William "Bill The Butcher" Poole, the inspiration for the character portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York, 1875.
The anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigrant “Native American” political party was formed in 1843. (At the time, the phrase “Native American” referred to people born in the U.S. and NOT to the indigenous people of the country.) William Poole (the basis for the character “William Cutting” in the movie “Gangs of New York”) was a member of the New York branch of that organization (which was often called the “Know Nothing” Party). He was also the head of his own West Side gang.
The Native Americans used Poole as their chief “enforcer.” As a butcher in real life, Poole (wielding the knife of his trade) could accurately hit a target from 20 feet. He had served an “apprenticeship” with the Bowery Boys, was known to gouge out the eyes of his foes, stood more than six feet and weighed more than 200 pounds.
He, and members of his gang, had special jobs to do for the Nativists on election days: commandeer votes. It is said that they stood outside polling places with bludgeons in their hands. Sometimes they forced people to vote more than once. They sought to elect candidates who would guard against “foreigners” getting jobs they believed should go to native-born Americans.
This is Iraq. A father and daughter screaming in despair, while fleeing fighting in Mosul
World’s Fattest Man after losing +700 lbs
Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic and spiritual advisor to the Romanovs and a highly influential figure in the court of Tsar Nicholas II.
Reportedly, Rasputin’s first assassination attempt occurred in 1914, when the prostitute Khioniya Guseva stabbed him in the gut with a dagger in what was thought to be a mortal wound. Eyewitnesses claim that as Rasputin’s entrails fell from his stomach Guseva shouted, “I’ve killed the antichrist.” Though Rasputin survived the attack, his demeanor changed permanently.
In 1916, the country’s distaste for Rasputin hit an all-time high, and a group of conspirators including Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich and Prince Felix Yusupov set out to kill him. Using Yusupov’s wife to lure Rasputin to their home, the conspirators fed Rasputin wine and cakes laced with cyanide. Though it was reportedly enough poison to kill five men, Rasputin was unaffected.
Unperturbed, the conspirators continued their attack by beating him repeatedly, then shooting him in the back and causing him to fall to the floor. Yet Rasputin, much like antibiotic-resistant pathogen, still wasn’t dead. According to some, Rasputin jumped up violently, only to be shot several more times. The men then wrapped the body in a sheet or carpet and tossed him into the Neva River.
Rasputin’s body was pulled from the water three days later. Though autopsy reports differ, most attest that he was still alive when thrown into the water and that from the positioning of his body, he had tried to break free before either drowning or dying from hypothermia. The exact cause of death has been debated for decades.
Judy, a purebred English pointer who would often jump in to protect prisoners from beatings in a POW camp during WW2. A British Naval pilot bargained to have her officially considered a POW so the guards could not kill her. (article)
Eventually, they made it home to England together, where they were met with fanfare and fame. Judy was awarded the United Kingdom’s Dickin Medal, which honors the wartime service of animals. In February 1950, she contracted cancer and died at age 13. Williams buried her in a specially made RAF coat. Williams said that every day in the prison camp he thanked God for Judy because she gave him a reason to keep living. “All I had to do was look at her and into those weary, bloodshot eyes,” he said, “and I would ask myself: ‘What would happen to her if I died?”’
Anybody can walk into a Sikh temple after prayers and partake of the free communal meal called langar. The meal, a symbol of equality and community is given to anybody who wishes to partake, without any expectation of payment.
One of the most obvious signs of caste inequality in traditional Indian society is the taboo against eating with those outside one’s caste group, of a lower caste, or of a different religion. Rules for the sharing of food and water are many, especially among high caste Hindus. From the beginning, the Sikh Gurus explicitly rejected this inequality by asking that all Sikhs and all visitors to the Sikh gurdwaras partake of common food in the company of one another. In the langar hall, women and men, rich and poor, high and low sit together. The langar meal thus assails the inner core of inequality and symbolizes a Sikh’s personal rejection of prejudice.
What’s it like to die?
I was attempting to repair my Mother’s garage door when no one was home. I had just finished my first year as a Master’s student in Biology and had always been a fairly good handyman so I thought this should be no problem. The previous owners had jury-rigged everything, and the garage door spring was no different. As I removed a wooden plate across the spring that shouldn’t have been there, the high-tension spring broke ripping through my thumb and forearm. My thumb was hanging by the strip of skin between the thumb and pointer-finger and I could see at least one bone in my forearm. Bleeding profusely I crawled through a window (the garage door was stuck down), grabbed a rag to apply pressure and called 911. I crawled to the end of the driveway, hoping someone would see me and tried to stay on the phone with 911 as blood was gushing out of me. As time went on (this was a house out in the country) I felt ever more calm and relaxed. I remember thinking “this really isn’t that bad”. As I became more and more tired I finally told the 911 operator apologetically that I had to let her go because I was dying. I set down the phone I let the warm comfort come over me. It was literally the most comfortable feeling I have ever felt in my life. Imagine curling up in a warm blanket on a cold, rainy day with the woman you love, and then multiply that by 100. As I slipped out of consciousness I knew I was dying and at last lost consciousness. As the black came on, everything that was me slipped away. I became nothing and it was the most extraordinary moment of my life. I not only accepted the seemingly inevitable but truly embraced the loss of my identity. Dissolving into nothingness was the most comforting feeling I have ever had.
Losing looked like something that could actually happen in pre- war-ready America. The war in Europe had been on in earnest since the very end of 1939 (since 1933 in Asia), and the Axis had reached just about the fullest extent of their victories (though there would be more gains in the Pacific to come). By March of ‘42, we had Bataan, MacArthur leaving the Philippines and the fall of rape of Manila, the siege of Leningrad, Corregidor, Java Sea, the Brits leaving Singapore, Malaya, and so much more. The Axis powers in Europe were now in control of Austria, Czechoslovakia. Poland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Norway, Yugoslavia, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and parts of the Soviet Union (Ukraine, Bylorussia, Crimea), and parts of North Africa; plus the allies of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. There was also Italy, of course, controlling Sicily, Ethiopia and Libya., and of course the Japanese controlled large swaths of China, South East Asia, Indonesia and points in-between. The overall situation did not look very good.
The following maps appeared in a two-page spread, detailing ways in which the Axis powers could combine their efforts, focus on America, and take over the country. Maps such as these with arrows being drawn towards America were absolutely uncommon during this time.
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Statue of “The Resurrection” in Vatican