day invasion in addition to taking a stand against the Nazis’ anti-Semitic policies.

As such, Bruins Slot and co-editor Jan Schouten were soon wanted men. In 1944, the Germans decided to take a stand against the paper in a unique way – they arrested all its couriers, and held them as hostages. Bruins Slot recounted for Thames Television after the war:

“There were several illegal newspapers in Holland. Once the Germans had taken about 40 of our people prisoner, they had been put in Vught concentration camp. They interrogated one of them and then released him, and sent him to us with this message: if you close down your paper – this was near the end of the war, probably 1944 – if you stop producing your paper, then we won’t shoot these people. We called a meeting, and talked it over very carefully. We reached the conclusion that we had to go on.”

After the war, Trouw continued to be published, and exists as a daily to this day. True to its religious roots, Trouw’s current goal is to “remain a newspaper rooted in a Christian tradition and to be a source of contemplation and inspiration for everyone, churchgoer or not, who feels a need for moral and spiritual orientation.”

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – February 11, 2018 – Open Thread – “Buster, In More Ways Than One”

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Today the RedState Department of History goes to its sports wing to mark the anniversary of one of the greatest upsets in history.

No, it’s not the American hockey team’s shock win over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics, but an upset of nearly equal proportions.

On this date on 1990, James “Buster” Douglas did what many observers thought was impossible to do — he knocked out world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson to claim the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world for himself.

Contrary to popular opinion, Douglas was no palooka. He entered the fight against Tyson with a record of 29-4-1 and had won his previous six bouts. However, in Tyson he was facing a fighter universally regarded as the best of his generation, a man whom no challenger had taken past the fifth round in over three years.

So long were the odds against Douglas that only one Vegas bookmaker — The Mirage — even put up odds for the fight, listing Douglas as a 42-1 underdog. To make matters worse, Douglas’ mother died 23 days before the fight.

But Douglas dominated, using his longer reach to frustrate Tyson. There was a moment of controversy in the eighth round when Tyson knocked down Douglas and the challenger used eight of the allotted ten-count before rising to his feet — but the referee’s count was not aligned with the timekeeper’s, meaning technically Douglas received a “long count”, which is to say, a count past ten. But the official count is kept by the referee, so Douglas remained in the fight.

In the tenth round, though, Douglas saw his superiority begin to tell, sending Tyson crashing to the canvas for a tenth-round KO that sent a shock wave through the sports world.

Douglas lasted only eight months as champion, losing his only title defense to Evander Holyfield in the third round, sending him into retirement for six years.

Douglas came back in 1996 and won eight of his final nine professional fights to finish his career 38-6-1 – and to be remembered as the man who knocked out “Iron” Mike Tyson.

___

There’s one other noteworthy, and fun, sports anniversary to mention today.

Ask yourself: what’s the rarest score to reach in bowling? Some will tell you that it’s 292, and it’s easy to see why: it requires 11 strikes in a row and then a two-count, which if you’ve ever bowled, you know is very hard to do (the strike part is hard for me!)

Most people who bowl 11 of the 12 consecutive strikes necessary for a perfect score of 300 miss one or two pins on their last ball, leaving a score of 298 or 299.

But on this date in 1905, a man named James Blackstone compiled a score that no one is likely to ever match. Bowling in Seattle, Blackstone bowled 11 straight strikes, needing only the last strike for a 300 game.

But his last ball cracked one of the pins, which broke in half — and the broken half remained standing. After some deliberation, officials decided to award Blackstone a score of 299 1/2 – the only known instance in the history of the sport. It was truly a different kind of “Buster”.

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – February 4, 2018 – Open Thread – “Republicans”

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Happy Birthday to us (or most of us, anyway).

This week the RedState Department of History returns us to days of yore, most accurately this date in 1854, when the Republican Party was, more or less, named by a gentleman named Alvan Bovay.

He was a resident of Ripon, Wisconsin and was a Whig. As the 1840s gave way to the even more turbulent 1850s, Whigs like Bovay were starting to grow increasingly disaffected with their party over the issue of slavery, and the effectiveness of the Whigs in dealing with Democrats who favored the ongoing exercise of what they termed the “peculiar institution.”

As the Whigs collapsed, a new party emerged to tackle the Democrats on the national stage. And it was Bovay who gave himself credit for naming the new group.

Bovay noted that Thomas Jefferson had called his leanings “Republican” in the past, and at a meeting on this date in 1854 the term “Republican” was used for the first time.

Bovay had a powerful ally in the form of Horace Greeley, the powerful editor of the New York Tribune, who helped carry the standard for the party in its early days. Greeley, liking Bovay’s choice of name, used it in print in June 1854:

“We should not care much whether those thus united (against slavery) were designated Whig, Free Democrat or something else; though we think some simple name like “Republican” would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery.”

In that regard, some things never change between the major parties.

The new party grew like wildfire. In 1854, mass meetings established the Republicans as a regional force, taking Michigan in the elections of 1854 and commanding a majority in the House of Representatives by 1855. The party’s first nominating convention of the national party was held in 1860, with the nomination of “The Pathfinder”, John C. Fremont, as the party’s first candidate for President.

Fremont didn’t win, but the party’s second Presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln, did, and as they say, the rest is history.

And as long as we’re discussion the naming of things, the natural question becomes, “how did the party gain the nickname of GOP?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. Originally, the term “Grand Old Party” was used by southern Democrats, but was co-opted in the late 1880s to describe the Republicans.

At that time, the Chicago Tribune was a loyal Republican newspaper (as was the New York Times), and its editors used the term after the election of Benjamin Harrison to unseat Democrat Grover Cleveland. The paper wrote:

“Let us be thankful that under the rule of the Grand Old Party, these United States will resume the onward and upward march which the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884 partially arrested.”

However, even though Alvin Bovay led the switch of national politics from Whig to Republican, he didn’t finish his life in the Republican Party. After serving in the Civil War and reaching the rank of major, Bovay felt that the ending of slavery in the United States eliminated the need for the Republican Party. He then favored a new national party dedicated to prohibition, and died in 1903 as a member of the Prohibition Party.

Happy Sunday, enjoy the big game if you’re watching it and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – January 21, 2018 – Open Thread – “Free at Last”

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Today is a special day in the RedState Department of History. Today is the 37th anniversary of the first day of the Reagan Administration, as orchestrated by the best President of my lifetime, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

I was too young to vote for him in 1980 when he demolished Jimmy Carter, but was able to cast my first vote for President for Reagan’s overwhelming landslide re-election over Walter Mondale in 1984.

But if you know your history, you also know that the first day of the Reagan Administration was a special day for 51 Americans held hostage in Iran for the preceding 444 days by Iranian militants.

Within 20 minutes of his swearing-in, Reagan was able to announce that the hostages were headed  home, as Iran’s government gave a final poke in the eye to Carter. Today is the anniversary of their first day of freedom.

Some say the seeds of the crisis were sown in 1953, when the CIA’s Operation Ajax, with British help, deposed Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and installed Reza Pahlavi as Shah of Iran.

But in 1979, Pahlevi was deposed and went to the United States in search of treatment for cancer. Thus enraged, members of the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line took over the embassy on November 4, 1979. To this day, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard maintains the former U.S. Embassy and has used it as a training center.

Originally, 66 Americans had been taken captive, but shortly afterward, the kidnapers released women and African-Americans, bringing the total down to 52. One hostage took ill in the middle of the crisis and was released.

Rhetoric quickly turned violent. The students saw Pahlevi’s trip to the United States as equivalent to American complicity in crimes committed by the Shah’s regime, while the Americans saw the kidnapping, correctly, as a violation of international law.

Carter’s administration took a hard line against the Iranians, issuing Executive Order 12170, which froze Iranian government assets in the United States, and noted that America would not submit to blackmail. However, Carter’s credibility, and his prospects for re-election in 1980, were both gravely damaged by Operation Eagle Claw, an attempt to rescue the hostages on April 24, 1980.

Instead of success, the operation resulted in the deaths of nine people including eight Americans, and the loss of two helicopters.

Meanwhile, by this time Pahlevi had been granted asylum in Egypt, and died of cancer in July 1980. In September of that year, Iran was invaded by Iraq, and it became advantageous for Iran to seek a diplomatic end to the crisis. This was mediated by Algeria, and the announcement was made of a deal to release the hostages on January 20, 1980.

To his credit, Reagan appointed Carter as his special emissary to greet the returning hostages, whose feelings were summed up by Colonel Chuck Scott (USA, ret.):

“And then when we got back to the states — when we entered the United States territory, the pilot announced, and I’ll probably get choked up when I say this. He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just entered the United States airspace.” There was a roar in there that was a stadium roar. We were all just so tickled. We landed at Stewart Air Force Base. And as we made that 15 mile run to West Point from there, they were lined 10-deep that whole 15 mile run. And we started to get a sense of, hey, maybe this did mean something to the American people. And when you stop and think about it, we were the icons of a crisis. But this whole nation was held hostage. It was like no homecoming you’ve ever been to in your whole life.”

Happy Sunday! If you’re taking in the conference championship games (Skol Vikings!) enjoy the day — or whatever you’re doing on a Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – January 14, 2018 – Open Thread – “The King, the Sergeant”

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During the Second World War, much was made about celebrities who volunteered for the national service. Baseball players like Bob Feller, who served four years aboard the USS Alabama and Ted Williams, who flew as a Marine fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, joined actor Clark Gable, who flew as a B-17 gunner, and directors John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Huston and George Stevens as well-known names who went overseas.

Today, the RedState Department of History looks at a post-war celebrity who was arguably bigger than them all, who reached a milestone during this week in 1960.

I speak of one Elvis Aaron Presley, who 58 years ago this week earned his third chevron upon promotion to Sergeant in the United States Army.

Presley didn’t volunteer. He was inducted in 1958, right as he was becoming an American music icon. Having registered in 1957 with the Selective Service number of 40-86-35-16, Presley was such a superstar even at his tender age that the military engaged in a bidding war of sorts for his services. Both the Navy and Air Force had entertainment plans in mind for Presley, but he said he wanted to serve as a regular GI and as such went into the Army.

He was drafted in 1957 but received a three-month deferral so he could finish working on the movie “King Creole“. At his induction, he received the famous GI haircut, which separated Presley from his flowing locks and famous sideburns and allowed him to coin the phrase “Hair today, gone tomorrow” in a statement to media.

However, after training was completed, Presley was quite literally gone – to Germany, where he served in the Third Armored Division. And through it all, Presley maintained the attitude that he wanted to be a good soldier — if for no other reason than to show people he could be grown-up. He said:

“I was in a funny position. Actually, that’s the only way it could be. People were expecting me to mess up, to goof up in one way or another. They thought I couldn’t take it and so forth, and I was determined to go to any limits to prove otherwise, not only to the people who were wondering, but to myself’.”

Presley took weapons training and earned his Marksmanship badge. By all accounts he was a good soldier, but one whose celebrity did allow him to take certain liberties.

For one, he lived off base. His wealth allowed him to lease a home away from his comrades – and allowed him time to meet and date 15-year old Priscilla Beaulieu, daughter of an Air Force captain stationed in nearby Wiesbaden. Eventually, of course, she became Priscilla Presley.

For another, he continued to be a star in the States. Presley’s managers continued to release records while their soldier was away – earning him $1.3 million in record sales in addition to the $145.24 per month he made in the service of Uncle Sam.

However, the confiscatory tax rates of the day meant that Presley was in the 91 percent tax bracket on those earnings – meaning that in essence, Presley’s personal taxation was enough to pay the salaries of every man in his company for a year.

Yet Presley’s star was still rising. At the time, drafted soldiers were expected to serve two years’ active duty and four more in reserve. He was discharged at Fort Dix on March 5, 1960 and received his discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964. Presley received an honorable discharge.

His former platoon commander William J. Taylor (Col, USA, ret.) recalled:

“Aside from the fact that our battalion could have gone to war with the Soviets at any time, there are real risks every single day in a combat unit. [Elvis] pulled his weight. He used his head and did his job well. He was one of us. He cared about us. And he got back the respect and friendship he gave everyone else. In several instances, I saw sparks of leadership in Elvis that made me think he could have induced men to follow him into combat, just as his music caused millions of young people to follow him.”

There’s another Presley anniversary today. On this date in 1973, Presley’s Aloha From Hawaii live concert was sent via satellite to 40 countries worldwide to an estimated one billion, in the first concert to be sent worldwide via satellite. However, the United States was not one of those countries. Since the concert took place on the same day as Super Bowl VII, it wasn’t seen in the States until April 4, 1973.

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

 

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RedState’s Water Cooler – January 8, 2018 – Open Thread – “Sweet Georgia Brown”

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If you’ve ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters play, you know their reputation as the “Clown Princes of Basketball”. But it didn’t always use to be that way, and today the RedState Department of History looks back on an historic event that set the stage for several milestones in its wake.

On this date in 1927, the Globetrotters played the first game in their history, in Hinckley, Illinois. They were the creation of entrepreneur Abe Saperstein, who took players from an earlier team known as the “Savoy Big Five“, named for the hotel where they played their early games.

You may have noticed, but Savoy isn’t in Harlem. The African-American team was from Chicago and didn’t actually play a game in Harlem until the 1960s. But what they did do was play solid basketball for their day and won 107 games in their first 119-game barnstorming season.

But it was a series of games from 1948-52 that established the Globetrotters nationally, and eventually helped integrate the new National Basketball Association.

In 1948, the Globetrotters faced the Minneapolis Lakers, new members of an NBA forebear, known as the National Basketball League, in an exhibition game.

There was a lot at stake — and not just a game between all-black and all-white teams. Saperstein and Lakers general manager Max Winter simply wanted to know who had the better team. It was a sporting competition, pure and simple.

The Lakers were led by George Mikan, the game’s first great big man, along with Jim Pollard and a host of other early stars. The Globetrotters were led by center “Goose” Tatum and the incomparable Marques Haynes, regarded as the world’s greatest ball handler.

On February 18, 1948, the teams met at Chicago Stadium before over 20,000 people — and despite Mikan’s domination of Tatum, the Globetrotters won 61-59 on a controversial buzzer-beating shot. Amazingly, the win extended the Trotters’ win streak to 104 games – and the Washington Generals hadn’t even been invented yet.

The game made headlines, and with the Lakers members of the Basketball Association of America the next season, the teams scheduled two more games – one in Chicago and the other in Minneapolis. For the first game, the Lakers were without Pollard and fellow star Swede Carlson, and the Globetrotters won 49-45 with Haynes dribbling out the game using some of the clowning tricks the Globetrotters were beginning to use.

That didn’t sit well with the Lakers, and when the teams met two weeks later in Minneapolis, the full-strength Lakers beat the Globetrotters 68-53, with Minneapolis guard Don Forman imitating Haynes’ wizardry with his own trick dribbling act. That’s the part most Globetrotter histories online don’t mention.

The teams would play each other eight times through the years, with the Lakers beating the Globetrotters six times in a row after losing the first two games.

But by then, the impact of the Globetrotters had helped integrate the NBA, and the team soon turned to full-time comedy as part of its act. With legendary performers such as Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal and Geese Ausbie in addition to Tatum and Haynes, they won the hearts of millions of fans the world over.

But the Globetrotters had more famous athletes on their team as well, including Wilt Chamberlain for a time, and three players who would later reach the Baseball Hall of Fame — Ernie Banks, Bob Gibson, and Ferguson Jenkins.

For the last ten years, the Globetrotters have held a “draft” of players who they feel fit the team’s ideal. Athletes selected include soccer players Tim Howard, Lionel Messi, Landon Donovan and Neymar, golfer Jordan Spieth, sprinter Usain Bolt and football/baseball player Tim Tebow, among numerous others.

To listen to the team’s longtime theme song, “Sweet Georgia Brown“, click here.

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – January 7, 2018 – Open Thread – “Sweet Georgia Brown”

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If you’ve ever seen the Harlem Globetrotters play, you know their reputation as the “Clown Princes of Basketball”. But it didn’t always use to be that way, and today the RedState Department of History looks back on an historic event that set the stage for several milestones in its wake.

On this date in 1927, the Globetrotters played the first game in their history, in Hinckley, Illinois. They were the creation of entrepreneur Abe Saperstein, who took players from an earlier team known as the “Savoy Big Five“, named for the hotel where they played their early games.

You may have noticed, but Savoy isn’t in Harlem. The African-American team was from Chicago and didn’t actually play a game in Harlem until the 1960s. But what they did do was play solid basketball for their day and won 107 games in their first 119-game barnstorming season.

But it was a series of games from 1948-52 that established the Globetrotters nationally, and eventually helped integrate the new National Basketball Association.

In 1948, the Globetrotters faced the Minneapolis Lakers, new members of an NBA forebear, known as the National Basketball League, in an exhibition game.

There was a lot at stake — and not just a game between all-black and all-white teams. Saperstein and Lakers general manager Max Winter simply wanted to know who had the better team. It was a sporting competition, pure and simple.

The Lakers were led by George Mikan, the game’s first great big man, along with Jim Pollard and a host of other early stars. The Globetrotters were led by center “Goose” Tatum and the incomparable Marques Haynes, regarded as the world’s greatest ball handler.

On February 18, 1948, the teams met at Chicago Stadium before over 20,000 people — and despite Mikan’s domination of Tatum, the Globetrotters won 61-59 on a controversial buzzer-beating shot. Amazingly, the win extended the Trotters’ win streak to 104 games – and the Washington Generals hadn’t even been invented yet.

The game made headlines, and with the Lakers members of the Basketball Association of America the next season, the teams scheduled two more games – one in Chicago and the other in Minneapolis. For the first game, the Lakers were without Pollard and fellow star Swede Carlson, and the Globetrotters won 49-45 with Haynes dribbling out the game using some of the clowning tricks the Globetrotters were beginning to use.

That didn’t sit well with the Lakers, and when the teams met two weeks later in Minneapolis, the full-strength Lakers beat the Globetrotters 68-53, with Minneapolis guard Don Forman imitating Haynes’ wizardry with his own trick dribbling act. That’s the part most Globetrotter histories online don’t mention.

The teams would play each other eight times through the years, with the Lakers beating the Globetrotters six times in a row after losing the first two games.

But by then, the impact of the Globetrotters had helped integrate the NBA, and the team soon turned to full-time comedy as part of its act. With legendary performers such as Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal and Geese Ausbie in addition to Tatum and Haynes, they won the hearts of millions of fans the world over.

But the Globetrotters had more famous athletes on their team as well, including Wilt Chamberlain for a time, and three players who would later reach the Baseball Hall of Fame — Ernie Banks, Bob Gibson, and Ferguson Jenkins.

For the last ten years, the Globetrotters have held a “draft” of players who they feel fit the team’s ideal. Athletes selected include soccer players Tim Howard, Lionel Messi, Landon Donovan and Neymar, golfer Jordan Spieth, sprinter Usain Bolt and football/baseball player Tim Tebow, among numerous others.

To listen to the team’s longtime theme song, “Sweet Georgia Brown“, click here.

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – November 26, 2017 – Open Thread – “We’ll Always Have Paris”

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Today’s a special day in the RedState Department of History. Today, your correspondent’s favorite movie celebrates the 75th anniversary of its first screening.

I speak of Casablanca, undeniably one of the masterpieces of American cinema and arguably the greatest movie ever made.

For those of you who have managed to go through life without ever seeing it, Casablanca features a classic love triangle set in World War II North Africa.

Rick Blaine (Hunphrey Bogart) operates Rick’s Café Americain, the hottest spot in Casablanca. It becomes hotter still when a man named Ugarte (Peter Lorre) entrusts Rick with two precious letters of transit out of the Vichy French-occupied city. Ugarte is killed and Rick becomes the holder of the letters. Enter Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), Blaine’s former lover. She’s with her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) — who she thought was dead when she fell in love with Blaine. Laszlo is a resistance leader badly wanted by the Nazis, and wants the letters from Rick. The problem is that Ilsa left Rick in the lurch when the two were planning to flee Paris in advance of the German occupation in 1940, after learning her husband was alive — and he still loves her.

This presents Blaine with the classic choice: what to do with the letters? Should he reclaim Ilsa or let her go with Victor? It’s his call.

The thing of it was, when the actors arrived on set to shoot the final scene, nobody knew the answer.

Casablanca had no right to be as good as it was, according to film historians. Loosely based on a stage play known as “Everybody Comes to Rick’s,” writers soon realized that the play was not adaptable to film.

As such, writers Julius and Philip Epstein began to rewrite the script but left the picture after a month. Enter Howard Koch, who took over the project only to see the Epsteins return shortly afterward. So all three worked on the script — but reports indicate the three writers never worked on the script at the same time in the same room.

A script of the movie makes the following note in its preface:

“When production began, the script was only half completed. Near the end of production, the script was literally being written the night before, and in the final days of filming, the dialogue for some scenes was written while shooting was actually in progress and then rushed to the set.”

In fact, it was such a mishmash that Bogart reportedly rarely spoke to Bergman when they weren’t on the set. His marriage was on the rocks and Bogart reportedly took to the bottle when not shooting. As such, the cinematic chemistry between the two was never likely and in fact, none of the movie’s three main stars even wanted to be in the picture:

According to Charlotte Chandler, who wrote the Bergman biography Ingrid, Bergman and Bogart had a get-to-know-each-other lunch before the film began. “Ingrid remembered that the only subject they found in common was how much they both wanted to get out of Casablanca.”

The script writing was so rushed that when Bergman arrived on the set to shoot the final scene, she didn’t know which man her character was supposed to end up with. As Koch recalled:

Ingrid Bergman came to me and said, ‘Which man should I love more …?’ I said to her, ‘I don’t know, play them both evenly.’”

But even after the close of shooting, the film still wasn’t finished. The movie’s iconic last line, spoken by Blaine to Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) — “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” — wasn’t added until a month after the last scene had been shot and was overdubbed by Bogart in the studio.

The results, of course, were legendary. Bergman became a major star, Bogart earned an entirely new reputation as a leading man, and everything came together in a way nobody had foreseen. Casablanca won three Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director for Michael Curtiz, and, amazingly given how it was written, Best Screenplay.

It’s interesting that a movie that was almost literally thrown together should have produced so many iconic lines and phrases, some of which are still used in common parlance today:

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

“Round up the usual suspects.”

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”

And of course, the phrase every man who has lost a lover can utilize if he’s seen this immortal picture:

“We’ll always have Paris.”

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

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RedState’s Water Cooler – November 19, 2017 – Open Thread – “Glory, Glory”

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This week, the RedState Department of History delves into music — more specifically, of the patriotic kind, and the anniversary of one of our most popular national hymns.

On this date in 1861, the writer Julia Ward Howe awoke in the early morning with words to a song burning their way through her head. In the darkness, she fumbled for a pencil stub she had remembered using the night before and wrote out the words she was thinking almost without looking at the paper.

The words she wrote, of course, became “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” That said, Ward’s words were set to a tune which had been used familiarly in the United States for nearly sixty years.

The first known words to the tune were called “Canaan’s Happy Shore“, sung in the early 1800s in the American South:

“Oh! Brothers will you meet me/On Canaan’s happy shore?
There we’ll shout and give him glory/For glory is his own!”

By the start of the American Civil War, though, the tune had been co-opted. Reportedly, the Second Infantry Battalion of the Massachusetts Militia came up with new words to pay tribute to John Brown, the abolitionist who incited a revolt at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in 1859 and was eventually hung for treason against the State of Virginia. Aside from the classic “John Brown’s body lies a’moulderin’ in the grave” line, the six-stanza composition offered these verses as well:

He captured Harper’s Ferry, with his nineteen men so few,
And frightened “Old Virginny” till she trembled thru and thru;
They hung him for a traitor, themselves the traitor crew,
But his soul is marching on.

John Brown was John the Baptist of the Christ we are to see,
Christ who of the bondmen shall the Liberator be,
And soon thruout the Sunny South the slaves shall all be free,
For his soul is marching on.

While watching a public review of troops with Howe in Washington, The Reverend James Freeman Clarke suggested she write new words to the song which was sung by the troops in their march-past. The next morning, Howe, whose husband Samuel was a member of the “Secret Six” group that funded Brown’s raid, was only too happy to comply.

In addition to the words that most Americans know so well, Howe also penned a final verse, which was left out of publication and thus never sung:

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

In very short order, Howe’s composition became the anthem of the Union and one of the greatest national songs ever written.

In popular usage, the song has both been performed beautifully and parodied in almost equal measure.

At Ronald Reagan’s funeral, National Cathedral 2004

Sung by the Soviet Red Army Choir

And in parody:

Blood Upon The Risers, U.S. Army Airborne marching cadence and gallows humor concerning a paratrooper’s chute failure:

“Gory, gory what a hell of a way to die!
Gory, gory what a hell of a way to die!
Gory, gory what a hell of a way to die!
And he ain’t gonna jump no more!”

Glory, Glory Man United – as a sports theme. Many English teams and some national soccer teams have adopted the tune with their own words.

Timeless, in its way. Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

The post RedState’s Water Cooler – November 19, 2017 – Open Thread – “Glory, Glory” appeared first on RedState.

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RedState’s Water Cooler – November 12, 2017 – Open Thread – “The First Pro Football Player”

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Today, there’s a great deal of controversy surrounding professional football — and honestly, rightly so. The National Football League is under siege from fans for its failure to defend American values, from commentators for the concussion and brain trauma issues now coming to light, and from whichever teams lost last week over the officiating.

Some of the complaints have gone on for years, but today’s RedState Department of History looks back to the days when football was primarily an amateur sport — and to the man who is believed to be the first ever to take money to play the game.

At the turn of the 20th Century, football as a sport seemed to be hanging by a thread. The physicality of the game far outpaced the equipment players were using to protect themselves and players were being seriously injured or killed at an alarming rate. In 1905 alone, at least eighteen people were killed playing football – a number which rose to an estimated 45 players between 1900-05. They died in horrible ways – internal injuries, concussions, broken necks and broken backs to name a few. In those days some players sewed suitcase handles to their uniform shirts so teammates could grab them to create the deadly, and now illegal, “flying wedge” to protect kickoff returners – and for a short time, ball carriers from scrimmage.

The forward pass was not yet legal, and teams had three downs to gain only five yards, so plays from scrimmage often devolved to brutal mobs around the ball. Union College player Harold Moore died in 1905 of a cerebral hemorrhage after being kicked in the head trying to tackle a New York University player (the helmet would not become mandatory until 1939 in the college game.) At this time, a movement sprang up to ban the game but no less a personage than President Theodore Roosevelt convened a 1905 summit to help make the game safer.

But the game still bred heroes. One of those was William “Pudge” Heffelfinger, who on this date in 1892 took $500 to play a game as a professional.

Heffelfinger was born in Minneapolis, and intended to play for his homestate Gophers but was convinced to come to Yale by the legendary Walter Camp instead, where he dominated the college game from 1888-91. He was a quiet man, who was finally persuaded to be more physical on the field by graduate assistant coach Howard Knapp. According to team captain William “Pa” Corbin, Knapp motivated the player in a way we probably wouldn’t think of today:

Finally, at his wits end, Howard decided he would try the sight of blood to stir up Heff’s dormant bellicose spirit. He wrote Heff, with pen dipped in blood which be had obtained from a slaughter house, one of the sharpest, strongest of letters, using every reasonable form of expression to get Heff out of his lethargy. Heff, not knowing the nature of the gore, certainly must have been stirred, for the week after receiving the letter he played the best game of the season against Princeton. Heff found himself that day and from then on was a terror to his opponents.

On this date in 1892, Heffelfinger was paid $500 (about $13,300 today) to play a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. He recovered a fumble to score the game’s only touchdown in a 4-0 win for his team (touchdowns counted for only four points in those days.)

In those days, playing football for money was frowned upon. The “pure” version of the game was to be found at the college level, and for many years after its formation in 1920, the NFL took a back seat to the college game. It wasn’t until the famous 1958 overtime championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants that the NFL achieved parity in popularity with college football. In fact, Heffelfinger had refused an earlier offer of $250 to play professionally since he didn’t feel it was enough money to risk his amateur status.

In later life, Heffelfinger coached at Cal-Berkeley, Lehigh, and Minnesota before going into Minnesota Republican Party politics. He served for 24 years on the Hennepin County Board, but made an annual trip to New Haven every year to assist the Yale coaching staff on a volunteer basis. He also continued to play amateur football, playing his last game in 1933 at age 65.  He passed away at age 86 in Blessing, Texas, in 1954.

Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!

The post RedState’s Water Cooler – November 12, 2017 – Open Thread – “The First Pro Football Player” appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State