History in Pics

James Hendrix

Private James Hendrix of the 101st Airborne, playing guitar at Fort Campbell Kentucky in 1962.

James Hendrix spent all his time napping and playing guitar, much to his unit’s distaste. His apparent obsession with the instrument contributed to his neglect of his duties, which led to verbal taunting and physical abuse from his peers, who at least once hid the guitar from him until he had begged for its return.

Hendrix’s personal conduct had begun to draw criticism from his superiors. They labeled him an unqualified marksman and often caught him napping while on duty and failing to report for bed checks. Hendrix’s platoon sergeant, James C. Spears, filed a report in which he stated: “He has no interest whatsoever in the Army … It is my opinion that Private Hendrix will never come up to the standards required of a soldier. I feel that the military service will benefit if he is discharged as soon as possible.” On June 29, 1962, Captain Gilbert Batchman granted Hendrix an honorable discharge on the basis of unsuitability. Hendrix later spoke of his dislike of the army and falsely stated that he had received a medical discharge after breaking his ankle during his 26th parachute jump.”

Gay and Lesbian March

Gay and lesbian march on Washington D.C., October 11, 1987.

The Second National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights was a massive LGBT demonstration, the largest up to that point, galvanized by the 1986 Supreme Court decision upholding criminal sodomy laws against gay sex and the Reagan administration’s indifference towards the exploding AIDS crisis.

About 750,000 people participated in the march on a platform of repealing of all sodomy laws, legal recognition of same sex relationships, an end to discrimination against people with AIDS, funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care, support for reproductive rights, and an end to racism in the US and apartheid South Africa.

Reflecting the growing influence of the gay and lesbian movement, the march was joined by celebrities, civil rights, and labor leaders from across the country. It was the first public unveiling of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and its anniversary has been marked every year since as National Coming Out Day.


Moscow celebrates victory over Nazi Germany, May 9, 1945.

The defeat of Nazi Germany cost Russia 26 million lives, nearly one-sixth of the country’s pre-war population. Not every soldier died in some valiant sacrifice. A huge number died thanks to incompetent leadership. Plus, about 3 million Soviet soldiers died were POWs who were deliberately starved to death in Nazi camps.

Grain shortages would have killed a horrific amount of people regardless, however, Stalin’s policy made it worse. Most Modern Historians (not cold war) put his direct death toll at 5-7 million from gulags and executions, then another 12-15 million from famine. He can easily be attributed to 50-60% of those deaths especially in Ukraine.

Eight- Nation Alliance Troops

Troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900. Left to right: Britain, United States, Australia, India, Germany, France, Russia, Italy and Japan.

Atomic Mushroom Cloud

Swimmers at a Las Vegas hotel watch a mushroom cloud from an atomic test 75 miles away.

The test took place about 65 miles northwest of the city of Las Vegas and the people are watching from the Last Frontier Hotel. The Last Frontier built the pool sometime in 1955 and changed its name to the New Frontier on April 4, 1955. The shadows indicate that it is mid morning so it was the Wasp Prime test which took place at 10 am on March 29 1955 as part of Operation Teapot.

In addition, the temperature in Vegas on Feb 18, 1953 at 10 am was 50 degrees F, a bit chilly for hanging out at the pool. However, on Mar 29, 1955, it was a balmy 74 degrees F. In true Las Vegas style, the city capitalized on the atomic spectacle. The Chamber of Commerce printed up calendars advertising detonation times and the best spots for watching. Casinos like Binion’s Horseshoe and the Desert Inn flaunted their north-facing vistas, offering special “atomic cocktails” and “Dawn Bomb Parties,” where crowds danced and quaffed until a flash lit the sky. Women decked out as mushroom clouds vied for the “Miss Atomic Energy” crown at the Sands. “The best thing to happen to Vegas was the Atomic Bomb,” one gambling magnate declared.


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