31 January, 2013
Heinz Kilfitt was a marvelously prolific camera designer, as well as founder of the Kilfitt optical works, in München (Munich) Germany. His early success in designing the Robot camera was followed by the Mecaflex, produced to his design. He was designer of the Kowa Six and said to have had a hand in the design of the Kalimar Reflex. Kilfitt became known as an innovator in lens design, some produced by "Kamerabau Anstalt Vaduz," Liechtenstein, later as "Kilfitt München," (Munich, Germany) under the "Kilar" brand. His firm created the earliest macro lens designs, along with a range of well-regarded telephoto lenses in mounts for the Mecaflex, Alpa, Exakta, Pentacon Six and others (including cine cameras). The pioneering Zoomar lens was manufactured forVoigtländer by Kilfitt. On Heniz Kilfitt's retirement his company was acquired by Zoomar designer Frank Back.
07 January, 2013
06 January, 2013
05 January, 2013
Frank Schaffer Besson, Jr., was born on May 30, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan. His father was a West Point graduate and an officer in the Corps of Engineers . Frank S. Besson, Jr. In March 1969, General Besson left AMC to become chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board, formed to review logistic activities in support of the Vietnam War. He retired in July 1970 and was promptly recalled to active duty to establish procedures to implement the board's recommendation. He permanently retired in October 1970. While in retirement, General Besson was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon as one of the founding directors of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, which ran Amtrak. He was also director of the Services National Bank in Alexandria and of ECR International. On July 15, 1985, General Besson died of cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. graduated seventh in his class from theUnited States Military Academy in 1932. In 1935, he received a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His early career was noted for the role he played in the development of portable military pipelines, steel landing mats for airplanes, and steel treadway bridges. He is credited with the studies leading to the Army 's adoption of the Bailey Bridge, used extensively in all theaters in World War II.
- He became Assistant Director of the Third Military Railway Service (with rank of Lieutenant Colonel) in 1943, and was promoted to Director (with rank of Colonel) the following year. As Director of the Third Military Railway Service in Iran from 1944 to 1945, Besson ensured the flow of war materials to the Russian forces through the Persian Corridor. He was promoted to brigadier general, becoming, at 34, the youngest general officer in the Army Ground Forces and Chief of the Railway Division. Toward the end of World War II, he was Deputy Chief Transportation Officer of the Army Forces in the Western Pacific and, when Japan's collapse was imminent, assumed full control of railroads in Japan. During the first year of occupation, General Besson directed the rehabilitation of the Japanese rail system, moving more than 200,000 troops and 150,000 tons of supplies in the first two months.
- Subsequent assignments included a tour as Assistant Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), where General Besson formulated logistics plans and overall programs to meet the complex requirements of the fifteen nations of the NATO alliance. His efforts in instituting a system for "costing out" five-year programs, thereby bringing force goals into consonance with available resources, earned him the first Distinguished Service Medal to be awarded at SHAPE headquarters.
- General Besson stimulated both military and commercial adoption of containerization and improved water terminal practices. He introduced the roll-on/roll-off technique for the rapid loading and discharge of wheeled and tracked vehicles. He further refined these concepts upon assuming command of the Transportation Center and School at Fort Eustis, Virginia in 1953. General Besson was the Chief of Transportation, U.S. Army from March 1958 until April 2, 1962, when he took charge of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
- General Besson was the first Commander of the Army Materiel Command, formed in 1962 during a major Army reorganization. During his command, the mammoth logistical organization, with an annual budget exceeding $14 billion and an inventory of $21 billion, employed more than 160,000 civilian personnel, in addition to its military complement of 14,000. As the first AMC Commander, General Besson was charged with consolidating six Army technical service organizations into a single command without disrupting effective materiel support for the Army. His success resulted in his receiving the Merit Award of the Armed Forces Management Association in 1963. On May 27, 1964, 53-year-old Frank Besson became the 75th officer in the U.S. Army's 189-year history to wear the four stars of a full general. He was the first Army officer to achieve that rank as head of a logistical organization in peacetime.
- In March 1969, General Besson left AMC to become chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board, formed to review logistic activities in support of the Vietnam War. He retired in July 1970 and was promptly recalled to active duty to establish procedures to implement the board's recommendation. He permanently retired in October 1970. While in retirement, General Besson was nominated by President Richard M. Nixon as one of the founding directors of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, which ran Amtrak. He was also director of the Services National Bank in Alexandria and of ECR International. On July 15, 1985, General Besson died of cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
04 January, 2013
Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock was an American musical theater composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Harnick.
01 January, 2013
Born Oct. 14, 1921, in the village of Gam-bettola, Forlì Province. Figure in the Italian trade union movement. Graduated with a degree in social sciences from the University of Florence.
Between 1943 and 1945, Lama was active in the Resistance, commanding the 29th Garibaldi Brigade. In 1945 he was elected secretary of the Chamber of Labor of the province of Forlì. He joined the Communist Party in 1946. From 1947 to 1952 he was deputy secretary of the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL); for a number of years he simultaneously held positions of leadership in branch trade union organizations. He was secretary of the CGIL from 1952 to 1957 and 1960 to 1970. In 1965 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the General Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions. From 1956 to 1974 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party, and from 1963 to 1970 he was a member of the party leadership. In 1970 he was elected secretary general of the CGIL. He was a deputy to parliament from 1958 to 1970.
Donald Porter was an American actor who appeared in a number of films in the 1940s, including Top Sergeant and Eagle Squadron, but is perhaps best known for his role as Russell Lawrence, the widowed father of 15-year old Frances "Gidget" Lawrence (Sally Field) in the 1965 ABC situation comedy Gidget.
30 December, 2012
Gerry Adams is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála (TD) for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern Ireland and the largest nationalist party. From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and subsequently with the Irish and British governments and then other parties. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) indicated that its armed campaign was over and that it is now exclusively committed to democratic politics. Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism towards Oireachtas Éireann, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, in 1986 and later took seats in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly.
In films from 1941, American character actor Norman Leavitt spent much of his career in uncredited bits and supporting roles. Leavitt can briefly be seen in such "A" pictures of the 1940s and 1950s as The Inspector General (1949) and Harvey (1950). His larger roles include Folsom in the 1960 budget western Young Jesse James. Three Stooges fans will immediately recognize Norman Leavitt The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962), in which he player scientist Emil Sitka's sinister butler--who turned out to be a spy from Mars! - Hal Erickson, Rovi
25 July, 2012
Darryl G. Hart is a religious and social historian. Hart is an Adjunct Professor of church history at Westminster Seminary California. He served as dean of academic affairs from 2000-2003. He also taught church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, directed the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College, and was Director of Partnered Projects, Academic Programs and Faculty Development at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware. He is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
08 July, 2012
Arthur Wontner was a British actor best known for playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective Sherlock Holmes in five films from 1931 to 1937.
These films are:
The Sleeping Cardinal (1931) (US title: Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour) based on Doyle's two stories, "The
Adventure of the Empty House" and "The Final Problem"
The Missing Rembrandt (1932) (still considered lost) based on "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"
The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case (1932)
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935) based on The Valley of Fear
Silver Blaze (1937) (US title:Murder at the Baskervilles, release 1941) based on "Silver Blaze"
Reportedly, Wontner landed the role of Sherlock Holmes thanks to his performance of Holmes imitation Sexton Blake in a 1930 stage production.
Silver Blaze was renamed Murder at the Baskervilles on its US release in order to make the most of the publicity which had been generated by Basil Rathbone's version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In many respects Wontner's film can be seen as a sequel as it is set twenty years after the events of the more famous story.
Walter Slezak was a portly Austrian character actor who appeared in numerous Hollywood films. Slezak often portrayed villains or thugs, most notably the German U-boat captain in Alfred Hitchcock's film Lifeboat (1944), but occasionally he got to play lighter roles, as in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). He also played a cheerfully corrupt and philosophical private detective in the film noir Born to Kill (1947) and appeared as Squire Trelawney in Treasure Island (1972).
Turhan Bey is an American actor of Turkish and Czech descent. Bey was active in Hollywood from 1941 to 1953. He was dubbed "The Turkish Delight" by his fans for his exotic handsome looks. After his return to Europe, he pursued careers as a photographer and stage director.
Returning briefly to Hollywood to receive an award, he made several guest appearances in 1990s television series and in a number of films.
Since retiring he has appeared in a number of documentaries, including a German-language documentary on his life.