Archive for the ‘Men of History’ Category

A Note from Vincent Van Gogh

April 30th, 2017 Comments off

Headshot photo of the artist as a cleanshaven young man. He has thick, ill-kempt, wavy hair, a high forehead, and deep-set eyes with a wary, watchful expression.

Like everyone else,

I feel the need of relations and friendship,

of affection; and I am not made of stone or

iron, so I cannot miss these things without feeling,

as does any other intelligent man, a void and deep need.

I tell you this to let you know how much good your visit has done me . . .


Building the Empire State Building 1929-1931

April 28th, 2017 Comments off

Fearless men

or just doing what they had to do

to earn a living?

Marie Curie and The Big Bang Boys of 1927

April 27th, 2017 Comments off
Twenty-nine of history’s most iconic scientists in one photograph – now in color!

I can’t get over how fantastic this image is. It was originally captured in 1927 at the fifth Solvay Conference, one of the most star-studded meetings of scientific minds in history. Notable attendees included Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac and Louis de Broglie — to name a few.

Of the 29 scientists in attendance (the majority of whom contributed to the fields of physics and chemistry), over half of them were, or would would go on to become, Nobel laureates. (It bears mentioning that Marie Curie, the only woman in attendance at the conference, remains the only scientist in history to be awarded Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields.)

All this is to say that this photo is beyond epic. Now, thanks to the masterful work of redditormygrapefruit, this photo is more impressive, still. Through a process known as colorization, mygrapefruit has given us an an even better idea of what this scene might have looked like had we attended the conference in person back in 1927.

Twenty-nine of history’s most iconic scientists in one photograph - now in color!


Valentino and Jadaan

April 26th, 2017 Comments off

Rudolph Valentino and the Arabian stallion Jadaan are pictured in full desert regalia, ready for a dash over the sands for cameras recording “The Son of the Sheik.” This costume and the Jadaan trappings are still on display in the tackroom of the W.K.Kellogg ranch at Pomona.

Jadaan had natural beauty, poise, grace and a vibrant personality.  His head and shoulder poses were described by some of Hollywood’s top cameramen as the most impressive they had ever photographed.

Valentino first saw him in Palm Springs.  Jadaan was in his prime and in his element, the sandy desert. Valentino was immediately interested in the prancing stallion.  The price was $3,000 at the time. Valentino was about to make another desert film and he wanted to ride the ten year old horse in the movie. Although he wanted very much to own Jadaan, the studio decided to rent the animal instead.  The movie ran long and it cost more money than they thought to use him.

It wasn’t very long after the final sheik film that Valentino died.  His idolizing, mourning  fans turned their affection to this magnificent Arabian Stallion and made him the most famous horse in the world at that time.


#3 Thomas Jefferson

April 25th, 2017 Comments off

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Third President (1801-1809)

By his own instruction, Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone notes his authorship of the Declaration of Independence, his founding of the University of Virginia, and his responsibility for Virginia’s Statute of Religious Freedom. But it fails to mention his presidency.

That omission, however, does not mean that his administration lacked significance. On the contrary, Jefferson’s White House tenure marked one of this country’s greatest territorial acquisitions, the Louisiana Purchase.

Under his leadership, the country also stood its ground against interference from Africa’s Barbary Coast pirate states in the American-Mediterranean trade. Unfortunately, these successes were ultimately eclipsed by the popular wrath resulting from the disastrous implementation of a trade embargo designed to curb British and French infringements on this country’s shipping. Smarting from the sting of that wrath, Jefferson thus ended his presidency, regarding it as a best-forgotten “splendid misery.”

The earliest known portrait of Jefferson, this likeness is one of two versions derived from sittings with artist Mather Brown in London in 1786, during Jefferson’s tenure as American minister to France. This version went to John Adams and was part of a portrait exchange between him and Jefferson that betokened their warm friendship. 

Mather Brown (1761-1831)
Oil on canvas, 1786 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Bequest of Charles Francis Adams

Quote: John Muir

April 23rd, 2017 Comments off

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

Whilst in London, stop by for a chat with Franklin and Winnie!

April 22nd, 2017 Comments off


Bronze statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill sitting ‘talking’ together on a bench in Mayfair (where Old Bond Street meets New Bond Street).
This statue is called ‘Allies’ and was a gift from the Bond Street Association (the shops and businesses of Bond Street) to the City of Westminster to commemorate 50 years of peace. 

Lawrence Holofcener, a sculptor with dual nationality created this landmark and it was unveiled on 2 May 1995 by Princess Margaret.This is a fun photo opportunity as there’s enough room to squeeze yourself between these iconic gentlemen and join in their conversation!


Dr. King Quote . . . “Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

April 22nd, 2017 Comments off

I have seen hate, and all the

time I see it, I say to myself

hate is too great a burden to bear.

I don’t want to be like that. . . .

But it is only through love that

we have hope kept alive.  But

not only that, hope is based on

faith that life has ultimate


Martin Luther King, Jr.

James Dean – February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955

February 8th, 2017 Comments off


James Dean was born on February 8, 1931, at the Seven Gables apartment house located at the corner of 4th Street and McClure Street in  Marion, Indiana,  to Winton Dean and Mildred Wilson. Six years after his father had left farming to become a dental technician, James and his family moved to Santa Monica, California. The family spent several years there, and by all accounts young Dean was very close to his mother. According to Michael DeAngelis, she was “the only person capable of understanding him”. He was enrolled at Brentwood Public School in Los Angeles until his mother died of cancer when Dean was nine years old.

Unable to care for his son, Winton Dean sent James to live with Winton’s sister Ortense and her husband Marcus Winslow on a farm in Fairmount, Indiana , where he was raised in a Quaker background. 

In high school, Dean’s overall performance was mediocre. However, he was a popular school athlete, having successfully played on the baseball and basketball teams and studied drama and competed in forensics  through the Indiana High School Forensic Association. After graduating from Fairmount High School on May 16, 1949, Dean moved back to California with his beagle, Max, to live with his father and stepmother.

He enrolled in Santa Monica College and majored in prre-law.  Dean transferred to UCLA for one semester and changed his major to drama, which resulted in estrangement from his father. He pledged the Sigma Nu fraternity but was never initiated.

While at UCLA, he was picked from a pool of 350 actors to land the role of Malcolm in Macbeth. At that time, he also began acting with James Whitmore’s  acting workshop. In January 1951, he dropped out of UCLA to pursue a full-time career as an actor.

A Man of History

January 18th, 2017 1 comment

No one better fits the category, Men of History, better than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

He left a legacy that has made a difference in this world. He did not blunder into this work for equality, but he stepped into history knowing someone had to take a stand.

The risks were clear to him.  Like Moses seeing the promised land but not allowed to enter into it,  Dr. King  knew the possibility was very strong that he would never see the promises fulfilled.

Just 39 when his life was cut short, this year he would have been 87.

If he had lived no doubt he would have been a source of wisdom and guidance in this administration. Whether Martin Luther King, Jr. is in the Oval Office next to the president or not, I am sure he is thought of often as an example of courage in the face of adversity, of facing fear and refusing to accept the label of not good enough, not right for the job.

The price was the ultimate sacrifice but the legacy lives on.

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