22 October, 2017

Maxwell Knight


Charles Henry Maxwell Knight, known as Maxwell Knight, was a British spymaster, naturalist and broadcaster, reputedly a model for the James Bond character "M."

Pierce Brosnan


Pierce Brendan Brosnan is an Irish actor, film producer, and activist. After leaving comprehensive school at age 16, Brosnan began training in commercial illustration, then went on to train at the Drama Centre in London for three years. Following a stage acting career he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–87), which blended the genres of romantic comedy, drama, and detective procedural. After the conclusion of Remington Steele, Brosnan appeared in films such as the Cold War spy film The Fourth Protocol (1987) and the comedy Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

In 1994, Brosnan became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the Eon Productions film series, starring in four films from 1995 to 2002 (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day). He lent his likeness for Bond in the video games James Bond 007: Nightfire and James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, providing his voice for the latter. During this period, he also took the lead in other films including the epic disaster adventure film Dante's Peak (1997) and the remake of the heist film The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). Since leaving the role of Bond, he has starred in such films as the musical/romantic comedy Mamma Mia! (2008), the Roman Polanski-directed political thriller The Ghost Writer (2010) and the action spy thriller The November Man (2014).

In 1996, along with Beau St. Clair, Brosnan formed Irish DreamTime, a Los Angeles-based production company. In later years, he has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism. He was married to Australian actress Cassandra Harris from 1980 until her death in 1991. He married American journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith in 2001, and became an American citizen in 2004, holding dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland. He has earned two Golden Globe Award nominations, first for the television miniseries Nancy Astor (1982) and next for the dark comedy film The Matador (2005).

George Lazenby


George Robert Lazenby is an Australian actor and former model best known for his portrayal of James Bond in the Eon series in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He was 29 years old, making him the youngest actor to date to have portrayed the character. Lazenby is also the only Bond actor to receive a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor.

Prior to appearing as Bond, Lazenby was a model and appeared in advertising. After declining to do another Bond film, Lazenby's career stalled in that decade and he moved into business and invested in real estate. He later appeared in several films and television series, including roles spoofing the James Bond character.

Sir Roger Moore


Sir Roger George Moore was an English actor. He is best known for having played Ian Fleming's British secret agent James Bond in seven feature films from 1973 to 1985. He also played Simon Templar in the television series The Saint from 1962 to 1969 and Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders! from 1971 to 1972 with Tony Curtis.

Moore took over the role of Bond from Sean Connery in 1972, and made his first appearance as 007 in Live and Let Die. The longest serving Bond, he went on to portray the spy in six more films until his retirement from the role in 1985. Appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991, Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for "services to charity". In 2007, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television and in film. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Moore died in his home in Crans-Montana on May 23, 2017, from cancer.

Sir Sean Connery


Sir Thomas Sean Connery is a retired Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one of them being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award) and three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award).

Connery was the first actor to portray the character James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The Name of the Rose, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Finding Forrester, Highlander, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock.

Connery has been polled as "The Greatest Living Scot" and "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure". In 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century". Connery was knighted by Elizabeth II in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to Film Drama.

Cecil B. DeMille


Cecil Blount DeMille was an American filmmaker. Between 1914 and 1958, he made a total of 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the cinema of the United States and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. He made silent films of every genre: social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.

DeMille began his career as a stage actor in 1900. He later moved to writing and directing stage productions, some with Jesse Lasky, who was then a vaudeville producer. DeMille's first film, The Squaw Man (1914), was also the first feature film shot in Hollywood. Its interracial love story made it a phenomenal hit and it "put Hollywood on the map." The continued success of his productions led to the founding of Paramount Pictures with Lasky and Adolph Zukor. His first biblical epic, The Ten Commandments (1923), was both a critical and financial success; it held the Paramount revenue record for twenty-five years.

In 1927, he directed The King of Kings, a biography of Jesus of Nazareth, which was acclaimed for its sensitivity and reached more than 800 million viewers. The Sign of the Cross (1932) was the first sound film to integrate all aspects of cinematic technique. Cleopatra (1934) was his first film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. After more than thirty years in film production, DeMille reached the pinnacle of his career with Samson and Delilah (1949), a biblical epic which did "an all-time record business." Along with biblical and historical narratives, he also directed films oriented toward "neo-naturalism," which tried to portray the laws of man fighting the forces of nature.

He went on to receive his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director for his circus drama The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. His last and most famous film, The Ten Commandments (1956), is currently the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time, adjusted for inflation. In addition to his Best Picture Award, he received an Academy Honorary Award for his film contributions, the Palme d'Or (posthumously) for Union Pacific, a DGA Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, which was later named in his honor

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart


Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart was a British Army officer born of
Belgian and Irish parents, and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for valor "in the face of the enemy" in various Commonwealth countries. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and tore off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in the First World War, he wrote, "Frankly I had enjoyed the war."

After returning home from service (including a period as a prisoner-of-war) in the Second World War, he was sent to China as Winston Churchill's personal representative. While enroute he attended the Cairo Conference.

In his memoirs, Carton de Wiart wrote, "Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose." Carton de Wiart was thought to be a model for the character of Brigadier Ben Ritchie Hook in Evelyn Waugh's trilogy Sword of Honour. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography described him thus: "With his black eyepatch and empty sleeve, Carton de Wiart looked like an elegant pirate, and became a figure of legend."

Carton de Wiart died at the age of 83 on 5 June 1963.

Boyd David Wagner


Lieutenant Colonel Boyd David "Buzz" Wagner was an American aviator and the first United States Army Air Corps fighter ace of World War II.

Wagner was born October 26, 1916 in Emeigh, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, the son of Boyd M. and Elizabeth M. Moody Wagner. He grew up in Nanty-Glo, near Johnstown, and studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh for three years before joining the Army Air Corps.

Wagner completed flight training in June 1938 and was assigned to duty in the Philippines with the 24th Pursuit Group. He was soon given command of the 17th Pursuit Squadron. Wagner was a first lieutenant commanding the 17th Pursuit Squadron stationed at Nichols Field on December 8, 1941, when the first Japanese air attacks struck the Philippines. On December 12, Wagner took off in a Curtiss P-40 on a solo reconnaissance mission over Aparri, where he was attacked by Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters. He dove away from the attacking planes and then returned and shot down two of them. He was attacked by more Zeros as he strafed a nearby Japanese airfield and subsequently destroyed two of these planes as well before returning to Clark Field.

On December 17, he led an attack on a Japanese airstrip near Vigan; a sole Japanese Zero took off and attacked Wagner's plane, but he chopped his throttle and caused the Zero to overshoot his plane. Once in position behind the Zero, Wagner was able to shoot it down, becoming the first USAAF ace of World War II and earning a Distinguished Service Cross. Attacking the Japanese again at Vigan on December 22, his plane was struck by enemy fire and he was wounded by glass splinters which struck his face and eyes. He returned to base safely and evacuated to Australia in January 1942.

Wagner was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned in April to the 8th Fighter Group in New Guinea flying the Bell P-39. On April 30, 1942 he shot down three Zeros, bringing his air-to-air kill total to eight. It was decided that Wagner's experience and knowledge would be more valuable back in the U.S., training fighter pilots and as a liaison to the Curtiss P-40 plant in Buffalo, New York, to help engineers improve the P-40's combat performance. Despite his protests at being pulled out of combat, he was sent home to the United States.

On a routine flight in a P-40K from Eglin Field, Florida to Maxwell Field, Alabama on November 29, 1942, Wagner's plane disappeared. After an extensive search, what was left of the P-40 and Wagner's remains were found almost six weeks later in January 1943, 25 miles east of Eglin.

Jack Kerouac


Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet.

He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

In 1969, aged 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long-term alcohol abuse. Since his death, Kerouac's literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, including The Town and the City, On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea Is My Brother, and Big Sur.

Saul Bellow


Saul Bellow was a Canadian-American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the National Book Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.

In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest authors, Bellow has had a "huge literary influence."

Bellow said that of all his characters Eugene Henderson, of Henderson the Rain King, was the one most like himself. Bellow grew up as an insolent slum kid, a "thick-necked" rowdy, and an immigrant from Quebec. As Christopher Hitchens describes it, Bellow's fiction and principal characters reflect his own yearning for transcendence, a battle "to overcome not just ghetto conditions but also ghetto psychoses." Bellow's protagonists, in one shape or another, all wrestle with what Corde (Albert Corde, the dean in "The Dean's December") called "the big-scale insanities of the 20th century." This transcendence of the "unutterably dismal" (a phrase from Dangling Man) is achieved, if it can be achieved at all, through a "ferocious assimilation of learning" (Hitchens) and an emphasis on nobility.

S.Y. Agnon


Shmuel Yosef Agnon was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon. In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon.

His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator's role in literature. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.

Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czaczkes was born in Buczacz, Polish Galicia; then within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Buchach, Ukraine. Officially, his date of birth on the Hebrew calendar was 18 Av 5648 (July 26), but he always said his birthday was on the Jewish fast day of Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av.

His father, Shalom Mordechai Halevy, was ordained as a rabbi, but worked in the fur trade, and had many connections among the Hasidim, His mother's side had ties to the Mitnagdim.

He did not attend school and was schooled by his parents. In addition to studying Jewish texts, Agnon studied writings of the Haskalah, and was also tutored in German. At the age of eight, he began to write in Hebrew and Yiddish, At the age of 15, he published his first poem – a Yiddish poem about the Kabbalist Joseph della Reina. He continued to write poems and stories in Hebrew and Yiddish, which were published in Galicia.

In 1908, he moved to Jaffa in Ottoman Palestine. The first story he published there was "Agunot" ("Forsaken Wives"), which appeared that same year in the journal Ha`omer. He used the pen name "Agnon," derived from the title of the story, which he adopted as his official surname in 1924. In 1910, "Forsaken Wives" was translated into German. In 1912, at the urging of Yosef Haim Brenner, he published a novella, "Vehaya Ha'akov Lemishor" ("The Crooked Shall Be Made Straight").

In 1913, Agnon moved to Germany, where he met Esther Marx (1889-1973). They married in 1920 and had two children. In Germany he lived in Berlin and Bad Homburg vor der Höhe (1921–24). Salman Schocken, a businessman and later also publisher, became his literary patron and freed him from financial worries. From 1931 on, his work was published by Schocken Books, and his short stories appeared regularly in the newspaper Haaretz, also owned by the Schocken family. In Germany, he continued to write short stories and collaborated with Martin Buber on an anthology of Hasidic stories. Many of his early books appeared in Buber's Jüdischer Verlag (Berlin). The mostly assimilated, secular German Jews, Buber and Franz Rosenzweig among them, considered Agnon to be a legitimate relic, being a religious man, familiar with Jewish scripture. Gershom Scholem called him "the Jews' Jew".

In 1924, a fire broke out in his home, destroying his manuscripts and rare book collection. This traumatic event crops up occasionally in his stories. Later that year, Agnon returned to Palestine and settled with his family in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot. In 1929, his library was destroyed again during anti-Jewish riots.

When his novel Hachnasat Kalla ("The Bridal Canopy") appeared in 1931 to great critical acclaim, Agnon's place in Hebrew literature was assured. In 1935, he published "Sippur Pashut" ("A Simple Story"), a novella set in Buczacz at the end of the 19th century. Another novel, "Tmol Shilshom" ("Only Yesterday"), set in Eretz Yisrael (Israel) of the early 20th century, appeared in 1945.

Agnon was twice awarded the Bialik Prize for literature in 1934 and 1950. He was also twice awarded the Israel Prize, for literature in 1954 and 1958.

In 1966, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people". The prize was shared with German Jewish author Nelly Sachs. In his speech at the award ceremony, Agnon introduced himself in Hebrew: "As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem".

In later years, Agnon's fame was such that when he complained to the municipality that traffic noise near his home was disturbing his work, the city closed the street to cars and posted a sign that read: "No entry to all vehicles, writer at work!"

Agnon died in Jerusalem on February 17, 1970.

Pavel Bazhov


Pavel Petrovich Bazhov was a Russian writer.

Bazhov is best known for his collection of fairy tales The Malachite Box, based on Ural folklore and published in the Soviet Union in 1939. In 1944, the translation of the collection into English was published in New York City and London. Later Sergei Prokofiev created the ballet The Tale of the Stone Flower based on one of the tales. Bazhov was also the author of several books on the Russian Revolution and the Civil War. Yegor Gaidar, who served as Prime Minister of Russia, was his grandson.

Bazhov was born in Sysert, a city in the Urals. His father Pyotr Bazhov was the master of the welding shop of the Sysertskogo Steel Plant. His family, like most in factory towns, struggled to make ends meet and had virtually no political power in Czarist Russia. From these beginnings, Bazhov found a calling in public service. Between 1889 and 1893 he studied in a religious school in Yekaterinburg. He took part in many protests, the most famous one resulting in him receiving a note of political disloyalty from his reactionary teacher on his certificate. The city made a huge impression on him, and he would return to live there many years later. In 1899, Bazhov graduated third in his class from Perm Theological Seminary, where Alexander Stepanovich Popov and D.N. Mamin previously studied. He dreamt of attending Tomsk Seminary University, but was rejected.

Instead, he worked temporarily as a Russian language teacher, first in Yekaterinburg, then later in Kamyshlov. From 1907 to 1914 Bazhov worked at the Women’s Diocesan College teaching Russian language. During this time he met and married Valentina Ivanitsky, a graduate from the Diocesan School. She was his muse for many of his poems about love and happiness.

When the First World War began, Bazhov had two daughters. He was a member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party until 1917. In 1918, he joined the Bolshevik Party, volunteered for the Red Army, and was deployed into military actions in the Ural frontline. In the autumn of 1920, Bazhov moved to Semipalatinsk and was elected a member of the Party Committee of that province. He was instructed to lead the provincial council of trade unions, but often served assignments that went beyond his office. From 1923 to 1929 he lived in Yekaterinburg and worked in the editorial board of the Krestianskaya (Peasants) Newspaper, as well as contributing his essays on old factory life conditions and the civil war throughout 1924. In that year, Bazhov published his first book, Urals Tales (Уральские были) on the images of life in the Urals during the 1880-1890s. It was also during this period that he wrote over forty tales on themes of Ural factory folklore that contributed to his collection, The Malachite Box. Publication of Bazhov's most famous work – the collection of fairy tales - earned Bazhov the State Prize. Later on Bazhov supplemented the book with new tales.

Bazhov had every reason to speak with pride about his activities between 1917 and 1920. D.A. Kuhn named Bazhov in the report on the 60th anniversary of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic and the Communist Party of Kazakhstan among those wonderful people, "who in the years of revolution and civil war, with a rifle, a plow, or a book, claimed a life on the Kazakh space, with high international quality, resilience, courage and heroism". From these actions, he was decorated with an Order of Lenin and won the USSR State Prize.

During the Second World War Bazhov worked with both Yekaterinburg writers and those already evacuated from different corners of the Soviet Union. After the war his eyesight started weakening dramatically, but he went on his editing work, as well as collecting and creatively adapting local folklore.

In 1946 he was elected to the Supreme Soviet.

Bazhov died in 1950 in Moscow and was laid to rest in his home, Yekaterinburg.

Prescott Sheldon Bush Sr.


Prescott Sheldon Bush Sr. was an American banker and politician. After working as a Wall Street executive investment banker, he represented Connecticut in the United States Senate from 1952 to 1963. A member of the Bush family, he is the father of President George H. W. Bush and the grandfather of President George W. Bush.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bush graduated from Yale College and served as an artillery officer during World War I. After the war, he worked for several companies, becoming partner of the A. Harriman & Co. investment bank in 1931. He also served as high-ranking official with the United States Golf Association. Bush settled in Connecticut in 1925 and became active in Republican Party politics as well as other causes such as Planned Parenthood.

Bush won election to the Senate in a 1952 special election, narrowly defeating Democratic nominee Abraham Ribicoff. In the Senate, Bush staunchly supported President Dwight D. Eisenhower and helped enact legislation to create the Interstate Highway System. Bush won re-election in 1956 but declined to seek re-election in 1962, retiring from the Senate the following year.

Bush was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Samuel Prescott Bush and Flora Sheldon Bush. Samuel Bush was a railroad middle manager, then a steel company president and, during World War I, also a federal government official in charge of coordination of and assistance to major weapons contractors.

Bush attended St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island, from 1908-13. In 1913, he enrolled at Yale College, where his paternal grandfather, Rev. James Smith Bush (class of 1844), and his maternal uncle Robert E. Sheldon Jr. (class of 1904) had matriculated. Three subsequent generations of the Bush family have been Yale alumni. Prescott Bush was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity and Skull and Bones secret society. George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are also members of that society.

According to Skull and Bones lore, Prescott Bush was among a group of Bonesmen who dug up and removed the skull of Geronimo from his grave at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1918. According to historian David L. Miller, the Bonesmen probably dug up somebody at Fort Sill, but not Geronimo.

Prescott Bush was a cheerleader, played varsity golf and baseball, and was president of the Yale Glee Club.

After graduation, Bush served as a field artillery captain with the American Expeditionary Forces (1917–1919) during World War I. He received intelligence training at Verdun, France, and was briefly assigned to a staff of French officers. Alternating between intelligence and artillery, he came under fire in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

After his discharge in 1919, Prescott Bush went to work for the Simmons Hardware Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Bush family moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1923, where Prescott briefly worked for the Hupp Products Company. In November 1923, he became president of sales for Stedman Products in South Braintree, Massachusetts. During this time, he lived in a Victorian house at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts, where his son, George H. W. Bush, was born.

In 1924, Bush became vice-president of the investment bank A. Harriman & Co. where his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker was president. Bush's Yale classmates and fellow Bonesmen E. Roland Harriman and Knight Woolley also worked with the company.

In 1925, he joined the United States Rubber Company of New York City as manager of the foreign division, and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut.

In 1931, he became a partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., which was created through the 1931 amalgamation of A. Harriman & Co with Brown Bros. & Co., (a merchant bank founded in Philadelphia in 1818) and with Harriman Brothers & Co. (established in New York City in 1927).

He was an avid golfer, and in 1935 was named head of the USGA.

From 1944-56, Prescott Bush was a member of the Yale Corporation, the principal governing body of Yale University. He was on the board of directors of CBS, having been introduced to chairman William S. Paley around 1932 by his close friend and colleague W. Averell Harriman, who became a major Democratic Party power broker.
Prescott Bush was politically active on social issues. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947. He was also an early supporter of the United Negro College Fund, serving as chairman of the Connecticut branch in 1951.

From 1947-50, he served as Connecticut Republican finance chairman, and was the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 1950.  Bush lost to Sen. William Burnett Benton by only 1,000 votes.

Prescott Bush sought a rematch with Sen. Benton in 1952, but withdrew as the party turned to William Purtell. The death of Senator Brien McMahon later that year, however, created a vacancy and this time the Republicans nominated Bush. He defeated the Democratic nominee, Abraham Ribicoff, and was elected to the Senate. A staunch supporter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he served until January 1963. He was re-elected in 1956 with 55% of the vote over Democrat Thomas J. Dodd (later U.S. Senator from Connecticut and father of Christopher J. Dodd), and decided not to run for another term in 1962. He was a key ally for the passage of Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System, and during his tenure supported the Polaris submarine project (built by Electric Boat Corporation in Groton, Connecticut), civil rights legislation, and the establishment of the Peace Corps.

On December 2, 1954, Prescott Bush was part of the large (67–22) majority to censure Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy after McCarthy had taken on the U.S. Army and the Eisenhower administration. During the debate leading to the censure, Bush said that McCarthy has "caused dangerous divisions among the American people because of his attitude and the attitude he has encouraged among his followers: that there can be no honest differences of opinion with him. Either you must follow Senator McCarthy blindly, not daring to express any doubts or disagreements about any of his actions, or, in his eyes, you must be a Communist, a Communist sympathizer, or a fool who has been duped by the Communist line." Eisenhower later included Prescott Bush on an undated handwritten list of prospective candidates he favored for the 1960 Republican presidential nomination.

In terms of issues, Bush often agreed with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. According to Theodore H. White's book about the 1964 presidential election, Bush and Rockefeller were longtime friends. Bush favored a Nixon-Rockefeller ticket for 1960, and was presumed to support Rockefeller's 1964 presidential candidacy until the latter's remarriage in 1963. He then publicly denounced Rockefeller for divorcing his first wife and marrying a woman with whom Rockefeller had been having an affair while married to his first wife. Bush then very publicly endorsed his former Senate colleague Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who was also the older brother of one of Bush's proteges', former Connecticut Governor John Davis Lodge.

Another of Senator Bush's major legislative interests was flood and hurricane protection. He drafted Public Law 71, the Bush Hurricane Survey Act, enabling U.S. Army engineers to develop a new program of community protection against tidal flooding.

Bush founded the Yale Glee Club Associates, an alumni group, in 1937. As was his father-in-law, he was a member of the United States Golf Association, serving successively as secretary, vice-president and president, 1928–1935. He was a multi-year club champion of the Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and was on the committee set up by New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. to help create the New York Mets.

He was a member of the American Legion and the 40 & 8 Society.

Bush maintained homes in New York, Long Island and Greenwich, Connecticut; the family compound at Kennebunkport, Maine; and a secluded island off the Connecticut coast, Fishers Island.

He died in 1972 at age 77 and was interred at Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Bobby Darin


Bobby Darin was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor in film and television. He performed jazz, pop, rock and roll, folk, swing, and country music.

He started his career as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He recorded his first million-selling single, "Splish Splash", in 1958. This was followed by "Dream Lover", "Mack the Knife", and "Beyond the Sea", which brought him worldwide fame. In 1962 he won a Golden Globe Award for his first film, Come September, co-starring his first wife, Sandra Dee.

During the 1960s he became more politically active and worked on Robert F. Kennedy's Democratic presidential campaign. He was present on the night of June 4/5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at the time of Kennedy's assassination. During the same year, he discovered he had been raised by his grandmother, not his mother, and that the girl he thought was his sister was actually his mother. These events deeply affected Darin and sent him into a long period of seclusion.

Although he made a successful comeback in television his health was beginning to fail, as he had always expected following bouts of rheumatic fever in childhood. This knowledge of his vulnerability had always spurred him on to use his musical talent while still young. He died at the age of 37 following a heart operation in Los Angeles.

20 October, 2017

Charles Colson



Charles (Chuck) Wendell Colson was the chief counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973.

He was commonly named as one of the Watergate Seven, but was never charged with, or prosecuted for, any crime related to the Watergate break-in or its cover-up, although he did plead guilty to obstruction of justice in another case.

After extensively investigating Colson's activities relating to Watergate, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski attempted to make a deal with Colson in which Colson would agree to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge relating to Watergate, in exchange for which Jaworski agreed to recommend that he not be sentenced to prison. Colson felt doing so would be pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. Instead, Colson counter-offered. Colson told Jaworski that he would agree to plead guilty to the crime of obstruction of justice, not in relation to Watergate, but in relation to having attempted to smear Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg and damage his chances for a fair trial. Colson insisted also that Jaworski would not be constrained to recommend no prison time. At the sentencing, Judge Gerhard Gesell sentenced Colson to the maximum prison term permitted under federal law.

Colson's later life has been spent working with his non-profit organization devoted to prison ministry called. "Prison Fellowship." Colson is also a public speaker and author. He is founder and chairman of the Wilberforce Forum, which is the "Christian worldview thinking, teaching, and advocacy arm of" Prison Fellowship, and includes Colson's daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint, now heard on a thousand outlets. The ministry conducts justice reform efforts through Justice Fellowship.

Colson has received 15 honorary doctorates and in 1993 was awarded the Templeton Prize, the world's largest annual financial prize given for merit (over $1 million), which is given each year to the one person in the world who has done the most to advance the cause of religion. He donated this prize to further the work of Prison Fellowship, as he does all his speaking fees and royalities.

On April 21, 2012, Colson died in the hospital "from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage".

John N. Mitchell


John Newton Mitchell was the first United States Attorney General ever to be convicted of illegal activities and imprisoned. He also served as campaign director for the Committee to Re-elect the President, which engineered the Watergate first break-in and employed Watergate burglar James W. McCord, Jr. in a "security" capacity.

Mitchell was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up on Long Island in New York. He earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law and was admitted to the New York bar in 1938. He served for three years as a naval officer (Lieutenant, Junior Grade) during World War II.

Except for his period of military service, Mitchell practiced law in New York City from 1938 until 1968 and earned a reputation as the nation's preeminent municipal bond lawyer.

Mitchell came up with the idea for a type of revenue bond called a “moral obligation bond" while serving as bond counsel to New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s. In an effort to get around the voter approval process for increasing state and municipal bond limits, Mitchell attached language to the offerings that indicated the state’s intent to meet bond payments even though it was not obligated to do so. Mitchell’s intent was to create a “form of political elitism that bypasses the voter’s right to a referendum or an initiative.”

Richard Nixon met John Mitchell when Mitchell's municipal bond law firm merged with Nixon Mudge Rose Guthrie & Alexander in 1967. Vice President Nixon had already lost to Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960 and had been soundly defeated in the 1962 California gubernatorial contest. The two men became friends, and in 1968, with considerable trepidation, Mitchell agreed to become Nixon's presidential campaign manager.

During his successful 1968 campaign, Nixon turned over the details of the day-to-day operations to the superbly organized Mitchell. After he became president in January 1969, Nixon appointed Mitchell attorney general while making an unprecedented direct appeal to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that the usual background investigation not be conducted. Mitchell remained in office from 1969 until he resigned in 1972 to manage President Nixon's successful reelection campaign.

In the fall of 1968, 68 percent of black children in the South were attending all-black schools. By 1974, that number had fallen to 8 percent. This extraordinary accomplishment was achieved through the shrewd political skills and raw courage of President Nixon, Secretary of Labor George Schultz, and Attorney General John Mitchell.

Will Wilson, a former conservative Democratic attorney general of Texas who switched to the Republican Party to support Nixon, was named assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. He served from 1969-1971. Mitchell believed that the government's need for "law and order" justified restrictions on civil liberties. He advocated the use of wiretaps in national security cases without obtaining a court order (United States v. U.S. District Court) and the right of police to employ the preventive detention of criminal suspects. He brought conspiracy charges against critics of the Vietnam War, and demonstrated a reluctance to involve the Justice Department in civil rights issues. "The Department of Justice is a law enforcement agency," he told reporters. "It is not the place to carry on a program aimed at curing the ills of society."

Mitchell's name was mentioned in a deposition concerning Robert L. Vesco, an international financier who was a fugitive from a federal indictment. Mitchell and Nixon Finance Committee Chairman Maurice H. Stans were indicted in May 1973 on federal charges of obstructing an investigation of Vesco after he made a $200,000 contribution to the Nixon campaign. In April 1974 both men were acquitted in a New York federal district court.

On February 21, 1975, Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury and sentenced to two and a half to eight years in prison for his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up, which he dubbed the White House horrors. The sentence was later reduced to one to four years by United States district court Judge John J. Sirica. Mitchell served only 19 months of his sentence, at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, a minimum security prison, before being released on parole for medical reasons. Tape recordings made by President Nixon and the testimony of others involved confirmed that Mitchell had participated in meetings to plan the break-in of the Democratic Party's national headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. In addition, he had met, on at least three occasions, with the president in an effort to cover up White House involvement after the burglars were discovered and arrested.

On November 9, 1988, he collapsed from a heart attack on the sidewalk in front of 2812 N St., N.W., Georgetown, Washington, D.C.. That evening he died at George Washington University Hospital. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery based both on his World War II Naval service and his former cabinet post of Attorney General.

E. Howard Hunt


Everette Howard Hunt, Jr. was an American author and spy. He worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and later the White House under President Richard Nixon. Hunt, with G. Gordon Liddy and others, was one of the White House's "plumbers" — a secret team of operatives charged with fixing "leaks." Information disclosures had proved an embarrassment to the Nixon administration when defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg sent a series of documents, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers, to The New York Times.

Hunt, along with Liddy, engineered the first Watergate burglary. In the ensuing Watergate Scandal, Hunt was convicted of burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping, eventually serving 33 months in prison.

Hunt lived in Biscayne Park, Florida. He died of pneumonia in Miami, Florida on January 23, 2007 and is buried in Prospect Lawn Cemetery, Hamburg, New York.

Fred Thompson



Fred Dalton Thompson was an American politician, actor, attorney and lobbyist. He represented Tennessee as a Republican in the U.S. Senate from 1994 through 2002.

Thompson served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.

As an actor, Thompson had appeared in a large number of movies and television shows. He had frequently portrayed governmental figures. In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch, until the network granted his request to be released from his contract in May 2007.

He was a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for President of the United States until he exited the race after finishing third in South Carolina Primary on January 22. He resided in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.

Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer, in 2004. In 2007, Thompson stated, "I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future—and with no debilitating side effects." Reportedly indolent, Thompson's NHL was the lowest of three grades of NHL, and was the rare nodal marginal zone lymphoma. It accounts for only 1–3% of all cases.

On the morning of November 1, 2015, Thompson died at the age of 73 from a recurrence of lymphoma. His funeral was held on November 6, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee, with U.S. Senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander in attendance. He was interred at Mimosa Cemetery in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, that same day.

Howard Baker


Howard Henry Baker Jr. was an American politician and diplomat who served as a Republican United States Senator from Tennessee and Senate Majority Leader. Baker later served as White House Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan.

Baker was born in Huntsville, Tennessee, to Dora Ann (née Ladd) and Howard Baker Sr. His father served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1951 until 1964, representing a traditionally Republican district in East Tennessee. Baker attended The McCallie School in Chattanooga, and after graduating, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans. During World War II, he trained at a U.S. Navy facility on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in the V-12 Navy College Training Program. He served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946 and graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1949. The same year, he was admitted to the Tennessee bar and began his law practice.

Baker began his political career in 1964, when he lost to the liberal Democrat Ross Bass in a U.S. Senate election to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Estes Kefauver. In the 1966 U.S. Senate election for Tennessee, Bass lost the Democratic primary to former Governor Frank G. Clement, and Baker handily won his Republican primary race over Kenneth Roberts, 112,617 (75.7 percent) to 36,043 (24.2 percent). Baker won the general election, capitalizing on Clement's failure to energize the Democratic base, including specifically organized labor.

He won by a somewhat larger-than-expected margin of 55.7 percent to Clement's 44.2 percent. Baker thus became the first Republican senator from Tennessee since Reconstruction and the first Republican to be popularly elected to the Senate from Tennessee. Harry W. Wellford, then a private attorney but later a U.S. District Court justice and then U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Justice, served as Baker's campaign chair and closest confidant.

Baker was re-elected in 1972 and again in 1978, serving altogether from January 3, 1967, to January 3, 1985. In 1969, he was already a candidate for the Minority Leadership position that opened up with the death of his father-in-law, Everett Dirksen, but Baker was defeated 19–24 by Hugh Scott. At the beginning of the following Congress in 1971, Baker ran again, losing to Scott this time 20–24.

President Richard Nixon asked Baker in 1971 to fill one of the two empty seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.[8] When Baker took too long to decide whether he wanted the appointment, Nixon changed his mind and nominated William Rehnquist instead.

In 1973-74, Baker became the influential ranking minority member of the Senate committee chaired by Senator Sam Ervin, that investigated the Watergate scandal. Baker is famous for having asked aloud, "What did the President know and when did he know it?" The question is sometimes attributed to being given to him by his counsel and former campaign manager, future U.S. Senator Fred Thompson.

John Dean, former counsel to Nixon, revealed to Senate Watergate chief counsel Sam Dash in executive session that Baker had "secret dealings with the White House" during the congressional investigation. Though a juror in any future impeachment trial, Baker was recorded on February 22, 1973 promising Nixon, "I'm your friend. I'm going to see that your interests are protected." Following this, writes Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, "both the majority Democrats and minority Republicans agreed to share all information." Ultimately, one such document shared by Nixon lawyer Fred Buzhardt inadvertently suggested the presence of Nixon's secret taping system.

When Hugh Scott retired, Baker was elected senate minority leader in 1977 by his Republican colleagues, defeating Robert Griffin, 19-18. Baker served two terms as Senate Minority Leader (1977–81) and two terms as Senate Majority Leader (1981–85).

Baker was frequently mentioned by insiders as a possible nominee for Vice President of the United States on a ticket headed by incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976. According to many sources, Baker was a frontrunner for this post, but then he disclosed that his wife, Joy, was an alcoholic. Ford, evidently concluding that one alcoholic spouse in the campaign—his wife, Betty, for whom it would be necessary to stage an intervention in a few years—was sufficient, chose Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

Baker ran for U.S. President in 1980, dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination after losing the Iowa caucuses to George H.W. Bush and the New Hampshire primary to Ronald Reagan, even though a Gallup poll had him in second place in the presidential race, at eighteen percent behind Reagan at 41 percent, as late as November 1979. Ted Stevens served as Acting Minority Leader during his primary campaign.

Baker's support of the 1978 Panama Canal Treaties was overwhelmingly unpopular, especially among Republicans, and it cost him politically when he ran for president two years later. It was a factor in Reagan's choosing George H.W. Bush instead of Baker as his running mate.
Baker did not seek re-election to the Senate in 1984. He was succeeded by Democratic congressman and future Vice President Al Gore.

Reagan tapped him to serve as Chief of Staff during part of Reagan's second term (1987–1988). In accepting this appointment, Baker chose to skip another bid for the White House in 1988.
In 2003, the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy was set up at the University of Tennessee to honor him. Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech at the 2005 ground-breaking ceremony for the center's new building. Upon the building's completion in 2008, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor assisted in the facility's dedication.

In 2007, Baker joined fellow former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole, Tom Daschle, and George Mitchell to found the Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-profit think tank that works to develop policies suitable for bipartisan support.

In his later years, Baker served as Senior Counsel to the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.

He was an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. Baker also held a seat on the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a nonprofit that provides international election support.

Baker was an accomplished lifelong photographer. His photographs have been exhibited frequently and were published in National Geographic, Life, and in the books Howard Baker's Washington (1982), Big South Fork Country (1993), and Scott's Gulf: The Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness (2000). In 1993 he received the International Award of the American Society of Photographers and in 1994 he was elected into the Hall of Fame of the Photo Marketing Association.
Baker died on June 26, 2014, at the age of 88 from complications of a stroke he suffered the week prior. He died in his native Huntsville, Tennessee.

Rufus Edmisten


Rufus Lige Edmisten is a former North Carolina Secretary of State and Attorney General.

Rufus L. Edmisten was born and raised in Boone, North Carolina. He earned an undergraduate degree in political science with honors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he served on the Law Review. During law school, he joined the Capitol Hill staff of North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, where he served as the Counsel to Senator Ervin's Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights and as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers. In 1973-1974, Edmisten was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee, which Ervin chaired. With Terry Lenzner, an assistant counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee, Edmisten served the subpoena to the White House for the Watergate tapes. It was the first time in history that a Congressional Committee served a subpoena on a sitting President. During his time working for Senator Ervin, Edmisten participated in important legislative initiatives, such as securing constitutional rights for American Indians and providing constitutional protections for military personnel. Following Senator Ervin's retirement in 1974, Edmisten returned to North Carolina. He was elected state attorney general in 1974 and served in that post for ten years. Edmisten was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1984, losing to Republican James G. Martin, a loss attributed to Martin's endorsements by Edmisten's Democratic primary rivals.
After his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign, Edmisten practiced law with Reagan H. Weaver for four years. In the 1988 and 1992 elections, Edmisten won the office of Secretary of State. As Secretary of State he broadened securities oversight in an effort to protect investors, and worked with the General Assembly to craft a law to establish Limited Liability Corporations in North Carolina.

In 1996 Edmisten resigned from office after an audit of the Secretary of State's office led to a State Bureau of Investigations inquiry into several alleged abuses of office. The investigation, which involved more than 100 interviews and culminated in a 3000-page report, exonerated Edmisten and his staff from all the accusations. Edmisten maintained that his resignation had nothing to do with the investigation. After his resignation in 1996 Edmisten launched a legal practice that merged with that of former NC Department of Justice colleague and Deputy US attorney, Woody Webb, in 1998.

Edmisten has filled key roles in several private organizations outside of his legal practice. He runs a charity in North Carolina called the Foundation for Good Business: Extra Special Super Kids. The Super Kids program provides college scholarships to underprivileged high school students who wish to pursue higher learning. Rufus has served on the N.C. Capitol Foundation for over 25 years, including a six-year stint (2000-2006) as President of the foundation. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Julia Crump Foundation and Project Enlightenment, both of which are charitable organizations that seek to enhance educational opportunities for disadvantaged youths. Rufus also served as a board member for the Raleigh region of Union Bank. Thirty years ago, Rufus, famous Jim Valvano, and Don Shea founded the Jim Valvano Kids Klassic Golf Tournament, which has raised several million dollars to seek a cure for children suffering from cancer at Duke University Hospital.

Walter Wanger


Walter Wanger was an American film producer active in film making from the 1910's to the turbulent production of Cleopatra in 1963. Wanger developed a reputation as an intellectual and a socially conscious movie executive who produced provocative message movies and glittering romantic melodramas.

Wanger was born Walter Feuchtwanger in San Francisco, and pronounced "Wanger" to rhyme with "danger". He was the son of Stella (Stettheimer) and Sigmund Feuchtwanger, who were from German Jewish families that had immigrated to the United States in the nineteenth century. Wanger was from a non-observant Jewish family, and in later life attended Episcopalian services with his wife. In order to assimilate into American society, his mother altered the family name simply to Wanger in 1908. The Wangers were well-connected and upper middle class, something which later differentiated Wanger from the other Jewish film moguls who came from more ordinary backgrounds.

Wanger attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he developed an interest in Amateur theatre. After leaving Dartmouth, Wanger became a professional theatrical producer in New York City where he worked with figures such as the influential British manager Harley Granville-Barker and the Russian actress Alla Nazimova.

Following the American entry into World War I in 1917, Wanger served with the United States Army in Italy initially in the Signal Corps where he worked as a pilot on reconnaissance missions, and later in propaganda operations directed at the Italian public. It was during this period that Wanger first came into contact with filmmaking. In April 1918 Wanger was transferred to the Committee on Public Information, and joined an effort to combat anti-war or pro-German sentiment in Allied Italy. This was partly accomplished through a series of short propaganda films screened in Italian cinemas promoting democracy and Allied war aims.

After the Allied victory, Wanger returned to the United States in 1919 and was discharged from the army. Wanger married silent film actress Justine Johnstone in 1919. He initially returned to theatre production, before a chance meeting with Jesse Lasky drew him into the world of commercial filmmaking. Lasky was impressed with Wanger's ideas and his experiences in the theatre, and hired him to head a New York office vetting and acquiring books and plays for use as film stories for Famous Players-Lasky (later to become Paramount), which was then the largest film production company in the world.

Strongly influenced by European films, Wanger began at Paramount Pictures in the 1920s and eventually worked at virtually every major studio as either a contract producer or an independent. Wanger served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1939 to October 1941 and from December 1941 to 1945.

Wanger was given an Honorary Academy Award in 1946 for his service as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He refused another honorary Oscar in 1949 for Joan of Arc, out of anger over the fact that the film, which he felt was one of his best, had not been nominated for Best Picture.

His 1958 production of I Want to Live! starred Susan Hayward in an anti-capital punishment film that is one of the most highly regarded films on the subject. Hayward won her only Oscar for her role in the film.

In May 1966, Wanger received the Commendation of the Order of Merit, Italy's third-highest honor, from Consul General Alvaro v. Bettrani, "for your friendship and cooperation with the Italian government in all phases of the motion picture industry."
Walter Wanger died of a heart attack, aged 74, in New York City. He was interred in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma, California.

Fritz Gottlieb Zapffe


Fritz Gottlieb Zapffe was a Norwegian polar explorer.

He was the son of painter Carl Johan Zapffe and Caroline Wilhelmine Hansen. He was married to Gudrun Wessel (1870-1950) on August 19, 1897. Zapffe participated in Roald Amundsen's North Pole Expedition in 1925 as a sanitary man and a deputy manager.

Ella Maillart


Ella Maillart was a Swiss adventurer, travel writer and photographer, as well as a sportswoman.

Ella Maillart had been captain of the Swiss Women's land hockey team and was an international skier. She also competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics as a sailor in the Olympic monotype competition.

From the 1930s onwards she spent years exploring oriental republics of the USSR, as well as other parts of Asia, and published a rich series of books which, just as her photographs, are today considered valuable historical testimonies. Her early books were written in French but later she began to write in English. Turkestan Solo describes a journey in 1932 in Soviet Turkestan. Photos from this journey are now displayed in the Ella Maillart wing of the Karakol Historical Museum. In 1934, the French daily Le Petit Parisien sent her to Manchuria to report on the situation under the Japanese occupation. It was there that she met Peter Fleming, a well-known writer and correspondent of The Times, with whom she would team up to cross China from Peking to Srinagar (3,500 miles), much of the route being through hostile desert regions and steep Himalayan passes. The journey started in February 1935 and took seven months to complete, involving travel by train, on foot, truck, horse and camelback. Their objective was to ascertain what was happening in Sinkiang (then also known as Chinese Turkestan) where the Kumul Rebellion had been going on. Maillart and Fleming met the Hui Muslim forces of General Ma Hushan. Ella Maillart later recorded this trek in her book Forbidden Journey, while Peter Fleming's parallel account is found in his News from Tartary. In 1937 Maillart returned to Asia for Le Petit Parisien to report on Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, while in 1939 she undertook a trip from Geneva to Kabul by car, in the company of the Swiss writer, Annemarie Schwarzenbach. The Cruel Way is the title of Maillart's book about this experience, cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War

She spent the war years in the South of India, learning from different teachers about Advaita Vedanta, one of the schools of Hindu philosophy. On her return to Switzerland in 1945, she lived in Geneva and at Chandolin, a mountain village in the Swiss Alps. She continued to ski until late in life and last returned to Tibet in 1986.
She died on March 27, 1997 in Chandolin.

Peter Fleming


Robert Peter Fleming was a British adventurer and travel writer. He was the elder brother of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

Peter Fleming was one of four sons of the barrister and MP Valentine Fleming, who was killed in action in 1917, having served as MP for Henley from 1910. Peter's younger brother Ian was the author of the James Bond books. Fleming was educated at Eton, where he edited the Eton College Chronicle. He went on from Eton to Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated with a first-class degree in English. In 1935 he married the actress Celia Johnson (1908–1982), best known for her roles in the films Brief Encounter and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

In April 1932 Fleming replied to an advertisement in the personal columns of The Times: "Exploring and sporting expedition, under experienced guidance, leaving England June to explore rivers central Brazil, if possible ascertain fate Colonel Percy Fawcett; abundant game, big and small; exceptional fishing; room two more guns; highest references expected and given." He then joined the expedition, organised by Robert Churchward, to São Paulo, then overland to the rivers Araguaia and Tapirapé, heading towards the last-known position of the Fawcett expedition. During the inward journey the expedition was riven by increasing disagreements as to its objectives and plans, centred particularly on its local leader, whom Fleming disguised as "Major Pingle" when he wrote about the expedition. Fleming and Roger Pettiward (a school and university friend recruited onto the expedition as a result of a chance encounter with Fleming) led a breakaway group.

This group continued for several days up the Tapirapé to São Domingo, from where Fleming, Pettiward, Neville Priestley and one of the Brazilians hired by the expedition set out to find evidence of Fawcett's fate on their own. After acquiring two Tapirapé guides the party began a march to the area where Fawcett was reported to have last been seen. They made slow progress for several days, losing the Indian guides and Neville to foot infection, before admitting defeat.

The expedition's return journey was made down the River Araguaia to Belém. It became a closely fought race between Fleming's party and "Major Pingle", the prize being to be the first to report home, and thus to gain the upper hand in the battles over blame and finances that were to come. Fleming's party narrowly won. The expedition returned to England in November 1932.

Fleming's book about the expedition, Brazilian Adventure, has sold well ever since it was first published in 1933, and it is still in print.

Fleming travelled from Moscow to Peking via the Caucasus, the Caspian, Samarkand, Tashkent, the Turksib Railway and the Trans-Siberian Railway to Peking as a special correspondent of The Times. His experiences were written up in One's Company (1934). He then went overland in company of Ella Maillart from China via Tunganistan to India on a journey written up in News from Tartary (1936). These two books were combined as Travels in Tartary: One's Company and News from Tartary (1941). All three volumes were published by Jonathan Cape.

According to Nicolas Clifford, for Fleming China “had the aspect of a comic opera land whose quirks and oddities became grist for the writer, rather than deserving any respect or sympathy in themselves”. In One's Company, for example, Fleming reports that Beijing was “lacking in charm”, Harbin was a city of “no easily definable character”. Changchun was “entirely characterless”, and Shenyang was “non-descript and suburban". However, Fleming also provides insights into Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria, which helped contemporary readers to understand Chinese resentment and resistance, and the aftermath of the Kumul Rebellion. In the course of these travels Fleming met and interviewed many prominent figures in Central Asia and China, including the Chinese Muslim General Ma Hushan, the Chinese Muslim Taoyin of Kashgar, Ma Shaowu, and Pu Yi.

Of Travels in Tartary, Owen Lattimore remarked that Fleming, who "passes for an easy-going amateur, is in fact an inspired amateur whose quick appreciation, especially of people, and original turn of phrase, echoing P. G. Wodehouse in only a very distant and cultured way, have created a unique kind of travel book". Lattimore added that it "is only in the political news from Tartary that there is a disappointment," as, in his view, Fleming offers "a simplified explanation, in terms of Red intrigue and Bolshevik villains, which does not make sense."

Just before war was declared, Peter Fleming, then a reserve officer in the Grenadier Guards, was recruited by the War Office research section investigating the potential of irregular warfare (MIR). His initial task was to develop ideas to assist the Chinese guerrillas fighting the Japanese. He served in the Norwegian campaign with the prototype commando units – Independent Companies – but in May 1940 he was tasked with research into the potential use of the new Local Defence Volunteers (later the Home Guard) as guerrilla troops. His ideas were first incorporated into General Thorne's XII Corps Observation Unit, forerunner of the GHQ Auxiliary Units. Fleming recruited his brother, Richard, then serving in the Faroe Islands, to provide a core of Lovat Scout instructors to his teams of LDV volunteers. When Colin Gubbins was appointed to head the new Auxiliary Units, he incorporated many of Peter's ideas, which aimed to create secret commando teams of Home Guard in the coastal districts most liable to the risk of invasion. Their role was to launch sabotage raids on the flanks and rear of any invading army, in support of regular troops, but they were never intended as a post-occupation 'resistance' force, having a life expectancy of only two weeks. Peter Fleming later served in Greece, but his principal service, from 1942 to the end of the war, was as head of D Division, in charge of military deception operations in Southeast Asia, based in New Delhi, India. He was awarded the Order of the Cloud and Banner, a Chinese military honour, and in 1945 he received an OBE (Military Division) for his services.

After the war Peter Fleming retired to squiredom at Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. He died on August 18, 1971 and was buried in Nettlebed Churchyard.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott


Captain Robert Falcon Scott was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition (1901–1904) and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition (1910–1913).

On the first expedition, he set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S and discovered the Polar (Antarctic) Plateau, on which the South Pole is located. On the second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, four weeks after Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott's party discovered plant fossils, proving Antarctica was once forested and joined to other continents. A planned meeting with supporting dog teams from the base camp failed, despite Scott's written instructions, and at a distance of 150 miles from their base camp and 11 miles from the next depot, Scott and his companions perished.

Before his appointment to lead the Discovery Expedition, Scott had followed the career of a naval officer in the Royal Navy. In 1899, he had a chance encounter with Sir Clements Markham, the president of the Royal Geographical Society, and thus learned of a planned Antarctic expedition, which he soon volunteered to lead. Having taken this step, his name became inseparably associated with the Antarctic, the field of work to which he remained committed during the final 12 years of his life.

Following the news of his death, Scott became a celebrated hero, a status reflected by memorials erected across the UK. However, in the closing decades of the 20th century, Scott became a figure of controversy, with questions raised about his competence and character. Commentators in the 21st century have regarded Scott more positively after assessing the temperature drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) in March 1912, and after re-discovering Scott's written orders of October 1911, in which he had instructed the dog teams to meet and assist him on the return trip.

Dr. Alistair Mackay


Alistair Mackay was a Scottish doctor and polar explorer. He was one of the trio of explorers, along with Douglas Mawson and Professor Edgeworth David, who became the first humans to reach the South Magnetic Pole.

In 1907, Mackay joined the British Antarctic Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton as an expedition doctor. They arrived on the ship Nimrod at Cape Royds in Antarctica in February 1908 and set up camp in a small expedition hut that would house the 15-man party through the winter. In March 1908 along with Mawson and David, Mackay made up the party who undertook the first ascent of Mount Erebus.

The following spring when Shackelton set off to attempt to reach the South Pole, he despatched Mackay, Mawson and Edgeworth David northward to reach the South Magnetic Pole which lay approximately 650 km north-north-west of Ross Island. The trek commenced on 5 October 1908 with the men hauling their own sleds and relaying the loads which meant that every kilometre gained by the sledges involved them travelling three kilometres by foot.

For ten weeks the men followed the coast north supplementing their stores with a diet of seals and penguins. They then crossed the Drygalski Ice Tongue and turned inland. They still faced a 700 km return journey and established a depot to enable them to transfer their load to one overladen sled and to remove the need to relay. On 16 January 1909 they arrived at the South Magnetic Pole, took possession of the region for the British Crown and Mackay suggested three cheers for the King.

Edgeworth David had been appointed leader of the expedition by Shackleton but by end January with all three of the party experiencing severe physical deterioration, David was increasingly unable to contribute. On 31 January with Mawson out of earshot, Mackay exerted his authority as the party's doctor and threatened to declare the Professor insane unless he gave written authority of leadership to Mawson. Mawson reluctantly took command but by 3 February he acknowledged in his diary that "the Prof was now certainly partly demented". That day the party reached the coast line with perfect timing as within 24 hours they were collected by the Nimrod for the return trip to Cape Royds.

The trio had covered a distance of 1260 miles which stood as the longest unsupported sled journey until the mid-1980s.

Mackay was also the ship's doctor on the ill-fated Karluk expedition in 1913 led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson to explore the regions west of Parry Archipelago for the Government of Canada. After the Karluk, captained by Robert Bartlett, was stranded, crushed, and sunk by pack ice, Mackay and three other members of the crew died of exposure while struggling across the Arctic ice to reach Wrangel Island or Herald Island.

Robert Bage


Edward Frederick Robert Bage was an Australian polar explorer with Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition in 1912, and a soldier with the Royal Australian Engineers during World War I.

Bob Bage was the only son of Edward Bage, a wholesale chemist from St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne. He had two sisters, Freda Bage, who would become a lecturer in biology, and principal of the Women's College at the University of Queensland and Ethel Bage. He was born on 17 April 1888, and was educated at the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School in 1900, where he was awarded the Witherby Scholarship in 1901. He completed school in 1904 with honors in physics at matriculation. In 1905 he was awarded a Warden's Scholarship to Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, where he studied Engineering. He obtained first-class honors in Chemistry and won an Exhibition in Surveying in 1905, graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1910. While a student, he was the inaugural Secretary of the University of Melbourne Student Representative Council, and rowed at Trinity College.

Bage joined the militia in 1909 and enlisted as an officer with the Royal Australian Engineers at the beginning of 1911. In September, however, he was engaged as Astronomer, Assistant Magnetician and Recorder of Tides for Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition. He undertook a crash course in astronomy with Pietro Baracchi from the Melbourne Observatory, whose son, Guido, Bage knew from Trinity. On 22 November, a farewell dinner was held in his honor at Trinity, after which he left for Tasmania. Mawson selected Bage in a party of six to accompany him on 9 January, landing at what he then named 'Commonwealth Bay', and then, on 19 January, the ship left eighteen men with 23 tons of equipment and two-years' worth of food.

On 10 November 1912, the 'southern sledging party' of three – Bage, the New Zealand magnetician Eric Webb, and the photographer Frank Hurley – left on a 600-mile round trip to study the extent of the South Magnetic Pole region. Despite days on which due to severe snow blindness Bage had to be carried on one of the sledges hauled by the other men, the team managed to set a sledging record of 41.6 miles in one twenty-four-hour period. One of the men who had remained in camp, Charles Laseron, recorded that Bage's "quiet determination, resolution, and foresight carried them through … always cheerful, ready with a hand to anybody who needed it … he was a born leader of men." The Aurora arrived to collect them, but by 8 February, Mawson's team was now four weeks overdue, and John Davis was forced to decide whom to leave behind to conduct the search: the six men chosen, including Bage, would have to over-winter again before a ship could come back for them. A mere matter of hours after the Aurora left, Mawson appeared alone, suffering from severe sunburn, frostbite and malnutrition. He was the sole survivor of his team of three. The Aurora was able to return the following day, only to be prevented from reaching the survivors by the weather. After a week, Davis decided once again to leave; Mawson, Bage and the others spent another winter in Antarctica, with Bage acting as storeman. The Aurora returned on 13 December 1913, and the expedition made landfall in Australia at Adelaide, Mawson’s home town, on 26 February 1914, after more than two years away. Bage was awarded the Polar Medal by George V in February 1915.


Being stuck in the Antarctic, Bage had written a letter to the Army requesting to have his leave-without-pay extended. Bage rejoined his unit on 3 March 1914, and was posted to the Staff Office in Melbourne. As a member of the regular army, on the outbreak of war, Bage was mobilized immediately, the preliminary orders being released on 2 August. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the First Australian Imperial Force, and second-in-command of the 3rd Field Company, Australian Engineers. Early in September be became engaged to Dorothy Scantlebury. Bage's company left on 22 September, arriving in Alexandria on 10 December and taking trains to Cairo. In February, he was promoted to captain.[10] Training continued until 3 April when they left for Lemnos, and then, on 24 April, departed in readiness for the Gallipoli landing. The engineers were among the first to reach the shore, preparing the area so that the infantry could land, building roads, creating gun emplacements, digging trenches and building ammunition depots.

On 7 May, the commander of the 1st Australian Division, Major-General William Bridges, inspected the area near the 'Pimple', a salient at the southern end of the ANZAC lines, and devised a plan to take some of the Turkish trenches there. Bage's orders were to take a small party in support of Major Edmund Drake-Brockman of the 11th Battalion, and, in broad daylight, get to an exposed area about 150 yards beyond the front line and peg out the position of the new trench line so that the infantry could dig in that night. Bage was caught in machine-gun fire from near Lone Pine and hit in several places; he was buried in the Beach Cemetery above ANZAC Cove the following day.

Sir Douglas Mawson


Sir Douglas Mawson was an Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer and academic. Along with Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, Mawson was a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Mawson was born on 5 May 1882 to Robert Ellis Mawson and Margaret Ann Moore. He was born in Shipley, West Yorkshire, but was only two years old when his family immigrated to Australia and settled at Rooty Hill, now in the western suburbs of Sydney. He attended Fort Street Model School and the University of Sydney, where he graduated in 1902 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

He was appointed geologist to an expedition to the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) in 1903; his report, The Geology of the New Hebrides, was one of the first major geological works of Melanesia. Also that year he published a geological paper on Mittagong, New South Wales. His major influences in his geological career were Professor Edgeworth David and Professor Archibald Liversidge. He then became a lecturer in petrology and mineralogy at the University of Adelaide in 1905.

Mawson joined Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition (1907–09) to the Antarctic, originally intending to stay for the duration of the ship's presence in the first summer. Instead both he and his mentor, Edgeworth David, stayed an extra year. In doing so they became, in the company of Alistair Mackay, the first to climb the summit of Mount Erebus and to trek to the South Magnetic Pole, which at that time was over land.

Mawson turned down an invitation to join Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition in 1910; Australian geologist Griffith Taylor went with Scott instead. Mawson chose to lead his own expedition, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, to King George V Land and Adelie Land, the sector of the Antarctic continent immediately south of Australia, which at the time was almost entirely unexplored. The objectives were to carry out geographical exploration and scientific studies, including a visit to the South Magnetic Pole. Mawson raised the necessary funds in a year, from British and Australian governments, and from commercial backers interested in mining and whaling.

The expedition, using the ship SY Aurora commanded by Captain John King Davis, departed from Hobart on 2 December 1911, landed at Cape Denison (named after Hugh Denison, a major backer of the expedition) on Commonwealth Bay on 8 January 1912, and established the Main Base. A second camp was located to the west on the ice shelf in Queen Mary Land. Cape Denison proved to be unrelentingly windy; the average wind speed for the entire year was about 50 mph (80 km/h), with some winds approaching 200 mph (320 km/h). They built a hut on the rocky cape and wintered through nearly constant blizzards. Mawson wanted to do aerial exploration and brought the first aeroplane to Antarctica. The aircraft, a Vickers R.E.P. Type Monoplane, was to be flown by Francis Howard Bickerton. When it was damaged in Australia shortly before the expedition departed, plans were changed so it was to be used only as a tractor on skis. However, the engine did not operate well in the cold, and it was removed and returned to Vickers in England. The aircraft fuselage itself was abandoned. On 1 January 2009, fragments of it were rediscovered by the Mawson's Huts Foundation, which is restoring the original huts.

Mawson's exploration program was carried out by five parties from the Main Base and two from the Western Base. Mawson himself was part of a three-man sledging team, the Far Eastern Party, with Xavier Mertz and Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, who headed east on 10 November 1912, to survey King George V Land. After five weeks of excellent progress mapping the coastline and collecting geological samples, the party was crossing the Ninnis Glacier 480 km east of the main base. Mertz was skiing and Mawson was on his sled with his weight dispersed, but Ninnis was jogging beside the second sled. Ninnis fell through a crevasse, and his body weight is likely to have breached the snow bridge covering it. The six best dogs, most of the party's rations, their tent, and other essential supplies disappeared into the massive crevasse. Mertz and Mawson spotted one dead and one injured dog on a ledge 165 ft below them, but Ninnis was never seen again.

After a brief service, Mawson and Mertz turned back immediately. They had one week's provisions for two men and no dog food but plenty of fuel and a primus. They sledged for 27 hours continuously to obtain a spare tent cover they had left behind, for which they improvised a frame from skis and a theodolite. Their lack of provisions forced them to use their remaining sled dogs to feed the other dogs and themselves:

Their meat was stringy, tough and without a vestige of fat. For a change we sometimes chopped it up finely, mixed it with a little pemmican, and brought all to the boil in a large pot of water. We were exceedingly hungry, but there was nothing to satisfy our appetites. Only a few ounces were used of the stock of ordinary food, to which was added a portion of dog's meat, never large, for each animal yielded so very little, and the major part was fed to the surviving dogs. They crunched the bones and ate the skin, until nothing remained.

There was a quick deterioration in the men's physical condition during this journey. Both men suffered dizziness; nausea; abdominal pain; irrationality; mucosal fissuring; skin, hair, and nail loss; and the yellowing of eyes and skin. Later Mawson noticed a dramatic change in his travelling companion. Mertz seemed to lose the will to move and wished only to remain in his sleeping bag. He began to deteriorate rapidly with diarrhea and madness. On one occasion Mertz refused to believe he was suffering from frostbite and bit off the tip of his own little finger. This was soon followed by violent raging—Mawson had to sit on his companion's chest and hold down his arms to prevent him from damaging their tent. Mertz suffered further seizures before falling into a coma and dying on 8 January 1913.

It was unknown at the time that Husky liver contains extremely high levels of vitamin A. It was also not known that such levels of vitamin A could cause liver damage to humans. With six dogs between them (with a liver on average weighing 1 kg), it is thought that the pair ingested enough liver to bring on a condition known as Hypervitaminosis A. However, Mertz may have suffered more because he found the tough muscle tissue difficult to eat and therefore ate more of the liver than Mawson. While both men suffered, Mertz suffered more severely.

Mawson continued the final 100 miles alone. During his return trip to the Main Base he fell through the lid of a crevasse, and was saved only by his sledge wedging itself into the ice above him. He managed to climb out using the harness attaching him to the sled.

When Mawson finally made it back to Cape Denison, the ship Aurora had left only a few hours before. It was recalled by wireless communication, only to have bad weather thwart the rescue effort. Mawson and six men who had remained behind to look for him wintered a second year until December 1913. In Mawson's book Home of the Blizzard, he describes his experiences. His party, and those at the Western Base, had explored large areas of the Antarctic coast, describing its geology, biology and meteorology, and more closely defining the location of the South Magnetic Pole. In 1915, the Royal Geographical Society awarded him their Founder's Gold Medal and in 1916 the American Geographical Society awarded him the David Livingstone Centenary Medal.

The expedition was the subject of David Roberts's book Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration.

He was knighted in 1914, and was preoccupied with news of the Scott disaster until the outbreak of World War I. Mawson served in the war as a major in the British Ministry of Munitions. Returning to the University of Adelaide in 1919, he was promoted to the professorship of geology and mineralogy in 1921, and made a major contribution to Australian geology. He organized and led the joint British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition in 1929–31, which resulted in the formation of the Australian Antarctic Territory in 1936. He also spent much of his time researching the geology of the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

Upon his retirement from teaching in 1952 he was made an emeritus professor of the University of Adelaide. He died at his Brighton home on 14 October 1958 from a cerebral hemorrhage.