23 April, 2009

Banjo Paterson


Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson was a famous Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Waltzing Matilda", "The Man from Snowy River" and "Clancy of the Overflow".

Banjo Paterson was born at Narambla, near Orange, New South Wales, the eldest son of Andrew Bogle Paterson, a Scottish immigrant from Lanarkshire and Australian-born Rose Isabella Barton, related to future Prime Minister Edmund Barton. Paterson's family lived on the isolated Buckinbah Station until he was 5. When Paterson's uncle died, his family took over the uncle's farm in Illalong, near Yass, close to the main route between Melbourne and Sydney. Bullock teams, Cobb & Co. coaches and drovers were familiar sights to him. He also saw horsemen from the Murrumbidgee River area and Snowy Mountains country take part in picnic races and polo matches, which led to his fondness of horses and inspired his writings.

Paterson's early education came from a governess, but when he was able to ride a pony, he was taught at the bush school at Binalong. In 1874 Paterson was sent to Sydney Grammar School, performing well both as a student and a sportsman. At this time, he lived in a cottage called Rockend, in the suburb of Gladesville. The cottage is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. Matriculating at 16, he took up the role of an articled clerk in a law firm and on 28 August 1886 Paterson was admitted as a qualified solicitor.

In 25678, Paterson began submitting and having his poetry published in the Sydney edition of The Bulletin under the pseudonym of "The Banjo", the name of a favourite horse. Paterson, like The Bulletin, was an ardent nationalist, and in 1889 published a pamphlet, Australia for the Australians which told of his disdain for cheap labour and his admiration of hard work and the nationalist spirit. In 1890, The Banjo wrote "The Man from Snowy River", a poem which caught the heart of the nation, and in 1895 had a collection of his works published under that name. This book is the most sold collection of Australian Bush poetry and is still being reprinted today. Paterson also became a journalist, lawyer, jockey, soldier and a farmer.

On 8 April 1903 he married Alice Emily Walker in Tenterfield, New South Wales. Their first home was in Queen Street, Woollahra. The Patersons had two children, Grace (born in 1904) and Hugh (born in 1906).

Paterson became a war correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age during the Second Boer War, sailing for South Africa in October 1899. His graphic accounts of the surrender of Bloemfontein (the first correspondent to ride in), the capture of Pretoria and the relief of Kimberley attracted the attention of the press in Britain. He also was a correspondent during the Boxer Rebellion, where he met George "Chinese" Morrison and later wrote about his meeting. He was editor of the Sydney Evening News (1904-06) and of the Town and Country Journal (1907-08).

In World War I, Paterson failed to become a correspondent covering the fighting in Flanders, but did become an ambulance driver with the Australian Voluntary Hospital, Wimereux, France. He returned to Australia early in 1915 and, as an honorary vet, travelled on three voyages with horses to Africa, China and Egypt. He was commissioned in the 2nd Remount Unit, Australian Imperial Force on 18 October 1915.

Paterson died of a heart attack in Sydney on 5 February 1941.

Sir Walter Murdoch


Sir Walter Logie Forbes Murdoch was a prominent Australian academic and essayist famous for his intelligence, wit, and humanity. He was a Founding Professor of English and former Chancellor of University of Western Australia in Perth. Murdoch University, also in Perth is named after him. There is a walk dedicated to him on South Wing Level 2 of the Murdoch campus library.

Walter Murdoch was born on 17 September 1874 at Rosehearty to Rev. James Murdoch, minister of the Free Church of Scotland, and his wife Helen, née Garden, and he was the youngest of their 14 children. He spent his first decade at Rosehearty and in England and France, and Walter arrived with his family in Melbourne in 1884. He attended Camberwell Grammar School and Scotch College. At the University of Melbourne, as a member of Ormond College, he won first-class honors in logic and philosophy.

After teaching experience, country and suburban, to the end of 1903, Murdoch's academic career began with appointment as a Melbourne University assistant lecturer in English. This was in what had virtually become a combined department under the classics professor T. G. Tucker. Murdoch published his first essay, 'The new school of Australian poets', in 1899, and he continued writing for the Melbourne Argus, under the pen-name of 'Elzevir', in a column which appeared weekly from 1905 titled 'Books and Men'. On 22 December 1897 at Hawthorn, Melbourne, Murdoch had married Violet Catherine Hughston, a teacher.

1911 marked a turning-point in Murdoch's life. Passed over in favor of an overseas applicant, (Sir) Robert Wallace, for the re-created independent chair of English at Melbourne University, he spent the next year as a full-time member of the Argus's literary staff. He was then selected as a founding professor of the University of Western Australia, where in 1913 lectures began, and continued for many years, in tin sheds in the heart of Perth.

The literary and other friendships formed in Melbourne still exerted a strong nostalgic influence upon the middle-aged Murdoch. This has been established by his warmly sympathetic, but not uncritical, biographer John La Nauze; but the fact that he felt deeply his geographical and intellectual isolation in Perth was not evident to even his close associates there. Through the inter-war years, Murdoch broadened his influence upon Australian life—most noticeably within the western State but extending throughout the Commonwealth.

On the young campus he had a considerable following outside his own department and his immediate academic colleagues. In addition to the appeal of his wide-ranging and often informal literary lectures, of his sardonic wit and his ready debunking of the pompous and ultra-respectable, Murdoch was known for his help to students and junior colleagues in difficulties.

Sympathy for underdogs and a willingness to champion lost causes extended beyond Murdoch's academic environment. It colored his second major contribution to Western Australian life: his association with several other members of the foundation professoriate in building closer links between the university and the community. His most effective medium was the column he contributed to the 'Life and Letters' page of the West Australian on alternate Saturday mornings. Combined from 1933 with occasional day and evening talks on radio—he was to prove a very effective broadcaster—and appearances on public platforms, frequently in the chair, it brought Murdoch a wide and varied local following. Simple language, challenging titles, erudite literary allusions, subtle or open criticisms of popularly accepted practices or beliefs, served to attract, in his biographer's words, varying types of people 'who read him, all with interest, most with pleasure, some with disapproval, over many years'. 'No other writer in the history of Australian letters has built so wide a reputation on the basis of the essay as a form of communication.'

These essays should be judged in the first instance as part of the community activities of the University of Western Australia. They were directed at the widespread literate, but by no means academic, population of the still very isolated State. But Murdoch's audience did not stop there. Indeed, the 'Elzevir' articles had begun to reappear in the Argus in 1919, and the essays in varying forms found an all-Australian market when Murdoch succumbed to the persuasion of his flamboyant nephew Sir Keith Murdoch, and his writings were syndicated on the Melbourne Herald network. Walter Murdoch's essays came to be read by others, then and much later, through collection and book form, from Speaking Personally (1930) onward. Moreover, in old age, for nearly twenty years from 1945, he conducted a weekly 'Answers' column, 'little essays' on any and every question, syndicated throughout most States and New Zealand and read by a huge public.

It is perhaps fortunate that Murdoch did not in his best creative years allow himself the leisure to write more ambitious works than his essays and some early textbooks. What he described as his one 'real book', Alfred Deakin: A Sketch (1923), was the result of work done in a year's leave in and around Melbourne. It was not successful financially, or as an introduction either to a larger joint biography (later abandoned) or to La Nauze's definitive two-volume Alfred Deakin: a Biography (1965).

Murdoch's limited interest, in his middle and later years, in Australian writing has often been criticized. However, in 1918 he published the Oxford Book of Australasian Verse (revised, 1923, 1945) and in 1951, after many years delay, with Henrietta Drake-Brockman, Australian Short Stories which was much better received than the verse anthology.

In addition to his academic teaching and the benefits which the young university obtained from his extramural activities, Murdoch was to remain a member of its governing body after he resigned from his chair in 1939. Chancellor in 1943-48, he was appointed C.M.G. in 1939 and K.C.M.G. in 1964; the university awarded him an honorary D.Litt. in 1948. He had been president of the local League of Nations Union from its foundation in the early 1920s until 1936, was president of the Kindergarten Union in 1933-36, and supported movements for women's rights.

A depression at the time did not stop his actively opposing the idea of secession from the Commonwealth as a solution to Western Australia's economic ills. Much later, in 1950-51, he vehemently and stalwartly fought the attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

Though the last years of Murdoch's long life were spent more or less as a recluse, with increasing deafness and declining eyesight, he remained mentally alert to the end. In 1964 he paid the last of several visits to his beloved Italy. When in the month of his death he was given a bedside message from the premier that the State government was to name its second university after him, he was able to send an appreciative acceptance. He added, sotto voce, 'It had better be a good one!'

Sir Walter Raleigh


Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh, was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known for certain of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in two infamous massacres at Rathlin Island and Smerwick, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth I's favour, being knighted in 1585, and was involved in the early English colonization of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1591 he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, without requesting the Queen's permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

In 1594 Raleigh heard of a "City of Gold" in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado. After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I, who was not favorably disposed toward him. In 1616, however, he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado. This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command. After his return to England he was arrested and, after a show trial held mainly to appease the Spanish after Raleigh's attack of San Thomé, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

Stevie Ray Vaughan


Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. To date, a total of 18 albums of Vaughan's work have been released. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007.

Stephen Ray Vaughan was born to Martha and Jimmie Lee Vaughan at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas on October 3, 1954, three years after his brother, Jimmie Vaughan. Stevie's father, whose nickname became "Big Jim", was an asbestos worker whose job carried the family to cities across Texas. Wherever there was an opening, the family would pack up and move to another city.

Big Jim and Martha loved to dance to Western Swing, and it was the boys' first exposure to music. The Texas Playboys, a country band, would hang out at the Vaughans' house often, playing dominoes with Big Jim. The Playboys would bring alcoholic beverages to the house and Stevie would sneak sips when nobody was looking. This started him on his addiction to alcohol.

When Jimmie broke his shoulder playing football when he was 12, family friend Michael Quinn gave him his first guitar. Soon after, Stevie got one of his own: a plastic Roy Rogers toy guitar from Sears, with only three strings. Stevie recalls that it also came with a set of blankets.

The boys, uninterested in taking formal guitar lessons, taught themselves to play by listening to records by Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, and The Beatles, that Jimmie brought home. The brothers were also drawn to blues music and taught themselves the guitar techniques of blues guitarists like Albert and B.B. King, Otis Rush, and Buddy Guy.

At the age of 15, Jimmie was the lead guitarist in a local cover band called The Chessmen, and played gigs all over Texas. One day when bandmate Doyle Bramhall came to pick up Jimmie for a gig, he saw young Stevie playing along to Jeff's Boogie by The Yardbirds. Bramhall became the first to tell Stevie Ray Vaughan that he was actually good.

When he was 17, Vaughan got a tattoo of a peacock on his chest.[4] It was initially supposed to be much bigger, but realizing the pain of the process altered Stevie's body-art plans.

Stevie was playing in rock bands by age 12. His first recording was for a garage rock band called "A Cast of Thousands", and his style stood out. He had paying gigs when he entered high school: first with Jimmie's new band, Texas Storm, and then with his own group, Blackbird. Stevie would play late night sets at local bars.

Stevie's and Jimmie's focus on music caused their grades to drop. Their alarmed parents tried to intervene, but it was too late: in 1967, Jimmie moved in with Doyle. Stevie, left at home, decided to take a job washing dishes at the local Dairy Mart. Part of his job was to clean out the trash bin, which required standing on top of 55-gallon wooden-lidded barrels that were used for storing grease. One day the wooden lid broke on one of the barrels and Stevie fell up to his chest in grease--and was fired for breaking the lid. He decided that, rather than try to get another job like this, he would pursue his dream of being a guitar player like Albert King, his current favorite.

In early 1971, both Jimmie and Doyle grew tired of the fading music scene in Dallas and moved to Austin to give it another try. A year later, Stevie followed with his band, Blackbird. At 17 years old, he dropped out of high school during Christmas break and hit the road.

When he first came to Austin, Stevie and his band didn't have much money, so he would sleep on a barroom pool table, but he fit in with the more appreciative music scene on the east side of town. With blues clubs like the Soap Creek Saloon, Vulcan Gas Company, and Antone's, Stevie could trade licks with the blues masters he grew up listening to. Clifford Antone, one of the club owners, took notice and practically begged Albert King to let 17-year-old Stevie play guitar with him. After much convincing, he finally agreed--and was very impressed when he heard Stevie play his own licks.

Sharing riffs with these admired masters was Stevie's dream come true, making a career in Austin turned out to be tougher than he thought. In 1973, he joined a promising rock group called Krackerjack, which included future bassist Tommy Shannon, whom he met after a stint at a club in Dallas called "The Fog." Stevie quit when the leader decided they should wear makeup on stage. The next year, he was asked to join Marc Benno and the Nightcrawlers, a blues band that included singer Doyle Bramhall and future Bee Gees bassist Russ Powell. The Nightcrawlers drove from Texas to Los Angeles to record an album, but Benno's record label rejected the tapes, and Stevie traveled back to Texas.

In 1975, he hooked up with another popular Austin group, Paul Ray and the Cobras, a two-guitar band with Stevie in the background. After two years, they only had one single recorded, and Stevie grew frustrated and quit. He was still in the shadow of his big brother. Jimmie's new group, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, were the talk of Austin, and became the house band at Antone's. In late 1977, Stevie decided it was time to put together a band of his own called "Triple Threat," which included bass player, W.C. Clark, Freddie "Pharoah" Walden on drums, and singer Lou Ann Barton.

W.C. Clark left Triple Threat in mid-1978, and Stevie renamed the band "Double Trouble." He then asked drummer Chris Layton to join the band. After an embarrassing post-show incident with drunken Lou Ann, Stevie became the new lead singer and guitar player after he fired her. Around this time, he hired a management company called "Classic Management" that consisted of manager Chesley Milikin, and financial assistant, Frances Carr.

Stevie's drummer at the time, Chris Layton, stayed with him. After almost four years, Jackie Newhouse was dropped from the band in the spring of 1981, and bass player Tommy Shannon decided he wanted in. In turn, he was asked to join Double Trouble. The first show with the new trio format band was at Joe Ely's annual Texas Tornado Jam, a music festival featuring a host of local bands held at the Manor Downs Racetrack, just outside of Austin. The Fabulous Thunderbirds were after Stevie and Double Trouble.

Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones saw a tape of the show and liked what he saw. He asked Stevie and his band to play a private party hosted by The Rolling Stones at the Danceteria club in New York. After the show, Mick and guitar player Keith Richards talked to the band about getting them a record deal. It never went through, however, and they went back to Texas.

Jerry Wexler, record executive from Atlantic Records, saw the band playing at a record release party for Lou Ann Barton's new position as singer for Roomful of Blues. He recommended that the band play the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Manager Chesley Milikin put in a call to Claude Nobs, the host of the Montreux Jazz Festival and would be the first unsigned act to perform at the festival.

The band was booked on a jazz acoustic night, a setup that involved an upright bass, piano, and generally soft music. The loud and powerful sound of Stevie and Double Trouble shocked the staid crowd. After a few songs, the gig seemed headed for disaster, as some of the audience members booed. Larry Graham, from Sly & The Family Stone was looking forward to an encore with the band, but unfortunately, it never happened.

As the band was backstage, devastated and disappointed, David Bowie and Jackson Browne, two celebrities in the audience approached them to say they had liked what they heard. Browne offered the band 72 hours of free studio time at his own studio in downtown Los Angeles. David Bowie also invited Stevie to play on his upcoming album, Let's Dance, co-produced by Nile Rodgers.

To be able to afford the gasoline to take them to Los Angeles, the band booked a small tour at various clubs like Fitzgerald's in Houston and The Continental Club in Austin. When they finally traveled to Los Angeles during Thanksgiving weekend in 1982, they recorded an album's worth of songs: eight songs the first day; two the next. The band then went back to Texas, where Stevie recorded the vocals at Riverside Sound in Austin.

By 1988, the band was ready to return to the recording studio. For the new record, they traveled to Memphis to record in Ardent Studios, a pro recording studio that has such clientele as ZZ Top, Tina Turner, and Led Zeppelin. Together, old friend Doyle Bramhall and Stevie began writing songs about walking the tightrope to recovery, including "Tightrope", "Wall of Denial", and "Crossfire". The album was named appropriately, "In Step", released on June 6, 1989. "Crossfire" reached the #1 position on the Mainstream Rock Charts. It was the only hit single that they ever had.

In the spring of 1990, Stevie and his brother recorded an album together, one that would feature the music they had grown up with. They recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis and was produced by Nile Rodgers. The brothers agreed to name it "Family Style". That summer, Stevie and Double Trouble went on tour with British soul singer Joe Cocker, touring places like Alaska and the Benson & Hedges Blues Festival.

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To complete the summer portion of the "In Step" tour, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played two shows on August 25 & 26 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI. The shows also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray with The Memphis Horns.

After Double Trouble's set at the final show, Vaughan originally planned to return to Chicago by car. Bass player Tommy Shannon and keyboardist Reese Wynans had already departed. The venue was difficult to reach via highway and Vaughan wanted to get back to Chicago to talk to his girlfriend, model Janna Lapidus, who was staying with him at the time.

Tour manager Skip Rickert had hired helicopters from Omni Flights to circumvent congested highway traffic. Most of the seats had already been reserved, but one was available. Vaughan took it.

The helicopters departed at 12:44 a.m. in thick fog. Just past the landing zone was a 200-foot hill. Vaughan's helicopter was piloted by Jeffrey Browne, who was unfamiliar with the flight pattern for exiting the area. He guided the helicopter to about half of the altitude needed to clear the hill before crashing into it. The force of the impact scattered the aircraft over a 200-foot area. The coroner's report stated that Vaughan died of severe loss of blood due to a force-of-impact rupture of the aorta.

Hussein bin Talal


Hussein bin Talal was the King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein guided his country in the context of the Cold War, and through four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict, balancing the pressures of Arab nationalism, the burdens of sheltering a large Palestinian refugee population, and the allure of Western-style development against the stark reality of Jordan's geographic location.

Hussein's family claims a line of descent from the Islamic prophet Muhammad. "We are the family of the prophet and we are the oldest tribe in the Arab world", the king once said of his Hashemite ancestry.

Hussein was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria. He proceeded to Harrow School in England, where he befriended his cousin Faisal II of Iraq. He pursued further study at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

In 1952, Hussein bin Talal was named King of JordanOn July 20, 1951, Prince Hussein traveled to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers with his grandfather, King Abdullah I. A Palestinian extremist, fearing the king might negotiate a peace with the newly-created state of Israel, opened fire on Abdullah and his grandson. Abdullah was killed, but the 15-year-old Hussein survived, and turned to pursue the gunman. The assailant turned his weapon on the young prince, who was saved when the bullet was deflected by a medal on his uniform given to him by his grandfather.

He was appointed Crown Prince of Jordan on September 9, 1951. Abdullah's eldest son, King Talal, was crowned King of Jordan, but within a year was forced to abdicate owing to his mental state (European and Arab doctors diagnosed schizophrenia). King Talal's son, Crown Prince Hussein, was proclaimed King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on August 11, 1952, succeeding at the age of 16; because this was under the legal age, he was enthroned a year later, on May 2, 1953.

In mid-1967, Jordan joined Egypt and Syria to fight Israel in the Six Day War. Jordan lost control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem and saw its military shattered, but Hussein shored up his support among the country's growing Palestinian population.
In September 1970, the king ordered the forcible expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which he considered to be attempting to foment a civil war, from the country.

The country also defied the West and the other allied leaders by refusing to side against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War — allegedly done for internal political reasons after the Ma'an uprising in 1988 that threatened the throne of the King — which alienated the kingdom from most of the Arab world.

In 1994 King Hussein concluded negotiations to end the official state of war with Israel resulting in the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace which he had begun negotiating in secret with the Israelis in the 1970s. King Hussein developed strong ties of friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, with whom he had negotiated the peace treaty. King Hussein gave a powerful speech at the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin:

The king wrote three books: Uneasy Lies the Head (1962), about his childhood and early years as king; My War With Israel (1969); and Mon Métier de Roi..

He died of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on February 7, 1999. The King had been suffering from the disease for many years and had been treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, United States on a fairly regular basis.

Prince Bernhard


Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands , Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld, born Count Bernhard Leopold Friedrich Eberhard Julius Kurt Karl Gottfried Peter of Biesterfeld (later elevated thus to Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld, was Prince Consort to the late Queen Juliana, and father of 6 children; one of them is the current monarch, Queen Beatrix.

Although his private life was rather controversial, Bernhard was generally regarded as a charming and popular figure by the majority of the Dutch for his performance as a pilot and activities as a liaison officer during World War II, his work during post-war reconstruction, and for assisting specific individuals. The German-born prince helped found the World Wildlife Fund (later renamed World Wide Fund for Nature), becoming its first president in 1961. He also established the 1001 Club: A Nature Trust in 1970 to fund the organization. He helped found the Rotary International and was one of two founders of the international Bilderberg Group, which meets yearly in order to discuss the future of the world and issues concerning Europe as it relates to corporate globalization.

Bernhard was born Count Bernhard Leopold Friedrich Eberhard Julius Kurt Karl Gottfried Peter of Biesterfeld in Jena, Germany, the elder son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe (younger brother of the reigning Prince of Lippe) and Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm. Because the marriage of his parents did not properly conform to the marriage laws of the House of Lippe and was therefore morganatic, Bernhard was born with the title of "Count" only. In 1916, the Reigning Prince of Lippe, Leopold IV, granted Bernhard the title of "Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld".

After World War I, Bernhard's family lost their German principality and the revenue that had accompanied it. But the family was still wealthy and Bernhard spent his early years at Reckenwalde, the family's new estate in East Brandenburg thirty kilometers east of the Oder-river, (now the village of Wojnowo, Greater Poland Voivodeship in Poland), near the city of Züllichau (Sulechów). He received his early education at home. When he was twelve, he was sent to board at the gymnasium in Züllichau and several years later to board at a gymnasium in Berlin, from which he graduated in 1929.

Bernhard suffered from poor health as a boy. Doctors predicted that he would not live very long. This prediction might have been the key to Berhard's reckless driving and the risks that he took in the Second World War and thereafter. The prince wrecked several cars and planes in his lifetime.

Bernhard studied Law at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and in Berlin, where he acquired a taste for fast cars, horse riding, and big-game hunting safaris. He was nearly killed in a boating accident and an airplane crash, and he suffered a broken neck and crushed ribs in a 160 km/h (100 mi/h) car crash in 1938.

Prince Bernhard began to make himself popular and trusted in the eyes of the Dutch people at the outset of World War II. During the German Invasion, the Prince, carrying a machine gun, organised the palace guards into a combat group and shot at German planes. The Royal Family fled the Netherlands and took refuge in England. Once safely there, Princess Juliana and the children then went on to Canada, where they remained until the end of the war.

In England, Prince Bernhard asked to work in British Intelligence but the War Admiralty, and later General Eisenhower's Allied Command offices, did not trust him sufficiently to allow him access to intelligence information. However, on the recommendation of Bernhard's ethnically-German friend and admirer, King George VI, he was later permitted to work in the war planning councils.

In 1940, flight Lieutenant Murray Payne instructed the prince to fly a Spitfire. The Prince made 1,000 flight-hours in a Spitfire with the RAF's 322 "Dutch" squadron wrecking two planes during landings. As "Wing Commander Gibbs(RAF)," Prince Bernhard flew over occupied Europe in a B-24 bomber attacking V-1 launch pads, he was in a B-25 Mitchell bomber bombing Pisa, over the Atlantic ocean bombing a submarine and in an L-5 reconnaissance plane over occupied Europe. Prince Bernhard was awarded the Dutch Flying Cross for his "ability and perseverance" (Dutch: "bekwaamheid en volharding"). (source: Interview with the Prince,1993, Henny Meyer, published in "Het Vliegerskruis" 1997)

In 1941, Prince Bernhard was given the honorary rank of wing commander in the Royal Air Force. He then trained as a pilot and gained his wings later that same year.

From 1942 to 1944, Bernhard flew as a pilot with the Royal Air Force. He also helped organise the Dutch resistance movement and acted as personal secretary for Queen Wilhelmina.

Queen Wilhelmina erased the word "honorary" (the exact words were " à la suite") in the decree that promoted Bernhard to General. In this unconstitutional manner, she gave this Royal Prince a position that was never intended by either Parliament or her ministers. The minister of defence did not choose to correct the Monarch and the Prince took a real and important role in the Dutch Armed forces.

By 1944, Prince Bernhard became Commander of the Dutch armed forces. After the liberation of the Netherlands, he returned with his family where he became active in the negotiations for the German surrender. He was present during the armistice negotiations and German surrender in Hotel de Wereld ("The World Hotel") in Wageningen in The Netherlands on 5 May 1945. The Prince was a genuine war hero in the eyes of most of the Dutch and even kept cordial relations with the communists who fought against the Nazis. In the post-war years the popular Prince earned respect for his hard work in helping to reinvigorate the economy of the Netherlands.

After the war, the position of Inspector General was created for the Prince. He was made a member of the board of supervisors of Fokker Aircraft, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and within a few years was invited to serve as an adviser or non-executive director of numerous corporations and institutions. There have been claims about KLM helping Nazis to leave Germany to Argentina in KLM flights, while he was on the board of the KLM. After a 1952 trip with Queen Juliana to the United States, Prince Bernhard was heralded by the media as a business ambassador extraordinaire for the Netherlands. With his global contacts, in May 1954, he was a key figure in organising a meeting at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands for the business elite and intellectuals of the Western World to discuss the economic problems in the face of the then growing threat from communism. As a result of the success of this first meeting, it became an annual affair known as the Bilderberg Group. The idea for the European Union, first proposed by Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950, was encouraged at Bilderberg.

Prince Bernhard was a very outspoken person, who often flouted protocol by making personal remarks on subjects about which he felt deeply. Almost until his last day he called for more recognition for the Polish WWII veterans, who played such an important role in the liberation of the Netherlands. It was only after his death that the Dutch government took the decision to publicly recognize the important role of the Polish army in the liberation of the Netherlands. On 31 May 2006 at the Binnenhof in The Hague, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix awarded the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade with the Order of William, the highest possible decoration for the armed forces.

Prince Bernard was a very close friend of president Juan Perón and his wife Eva from Argentina, even making a visit to them in Buenos Aires on 4 April 1951.

Prince Bernhard died of cancer at the age of 93 in a Utrecht hospital (the Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht - University of Utrecht Medical Centre) on 1 December 2004; until his death he suffered from malignant lung and intestinal tumours.

Sir Douglas Bader


Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader was a Royal Air Force fighter ace during the Second World War.

In 1928, Bader joined the RAF, but, on December 14, 1931 at Woodley airfield near Reading, lost both of his legs in an aircraft crash attempting a slow roll at very low level following jibes about him not wanting to perform aerobatics that day. Bader recovered, undertook refresher training, passed his check flights, and attempted to stay in the RAF but was retired for medical reasons on 30 April 1933. After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he was drafted and he requested that he be assigned to the RAF. Posted to a fighter squadron in 1940 Bader scored his first kills during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk.

During the Battle of Britain Bader became a friend and supporter of Trafford Leigh-Mallory and his "Big Wing" experiments, which led him into conflict with Air Vice Marshal Keith Park. In 1941 Bader participated in fighter sweeps over Europe as the RAF adopted a more offensive stance, but in August 1941 he was forced to bail out over German-occupied France, was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. While a POW, Bader made as much trouble as possible, escaping in August 1942, only to be recaptured and sent to Colditz Castle, the camp for POWs who made repeated escape attempts. He also met and befriended Adolf Galland, a prominent German Ace, during his imprisonment. Liberated in April 1945, he requested a return to action but that request was denied. Douglas Bader ended the conflict with 22 aerial victories scored in the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and left the RAF for good in February 1946.

Bader was considered to be an inspirational British hero of the era. His brutally forthright, dogmatic and often highly opinionated views (especially against authority) coupled with his boundless energy and enthusiasm inspired adoration and frustration in equal measures with both his subordinates and peers.

In 1976 Bader was knighted for his services to disabled people.

On 4 June 1979 Bader flew for the last time as a pilot. He had recorded 5,744 hours and 25 minutes flying time. Adolf Galland followed Bader into retirement.

His workload was exhausting for a legless man with a worsening heart condition, and, after a London Guildhall dinner honouring the 90th birthday of the Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, Bader died of a heart attack on 5 September 1982 at the age of 72. Bader had previously suffered a "minor heart attack" three weeks earlier after a golf tournament in Ayrshire.

Jim Garrison


Earling Carothers "Jim" Garrison who changed his first name to Jim in the early 1960s was the Democratic District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973. He is best known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK).

Garrison remains a controversial figure. Opinions differ as to whether he uncovered a conspiracy behind the John F. Kennedy assassination but was blocked from successful prosecution by a federal government cover up, whether he bungled his chance to uncover a conspiracy, or whether the entire case was an unproductive waste of resources.

Earling Carothers Garrison was born in Denison, Iowa. His family moved to New Orleans in his childhood, where he was reared by his divorced mother. He served in the U.S. National Guard in World War II, then got a law degree from Tulane University Law School in 1949. He worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for two years and then returned to active duty with the National Guard. After fifteen months, he was relieved from duty. One Army doctor concluded he had a "severe and disabling psychoneurosis" which "interfered with his social and professional adjustment to a marked degree. He is considered totally incapacitated from the standpoint of military duty and moderately incapacitated in civilian adaptability." As it turned out, Garrison was suffering from anxiety and exhaustion that was likely due to the fact that, during World War II, he had flown 35 dangerous reconnaissance missions over France and Germany. He had also witnessed the horrors of totalitarianism first-hand when his unit entered the Dachau concentration camp one day after its liberation. Although one doctor did recommend that Garrison be discharged from service and collect 10% permanent disability, Garrison would not hear of it. Instead he applied for the National Guard where his record was reviewed by the army surgeon general who “found him to be physically qualified for federal recognition in the national army.”

Garrison worked for New Orleans law firm Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles from 1954 to 1958, when he became an assistant district attorney. Garrison became a flamboyant, colorful, well-known figure in New Orleans, but was initially unsuccessful in his run for public office, losing a 1959 election for criminal court judge. In 1961 he ran for district attorney, winning against incumbent Richard Dowling by 6,000 votes in a five-man Democratic primary. Despite lack of major political backing, his performance in a televised debate and last minute television commercials are credited with his victory.

Once in office, Garrison cracked down on prostitution and the abuses of Bourbon Street bars and strip joints. He indicted Dowling and one of his assistants with criminal malfeasance, but the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence. Garrison did not appeal. Garrison received national attention for a series of vice raids in the French Quarter, staged sometimes on a nightly basis. Newspaper headlines in 1962 praised Garrison's efforts, "Quarter Crime Emergency Declared by Police, DA. — Garrison Back, Vows Vice Drive to Continue — 14 Arrested, 12 more nabbed in Vice Raids." Garrison's critics often point out that many of the arrests made by his office did not result in convictions, implying that he was in the habit of making arrests without evidence. However, assistant DA William Alford has said that charges would more often than not be reduced or dropped if a relative of someone charged gained Garrison’s ear. He had, said Alford, “a heart of gold.”

After a conflict with local criminal judges over his budget, he accused them of racketeering and conspiring against him. The eight judges charged him with misdemeanor criminal defamation, and Garrison was convicted in January 1963. (In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction and struck down the state statute as unconstitutional.) At the same time, Garrison indicted Judge Bernard Cocke with criminal malfeasance and, in two trials prosecuted by Garrison himself, Cocke was acquitted.

Garrison charged nine policemen with brutality, but dropped the charges two weeks later. At a press conference he accused the state parole board of accepting bribes, but could obtain no indictments. He accused the state legislature of the same, but held no investigation. He was unanimously censured by the legislature.

In 1965, running for reelection against Judge Malcolm O'Hara, Garrison won with 60 percent of the vote.

New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison began an investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy in the fall of 1966, after receiving several tips from Jack Martin that a man named David Ferrie may have been involved in the assassination. The end result of Garrison's investigation was the arrest and trial of New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw. Garrison's key witness against Clay Shaw was Perry Russo, a twenty-five year old insurance salesman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During the trial, Russo testified that he had attended an "assassination party" at David Ferrie's apartment, where Shaw, Ferrie, and Lee Harvey Oswald had discussed killing President Kennedy.

Russo’s version of events has been questioned by some historians and researchers, such as Patricia Lambert, once it became known that part of his testimony was induced by hypnotism, and by the drug Sodium Pentothal (sometimes called "truth serum"). Indeed, the early version of Russo's testimony, as told in the DA memo, before he was subjected to Sodium Pentothal and hypnosis, fails to mention an "assassination party" and says that Russo met Clay Shaw on two occasions, neither of which occurred at the "party." However in Jim Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassins, he says Russo has already told of the party at David Ferrie's before any "truth serum" was admitted. The jury didn't see enough evidence to convict Shaw. A verdict of not guilty was given.

Garrison was able to subpoena the Zapruder film from Life magazine and show it to the public for the first time. Until the trial, the film had rarely been seen, and bootleg copies made by assassination investigators working with Garrison led to the film's wider distribution.

In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations found that Lee Harvey Oswald's stint in the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol (C.A.P.) fit the timeline of David Ferrie's Civil Air Patrol service. Committee investigators also found six witnesses whose statements led them to believe that Oswald had been present at Civil Air Patrol meetings headed by David Ferrie.

In 1993, the PBS television program Frontline obtained a group photograph, taken eight years before the assassination that showed Oswald and Ferrie at a cookout with other Civil Air Patrol cadets. However, as Frontline executive producer Michael Sullivan said, "one should be cautious in ascribing its meaning. The photograph does give much support to the eyewitnesses who say they saw Ferrie and Oswald together in the C.A.P., and it makes Ferrie's denials that he ever knew Oswald less credible. But it does not prove that the two men were with each other in 1963, nor that they were involved in a conspiracy to kill the president." However, Ferrie flat out denied ever knowing Oswald or Shaw, despite several witnesses who claimed to see the three of them in much of 1963.

HSCA Chief Counsel G. Robert Blakey wrote, in his book The Plot to Kill the President, that the Committee "...was inclined to believe that Oswald was in Clinton [Louisiana] in late August, early September 1963, and that he was in the company of David Ferrie, if not Clay Shaw" and that numerous witnesses in Clinton, Louisiana "...established an association of undetermined nature between Ferrie, Shaw and Oswald less than three months before the assassination."

In a 1992 interview, Edward Haggerty, who was the judge at the Clay Shaw trial, stated: "I believe he [Shaw] was lying to the jury. Of course, the jury probably believed him. But I think Shaw put a good con job on the jury."

In 1978, he was elected as a state Circuit Court of Appeals judge and served in this capacity until his death.

After the Shaw trial, Garrison wrote three books on the Kennedy assassination, A Heritage of Stone (1970), The Star Spangled Contract, and the best-seller, On The Trail of The Assassins (1988).

The 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK was largely based on Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassins as well as Jim Marrs' Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. Kevin Costner played a fictionalized version of Garrison in the movie. Garrison himself had a small on-screen role in the film and ironically as United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Garrison appeared as himself in the 1987 film The Big Easy starring Dennis Quaid

Wolfgang Pauli


Wolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian theoretical physicist noted for his work on spin theory, and for the discovery of the exclusion principle underpinning the structure of matter and the whole of chemistry.

Pauli was born in Vienna to Wolfgang Joseph Pauli (né Wolf Pascheles) and Berta Camilla Schütz. His middle name was given in honor of his godfather, the physicist Ernst Mach. His paternal grandparents were from prominent Jewish families of Prague, but his father converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism shortly before his marriage in 1899. Bertha Schütz was raised in her mother's Roman Catholic religion, but her father was the Jewish writer Friedrich Schütz. Although Pauli was raised as a Roman Catholic, eventually he and his parents left the Church.

Pauli attended the Döblinger-Gymnasium in Vienna, graduating with distinction in 1918. Only two months after graduation, the young prodigy published his first paper, on Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. He attended the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, working under Arnold Sommerfeld, where he received his PhD in July 1921 for his thesis on the quantum theory of ionised molecular hydrogen.

Sommerfeld asked Pauli to review the theory of relativity for the Encyklopaedie der mathematischen Wissenschaften (Encyclopedia of Mathematical Sciences). Two months after receiving his doctorate, Pauli completed the article, which came to 237 pages. It was praised by Einstein; published as a monograph, it remains a standard reference on the subject to this day.

Pauli spent a year at the University of Göttingen as the assistant to Max Born, and the following year at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, which later became the Niels Bohr Institute in 1965. From 1923 to 1928, he was a lecturer at the University of Hamburg. During this period, Pauli was instrumental in the development of the modern theory of quantum mechanics. In particular, he formulated the exclusion principle and the theory of nonrelativistic spin.

At the beginning of 1931, shortly after his divorce and immediately following his postulation of the neutrino, Pauli had a severe breakdown. He consulted the psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung who, like Pauli, lived near Zürich. Jung immediately began interpreting Pauli's deeply archetypal dreams, and Pauli became one of the depth psychologist’s best students. Soon, he began to criticize the epistemology of Jung’s theory scientifically, and this contributed to a certain clarification of the latter’s thoughts, especially about the concept of synchronicity. A great deal of these discussions is documented in the Pauli/Jung letters, today published as Atom and Archetype. Jung's elaborate analysis of more than 400 of Pauli's dreams is documented in Psychology and Alchemy.

In 1928, he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at ETH Zürich in Switzerland where he made significant scientific progress. He held visiting professorships at the University of Michigan in 1931, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1935. He was awarded the Lorentz Medal in 1931.

The German annexation of Austria in 1938 made him a German national, which became a difficulty with the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Pauli moved to the United States in 1940, where he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. After the war, in 1946, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States, before returning to Zürich, where he mostly remained for the rest of his life.

In 1945, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery in 1925 of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle." He was nominated for the prize by Albert Einstein.

In 1958, Pauli was awarded the Max Planck medal. In that same year, he fell ill with pancreatic cancer. When his last assistant, Charles Enz, visited him at the Rotkreuz hospital in Zürich, Pauli asked him: “Did you see the room number?” It was number 137. Throughout his life, Pauli had been preoccupied with the question of why the fine structure constant, a dimensionless fundamental

László Péter


László Péter was Emeritus Professor of Hungarian History at the University of London. He completed his first degree at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest after which he worked as an archivist and teacher. He left Hungary in 1956, subsequently completing a DPhil in Oxford under the supervision of C.A. Macartney and John Plamenatz. In 1961, he was appointed to a lectureship at SSEES and to a full chair in 1990. He retired in 1994.

László Péter published extensively on the constitutional history of Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy, mostly in the nineteenth century. He was an External Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of University College London.

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Péter was appointed to the revolutionary committee charged with the supervision and cataloguing of the archives of the Ministry of the Interior.

Roman Bohnen


Roman Bohnen was a stage and film actor.

Born Roman Aloys Bohnen in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bohnen attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1923 with a B.A. He served his acting apprenticeship in theater companies in St. Paul and Chicago before making his Broadway debut in 1931 in As Husbands Go.

Between 1934 and 1940, he belonged to the Group Theatre and appeared in numerous plays. Incubator, which he co-wrote with John Lyman, was produced in 1932.

Bohnen's first film was the 1937 Vogues of 1938. By 1941, he was working almost exclusively in film. Among his better-known roles are Candy in Of Mice and Men (1939) and Pat Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).

In The Beginning or the End Bohnen was cast as President Harry Truman. The MGM film was a docu-drama about the atomic bomb. The film was publicly released in 1947. After a private screening in late 1946, President Truman let it be known that he disapproved his portrayal regarding the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. On December 2, 1946, Bohnen wrote Truman that he should portray himself. On December 12, 1946, Truman responded to Bohnen's letter, but declined the chance to portray himself, and said that he was "sure you (Bohnen) will do the part creditably". Ultimately the scenes were re-shot with actor Art Baker re-cast as President Truman.

A co-founder of the politically active Actors Laboratory Theatre, he was working on its production of A Distant Isle when he collapsed and died in Hollywood, California in 1949. He was blacklisted before his death, and afterwards his name was mentioned in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Paul Goodman


Paul Goodman was an American sociologist, poet, writer, anarchist, and public intellectual. Goodman is now mainly remembered as the author of Growing Up Absurd and an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and an inspiration to that era's student movement. He is less remembered as a co-founder of Gestalt Therapy in the 1940s and '50s.

As a child, Goodman freely roamed the streets and public libraries of his native New York City, experiences which later inspired his radical concept of "the educative city". He graduated from The City College of New York in 1932 and completed his Ph.D. work at the University of Chicago in 1939. (He was not officially awarded his Ph.D. until 1953, for the dissertation which was later published by the University of Chicago as The Structure of Literature.)

Goodman was a prolific writer of essays, fiction and poetry. Although he had been writing short stories since 1932, his first novel, The Grand Piano, was published in 1942.

In the mid-1940s, together with C. Wright Mills, he contributed to Politics, the journal edited during the 1940s by Dwight Macdonald. In 1947, he published two books, Kafka's Prayer and Communitas, a classic study of urban design coauthored with his brother Percival Goodman. Fame came only with the 1960 publication of his Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized System.

Goodman also knew and worked with other leading New York intellectuals, including Daniel Bell, Norman Mailer, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, Norman Podhoretz, Mary McCarthy, Lionel Trilling, and Philip Rahv. As well as collaborating with Politics, his writings appeared in Partisan Review, The New Republic, Commentary, The New Leader, Dissent and The New York Review of Books.

Goodman was strongly influenced by Otto Rank's "here-and-now" approach to psychotherapy, fundamental to Gestalt therapy, as well as Rank's post-Freudian book Art and Artist (1932). In the late 1940s, Fritz Perls asked Goodman to write up the notes which were to become the seminal work for the new therapy, Part II of Perls, Goodman, and Hefferline (1951) Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality. A year later, Goodman would become one of the Group of Seven - Fritz and Laura Perls, Isadore From, Goodman, Elliot Shapiro, Paul Weiss, Richard Kitzler - the founding members of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy.

Goodman wrote on a wide variety of subjects; including education, Gestalt Therapy, city life and urban design, children's rights, politics, literary criticism, and many more. In an interview with Studs Terkel, Goodman said "I might seem to have a number of divergent interests — community planning, psychotherapy, education, politics — but they are all one concern: how to make it possible to grow up as a human being into a culture without losing nature. I simply refuse to acknowledge that a sensible and honorable community does not exist."

He was equally at home with the avant-garde and with classical texts, and his fiction often mixes formal and experimental styles. The style and subject matter of Goodman's short stories influenced those of Guy Davenport.

In 1967, Goodman's son Matthew died in a mountain climbing accident. Paul's friends claimed that he never recovered from the resulting grief, and his health began to deteriorate. He died of a heart attack just before his 61st birthday

Floyd Thayer


Floyd G. Thayer was founder of the Thayer Magic Company that made magical apparatus in the 1920's and 1930's. The Thayer slogan was "Quality Magic".

Thayer started his Thayer Magic Co. making wands and advertised first in Mahatma as The Wand of The West. Ellis Stanyon was reported to have been his first customer.

In 1942, the Larsen’s purchased Floyd Thayer’s Magic Company. After his retirement, Thayer and his wife Jennie moved to the Larsen's home in Pasadena where they lived until Jennie's death in 1951. He then moved to Long Beach where he lived with cousin until his death.