Ramblings

A blog of trivial facts and nothing news

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

JFK and Vaughn Meader

November 22nd 1963 was a sad day for the United States of America. Most us remember that as the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. I can remember some of what happened but I was just a little kid back then. But I do remember listening to a record called the “First Family” which was a really funny  album poking fun of the Kennedy family in the hay days of Camelot. The album was made to  have fun with the Presidential family and all their little idiosyncrasies.  The record was produced  by comedian Vaughn Meader. He originally started off as a musician but in the early sixty’s when John F. Kennedy was president and very popular Meader begin impersonating  him. He was able to duplicate JFK’s Boston accent and his gestures making him a popular impersonator across the U.S. It was at this time he cut the “First Family” album which if you are from the sixty’s you would enjoy listing to on youtube. It is said that the Kennedy’s weren’t exactly pleased with the album but the work that Vaughn did was not as cutting as today’s comedy. However, Vaughn’s career came to a grinding halt on November 22nd 1963. When Kennedy died so died his impersonation. It was to hard for the American public  to poke fun of their dead president. So Vaughn Meader’s career took a downward turn and eventually he went back to his music and moved back to his home state of Maine. He passed away in 2004. It is fascinating to realize how the Kennedy assassination affected so many people in so many ways.

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I Missed the Sinking of the Fitz

I want to apologize to those of you who rely on my trivia. I missed an important date, November 10th 1975, that was the day of the wreck of the Edmund’s Fitzgerald. The Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin on November 9th headed for a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan. As the Fitz crossed Lake Superior she joined the Arthur M. Anderson and by the next day both ships found themselves in a sever winter storm of hurricane proportions with waves as high as 35ft. The Captain of the Fitz, Ernest McSorley reported some problems but said they were holding their own. At around 7:10 pm the Fitz’s lights went out and sight as the Anderson lost radar contact with her. She sank quickly with no distress signals at all. All 29 of her crew perished in a matter of minutes if not seconds. There are a varity of opinions to why she sank it could have been structural failure, she could have been swamped by waves or she might have ripped out her bottom on some shoals what we do know is she went down in what is probably one of the most famous shipping wrecks in our life time. So here’s to the Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew sorry boys I was a bit late but we still remember.

Watch the song on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A

First Naval Battle of Guadacanal

 

 

 

A  large naval battle occurred in the early morning hours of November 13th 1942. A force of 2 Japanese battleships, a light cruiser and 11 destroyers collided with an American naval force of two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers and eight destroyers. In what can only be described as a close in confused knife fight the Americans managed to turn the Japanese back but at a great loss of men and ships. That battle was fought a point blank range as the ships passed each other broadside to broadside. The Japanese did have the advantage of being better trained in night fighting but because of the melee it took its toll on both sides. In forty minutes the Americans lost 1 light cruiser, 4 destroyers with five other ships heavily damaged. The Japanese lost one battleship and 2 destroyers.  Both sides limped away form each other only to have another go at each other the following night.

If you want a couple of good books try;

Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13-15, 1942 by Hammel, Eric

Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway – The Great Naval Battles as Seen Through Japanese… by Hara, Tameichi, Saito, Fred and Pineau, Roger

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