24 May, 2012

Lin Yutang

Lin Yutang was a Chinese writer and inventor. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.

Lin was born in the town of Banzai, Pinghe, Zhangzhou, Fujian. This mountainous region made a deep impression on his consciousness, and thereafter he would constantly consider himself a child of the mountains (in one of his books he commented that his idea of hell was a city apartment). His father was a Christian minister. His journey of faith from Christianity to Taoism and Buddhism, and back to Christianity in his later life was recorded in his book From Pagan to Christian (1959).

Lin studied for his bachelor's degree at Saint John's University in Shanghai, then received a half-scholarship to continue study for a doctoral degree at Harvard University. He later wrote that in the Widener Library he first found himself and first came alive, but he never saw a Harvard-Yale game. He left Harvard early however, moving to work with the Chinese Labor Corps in France and eventually to Germany, where he completed his requirements for a doctoral degree in Chinese philology at the University of Leipzig. From 1923 to 1926 he taught English literature at Peking University.

Enthusiastic about the success of the Northern Expedition, he briefly served in the new Nationalist government, but soon turned to teaching and writing. He found himself in the wake of the New Culture Movement which criticized China's tradition as feudal and harmful. Instead of accepting this charge, however, Lin immersed himself in the Confucian texts and literary culture which his Christian upbringing and English language education had denied him. He maintained friendship and debate with Hu Shi, Lu Xun, and Zhou Zuoren, key figures in the Shanghai literary scene of the 1930s. He was a key figure in founding journals and introducing the Western concept of humor, which he felt China had lacked. His writings in Chinese were critical of the Nationalist government, to the point that he feared for his life. Many of his essays from this time were later collected in With Love and Irony (1940). In 1933, he met Pearl Buck in Shanghai, and she introduced him and his writings to her publisher, Richard Walsh, head of John Day publishers, who published Lin's works for many years.

After 1935 Lin lived mainly in the United States, where he became known as a "wise and witty" popularizer of Chinese philosophy and way of life. Lin's first best sellers were My Country and My People (simplified Chinese: 吾国与吾民; traditional Chinese: 吾國與吾民) (1935) and The Importance of Living (simplified Chinese: 生活的艺术; traditional Chinese: 生活的藝術) (1937), written in English in a charming style. Others include Between Tears and Laughter (啼笑皆非) (1943), The Importance of Understanding (1960, a book of translated Chinese literary passages and short pieces), The Chinese Theory of Art (1967). The novels Moment in Peking (simplified Chinese: 京华烟云; traditional Chinese: 京華煙雲) (1939), A Leaf in the Storm (1940), and The Vermillion Gate (simplified Chinese: 朱门; traditional Chinese: 朱門) (1953) were well received epics of China in turmoil, while Chinatown Family (1948) presented the lives of Chinese Americans in New York. Partly to avoid controversial contemporary issues, Lin in 1947 published The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo which presented the struggle between Su Dongpo and Wang Anshi as parallel to the struggle between Chinese liberals and totalitarian communists.

Lin's political writings in English sold fewer copies and were more controversial. Between Tears and Laughter (1943) broke with the genial tone of his earlier English writings to criticize Western racism and imperialism. After Pearl Harbor, Lin traveled in China and wrote favorably of the war effort and Chiang Kai-shek in Vigil of a Nation (1944), and was criticized by American China Hands such as Edgar Snow.

He was interested in mechanics. Since Chinese is a character-based rather than an alphabet-based language, with many thousands of separate characters, it has always been difficult to employ modern printing technologies. For many years it was doubted that a Chinese typewriter could be invented. Lin, however, worked on this problem for decades and eventually came up with a workable typewriter—brought to market in the middle of the war with Japan. He also invented and patented several lesser inventions such as a toothbrush with toothpaste dispensing.

He was nominated and served briefly as president (or chancellor) of the Nanyang University created in Singapore specifically for Chinese studies complementary to the English-oriented University of Singapore. He did not, however, choose to continue in that role when Nanyang (South Seas) University became a focus of the struggle for control of Singapore between the Communist-directed left and the liberal, social democratic right. He felt he was too old for the conflict.

With his unique facility for both Chinese and English idiom, Lin presided over the compilation of an outstanding Chinese-English dictionary, Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage (simplified Chinese: 林语堂当代汉英词典; traditional Chinese: 林語堂當代漢英詞典) (1972), which contains a massive English index to definitions of Chinese terms. The work was undertaken in Hong Kong, where Lin served for a time at the newly founded Chinese University of Hong Kong.

His many works represent an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between the East and the West. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times in the 1970s.

Dr. Lin was buried at his home in Yangmingshan, Taipei, Taiwan. His home has been turned into a museum, which is operated by Taipei-based Soochow University. The town of Lin's birth, Banzai, has also preserved the original Lin home and turned it into a museum.

Julian Ritter

Julian Ritter was an American painter whose paintings were typically rich in color. His nudes celebrated the glamor and beauty of the female form. All of his figurative paintings expressed the humanness in his subjects. He also painted landscapes at different points during his career and complex compositions dealing with mystical and spiritual subjects during his later years.

Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926) was an Italian actor, known simply as "Valentino" and also an early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik.

Ali Khamenei

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei  is the Supreme Leader of Iran, and a Twelver Shi'a marja.
 He had also served as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1981 to 1989.

Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, literary critic, and fiction author known for his influence on 20th century American conservatism. His 1953 book, The Conservative Mind, gave shape to the amorphous post–World War II conservative movement. It traced the development of conservative thought in the Anglo-American tradition, giving special importance to the ideas of Edmund Burke. Kirk was also considered the chief proponent of traditionalist conservatism.

Walter Travis

Walter J. Travis was the most successful amateur golfer in the U.S. during the early 1900s, a noted golf journalist and publisher, an innovator in all aspects of golf, a teacher, and a respected golf course architect.

Stanley Lord

Stanley Lord was captain of the SS Californian, a ship that was in the vicinity of the RMS Titanic the night it sank on 15 April 1912.

Lord was born on 13 September 1877 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He began his training at sea when he was thirteen, aboard the barque Naiad, in March 1891. He later obtained his Second Mate’s Certificate of competency and served as Second Officer in the barque Lurlei.

In February 1901, at the age of 23, Lord obtained his Master's Certificate, and three months later, obtained his Extra Master’s Certificate. He entered the service of the West India and Pacific Steam Navigation Company in 1897. The company was taken over by the Leyland Line in 1900, but Lord continued service with the new company, and was awarded his first command in 1906. Lord was given full command of the SS Californian in 1911.

On the night of 14 April 1912, as the Californian approached a large ice field, Captain Lord decided to stop around 10:21 PM and wait out the night. Before turning in for the night, he ordered his sole wireless operator, Cyril Evans, to warn other ships in the area about the ice. When reaching the Titanic, Evans tapped out "I say old man, we are stopped and surrounded by ice." The Californian was so close to the Titanic that the message was very loud in the ears of Titanic First Wireless Operator Jack Phillips, who angrily replied "Shut up! Shut up! I am busy. I am working Cape Race."

Earlier in the day the wireless equipment aboard the Titanic had broken down and Phillips, along with Second Wireless Operator Harold Bride, had spent the better part of the day trying to repair it. Now they were swamped with outgoing messages that had piled up during the day. Phillips was exhausted after such a long day. Evans listened in for a while longer as Phillips sent routine traffic through the Cape Race relaying station before finally turning in for bed after a very long day at around 11:30 PM.

Over the course of the night, various officers and seamen on the deck of Leyland Liner Californian witnessed white rockets being fired into the air over a strange ship off in the distance, totaling eight in all.

Exhausted after 17 hours on duty, Captain Lord was awakened twice during the night, and told about the rockets to which he replied that they may be "company rockets", to help ships identify themselves to liners of the same company.

Meanwhile on the Titanic, for an hour after the collision, no other ships were noticed until the lights of a ship were seen in the distance and Fourth Officer Boxhall and Quartermaster Rowe tried in vain to contact the strange ship by Morse lamp. Nobody on the deck of the Californian saw these signals, however they had also tried to signal the mystery ship, but were unable to get a response.

Not able to understand any messages coming from the strange ship, Californian`s officers eventually concluded that signals were merely the masthead flickering and not signals at all.

Throughout the night, no one on board the Californian attempted to wake their wireless operator, and ask him to contact the ship to ask why they were firing rockets and trying to signal them, until 5:30 AM. By then however it was too late - the Titanic had gone down at 2:20. When she had slipped below the water, the sudden disappearance of lights was interpreted by the Californian crew that she had simply steamed on her way.

On Monday morning, Captain Lord was notified by the Frankfurt that the Titanic had gone down early that morning. At 5:45 that morning, the Californian pulled up alongside the Carpathia and stayed behind to search for additional bodies after the Carpathia steamed towards New York.

Lord was dismissed by the Leyland Line in August of the same year. So far as any negligence of the S.S. Californian's officers and crew was concerned, the conclusions of both the United States Inquiry and the British Inquiry seemed to disapprove of the actions of Captain Lord but stopped short of recommending charges. While both Inquiries censured the S.S. Californian, they did not directly censure the individuals who were on the ship.

Neither did they make any recommendations for an official investigation to ascertain if Captain Lord was guilty of offences under the Merchant Shipping Acts. Lord was not allowed to be represented at either the US or British inquiry - he was called to give evidence before he knew that he was to become a target for criticism, but having answered questions which were later interpreted to cast blame on him, he was denied the opportunity of speaking in his own defence.

While Lord was never tried or convicted of any offence, he was still viewed, publicly, as a pariah. In any case, the events of the night of April 14-15, 1912 would haunt him for the rest of his life and he would spend his remaining days attempting to fight for his exoneration.

In February 1913, with help from a Leyland director who believed he had been unfairly treated, Captain Lord was hired by the Nitrate Producers Steamship Co., where he remained until March 1927, resigning for health reasons. In 1955, following the release of Walter Lord's (no relation) book A Night to Remember and the subsequent film of the same name, Stanley Lord was embarrassed at his portrayal in the movie and attempted to promote his own version of events. In 1958, he contacted the Mercantile Marine Service Association in Liverpool and said "I am Lord of the Californian and I have come to clear my name." The association's general secretary, Mr. Leslie Harrison, took up the case for him and petitioned the Board of Trade on his behalf. However, as Lord had no new evidence, his petition was rejected in 1965 and was followed by a second petition in 1968, which was also rejected.

Captain Lord died on 24 January 1962, aged 84, almost half a century after the sinking of the Titanic. He is buried in Wallasey Cemetery, Merseyside.

Sir John Boyd Orr

John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr CH, DSO, MC, FRS, known as Sir John Boyd Orr from 1935 to 1949, was a Scottish teacher, doctor, biologist and politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He was the co-founder and the first President (1960–1971) of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).

Early life and family background
John Boyd Orr was born at Kilmaurs, near Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, the middle child in a family of seven children. His father, Robert Clark Orr, was a quarry owner, and a man of deep religious convictions, being a member of a sect of the Free Church of Scotland. His mother, Annie Boyd, was the daughter of another quarry master, wealthier than Robert Orr, and grandmaster of a Freemason's Lodge.
The family home was well supplied with books, and his father was widely read in political, sociological and metaphysical subjects, as well as religion. As he grew older, John would regularly discuss these subjects with his father, brothers, and visiting friends.

When John was five years old, the family suffered a setback when a ship owned by Robert Orr was lost at sea. They had to sell their home in Kilmaurs, and moved to West Kilbride, a village on the North Ayrshire coast. According to Kay, the new house and environment were a great improvement on Kilmaurs, despite the family's reduced means. The major part of his upbringing took place in and around West Kilbride. He attended the village school until he was thirteen. Religion was then an important part of junior education in Scotland, and the school gave him a good knowledge of the Bible, which stayed with him for the rest of his life.

At the age of thirteen, John won a bursary to Kilmarnock Academy, a significant achievement as such bursaries were then rare. The new school was some 20 miles (32 km) from his home in West Kilbride, but his father owned a quarry about two miles (3 km) from the Academy, and John was provided with accommodation nearby. His family cut short his education at the Academy because he was spending too much time in the company of the quarry workers (where he picked up a "wonderful vocabulary of swear words"), and he returned to the village school. There he became a pupil teacher at a salary of £10 for the first year, and £20 for the second. This was a particularly demanding time for the young Boyd Orr, as in addition to his teaching duties, and studying at home for his university and teacher-training qualifications, he also had to work every day in his father's business.

After four years as a pupil teacher, at the age of 19 he won a Queen's Scholarship to study at a teacher training college in Glasgow, plus a bursary which paid for his lodgings there. At the same time he entered a three-year degree course in theology at the University, for which the fees were also covered.

As an undergraduate in Glasgow, he would explore the interior of the city, usually at weekends. He was shocked by what he found in the poverty-stricken slums and tenements, which then made up a large part of the city. Rickets was obvious among the children, malnutrition (in some cases, associated with drunkenness) was shown by many of the adults, and many of the aged were destitute. In his first teaching job after graduating M.A. in 1902, he was posted to a school in the slums. His first class was overcrowded, and the children ill-fed or actually hungry, inadequately clothed, visibly lousy and physically wretched. He resigned after a few days, realizing that he could not teach children in such a condition, and that there was nothing he could do to relieve their misery.

Boyd Orr needed to augment his teacher's salary, and decided to do so by instructing an evening class in book-keeping and accountancy. After intensive study he passed the necessary examinations, and duly instructed his class. The knowledge and skills he learned by studying for, and teaching, this class were to prove very useful in his later career.

However his heart was not in teaching, and after fulfilling his teaching obligations under the terms of his Queen's Scholarship, he returned to the University to study biology, a subject he had always been interested in since childhood. As a precaution, he entered simultaneously for a degree in medicine.

He found the university to be a very stimulating environment. Diarmid Noel Paton (son of the artist Joseph Noel Paton) was Regius Professor of Physiology, and Edward Provan Cathcart (E.P. Cathcart) head of Physiological Chemistry, both men of outstanding scientific ability. He was impressed by Samuel Gemmill, Professor of Clinical Medicine, a philosopher whose deep thinking on social affairs also influenced Boyd Orr's approach to such questions.

Half-way through his medical studies, his savings ran out. Reluctant to ask his family for support, he bought a block of tenanted flats on mortgage, with the help of a bank overdraft, and used the rents to pay for the rest of his studies. On graduating, he sold the property for a small profit.

He graduated B.Sc. in 1910, and M.B. Ch.B. in 1912, at the age of 32, placing sixth in a year of 200 students. Two years later, in 1914, he graduated M.D. with honours, receiving the Bellahouston Gold Medal for the most distinguished thesis of the year.

Research career
On leaving the university, he took a position as a ship's surgeon on a ship trading between Scotland and West Africa, choosing this job because it offered the possibility of paying off his bank overdraft faster than any other. He resigned after four months, when he had repaid the debt. He then tried general practice, working as a locum in the practice of his family doctor in Saltcoats, and was offered a partnership there. Realising that a career in medicine was not for him, he instead accepted the offer of a two-year Carnegie research scholarship, to work in E.P. Cathcart's laboratory. The work he began there covered malnutrition, protein and creatine metabolism, the effect of water intake on nitrogenous metabolism in humans, and the energy expenditure of military recruits in training.

On 1 April 1914, Boyd Orr took charge of a new research institute in Aberdeen, a project of a joint committee for research into animal nutrition of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture and Aberdeen University. He had been offered the post on the recommendation of E.P. Cathcart, who had originally been offered the job, but had turned it down in favour of a chair in physiology in London.

The joint committee had allocated a budget of £5,000 for capital expenditure and £1,500 for annual running costs. Boyd Orr recognised immediately that these sums were inadequate. Using his experience in his father's business of drawing up plans and estimating costs, he submitted a budget of £50,000 for capital expenditure and £5,000 for annual running costs. Meanwhile, with the £5,000 he had already been allocated he specified a building, not of wood as had been envisaged by the committee, but of granite and designed so that it could serve as a wing of his proposed £50,000 Institute. He accepted the lowest tender of £5,030, and told the contractors to begin work immediately. The committee were not pleased, but had to accept the fait accompli. When war broke out the contractors were told to finish the walls and roof, but to do no more for the time being.

War service
On the outbreak of the First World War he was given leave to join the British Army, and asked his former colleague Cathcart to help him obtain a medical commission in an infantry unit overseas. Cathcart thought he would be more useful at home, and his first commission was in a special civilian section of the R.A.M.C. dealing with sanitation. Several divisions of non-conscripted recruits were in training in emergency camps at home, some of them in very poor sanitary conditions. Boyd Orr was able to push through schemes for improvement in hygiene, preventing much sickness.

After 18 months he was posted as Medical Officer to an infantry unit, the 1st Sherwood Foresters. He spent much of his time in shell holes, patching up the many wounded. His courage under fire and devotion to duty were recognised by the award of a Military Cross after the Battle of the Somme, and of the Distinguished Service Order after Passchendaele. He also made arrangements for the battalion's diet to be supplemented by vegetables collected from local deserted gardens and fields. As a result, unlike other units, he did not need to send any of the men in his medical charge to hospital. He also prevented his men getting trench foot by personally ensuring they were fitted with boots a size larger than usual.

Worried that he was losing touch with medical and nutritional advances, he asked to be transferred to the navy, where he thought he would have more time available for reading and research. The army was reluctant to let him go, but agreed, since he was still a "civilian surgeon." He spent a busy three months in the naval hospital at Chatham, studying hard while practicing medicine in the wards, before being posted to HMS Furious. On board ship his medical duties were light, enabling him to do a great deal of reading. He was later recalled to work studying food requirements of the army.

When Boyd Orr returned to Aberdeen in early 1919, his plan for a larger Institute had still not been accepted. Indeed, even his plans for the annual maintenance grant had to be approved by the Professor of Agriculture in Cambridge, T.B. Wood. Despite gaining the latter's support, his expansion plans were at first rebuffed, although he succeeded in having the annual grant increased to £4,000. In 1920 he was introduced to John Quiller Rowett, a businessman who seemed to have qualms of conscience over the large profits he had made during the war. Shortly afterwards, the government agreed to finance half the cost of Boyd Orr's plan, provided he could raise the other half elsewhere. Rowett agreed to provide £10,000 for the first year, £10,000 for the second year, and gave an additional £2,000 for the purchase of a farm, provided that, "if any work done at the Institute on animal nutrition was found to have a bearing on human nutrition, the Institute would be allowed to follow up this work", a condition the Treasury was willing to accept. By September 1922 the buildings were nearly completed, and the renamed Rowett Research Institute was opened shortly thereafter by Queen Mary.

Boyd Orr proved to be an effective fund-raiser from both government and private sources, expanding the experimental farm to around 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), building a well-endowed library, and expanding the buildings. He also built a centre for accommodating students and scientists attracted by the Institute's growing reputation, a reputation enhanced by Boyd Orr's many publications. His research output suffered from the time and energy he had to devote to fund-raising, and in later life he said, "I still look with bitter resentment at having to spend half my time in the humiliating job of hunting for money for the Institute."

Through the 1920s, his own research was devoted mainly to animal nutrition, his focus changed to human nutrition both as a researcher and an active lobbyist and propagandist for improving people's diets.
From 1929 to 1944, Boyd Orr was Consultant Director to the Imperial Bureau of Animal Nutrition, later the Commonwealth Bureau of Nutrition (part of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux), which was based at the Rowett Research Institute.

International and political work
Orr, by now Rector of the University of Glasgow, was elected as an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for the Combined Scottish Universities in a by-election in April 1945, and kept his seat at the general election shortly after. He resigned in 1946.

After the Second World War, Boyd Orr resigned from the Rowett Institute, and took several posts, most notably at the FAO, where his comprehensive plans for improving food production and its equitable distribution failed to get the support of Britain and the US. He then resigned from the FAO and became director of a number of companies and proved a canny investor in the stock market, making a considerable personal fortune. When he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, he donated the entire financial award to organizations devoted to world peace and a united world government. He was elevated to the peerage in 1949 as Baron Boyd-Orr, of Brechin Mearn in the County of Angus.

In 1960 Boyd Orr was elected the first president of the World Academy of Art and Science, which was set up by eminent scientists of the day concerned about the potential misuse of scientific discoveries, most especially nuclear weapons.

Sol Bloom

Sol Bloom  was an entertainment and popular music entrepreneur who billed himself as "Sol Bloom, the Music Man" and served for many years in the United States House of Representatives.

Early life
The son of Polish Jewish immigrants who moved to San Francisco while Sol was still an infant, he was introduced to the production side of theater business in his early teens, graduated to theater manager and staged boxing matches that featured "Gentleman Jim" Corbett. Seeking more spectacular shows to stage, he sailed for New York and to Paris for the Exposition Universelle (1889), where he was most impressed with the dancers and acrobats in the "Algerian Village" very loosely representative of France's Algerian colony.

Chicago World's Fair
His major success, at the age of 23, was in developing the mile-long Midway Plaisance for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. The Midway Plaisance offered enticing games and exhibitions presented by private vendors, removed from the somewhat icy Beaux-Arts splendor of the official exposition, ranged round its "Court of Honor". Reassigned to Bloom by the Exposition's committee, which had initially conceived of it as part of the Department of Anthropology entrusted to a Harvard professor, the "Midway" became a hugely successful crowd-pleaser that introduced the term "midway" to American English. In the "Street in Cairo", the North African belly dance was reinvented as the "hootchy-kootchy dance" to a tune made up by Bloom, "The Streets of Cairo, or the Poor Little Country Maid" sung for a century by young boys to the lyrics "O they don't wear pants on the sunny side of France" (or variants to the effect of "There's a place in France where the women wear no pants", "...where the naked ladies dance", etc.). Bloom neglected to copyright his tune, picked out on a piano at a preview for the Press Club of Chicago.

Bloom's entrée to the fair had been eased by Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr., who was assassinated days before the Exposition closed. Bloom found useful connections among Chicago's tough First Ward Democratic party bosses, "Bathhouse" John Coughlin and "Hinky Dink" Kenna. Soon he had a position as Chicago branch manager of M. Witmark & Sons, the largest publisher of sheet music in the United States, and by 1896 he was publishing under his own name, introducing photolithographs to make the scores more visually appealing. In 1897 he married Evelyn Hechheimer and settled down in a then-fashionable district on South Prairie Avenue, making himself known as "Sol Bloom, the Music Man". At the turn of the century he was awarded the first musical copyright of the new century, to much fanfare; it was "I Wish I Was in Dixie Land Tonight," by Raymond A. Browne.

Move to New York and politics
In 1903 he moved to New York, where he dabbled in real estate and enlarged his chain of music departments in department stores throughout the country. In New York he sold Victor Talking Machines. He switched his political connections to New York's Tammany Hall, to the extent that when Representative-elect of New York’s 19th Congressional District Samuel Marx died in 1922, he was invited to run, and gained the normally-Republican "Silk Stocking District" by 145 votes. He continued to represent the district until his death in 1949.

In Congress he was in charge of the George Washington Bicentennial (1932) and the U.S. Constitution Sesquicentennial Exposition (1937). He chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1938. A strong supporter of Zionism, he was a delegate to the convention in San Francisco that established the United Nations. The first words of the Preamble to the United Nations Charter, "We, the Peoples of the United Nations .." were due to Bloom.

He represented the US at the first meeting of the UN General Assembly in London in January 1946. He called his success in persuading a majority to vote, against their instructions, for the new United Nations organization to take over the finances of the earlier United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration "the supreme moment" of his life.

Felix von Luckner

Felix Graf von Luckner was a German nobleman, navy officer, author and noted sailor who earned the epithet Der Seeteufel (the Sea-Devil) -- and his crew that of Die Piraten des Kaisers (the Emperor's Pirates) -- for his exploits in command of the sailing commerce raider SMS Seeadler (Sea Eagle) in 1916-1917.

It was his habit of successfully waging war without any casualties that made him a hero and a legend on both sides.

He was the great-grandson of Nicolas Luckner, Marshal of France and commander-in-chief of the French Army of the Rhine, who had been elevated to count in the 18th century by the King of Denmark.
He was married twice, firstly to Petra (née Schultz) from Hamburg with whom he had a daughter, Inge-Maria, born in 1913. In Malmö, Sweden on September 24, 1924 he married Ingeborg (née Engeström).

At the age of thirteen, Luckner ran away from home to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He signed up, under the assumed name of "Phylax Lüdecke", as an unpaid cabin boy on the Russian sailing ship Niobe travelling between Hamburg (Germany) and Australia. His story might have ended there, because the Russian captain, fearing that the lives of other crew members would be endangered, refused to allow a lifeboat to be launched in order to pick up Luckner when he fell overboard in the middle of the ocean. The chief mate defied the captain, and launched a lifeboat with the help of volunteers.

Arriving at Fremantle, Western Australia, he jumped ship and for seven years followed a bewildering array of occupations: seller of the Salvation Army's War Cry, assistant lighthouse keeper at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta W.A. (a job he abandoned when discovered with his hotel keeper's daughter by her father), kangaroo hunter, circus worker, professional boxer due to his exceptional strength, fisherman, seaman, a guard in the Mexican army for President Díaz, railway construction worker, barman, and tavern keeper. He served a short time in a Chilean jail accused of stealing pigs, suffered broken legs twice, and was thrown out of hospital in Jamaica for lack of money.

At the age of twenty he entered a German navigation training school, where he passed the examinations for his mate's commission. By 1908 he had joined the Hamburg-Südamerikanisch Line steamer Petropolis, intending to serve for nine months before volunteering to serve in the Imperial Navy for a year, to obtain a naval commission. He had vowed not to return to his family except in uniform and was eventually welcomed back by his family, who had given him up for lost. He was finally called up by the Navy in February 1912 and served on the gunboat SMS Panther.

In the early part of the war, Felix von Luckner saw action at the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and during the Battle of Jutland he commanded a gun turret aboard the battleship Kronprinz Wilhelm.
At the beginning of the First World War, Germany converted a considerable number of merchant ships into merchant raiders by equipping them with guns and sending them in search of Allied merchant shipping. Most of the armed raiders were not particularly successful, but they did tie up considerable Allied forces in hunting them. By early 1915, most of the armed raiders had either been hunted down and sunk or had run out of fuel and been interned in neutral ports.

Hoping to revive commerce raiding, the Imperial Navy equipped the impounded three-masted sailing ship Pass of Balmaha (1571 tons) with two 105 mm guns hidden behind hinged gunwales, several machine guns, and two carefully hidden 500 HP auxiliary engines. She was commissioned as the auxiliary cruiser Seeadler (Sea Eagle). As virtually the only officer in the German Navy with extensive experience of large sailing ships, Luckner was appointed her commander.

Seeadler left port on 21 December 1916 and managed to slip through the British blockade disguised as a Norwegian ship. Many of the crew of 6 officers and 57 men were selected for the ability to speak Norwegian, including Luckner, in case they were intercepted by the British. By Christmas Day, she was southwest of Greenland, when she encountered the British armed merchant cruiser Avenger. Avenger put an inspection party aboard, but failed to detect the German deception.

On 9 January 1917, Seeadler came upon a single-funneled steamer. She raised a signal requesting a time signal (not an uncommon thing for a sailing ship long out of contact with land to do), and too late for evasive action, raised the German ensign. Three shots were needed to persuade the 3,268 ton Gladys Royle, carrying coal from Cardiff to Buenos Aires, to stop. Her crew was taken off unharmed, and she was scuttled.

On 10 January 1917, Seeadler encountered another steamship, which refused to identify itself. The German ensign was raised and a shot fired across the bow of the Lundy Island, carrying sugar from Madagascar. The steamer still refused to stop, and four shots were fired directly at her. The steamer hove to and lowered its boats, but its captain ignored an order to come to Seeadler. A German boarding party was sent over and discovered that the crew had abandoned ship when the first shots were fired, leaving the captain alone. Later, Captain Bannister told Luckner that he had previously been captured by a German raider, and had given his parole which he had broken; thus he was not anxious to be a prisoner of war again. Luckner continued his voyage southwards, and by 21 January, he was in mid-Atlantic between Brazil and West Africa when he found the 2,199 ton French three-masted barque Charles Gounod, loaded with corn. Charles Gounod was quickly dispatched, but her log book recorded information about other ships she had met and their intended route.

On 24 January, the small 364-ton Canadian schooner Perce was met and sunk by machine gun fire, after taking off her crew (and her captain's new bride). The 3,071 ton French four-master Antonin, loaded with Chilean saltpetre, was overhauled on 3 February and soon scuttled. On 9 February, the 1,811 ton Italian Buenos Ayres, also carrying saltpetre, was sunk. On 19 February, a four-masted barque was spotted, which immediately piled on sail in an effort to get away; however, Seeadlers engines allowed her to overhaul the 2,431 ton British Pinmore, carrying a cargo of grain. By coincidence, von Luckner had sailed in Pinmore in his civilian sailing days, back in 1902. Von Luckner took Pinmore into Rio de Janeiro in order to get more supplies, before eventually scuttling her.

The next ship to be stopped was the Danish barque Viking, but as there was nothing unusual about its cargo the neutral ship was allowed to proceed unmolested.

On the morning of 26 February, the 1,953 ton British barque British Yeoman, carrying a welcome cargo including chickens and pigs, was stopped and sunk, and the same evening the French four-master Le Rochfoucauld fell victim to the Seeadler. The boarding party discovered Le Rochfoucauld had only recently been stopped by a British cruiser which was looking for Seeadler.

On the evening of 5 March, Seeadler discovered a four-masted barque in the moonlight and signalled "Stop immediately! German Cruiser". Bizarrely, the captain of the 2,206 ton French ship Dupleix rowed across to Seeadler, convinced another French captain was playing a practical joke on him. He was soon disabused of the idea when his ship was scuttled. Seeadlers next victim on 10 March was asked for the time, but ignored the signal. Von Luckner ordered a smoke generator to be lit, and the 3,609 ton Horngarth turned back to render assistance to the 'burning' sailing ship. A single shot put the British ship's radio out of commission, and this resulted in the only loss of life in the Seeadler 's voyage. A British sailor, Douglas Page, was killed by a steam pipe ruptured by the shot. Horngarth was soon scuttled by Seeadlers now experienced crew.
By this time, von Luckner had the problem of feeding and keeping safe nearly 300 prisoners, in addition to his own crew. Consequently, when on 20 March, the French four-masted barque Cambronne was captured, von Luckner arranged for the ship's topgallant mast and additional spars and sails to be removed, before putting his prisoners aboard Cambronne under the command of Captain Mullen of Pinmore. The much-reduced rigging on Cambronne ensured Seeadler would be able to escape before her location could be reported to the hunting ships.

The Royal Navy was well aware of Seeadler's general location and set a trap consisting of the armed merchant cruiser Otranto and the armored cruisers Lancaster and Orbita(?) at Cape Horn. However, a severe storm blew Seeadler considerably further south, before she entered the Pacific Ocean on 18 April and sailed north along the Chilean coast. By early June, Seeadler was east of Christmas Island and learned the United States had entered the war. Seeadler turned her attention to American shipping, sinking the 529 ton A B Johnson of San Francisco on 14 June, the 673 ton R C Slade the next day, and the schooner Manila on 8 July. By this time, Seeadler needed to be laid up so that her hull could be scraped clean. She put into the small island of Mopelia, also known as Maupihaa, a coral atoll some 10 km (6 mi) in diameter in the Society Islands, some 450 km (280 mi) from Tahiti.

Seeadler was too large to enter the sheltered lagoon of Mopelia, and consequently had to anchor outside the reef. On 24 August, disaster struck. According to von Luckner, the ship was struck by a tsunami which wrecked Seeadler on the reef. However, some American prisoners alleged the ship drifted aground while the prisoners and most of the crew were having a picnic on the island.
The crew and their 46 prisoners were now stranded on Mopelia, but they managed to salvage provisions, firearms, and two of the ships' boats.

Von Luckner decided to sail with five of his men in one of the 10 metre long open boats, rigged as a sloop and named Kronprinzessin Cecilie. Ever the optimist, he intended to sail to Fiji via the Cook Islands, capture a sailing ship, return to Mopelia for his crew and prisoners, and resume raiding.

Three days after leaving Mopelia, they reached Atiu Island in the Cook Islands group, where they pretended to be Dutch-American seamen crossing the Pacific for a bet. The New Zealand Resident, the administrator of the island, gave them enough supplies to reach another island in the group, Aitutaki, where they posed as Norwegians. The New Zealand Resident in Aitutaki was suspicious, but had no means of detaining the group, and von Luckner quickly took his party to the island of Rarotonga. Approaching Rarotonga in the dark, Luckner saw a dark ship which he thought was an auxiliary cruiser, but in fact was a beached ship, von Luckner pressed on to the Fijian Wakaya Island, arriving after a voyage of 3,700 km in an open boat. Most people on Wakaya accepted their story of being shipwrecked Norwegians, but one sceptic called a party of police from the old Fijian capital of Levuka. On 21 September, the police bluffed the non-existent gun on the inter-island ferry Amra would blow Luckner out of the water. Not wishing to cause bloodshed, and not realizing police were unarmed, von Luckner and his party surrendered and were confined in a prisoner-of-war camp on Motuihe Island, off Auckland, New Zealand.

Meanwhile, back on Mopelia, a small French trading ship Lutece anchored outside the reef. Leutnant Kling of Seeadler, having heard of his captain's capture on the radio, sailed out to Lutece and captured it at gunpoint. The French crew was put ashore with the other prisoners, and all the Germans embarked on the ship, now renamed Fortuna, and set course for South America. The master of A B Johnson, Captain Smith, then took the remaining open boat from Mopelia with three other American seamen, and sailed 1,600 km to Pago Pago, arriving on 4 October, where they were finally able to inform the authorities of the activities of Seeadler and arrange for the rescue of the other 44 sailors still stranded on Mopelia.

Fortuna, meanwhile, came to grief when she struck uncharted rocks off Easter Island. The crew scrambled ashore, where they were interned by the Chileans for the remainder of the war.

Von Luckner still refused to accept that the war was over for him. The commander of the POW camp at Motuihe had a fast motor boat, Pearl, at his disposal, and on 13 December 1917, von Luckner faked setting up a play for Christmas with his men and used his provisions for the play to plan his escape. Von Luckner and a number of other prisoners seized Pearl and made for the Coromandel Peninsula. Using a machine gun, he then seized the 90 ton scow Moa and, with the help of a handmade sextant and a map copied from a school atlas,[2] they sailed for the Kermadec Islands, which was a New Zealand provision island, with larger ships anchored there. A pursuing auxiliary ship, Iris, had guessed his probable destination and caught up with him on 21 December. A year after his mission began, the war finally ended for Felix von Luckner. He spent the remainder of the war in various POW camps in New Zealand before being repatriated to Germany in 1919.

On 12 May 1921, Luckner became a Freemason of the Lodge Zur goldenen Kugel (Große Landesloge von Deutschland) in Hamburg. He wrote a book of his adventures which became a best-seller in Germany, and Lowell Thomas' book about him spread Luckner's fame widely.

In 1926 he raised funds to buy a sailing ship which he called Vaterland and set out on a goodwill mission around the world leaving Bremen on September 19 and arriving in New York on October 22, 1926. An entertaining speaker, he was widely admired for his seamanship and for having fought his war with minimal loss of life. This opened him many doors in the United States where he spoke on hundreds of occasions across the country, both in German and, later, increasingly English. He won the support of many notables, diplomats, politicians and even the American Legion. Henry Ford presented him with a motor car and the city of San Francisco made him an honorary citizen. President Coolidge wanted to meet him but Luckner declined at the request of his government. Feeling that his "goodwill mission", as he called it in his travelogue Seeteufel erobert Amerika ("Sea-devil conquers America"), could neither have greater success elsewhere nor could be financially sustained by the income as speaker however popular and successful he returned to Germany where he arrived on April 19, 1928.

He was a frequent visitor to the Heydrich home in Halle where he inspired a young Reinhard Heydrich, with stories of his adventures on Seeadler, to join the inter-war Reichsmarine. In 1937 and 1938, he and his wife undertook a round-the-world voyage in his yacht Seeteufel, being welcomed in New Zealand and Australia, though some viewed him as an apologist for the Nazi regime.

During the Second World War, Hitler tried to use him for propaganda purposes, though, as a Mason,
he was not in one of the Nazi's favored groups of people. Luckner refused to renounce his membership of the Masons or the various honorary citizenship granted in the US, and consequently he suffered by having his bank account frozen. In 1943, he saved the life of a Jewish woman, Rose Janson, whom he provided with a passport he found on a bombsite, and who subsequently managed to escape to the US via a neutral country. At the end of the war, the mayor of Halle, where he was living, asked him to negotiate the town's surrender to the approaching American forces, which he did, though he did not return to the town after hearing that the Nazis had condemned him to death.

Luckner was extremely strong and was noted for his ability to bend coins between his thumb, index and middle finger of his right hand and to tear up telephone directories (the thickest being that of New York) with his bare hands. On the occasion of his visit to Australia in 1938, the Sydney Labour Daily published a cartoon showing Kaiser Wilhelm tearing up the Belgian Neutrality Pact, Adolf Hitler tearing up another agreement, and Luckner tearing up a directory, with the caption "They All Have The Habit".

After the Second World War, Luckner moved to Sweden, where he lived in Malmö with his Swedish second wife Ingeborg Engeström, until his death in Malmö at the age of 84 in 1966. He is buried in Main Cemetery Ohlsdorf, Hamburg.

Donald Rumfeld

Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a four-term U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1962–1969), Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), Counsellor to the President (1969–1973), the United States Permanent Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975).

Born in Illinois, Rumsfeld attended Princeton University, graduating in 1954 with a degree in political science. After serving in the Navy for three years, he mounted a campaign for Congress in Illinois' 13th Congressional District, winning in 1962 at the age of 30. Reelected four times, he was a leading co-sponsor of the Freedom of Information Act. Rumsfeld was reluctantly appointed by President Richard Nixon to head the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1969; appointed Counselor by Nixon and entitled to Cabinet-level status, he would also head up the Economic Stabilization Program before being appointed Ambassador to NATO. Called back to Washington in August 1974, Rumsfeld was appointed Chief of Staff by President Ford, recruiting a young one-time staffer of his, Dick Cheney, to succeed him when Ford nominated Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense in 1975.

When Ford lost the 1976 election, Rumsfeld returned to private business life, and was named president of G. D. Searle & Company, a noted pharmaceutical company, during which time he led the legalization of Aspartame. He was later named CEO of General Instrument from 1990 to 1993, and chairman of Gilead Sciences from 1997 to 2001.

Rumsfeld was recommended for the position of Defense Secretary by incoming Vice President Dick Cheney in late 2000, and was appointed in January 2001 by President George W. Bush. His tenure has been noted to be one of the most pivotal in recent history; as one of the key individuals responsible for the restructuring of the military in the new 21st century, Rumsfeld was crucial in planning the United States' response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which included two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Highly popular with the media for his outspokenness and candor, he gradually lost political support as the wars continued and resigned in late 2006.

Mike Mansfield

Michael Joseph Mansfield was an American politician and diplomat. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a U.S. Representative (1943–1953) and a U.S. Senator (1953–1977) from Montana. He was the longest-serving Senate Majority Leader, serving from 1961 to 1977. During his tenure, he shepherded Great Society programs through the Senate, but strongly opposed the Vietnam War.

After retiring from the Senate, Mansfield served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1977 to 1988, and upon retiring as ambassador, was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989), in part for his role in the impeachment of Republican President Richard Nixon. Mansfield is the longest serving American ambassador to Japan in history.

After his ambassadorship, Mansfield served for a time as a senior adviser on East Asian affairs to Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment banking firm.

Aaron Shikler

Aaron Shikler (born March 18, 1922) is an American artist noted for portraits of American statesmen and celebrities like Jane Engelhard and Sister Parish.

Early life
Shikler was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 18, 1922. He studied at the Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia), and at the Hans Hofmann School (New York).

Jacqueline Kennedy personally selected Shikler in 1970 to provide the posthumous character study of John F. Kennedy, Oil Portrait of John F. Kennedy, which serves as Kennedy's official White House portrait. He also painted the official White House portraits of first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan, as well as portraits of the Kennedy children. and is represented in numerous public collections such as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and the National Academy of Design.
[edit]Awards and honors

Aaron Shikler was elected a Centennial Fellow of Temple University in 1985, an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1965 and an Associate of the National Academy of Design in 1962. Shikler received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 1957 and the Thomas B. Clarke Prize in 1958, 1960, and 1961. In 1976, he received the State Department Traveling Grant, a Certificate of Honor at the Tyler School of Art and the Benjamin Altman Prize from the National Academy of Design.