As World War II raged throughout Europe, the “City of Light” transformed into a city of darkness. While the Germans declined to physically destroy the city upon its 1940 occupation, their presence greatly tested the Parisian psyche. Over two million Parisians fled as the Germans arrived, but those who remained in the capital faced interrogations, curfews, rations, shortages and arrests. The German occupation of France (1940-1944) remains a humiliating time in the history of Paris and, more broadly, France.
We recognize them from ‘Rosie the Riveter’ recruitment posters, but the female workforce of World War II provided us with much more than colorful kitsch. More than six million women joined the…
Eccentricity is a loosely-defined term. Sure, it describes odd behavior, but who’s to say what’s normal and what’s not? We all have our own quirks and it’s those quirks that make us interesting. Luckily for us, history is full of eccentric people who’ve always kept us guessing.
1. John “Mad Jack” Mytton
John Mytton inherited a huge sum of money and a giant estate at a young age, allowing him to indulge all of his eccentric tendencies. For starters, he was a massive drunk who enjoyed between six to eight bottles of port each day. He drank so much that upon his death, one of Mytton’s friends claimed that he had spent the last 12 years of his life inebriated.
In the war-ravaged lands of Afghanistan, it’s common for
kids boys to be seen in the roads playing soccer or stick ball. Young girls, however, are not are not encouraged to participate in sports, or in most cases even seek an education past that of Islamic studies and housekeeping.
Between that, poverty, and regional violence that makes Afghani streets an unsafe place for most, it seems that Afghanistan would be one of the last places in the world to find a skateboarding school – let alone one that boasts a 40 percent female enrollment. In an area that doesn’t even allow young girls to ride bicycles, this is a truly remarkable feat. So just how did this come to be?
Florenz Ziegfeld’s business cards read “Impresario Extraordinaire”. And from 1907 until the final Follies show in the late 1920s, no one questioned its veracity. Ziegfeld’s longest-lasting legacy is his Follies: young, beautiful and talented women who ruled Broadway at the turn of the century and shared (or stole, in some cases) the stage with some of the era’s entertainment greats. Some of the Ziegfeld Girls went on to become famous in their own right: names like Lillian Lorraine, Jessica Reed, Billie Burke and Anna Held are inextricably linked with the lights, feathers and sparkle of the Follies’ glory days.