Give Me That Old Time Religion

 

Something for the weekend.  Give Me That Old Time Religion.  The origins of this hymn are unknown.  Probably a black spiritual, its roots may go back to English folk songs.  It was popularized in 1873 by Charles Tillman and has remained a popular hymn among Protestants ever since.  The scene above from Sergeant York (1941) conveys the power of the hymn.  The National University of Taiwan chorus gives a stirring rendition:

 

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Published in: on September 30, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Give Me That Old Time Religion  
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Stalin is Still Dead

Strong language advisory as to the above video:

I have long thought that there was a hilarious dark comedy waiting to be written about the power struggle that occurred in the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin.  His daughter described his dying which took several days:

“Father’s death was slow and difficult…. His face became dark and different… his features were becoming unrecognizable…. The death agony was terrible. It choked him slowly as we watched… At the last moment he suddenly opened his eyes. It was a horrible look — either mad, or angry and full of fear of death…. Suddenly he raised his left hand and sort of either pointed up somewhere, or shook his finger at us all… The next moment his soul, after one last effort, broke away from his body.”

The film is coming out on October 20, and judging from the trailer it looks rather historically accurate.  Stalin’s death began a long chain of events that ended with the fall of the Soviet Union.  A fitting “celebration” of the centennial of the October Revolution.

Published in: on September 29, 2017 at 4:03 am  Comments Off on Stalin is Still Dead  
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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Judge Douglas ought to remember when he is endeavoring to force this policy upon the American people that while he is put up in that way a good many are not. He ought to remember that there was once in this country a man by the name of  Thomas Jefferson, supposed to be a Democrat—a man whose principles and policy are not very prevalent amongst Democrats to-day, it is true; but that man did not take exactly this view of the insignificance of the element of slavery which our friend Judge Douglas does. In contemplation of this thing, we all know he was led to exclaim, “I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just!” We know how he looked upon it when he thus expressed himself. There was danger to this country—danger of the avenging justice of God in that little unimportant popular sovereignty question of Judge Douglas. He supposed there was a question of God’s eternal justice wrapped up in the enslaving of any race of men, or any man, and that those who did so braved the arm of Jehovah—that when a nation thus dared the Almighty every friend of that nation had cause to dread His wrath. Choose ye between Jefferson and Douglas as to what is the true view of this element among us.

Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1859

Published in: on September 28, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln  
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Alvin C. York Appeals the Denial of His Claim for Exemption

After Alvin C. York’s attempted claim of exemption from the draft due to his being a conscientious objector, he filed an appeal to the District draft board for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville:

 

 

 

I, Alvin C. York, Pall Mall, Tennessee, now hereby claim an appeal to the District Board for Middle District of Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee, because you denied my claim for discharge which was based upon the ground that I am a member of a well organized Religious Sect or organization existing May 18th, 1917, whose then existing creed or principles forbade its members to participate in war, etc.

A. C. York
Pall Mall, Tennessee. (more…)

Published in: on September 27, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Alvin C. York Appeals the Denial of His Claim for Exemption  
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Belated Speak Like a Pirate Day

 

To all pirates I have but one thing to say:  amateurs.

Donald R. McClarey

 

 

Ah, me hearties, I am gob struck that I forgot that Tuesday twas International Speak Like a Pirate Day!  Me humble apologies!  But better late than never as many a pirate captain swore as sharks arrived after he had a swab walk the plank.

Primus, a wee bit of larnin’ of how to speak proper pirate fashion:

(more…)

Published in: on September 26, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Belated Speak Like a Pirate Day  
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Alvin C. York Addresses the 82nd Division

 

The things you find on the internet.  Alvin C. York addresses his old outfit the 82nd Division “All-American” in May of 1942.

Published in: on September 25, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Alvin C. York Addresses the 82nd Division  
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Mormon Long March

 

One of the oddest episodes in American military history occurred during the Mexican War.  In 1846 the Mormons were beginning their epic trek West which would end with their carving a Mormon Zion out of the wilderness in what is now Utah.  The Mormons, realizing they would need at least tacit Federal approval to accomplish this, sent representatives to Washington.  The Polk administration asked for a quid pro quo.  The Federal government would render assistance if a battalion of Mormons would enlist to fight in the Mexican War.  Brigham Young readily agreed, and a battalion was raised after much cajoling by Young, due to the suspicion of most Mormons of the Federal government as a result of Federal indifference to the persecution of Mormons in Illinois and Missouri.

Along with the approximately 500 men, the Battalion was accompanied by 30 Mormon women, 23 of whom served as laundresses, and 51 children.  The Mormons were mustered into the Army on July 16, 1846.  They were assigned to the Army of the West under General Kearney, a tough regular.  From Fort Leavenworth on August 30, 1846, the Mormon Battalion made the longest infantry march in US military history, 1900 miles to San Diego, California which they reached on January 29, 1847.  The Battalion captured Tuscon, Arizona on the way to California, but saw no fighting, although the harsh climate and terrain they marched through more than made up for the absence of human adversaries. (more…)

Published in: on September 24, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Mormon Long March  
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How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On the Farm?

 

 

Something for the weekend.   How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On the Farm?  With music by Walter Donaldson and words by Joe Young and Sam M. Lewis, the humorous song became immensely popular in 1919, especially with troops awaiting demobilization.  The song reflected a real concern among parents and wives that their doughboys would come back changed men.  Well, they did, but most of them resumed their former lives with little fuss or bother. (more…)

Published in: on September 23, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down On the Farm?  
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Patton and the Tank: A Love Affair Begins

 

 

Through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond.

Brigadier General Hugh Elles, Commander British Tank Corps, Battle of Cambrai

 

 

 

Captain George S. Patton was not a happy man.  A personal aide to General John J. Pershing, and in command of the Headquarters Company of the AEF, he lacked sufficient work for his vigorous mind and nature.  Writing to his wife he poured out his frustration:  “nothing but [a] hired flunky. I shall be glad to get back to the line again and will try to do so in the spring. These damn French are bothering us with a lot of details which have nothing to do with any- thing. I have a hard time keeping my patience.”  Pershing had promised him an eventual command in an infantry unit, but for a cavalry trooper like Patton that was a prospect he met with a decided lack of enthusiasm.

Tanks were a natural option, but surprisingly the tank initially aroused no enthusiasm in Patton.  “Tanks aren’t worth a damn” he had written in July 1917, and, indeed, the battlefield record of these primitive first steps in armored warfare were unimpressive.  Used in penny packets by commanders with no idea of how to utilize these newfangled gadget, manned by officers and men who did lack courage but did lack knowledge and skill, and suffering the birthing pangs of cutting edge technology in war, tanks had failed to make much impact thus far in the Great War.  In the months ahead that would all change at the Battle of Cambrai on November 20, 1917 when the massed use of 437 tanks led to an unprecedented advance on the Western Front and sent the church bells in Britain madly ringing.  The Germans counterattacked and took back most of the ground the British had gained before the battle sputtered out on December 7, 1917, but perceptive Germans saw that a new factor had entered into the conflict: (more…)

Published in: on September 22, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Patton and the Tank: A Love Affair Begins  
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Thank the British Empire?

 

OK Prager U this video might be too much for me.  I fully share my sainted Mom’s ambivalence to all things British.  She taught me all the Irish rebel songs, but she also loved the Queen.  The speaker on the video, H.W. Crocker III, has written the best one volume history of the Church, Triumph, that I have ever read.  He also wrote the Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire that I think even Sir Winston Churchill would have thought went over the top in its adoration of all things British.  Oh well, above is the Prager U video and below by two videos that highlight my conflicted feelings to the land of Magna Carta and Henry VIII: (more…)

Published in: on September 21, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Thank the British Empire?  
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