07/02/2012 § 5 Comments
I promise a train and train station moratorium after this post.
Images of the old New York Penn Station (1910 – 1963), designed by the architectural powerhouse McKim, Mead & White. Every time I have to pass through the wretch that is the new Penn Station — dark, subterranean and horribly bland — I catch myself wishing earnestly that it had survived the 1960s. Wishing that what is now the busiest train station in North America was something beautiful to look at. Wishing that it rivaled the glory that is my beloved Grand Central. But alas, it is not…
Henry Crane had the right idea.
(Sidenote: Mad Men! March 24! Finally!)
For more pictures of Penn, be sure to check out my earlier post Farewell at Penn Station, poignant moments captured by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt of WWII soldiers shipping out.
Images via the Library of Congress and the NYPL
06/02/2012 § 4 Comments
Via The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 5 July 1934:
GIRL’S RECORD ATTEMPT.
Miss Billie Samuels started on her attack on the women’s record from Sydney to Melbourne, held by Miss Valsa Barbour, at 10 o’clock yesterday morning. She will ride to a schedule which will bring her to the Melbourne G.P.O. at 2 p.m. on Saturday, a total time of 3 days 7 hours. This is about three hours faster than the present record. Miss Samuels provides for stoppages of about four hours in Goulburn (132 miles), five hours in Holbrook (333 miles), and five hours in Seymour, Victoria (501 miles), in addition to regular meal stoppages of about 30 to 40 minutes every 40 or 50 miles.
Miss Samuels arrived at Moss Vale at 4.39 p.m., almost 2 hours ahead of schedule time. She encountered rain from Camden to Moss Vale, but is looking fit. Miss Samuels resumed her ride three-quarters of an hour later.
Images via the State Library of New South Wales.
Previous Persons of the Hour:
Photographer Gerda Taro
Race car enthusiast, sailor and playboy Briggs Swift Cunningham II
07/12/2011 § Leave a comment
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in which 2,402 Americans were killed, and 1,282 were wounded. Japanese planes inflicted heavy damages to the US Pacific Fleet stationed in Hawaii, particularly to her battleships: all eight were damaged, four were sunk, and two were never to be raised again — the Arizona and the Oklahoma. In an instant, the isolationism that had dominated US politics and popular sentiment vanished and America was galvanized to war.
The following day President Roosevelt requested (and immediately received) a Congressional declaration of war on Japan in what has become known as his Day of Infamy speech. That same day, the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center), dispatched their fieldworkers to collect “man on the street” reactions to both the attack and the declaration of war. By February 1942, fieldworkers had recorded over twelve hours of opinions from more than two hundred individuals across the country. Touching on topics such as race relations and national pride, the interviews are a revealing look at the American state of mind in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
Head here to listen to these interviews for yourself, courtesy of the US National Archives. You will find them cross-referenced by subject, name and location.
Personally, I found these interviews to be quite the rabbit hole and I am sure you will also find this to be the case. I have a close connection to the Pacific Theatre, as both my grandfathers served there and one of my grandmothers was born and raised in Guam. I have been to the USS Arizona, the battleship still quietly sleeping at the bottom of Pearl Harbor with over 1,000 souls entombed. It is amazing to have the opportunity to hear exactly what Americans thought and felt in those bewildering months, without the filter of nostalgic memories.
USS Arizona, sinking in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
She was born in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.