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Walt Disney Goes To War. - August 31, 1942 Life Magazine

Friday, March 1, 2019 9:22:11 AM America/New_York

Excerpt from January 18, 1943 Life magazine

Walt Disney and His Studio Help Win The War

Pictured below, with open collar and a day's growth of beard, is Walt Disney, whose studio in Burbank, Calif. is now going full blast to help win the war. Tacked up behind him are sketches for his Food Will Win The War, a short cartoon film made for the Department of Agriculture. Here Disney drives home the immensity of U.S. food resources. Looking at random, you see that America produces enough flour to make enough spaghetti to be knitted into a sweater covering the whole earth, or enough fats to produce a fat lady who could squash Berlin. Within a year Disney's studio has undergone a big change. He has just released Bambi, a pre-war project, which tells tenderly the story of a deer. Now 90% of Disney's 550 employes are making films that bear directly on the war. At least six major branches of the Government have engaged Disney to reach the public, usually with the aid of Donald Duck or Pluto the pup. But an important majority of Disney's war films are for training purposes. The Army has ordered a few such films. The Navy is Disney's best customer, having ordered more than 50 films on every war subject from bombing and gunnery to paratroop training. Walt Disney is both a visionary and practical artist. That is why his new training films are successful today, and perhaps extremely important to the future. Disney's artists are fine teachers because, primarily, they know how to hold your interest. By their highly perfected animated-cartoon technique, they can show you the inside of something-say, an antitank gun-where no camera could penetrate. They can take the gun apart, piece by piece. Step by step, they can show a mechanical process. They can show an aviator what to expect flying through thunderclouds or, in a film on malaria, they can make a germ-bearing mosquito so gruesome that nobody could ever forget it. On his own, Disney is making 18 cartoon shorts to be released publicly next year. Half of them are related to war. With no sacrifice of humor or variety, these films will crusade for the kind of world where a free popular art, using man's unlimited imagination, can flourish-where everyone has some chance to laugh and learn.

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Crosby, Hope and Sinatra Do Radio "Dick Tracy" - March 12, 1945

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 9:33:10 AM America/New_York

Excerpt from March 12, 1945 Life Magazine

The Good Old Days of Radio


 In Hollywood on Feb. 15 Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and a notable cast put on the most gala performance of a Dick Tracy story ever known to radio. The occasion was an Armed Forces Radio Service Command Performance, which records programs for U. S. troops overseas. Bing Crosby played the square jawed detective, Dick Tracy, Hope the villainous Flattop, Sinatra the despicable Shaky. Title of the show was “Dick Tracy in b Flat," or "For Goodness Sakes, Isn't He Ever Going to Marry Tess Trueheart?” The show managed to do what Tracy's creator, Cartoonist Chester Gould, had never done: marry Tracy to Tess. The act opened with a Tracy-Tess wedding scene and song, “Oh, happy, happy, happy ... wedding day," which faded into the sound of an auto, the squeal of tires, a machine-gun burst and three pistol shots. Subsequent wedding scenes were interrupted by a bank robbery, a kidnaping, a holdup with 13 killed. At one point Hope sang a You're the Top parody, “I'm the top, I'm the vicious Flattop. I'm the top, Got it in for that cop. I'm a naughty boy, I'm the pride and joy of sin.” But the program's best moment was not in the script and will never be heard on the air. Unplanned and unrehearsed, it is shown on the next page.

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Marilyn Monroe "Seven Year Itch" - May 30, 1955

Thursday, April 5, 2018 3:02:14 PM America/New_York

Marilyn Monroe

Excerpt from the May 30, 1955 Life Magazine

"Seven Year Itch"

The important thing about the movie The Seven Year Itch is that it answers the burning question, can Marilyn Monroe also act? It is also true, of course, that the Fox film version of the stage hit establishes carp-faced Tom Ewell firmly as one of Hollywood's top comics. It is further true that the original George Axelrod plot about a summertime New Yorker who sends his family to the country and then discovers the pretty girl upstairs —is immeasurably helped by some cool Cinemascopic dreams (pp. 88, 90) that let the plot take wing from the hot Manhattan apartment of the Broadway version (Life, Dec. 8, 1952). It is, finally, true that Director Billy Wilder's Itch is an adult, uproarious farce—though it might be even funnier with a little judicious cutting. But to get back to the important matter: has Marilyn, in a slapstick but sophisticated role, really arrived as a comedienne? Well, she has.

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Spring on the Farm in Pennsylvania - May 24, 1943

Thursday, January 4, 2018 3:07:56 PM America/New_York

Exerpt from May 24, 1943 Life magazine

Spring on the Farm in Pa.

Spring came late to much of the U. S. soil this year. In Lancaster County, Pa.. the month of April felt like March, and the first few days of May were like a cold and cloudy April. Then, within the last fortnight, the tardy spring came racing up the Shenandoah Valley from the South. Apple orchards burst into foamy pink-and-white bloom around the fat Lancaster County barns and spic-and-span farmhouses. Tractors and teams crawled across the Lancaster County fields, churning the limestone-bedded soil into a carpet of soft, deep loam. In the barnyards pungent clouds of steam rose where farmers were gathering up the winter's deposit of precious manure (see nect page). The pictures on this and the following pages show how the spring of 1943 looks in Lancaster County, richest farming county east of the Rocky Mountains. (Los Angeles County, Calif., which has a far more favorable climate, is first in agricultural production per farm acre; Lancaster is second.) Spring in Pennsylvania has a different look than spring in California or spring in Kansas. But wherever it is and whenever it comes, spring on the farm always finds men and animals and weather working together to renew the riches of the earth

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First It Said "Mary"

At this season of the year in 1877 a group of inventors and mechanics in a laboratory in New Jersey were in the midst of one of the most astonishing experiences in the history of man. They had before them a little machine, handmade for something less than $18, that could talk. It did not say much, its first word having been, as the world knows, Mary, followed by had a little lamb. Moreover it could do little else but talk, which makes it by modern standards a poor thing. But at that time and to those men, who had been listening to the machine since August and in November were still overwhelmed with awe, it was something in which the hand of God was clearly discernible. Thomas Edison, who had thought of it, called it a speaking phonograph. Just now his invention is old enough to have a diamond anniversary. Unlike almost all other great inventions, the phonograph had no antecedents. The idea simply evolved from scratch in Edison's great brain over a period of time. When Edison's thinking about his idea crystallized, he made a pen-and-ink sketch of it, scribbled make this in the corner and handed it to an assistant named John Kreusi, a skilled toolmaker who turned out the first models of many of his inventions. Kreusi dutifully made the thing, having only a dim idea of what it was intended to do and no confidence that it would do it. He finished his model on Aug. 15 and brought it to Edison in a spirit of great doubt, which did not diminish when that great man, who lacked the gift of phrase of Telegraph-Inventor Samuel F. B. (What hath God wrought?) Morse, began to bellow nursery rhymes into the recorder.

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Marines Come Home From Korea - March 19, 1951 Life magazine

Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:58:21 AM America/New_York

Exerpt from the March 19, 1951 Life Magazine

One burning September day in Korea, during the fighting along the Naktong River, Cpl. Robert R. Hale, of B Company, 5th Marine Regiment, led his men up the razorbacks and over the bodies of North Koreans that lay in the brittle field grass. Later that day, after LIFE Photographer David Duncan had taken his picture (upper left), Hale was shot in the hand. Then, in the attack on Seoul, he was hit again by a bullet and a searing fragment. Last week, on a gray Naval transport, Hale came into San Francisco harbor along with 1,166 other Marines from Korea. He was a sergeant now and recovered from his wounds. But at the Changjin Reservoir, where his nose ran from the cold, the mustache he had cherished all through Korea had frozen. So when it thawed he had shaved it off. Like Sergeant Hale, many Marines aboard the transport were back because they had been wounded twice. But 690 of them were the first troops to return under the new Marine rotation plan which will bring veterans of Korea home for leaves and then assign most of them to training cadres. The Marines were neither bored nor excited by the Welcoming ceremonies arranged for them-the Marine band, the speeches from officials who stood near a World War II sign of welcome painted on the dock shed, the motorcade through the city streets. Only a few of them waved at the girls from the cars, and even on liberty that night, prowling through the nightspots, they were on their reserved behavior. It was only during those first precious moment at the foot of the gangplank on the dock that the emotions of the returning Marines came to the surface. Met by friends and relatives, they dropped their seabags and were suddenly swept up in the wonderful feeling of relief and utter joy at being home and in the arms of their people.

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Military Aviation from WWI to Present - February 4, 1952 Life magazine

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:58:00 AM America/New_York

 

Exerpt from the February 14, 1949 Life Magazine

At 4 a.m. one morning last November at Boeing's Seattle plant a huge tarpaulin-covered shape was rolled out to the test areas under armed guard. The shape under the canvas was that of the Air Force's newest and world's biggest jet bomber, the XB-52, a 350,000-pound plane built on lines of a jet fighter. In the drawing above, Artist John T. McCoy shows the power and beauty of the plane which is the culmination of 35 years of progress in U.S. military aviation. In the drawings on the following pages, McCoy traces the ancestry of the XB-52 back to the wood-and fabric biplanes of World War I, then shows the developments of the fighter from the Spads bought from France in 1918 to today's 700-mph jets and illustrates how far the Navy has come from its 85-mph flying boats. The untested XB-52, still far from the production line, will be of no immediate help to the Air Force. It will do nothing to alleviate the frightening shortage of every type of combat plane, which the lagging rearmament program has brought about. But when, in three or four years, it is in mass production, the XB-52 should be an extraordinary weapon. Into it will go the top secret devices of the Air Force. In its nose will be a radar bomb sight designed to hit targets with visibility zero from altitudes higher than 10 miles. Under its wings are slung eight newly developed J-57 turbojets whose thrust, equivalent to about 80,000 hp, will drive the XB-52 at around 550 mph. In its fuselage are immense fuel tanks which, fed by flying tankers, will make the XB-52 an intercontinental bomber. Click Link Below to Read Full Article.

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The Miracle of Dunkirk - February 14, 1949 Life magazine

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 2:54:49 PM America/New_York

 Exerpt from the February 14, 1949 Life Magazine

"Dunkirk Beaches" painted by Richard Eurick

In June 1940 the name of Dunkirk haunted the world. A sweeping German pincers movement, bursting through collapsing France and Belgium, had caught and pinned virtually all the British Expeditionary Force against the sea. On Dunkirk's broad beaches men as well as equipment seemed doomed beneath a rain of German fire and bombs. Rescue operations began immediately although Mr. Churchill himself dared not hope that more than a fraction of the army ANOTHER DUNKIRK was the evacuation from Corunna in Spain during Peninsular War, an attempt to dislodge Napoleon from Portugal and could be saved. But from England there put out a motley fleet of warships, tugs, yachts, small craft of every kind and, in Io days, they carried more than 338,000 British and French soldiers back to England. The miraculous evacuation recalled another time when a British army had been swept to the sea at Corunna in Spain, 131 years before. Then, in January 1809, a British transport fleet had snatched some 14,000 of Sir John Moore's troops from the forces of Napoleon. Spain. This old print, sketched on scene, shows British transports in Corunna harbor, a relatively peaceful sight in days before aircraft and high explosives.

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The Truman Memoirs - September 26, 1955 Life Magazine

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 9:36:17 AM America/New_York

 Exerpt from the July 7, 1947 Life Magazine

A Unique Personal Record

I have often thought in reading the history of our country how much is lost to us because so few of our Presidents have told their Own Stories. It would have been helpful for us to know more of what was in their minds and what impelled them to do what they did. The presidency of the United States carries with it a responsibility so personal as to be without parallel. Very few are ever authorized to speak for the President. No One can make decisions for him. No One can know all the processes and Stages of his thinking in making important decisions. Even those closest to him, even members of his immediate family, never know all the reasons why he does certain things and why he comes to certain conclusions. To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decisions. Unfortunately, some of our Presidents were prevented from telling all the facts of their administrations because they died in office. Some were physically spent on leaving the White House and could not have undertaken to write even if they had wanted to. Some were embittered by the experience and did not care about living it again in telling about it. As for myself, I should like to record, before it is too late, as much of the story of my occupancy of the White House as I am able to tell. The events as I saw them and as I put them down here, I hope may prove helpful in informing some people and in setting others straight on the facts.

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This Pleasant Land - July 7, 1947 Life magazine

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 9:27:22 AM America/New_York

Exerpt from the July 7, 1947 Life Magazine

America The Beautiful

The Fourth of July, although it originated in the hot spirit of defiance and the powder smell of revolution, is a quiet holiday. In the small cities the crowds gather beneath bunting and flags to Watch their parades. In the picnic grounds the orators sweat and strain to produce three cheers for liberty. Yet everywhere, as in the Cheyenne street scene on the opposite page, the crowds are in shirtsleeves and cotton dresses, relaxed, having a good, long, easy day, taking their liberty for granted, a little embarrassed by all the fancy talk. In the cool of the evening many Americans will express their unself-conscious patriotism in the thought, "This has been a pleasant day and this is a pleasant land.” For in early July, on the nation's birthday, the land is at its best. The ice has long been out of the northern lakes, yet the summer's full fury has not yet descended on the countryside. America, as the color photographs on the following 12 pages show, is a land of vast, calm beauty and of people who are outdoors enjoying it.

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