Jimi Hendrix, The Soldier

July 14, 2014

Jimi Hendrix Uniform

Enlisting in the army to avoid jail time (he had been caught joy riding twice), Jimi Hendrix can be seen in uniform in this 1961 photo. While discharged a year later for some pretty interesting reasons, it was during this time that Hendrix started his first band with Billy Cox. And yes–we are well aware that Hendrix could even make one-pieces look cool.

Fantastic Photos Of Vintage Cuba Show Life Before Castro

July 13, 2014

Before the island nation of Cuba became an object of political scorn by the United States, it was a glamorous destination for everyone from American movie stars to aristocrats to revolutionaries. While still isolated in many ways, Cuba is experiencing a resurgence in tourists and general travel interest. The island is a living, breathing testament to the mercurial nature of politics, and photos from Ramiro Fernandez’s fantastic Cuba Then remind us what Cuba once was — and what it could be again.

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Havana 1925

The sights of Havana in 1925.

Vintage Cuba Teenagers

Teenagers dance at Mariano Beach in 1956.

Vintage Cuba Lucho

Chilean singer Lucho Gatica talks with a friend at the Havana Hilton in 1958.

Crossdressers Carnival

A group of revelers cross dresses during a 1960 Carnival in Santiago de Cuba.

Vintage Cuba Lina Salome

Cuban singer and dance Lina Salomé zooms around Havana in 1956

Celia Cruz

Singer Celia Cruz dons a dress by Cuban designer Manolo Fernández at Havana's Tropicana Night Club in 1954.

Vintage Cuba Havana 1954

Bus riders show their tickets in Havana, 1954.

Soap Box Derby

A young Desi Arnaz can be seen in this Soap Box Derby photo (second from the left in a white shirt), taken in Santiago de Cuba in 1925.

Vintage Cuba Castro Schoolboy

Before he led the revolution, Fidel Castro (seen at the second row from the top on the far left) played basketball. Here he is with his team--from the Belén Jesuit Preparatory School--in 1943.

Vintage Cuba Cruz Behind

Celia Cruz posing again in 1962.

Vintage Cuba Jaguar

A man pushes his broken down Jaguar XK-120 during the Havana-Guinea-Cienfuegos race in 1955.

Castro Guns

Fidel Castro studies an MK51 gun director in 1961.

Vintage Cuba Havana 1957

A couple steps out for a coffee and a smoke in Havana, 1957.

Vintage Cuba Fu Manchu

"Fu-Manchu" breathes fire in front of Havana's Saratoga Hotel in 1949.

Vintage Cuba Agustin Lara Felix

Mexican songwriter Agustín Lara exchanges glances with actress Maria Felix in Havana, 1948.

Vintage Cuba Che Chess

In 1964, revolutionary Che Guevara takes a break from political thought and focuses instead on the chess board.

Vintage Cuba Emilia Guiu

Actress Emilia Guiú lights up a cigarette in Havana, 1952.

Vintage Cuba Havana Shooting

Actor Alec Guinness and director Carol Reed chat on the set of "Our Man in Havana" at the José Martí airport in 1959.

Vintage Cuba Churchill

Winston Churchill meets with Agriculture minister Germán Alvarez Fuentes to ogle over a box of cigars in 1947.

Vintage Cuba Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway trades words with Spencer Tracy on the set of "The Old Man and the Sea" in 1957.

Vintage Cuba Cesar Romero

Half-Cuban actor César Romero (whose grandfather was famed Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí) chats with Mexican actress Elena de la Cruz in Havana, 1946.

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Horace Greasley: How To Escape A POW Camp Over 200 Times

July 6, 2014
Horace Greasley Portrait

Pte. Horace “Jim” Greasley (Hey, you try to come up with a nickname for Horace) Source: Wikipedia

Horace Greasley, known as Jim to his friends, joined the British army in 1939. His regiment landed in Normandy, and while the rest of the army retreated to Dunkirk, he and his comrades were ordered to stay behind and fight off the advancing Germans. Soon the exhausted regiment was cornered after they dared to grab a nap in a barn south of Lille, France.

They surrendered and were forced to march for ten weeks to Holland. Many of his fellow soldiers died during the trek; Greasley survived by eating plants and insects by the roadside, and by the food that the occasional villager would sneak to the men as they passed by. They then took a three-day train ride without food or water to reach a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland.

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This July 4th, Thank US Suffrage Movement Leaders For Your Independence

July 4, 2014
Suffrage Movement Banner

National Woman’s Party officers gather for the 1920 Republican National Convention to fight for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment Source: The Huffington Post

Many influential women paved the way for the Nineteenth Amendment, which became law on August 18, 1920.

Abigail Adams

Back in 1776, Abigail Adams sent a letter to her husband, John Adams, who would later become America’s second president. At the time, he was attending the Continental Congress, where wealthy colonists, all men, were deciding whether or not to declare independence from Great Britain. In the letter, Abigail urges him to allow women a place in the new nation’s government. Yet all the talk of “Oppressions…abuses and usurpations” in the Declaration of Independence did nothing to change the position of women, who were left with few rights, or that of slaves, who had none. It was an inherently unequal society ironically built on the concept of equality.

Suffrage Movement Abigail Adams

A young Abigail Adams Source: About

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The Crazy Evolution Of The American Flag

July 3, 2014

These days, July 4th is all about barbecues, fireworks and a healthy dose of red, white and blue excesses. And as the most well-known symbol of U.S. patriotism, the American flag is often a prominent feature of Fourth of July parades and parties. Yet today’s flag has come a long way since the first design created more than two centuries ago. Here’s an intriguing look at the evolution of the American flag over time.

The American Flag In Its Infancy

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The Jazz And Style Of 1940s Harlem

July 2, 2014

Harlem 1940

1940s Harlem. The Harlem of Malcolm X, of Duke Ellington, of Zora Neale Hurston. Prohibition is over, and African Americans are fighting a war at a time when they are still regarded as second-class citizens. The energy was palpable, as the northwestern corner of Manhattan was a petri dish for creatives, thinkers and activists whose legacy would largely shape the course of African American history in the 20th century.