George Washington

George Washington, the first President of the United States was born 22nd February 1732 and to commemorate his Birthday a federal holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of February in his honor and concurrent with Presidents’ Day. Washington’s Birthday is commonly referred to as Presidents’ Day and was originally implemented by an Act of Congress in 1879. As the first federal holiday to honor American citizens, the holiday was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22.However since then the date of the celebration has moved about and the purpose is not to honour any particular President, but to honour the office of the Presidency. It was first thought that March 4, the original inauguration day, should be deemed Presidents Day. However it was felt that, because of its proximity to Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays, three holidays so close together would be unduly burdensome.

An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to “Presidents’ Day” to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the 11th and 21st February, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968, kept the name Washington’s Birthday. Although Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington’s Birthday observances as “Presidents’ Day”, “Washington and Lincoln Day”, or other such designations.In Massachusetts, the state officially celebrates “Washington’s Birthday” on the same day as the Federal holiday.

State law also directs the governor to issue an annual “Presidents Day” proclamation on May 29 (John F. Kennedy’s birthday) honoring the presidents with Massachusetts roots: Kennedy, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Calvin Coolidge. Alabama uniquely observes the day as “Washington and Jefferson Day”, even though Thomas Jefferson’s birthday is in April. In Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois, while Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is still a state holiday, falling on February 12 regardless of the day of the week. In Washington’s home state of Virginia, the holiday is legally known as “George Washington Day”.

Heinrich Hertz

Pioneering German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was born February 22, in 1857. He expanded on the electromagnetic theory of light which had been put forth by Maxwell & was the first to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves by engineering instruments to transmit and receive radio pulses using experimental procedures that eliminated other known wireless phenomena. He studied at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg, and showed an aptitude for sciences as well as languages, learning Arabic and Sanskrit. He also studied sciences and engineering in the German cities of Dresden, Munich and Berlin, where he studied under Gustav R. Kirchhoff and Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1880, Hertz obtained his PhD from the University of Berlin; and remained for post-doctoral study under Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1883, Hertz became a lecturer in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel, and In 1885, Hertz became a full professor at the University of Karlsruhe where he discovered electromagnetic waves. The most dramatic prediction of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, published in 1865, was the existence of electromagnetic waves moving at the speed of light, and the conclusion that light itself was just such a wave. This challenged experimentalists to generate and detect electromagnetic radiation using some form of electrical apparatus.

The first clearly successful attempt was made by Heinrich Hertz in 1886. For his radio wave transmitter he used a high voltage induction coil, a condenser (capacitor, Leyden jar) and a spark gap — whose poles on either side are formed by spheres of 2 cm radius — to cause a spark discharge between the spark gap’s poles oscillating at a frequency determined by the values of the capacitor and the induction coil. Hertz also had a deep interest in meteorology probably derived from his contacts with Wilhelm von Bezold (who was Hertz’s professor in a laboratory course at the Munich Polytechnic in the summer of 1878). Hertz, however, did not contribute much to the field himself except some early articles as an assistant to Helmholtz in Berlin, including research on the evaporation of liquids, a new kind of hygrometer, and a graphical means of determining the properties of moist air when subjected to adiabatic changes.

Between 1886 and 1889, Hertz published two articles on the field of contact mechanics and is well known for his contributions to the field of electrodynamics, his two papers were a source for some important ideas and established that contact mechanics is of immense importance. His work basically summarises how two axi-symmetric objects placed in contact will behave under loading, he obtained results based upon the classical theory of elasticity and continuum mechanics. In 1886, Hertz developed the Hertz antenna receiver, He also developed a transmitting type of dipole antenna for transmitting UHF radio waves. In 1887, Hertz experimented with radio waves in his laboratory. These actions followed Michelson’s 1881 experiment, which did not detect the existence of aether drift. Hertz altered the equations to take this view into account for electromagnetism. Hertz published his work in a book titled: Electric waves: being researches on the propagation of electric action with finite velocity through space.

Sadly after undergoing surgery to treat Wegener’s granulomatosis on January 1, 1894 at the age of 36 in Bonn, Germany and was buried in Ohlsdorf, Hamburg at the Jewish cemetery. His nephew Gustav Ludwig Hertz was also a Nobel Prize winner, and Gustav’s son Carl Hellmuth Hertz invented medical ultrasonography. The SI unit hertz (Hz) was established in his honor by the IEC in 1930 for frequency, an expression of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per second. It was adopted by the CGPM (Conférence générale des poids et mesures) in 1960, officially replacing the previous name, the “cycle per second” (cps). In 1969 (East Germany), a Heinrich Hertz memorial medal was cast. The IEEE Heinrich Hertz Medal, established in 1987, is “for outstanding achievements in Hertzian waves presented annually to an individual for achievements which are theoretical or experimental in nature”. A crater on the far side of the Moon, is also named in his honor as is the The Hertz market for radioelectronics products in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The Heinrich-Hertz-Turm radio telecommunication tower in Hamburg is named after the city’s famous son. Hertz is honored by Japan with a membership in the Order of the Sacred Treasure, which has multiple layers of honor for prominent people, including scientists. Heinrich Hertz has been honored by a number of countries around the world in their postage issues, and in post-World War II times has appeared on various German stamp issues as well.

Andy Warhol

Pop Artist Andy Warhol sadly passed away on 22nd February 1987, and being a big fan of Velvet Underground and the Artwork of American Artist Andy Warhol I thought I would pay tribute. Born August 6, 1928. He was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States of America dedicated to a single artist. Warhol’s artwork ranged in many forms of media that include hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1985, just before his death in 1987. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. Andy Warhol is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame”. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$100 million for a 1963 canvas titled Eight Elvises. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. he started his career as a commercial illustrator, producing drawings in “blotted-ink” style for advertisements and magazine articles. Best known of these early works are his drawings of shoes. Some of his personal drawings were self-published in small booklets, such as Yum, Yum, Yum (about food), Ho, Ho, Ho (about Christmas) and Shoes, Shoes, Shoes. His most artistically acclaimed book of drawings is probably A Gold Book, compiled of sensitive drawings of young men. A Gold Book is so named because of the gold leaf that decorates its pages. In April 2012 a sketch of 1930s singer Rudy Vallee thought to be drawn by Andy Warhol was found at a Las Vegas garage sale. By the beginning of the 1960s, Warhol had become a very successful commercial illustrator. His detailed and elegant drawings for I. Miller shoes were particularly popular. They consisted mainly of “blotted ink” drawings (or monoprints), a technique which he applied in much of his early art. Although many artists of this period worked in commercial art, most did so discreetly. Warhol was so successful, however, that his profile as an illustrator seemed to undermine his efforts to be taken seriously as an artist.

Pop art was an experimental form made popular by Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol, who would become famous as the “Pope of Pop”. His early paintings feature images taken from cartoons and advertisements, hand-painted with paint drips. Those drips emulated the style of successful abstract expressionists (such as Willem de Kooning). Warhol’s first pop art paintings were displayed in April 1961, serving as the backdrop for New York Department Store Bronwit Teller’s window display. his Pop Art contemporaries Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg had also featured. Eventually, Warhol Images featured just brand names, celebrities, dollar signs. He loved celebrities, so he painted them as well, frequently using silk-screening. In 1979, Warhol was commissioned by BMW to paint a Group 4 race version of the BMW M1 for the BMW Art Car Project. Warhol produced both comic and serious works; his subject could be a soup can or an electric chair. Warhol used the same techniques — silkscreens, reproduced serially, and often painted with bright colors — whether he painted celebrities, everyday objects, or images of suicide, car crashes, and disasters, as in the 1962–1963 Death and Disaster series. The Death and Disaster paintings included Red Car Crash, Purple Jumping Man, and Orange Disaster.

Warhol’s was also a sculptor and his most famous sculpture is probably his Brillo Boxes, silkscreened ink on wood replicas of Brillo soap pad boxes (designed by James Harvey), part of a series of “grocery carton” sculptures that also included Heinz ketchup and Campbell’s tomato juice cases.Other famous works include the Silver Clouds — helium filled, silver mylar, pillow-shaped balloons. A Silver Cloud was included in the traveling exhibition Air Art (1968–1969) curated by Willoughby Sharp. Clouds was also adapted by Warhol for avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance piece RainForest (1968).Warhol also made two cable television shows, Andy Warhol’s TV in 1982 and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes (based on his famous “fifteen minutes of fame” quotation) for MTV in 1986. Besides his own shows he regularly made guest appearances on other programs, including The Love Boat wherein a Midwestern wife (Marion Ross) fears Andy Warhol will reveal to her husband (Tom Bosley, who starred alongside Ross in sitcom Happy Days) her secret past as a Warhol superstar named Marina del Rey. Warhol also produced a TV commercial for Schrafft’s Restaurants in New York City, for an ice cream dessert appropriately titled the “Underground Sundae”.

During the 1960s, Warhol adopted the band the Velvet Underground, making them a crucial element of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia performance art show. Warhol, with Paul Morrissey, acted as the band’s manager, introducing them to Nico (who would perform with the band at Warhol’s request). In 1966 he “produced” their first album The Velvet Underground & Nico, as well as providing its album art. His actual participation in the album’s production amounted to simply paying for the studio time. After the band’s first album, Warhol and band leader Lou Reed started to disagree more about the direction the band should take, and their artistic friendship ended, after Warhol’s death, Reed and John Cale re-united for the first time since 1972 to write, perform, record and release the concept album Songs for Drella, a tribute to Warhol.Warhol also designed many album covers for various artists starting with the photographic cover of John Wallowitch’s debut album, This Is John Wallowitch!!! (1964). He designed the cover art for the Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers (1971) and Love You Live (1977), and the John Cale albums The Academy in Peril (1972) and Honi Soit in 1981. In 1975, Warhol was commissioned to do several portraits of Mick Jagger, and in 1982 he designed the album cover for the Diana Ross album Silk Electric.

One of his last works was a portrait of Aretha Franklin for the cover of her 1986 gold album Aretha, which was done in the style of the Reigning Queens series he had completed the year before.Warhol strongly influenced the New Wave/punk rock band Devo, as well as David Bowie. Bowie recorded a song called “Andy Warhol” for his 1971 album Hunky Dory. Lou Reed wrote the song “Andy’s Chest”, about Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Warhol, in 1968. He recorded it with the Velvet Underground, and this version was released on the VU album in 1985. Warhol worked in fashion and met Edie Sedgwick. Warhol’s work in fashion includes silkscreened dresses, a short sub-career as a catwalk-model and books on fashion as well as paintings with fashion (shoes) as a subject. Warhol and his friends staged theatrical multimedia happenings at parties and public venues, combining music, film, slide projections and even Gerard Malanga in an S&M outfit cracking a whip. The Exploding Plastic Inevitable in 1966 was the culmination of this area of his work.

Andy Warhol also worked in theatre and his production Pork played at LaMama theater in New York for a two-week run and was brought to the Roundhouse in London for a longer run in August 1971. Pork was based on tape-recorded conversations between Brigid Berlin and Andy during which Brigid would play for Andy tapes she had made of phone conversations between herself and her mother, socialite Honey Berlin. The play featured Jayne County as “Vulva” and Cherry Vanilla as “Amanda Pork”. In 1974, Andy Warhol also produced the stage musical Man On The Moon, which was written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Warhol was an excellent photographer, whose pictures were mostly taken with a specific model of Polaroid camera that Polaroid kept in production especially for Warhol. This photographic approach to painting and his snapshot method of taking pictures has had a great effect on artistic photography. he took an enormous amount of photographs of Factory visitors, friends. Sadly though Warhol passed away on February 22nd, 1987 In New York City after making a good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia

Niki Lauda

Formula One legend Niki Lauda was born on 22 February 1949 in Vienna, Austria, His paternal grandfather was the Viennese-born businessman Hans Lauda. Lauda became a racing driver despite his family’s disapproval. After starting out with a Mini, Lauda moved on into Formula Vee, but rapidly moved up to drive in private Porsche and Chevron sports cars. Then he got into the fledgling March team as a Formula Two (F2) driver in 1971. He was quickly promoted to the F1 team, but drove for March in F1 and F2 in 1972. Although the F2 cars were good March’s 1972 F1 season was catastrophic so Lauda, joined the BRM team in 1973. Lauda was instantly quick. However his big break came when his BRM teammate Clay Regazzoni left to rejoin Ferrari in 1974 and team owner Enzo Ferrari asked Regazzoni to suggest a replacement and he recommended Lauda.

During the 1970s, Ferrari s fortunes revived under Luca di Montezemolo and Lauda finished second-place at the 1970 Argentine Grand Prix and won the Spanish Grand Prix after achieving six consecutive pole positions however, a mixture of inexperience and mechanical unreliability meant Lauda won only one more race that year, the Dutch GP. He finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.The 1975 F1 season started slowly for Lauda, not finishing higher than fifth in the first four races but he then won four out of the next five races in the new Ferrari 312T. His first World Championship was confirmed with a third place finish at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza; Lauda’s teammate Regazzoni won the race and Ferrari clinched their first constructor’s championship. Lauda won the race of the year, the United States GP. He also became the first driver to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7 minutes. Never one to be awed by the trappings of success, Lauda famously gave away any trophies he won to his local garage in exchange for his car to be washed and serviced. despite tensions between Lauda and di Montezemolo’s successor, Daniele Audetto, Lauda dominated the start of the 1976 F1 season, winning four of the first six races and finishing second in the other two. By the time of his fifth win of the year at the British GP, he had more than double the points of his closest challengers Jody Scheckter and James Hunt, and a second consecutive World Championship appeared a formality. It would be a feat not achieved since Jack Brabham’s victories in 1959 and 1960. He also looked set to win the most races in a season, a record held by the late Jim Clark since 1963.

A week before the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Lauda urged his fellow drivers to boycott the race, largely due to the 23 kilometre circuit’s safety arrangements. Most of the other drivers voted against the boycott and the race went ahead. On 1 August 1976 during the second lap at the very fast left kink before Bergwerk, Lauda’s Ferrari swerved off the track, hit an embankment, burst into flames and rolled back into the path of Brett Lunger’s Surtees-Ford car. Unlike Lunger, Lauda was trapped in the wreckage. Drivers Arturo Merzario, Lunger, Guy Edwards and Harald Ertl arrived at the scene a few moments later, but before they were able to pull Lauda from his car, he suffered severe burns to his head and inhaled hot toxic gases that damaged his lungs and blood. As Lauda was wearing a modified helmet, the foam had compressed and it slid off his head after the accident, leaving his face exposed to the fire. Although Lauda was conscious and able to stand immediately after the accident, he later lapsed into a coma. Lauda suffered extensive scarring from the burns to his head, losing most of his right ear as well as the hair on the right side of his head, his eyebrows and his eyelids. He chose to limit reconstructive surgery to replacing the eyelids and getting them to work properly. Since the accident he has always worn a cap to cover the scars on his head.

Lauda was replaced by Carlos Reutemann and Ferrari boycotted the Austrian GP in protest against McLaren driver James Hunt at the Spanish and British GPs. Surprisingly, Lauda returned to race only six weeks (two races) later, at Monza and finished fourth in the Italian GP where he wore a specially adapted AGV crash helmet so as to not be in too much discomfort. In Lauda’s absence, Hunt had reduced Lauda’s lead in the World Championship standings and stood three points behind Lauda before the final race of the season, the Japanese GP. Lauda qualified third, one place behind Hunt, but retired after two laps. Hunt led much of the race before his tires blistered and an inevitable pit stop dropped him down the order. He recovered to 3rd, and won the title by a single point. Niki Lauda’s incredible rivalry with James Hunt is also the subject of the film Rush starring Chris Hemsworth. Lauda had a difficult 1977 season, despite winning the championship. Lauda disliked his new teammate, Reutemann, and felt he had been let down by Ferrari so he announced his decision to quit Ferrari at season’s end, Lauda left earlier due to the team’s decision to run the unknown Gilles Villeneuve in a third car at the Canadian Grand Prix. Five years after his first retirement, Lauda won his third title driving a McLaren MP4/2. having joined Brabham in 1978 for a $1 million salary, Lauda endured two unsuccessful seasons, notable mainly for his one race in the Brabham BT46B, a radical design known as the Fan Car: it won its first and only race at the Swedish GP, but Brabham did not use the car in F1 again; after other teams vigorously protested the fan car’s legality. Lauda next drove the Brabham BT46 Alfa Romeo which began the 1978 season at the third race in South Africa. The BT46 suffered from a variety of mostly minor troubles that forced Lauda to retire the car 9 out of 14 races. However, when it ran it ran well, with Lauda winning the sole outing of the fan car in Sweden, and also winning in Italy, as well as 2nd in Montreal and Great Britain, and a 3rd in the Netherlands. At the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix, Lauda informed Brabham that he wished to retire immediately, as he had no more desire to “drive around in circles”. Lauda, who had founded a charter airline, returned to Austria to run the company full-time.

In 1982 Lauda returned to racing, feeling that he still had a career in Formula One. After a successful test with McLaren, the only problem was in convincing then team sponsor Marlboro that he was still capable of winning. Lauda won the Long Beach Grand Prix. Before the race at the Kyalami race track in South Africa, Lauda organised a ‘drivers’ strike over the new contracts, and The drivers, with the exception of Teo Fabi, barricaded themselves in a banqueting suite at Sunnyside Park Hotel until they won. Lauda won a third world championship in 1984 by half a point over teammate Alain Prost, due only to half points being awarded for the shortened 1984 Monaco Grand Prix. he also won the Austrian Grand Prix. Initially, Lauda did not want Prost to become his teammate, as he presented a much faster rival. However, during the two seasons together, they had a good relationship. The whole season continued to be dominated by Lauda and Prost, who won 12 of 16 races. Lauda won five races, while Prost was able to win seven Grands Prix. However, Lauda, who was able to set records for most Pole Position in a season during the 1975 season, rarely matched his teammate in qualifying. Despite this, Lauda’s championship win came in Estoril, when he had to start in eleventh place on the grid, while Prost qualified on the front row. However, Lauda was able to come in second and claimed the title. 1985 was a poor season for Lauda, with eleven retirements from the fourteen races he started. He did not start the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps after crashing and breaking his wrist during practice, and he later missed the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. He did manage 4th at the San Marino Grand Prix, 5th at the German Grand Prix, and a single race win at the Dutch Grand Prix. This proved to be his last Grand Prix victory and also the last Formula One Grand Prix held in the Netherlands. He retired for good at the end of that season.

Sam Peckinpah

American film director and screenwriter David Samuel Peckinpah was born February 21, 1925 in Fresno, California, where he attended both grammar school and high school. He spent much time skipping classes with his brother to engage in cowboy activities on their grandfather Denver Church’s ranch, including trapping, branding, and shooting. During the 1930s and 1940s, Coarsegold and Bass Lake were still populated with descendants of the miners and ranchers of the 19th century. Many of these descendants worked on Church’s ranch. At that time, it was a rural area undergoing extreme change, and this exposure is believed to have affected Peckinpah’s Western films later in life.

He played on the junior varsity football team while at Fresno High School, but frequent fighting and discipline problems caused his parents to enroll him in the San Rafael Military Academy for his senior year. In 1943, he joined the United States Marine Corps and was sent to China with the task of disarming Japanese soldiers and repatriating them following World War II. Although He did not see combat, he witnessed acts of war between Chinese and Japanese soldiers including acts of torture and the murder of a laborer by sniper fire. The American Marines were not permitted to intervene. Peckinpah also claimed he was shot during an attack by Communist forces. He also applied for discharge in Peking, so he could marry a local woman, but was refused. His experiences in China reportedly deeply affected him.

After being discharged in Los Angeles, he attended California State University, Fresno, where he studied history. While a student, he met and married his first wife, Marie Selland, in 1947. A drama major, Selland introduced Peckinpah to the theater department and he became interested in directing for the first time. During his senior year, he adapted and directed a one-hour version of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. After graduation in 1948, Peckinpah enrolled in graduate studies in drama at University of Southern California. He spent two seasons as the director in residence at Huntington Park Civic Theatre near Los Angeles before obtaining his master’s degree. Peckinpah then began working as a stagehand at KLAC-TV in the belief that television experience would eventually lead to work in films.

In 1954, Peckinpah was hired as a dialogue coach for the film Riot in Cell Block 11. His job entailed acting as an assistant for the movie’s director, Don Siegel. The film was shot on location at Folsom Prison. Reportedly, the warden was reluctant to allow the filmmakers to work at the prison until he was introduced to Peckinpah. The warden knew his family from Fresno and was immediately cooperative. Siegel’s location work and his use of actual prisoners as extras in the film made a lasting impression on Peckinpah. He worked as a dialogue coach on four additional Siegel films: Private Hell 36, An Annapolis Story, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Crime in the Streets. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starred Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynton and became one of the most critically praised science fiction films of the 1950s and features a cameo by Peckinpah as Charlie the meter reader.

On the recommendation of Don Siegel, Peckinpah established himself during the late 1950s as a scriptwriter of western series of the era, selling scripts to Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Rifleman, Broken Arrow, Klondike, and Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre. He wrote one episode “The Town” (December 13, 1957) for the CBS series, Trackdown, starring Robert Culp as the Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman, this concerns a cowardly town afraid to resist the clutches of an outlaw gang. Peckinpah wrote a screenplay from the novel The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones, which became the 1961 Marlon Brando film One-Eyed Jack. His writing led to directing, and he directed a 1958 episode of Broken Arrow and several 1960 episodes of Klondike, (co-starring James Coburn, L. Q. Jones, Ralph Taeger, Joi Lansing, and Mari Blanchard). He also directed the CBS sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino.

In 1958, Peckinpah wrote a script for Gunsmoke that was rejected due to content. He reworked the screenplay, titled The Sharpshooter, and sold it to Zane Grey Theater. The episode received popular response and became the television series The Rifleman, starring Chuck Connors. Peckinpah directed four episodes of the series (with guest stars R. G. Armstrong and Warren Oates), but left after the first year. The Rifleman ran for five seasons and has since achieved enduring popularity. In 1962, Peckinpah directed two hour-long episodes for The Dick Powell Theater. In the second of these, The Losers, an updated remake of The Westerner set in the present day with Lee Marvin as Dave Blassingame and Keenan Wynn as Dehner’s character Bergundy Smith, he mixed slow motion, fast motion and stills together to capture violence, a technique famously put to more sophisticated use in 1969s The Wild Bunch.

He also created the television series The Westerner, starring Brian Keith and in three episodes also featuring John Dehner. Peckinpah wrote and directed a pilot called Trouble at Tres Cruzes Which ran for only 13 episodes before cancellation mainly due to its gritty content detailing the drifting, laconic cowboy Dave Blassingame (Brian Keith). However despite its short run The Westerner and Peckinpah were nominated by the Producers Guild of America for Best Filmed Series. An episode of the series eventually served as the basis for Tom Gries’ 1968 film Will Penny starring Charlton Heston and The Westerner has since achieved cult status,

Throughout much of his adult life, Peckinpah was affected by alcoholism, and, later, other forms of drug addiction. He may have had a mental issue, possibly manic depression or paranoia.It is believed his drinking problems began during his service in the military while stationed in China, when he frequented the saloons of Tianjin and Beijing.Peckinpah divorced Selland, the mother of his first four children, and in 1960, hemarried the Mexican actress Begoña Palacios in 1965. A stormy relationship developed, and over the years they married on three separate occasions. They had one daughter together. His personality swung between a sweet, softly-spoken, artistic disposition, and bouts of rage and violence As An experienced hunter, Peckinpah was fascinated with firearms and was known to shoot the mirrors in his house while drunk. Peckinpah’s reputation as a hard-living brute with a taste for violence, inspired the content in his most popular films and affected his artistic legacy. Peckinpah seems to have inspired extraordinary loyalty in certain friends and employees. He used the same actors (Warren Oates, L. Q. Jones, R. G. Armstrong, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, and Kris Kristofferson), and collaborators (Jerry Fielding, Lucien Ballard, Gordon Dawson, and Martin Baum).

Peckinpah spent a great deal of his life in Mexico after his marriage to Palacios, eventually buying property in the country. He was reportedly fascinated by the Mexican lifestyle and culture, and he often portrayed it with an unusual sentimentality and romanticism in his films. His best known films include The Wild Bunch, Major Dundee, Straw Dogs, The Getaway, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Cross of Iron, The Deadly Companions, Ride the High Country, The Cincinnati Kid, Noon Wine, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Junior Bonner, The Killer Elite, Cross of Iron, Convoy and The Osterman Weekend. Four of these films, Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), were filmed entirely on location within Mexico, while The Getaway (1972) concludes with a couple escaping to freedom there.

During his final years Peckinpah’s lifetime of hard living caught up with him and he was seriously ill. Regardless, he continued to work until his last months. He died of heart failure on December 28, 1984. At the time, he was working on the script for On the Rocks, which was due to be filmed in San Francisco. Peckinpah lived at the Murray Hotel in Livingston, Montana, from 1979 until his death in 1984.

Douglas Bader CBO DSO DFC DL FRAes

World War II Royal Air Force flying ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, DL, FRAeS was born 21 February 1910 in St John’s Wood, London. His first two years were spent with McCann relatives in the Isle of Man while his father, accompanied by Bader’s mother and older brother Frederick worked in India. In 1912 Bader joined his parents in India for a year; however, when his father resigned from his job in 1913 the family moved back to London. and settled in Kew.Bader’s father saw action in the First World War in the Royal Engineers, and was wounded in action in 1917. He remained in France after the war, where, having attained the rank of major, he died in 1922 of complications from those wounds in a hospital in Saint-Omer, the same area where Bader would bail out and be captured in 1941. Bader’s mother remarried shortly thereafter to the Reverend Ernest William Hobbs. Bader was subsequently brought up in the rectory of the village of Sprotborough, near Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire. He was first sent as a boarder to Temple Grove School, which gave its boys a Spartan upbringing.

Bader found a new lease of life at St Edward’s School, where he received his secondary education. During his time there, he thrived at sports. Bader played rugby and often enjoyed physical battles with bigger and older opponents. The then Warden (or Headmaster), Henry E. Kendall, tolerated Bader’s aggressive and competitive nature. At one point, he made him a prefect despite what others saw as a strong streak of conceit in the boy. Fellow RAF night fighter and bomber pilots Guy Gibson and Adrian Warburton also attended the school. In later life, Bader was deemed to be so good that he was invited to play a trial (or friendly game) with the Harlequins.

Bader’s sporting interests continued into his military service. He was selected for the Royal Air Force cricket team, to play a first-class match against the Army at the Oval in July 1931. He scored 65 in one innings. In August, he played in a two-day game against the Royal Navy. He played cricket in a German prisoner of war camp after his capture in 1941, despite his later disability. In 1923, Bader, at the age of 13, was introduced to an Avro 504 during a school holiday trip to visit his aunt, Hazel, who was marrying RAF Flight Lieutenant Cyril Burge, adjutant at RAF Cranwell. Although he enjoyed the visit and took an interest in aviation, he showed no signs of becoming a keen pilot. Still very sports minded, an interest which dominated Bader’s formative years, he took less of an interest in his studies. Bader received guidance from Warden Kendall and, with Kendall’s encouragement, he excelled at his studies and was later accepted as a cadet at RAF Cranwell.

Soon afterwards, he was offered a place at Oxford University, but turned it down as he preferred Cambridge University. However His mother refused to allow Bader to attend Cambridge in December 1927, claiming she could not afford the fees. A master at St. Edwards, a Mr Dingwall, helped pay these fees in part. Due to his new connection with Cyril Burge, Bader learned of the six annual prize cadetships offered by RAF Cranwell each year. Out of hundreds of applicants, he finished fifth. He left St Edward’s in early 1928, aged 18

In 1928, Bader joined the RAF as an officer cadet at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in rural Lincolnshire. He continued to excel at sports, and added hockey and boxing to his repertoire. Motorcycling was tolerated at Cranwell, though cadets usually took part in banned activities such as speeding, pillion racing and buying and racing motorcars. Bader was involved in these activities and was close to expulsion after being caught out too often, in addition to coming in 19th out of 21 in his class examinations; however, his commanding officer (CO), Air Vice-Marshal Frederick Halahan gave him a private warning about his conduct.

On 13 September 1928, Bader took his first flight with his instructor Flying Officer W. J. “Pissy” Pearson in an Avro 504. After just 11 hours and 15 minutes of flight time, he flew his first solo, on 19 February 1929.Bader competed for the “Sword of Honour” award at the end of his two-year course, but lost to Patrick Coote, his nearest rival. Coote went on to become the Wing Commander of Western Wing, British Air Forces Greece and was killed on 13 April 1941 while flying as an observer in a No. 211 Squadron Bristol Blenheim, L4819 flown by Flying Officer R. V. Herbert. However six of the squadron’s aircraft were shot down over Greece. Coote’s aircraft was the first of 29 aerial victories for the Luftwaffe ace Unteroffizier, (later Leutnant) Fritz Gromotko.

On 26 July 1930, Bader was commissioned as a pilot officer into No. 23 Squadron RAF based at Kenley, Surrey. Flying Gloster Gamecocks and soon after, Bristol Bulldogs, Bader became a daredevil while training there, often flying illegal and dangerous stunts. While very fast for its time, the Bulldog had directional stability problems at low speeds, which made such stunts exceptionally dangerous. Strict orders were issued forbidding unauthorised aerobatics below 2,000 feet (610 m), which Douglas Bader repeatedly ignored in order to perform aerobatics. No. 23 Squadron had won the Hendon Air Show “pairs” event in 1929 and 1930. In 1931 Bader, teamed with Harry Day, successfully defended the squadron’s title. In 1931, Bader undertook training for the 1932 Hendon Air Show, hoping to win a second consecutive title. Two pilots had been killed attempting aerobatics. The pilots were warned not to practise these manoeuvres under 2,000 feet (610 m) and to keep above 500 feet (150 m) at all times.

Unfortunately on 14 December 1931, while visiting Reading Aero Club, he pushed his luck a bit too far while doing some low-flying aerobatics at Woodley Airfield in a Bulldog Mk. IIA, K1676, of 23 Squadron, and His aircraft crashed when the tip of the left wing touched the ground. Bader was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where, in the hands of the prominent surgeon J. Leonard Joyce (1882–1939), both his legs were amputated. In 1932, Bader was transferred to the hospital at RAF Uxbridge and fought hard to regain his former abilities after he was given a new pair of artificial legs. In time, his agonising and determined efforts paid off, and he was able to drive a specially modified car, play golf, and even dance. During his convalescence there, he met and fell in love with Thelma Edwards, a waitress at a tea room called the Pantiles on the A30 London Road in Bagshot, Surrey. In 1932, Air Under-Secretary Philip Sassoon arranged for Bader to take up an Avro 504, which he piloted competently. A subsequent medical examination proved him fit for active service. However in 1933 The RAF reversed the decision and Bader was invalided out of the RAF, took an office job with the Asiatic Petroleum Company (now Shell) and, on 5 October 1933, married Thelma Edwards.

With increasing tensions in Europe between 1937–1939, Bader repeatedly requested that the Air Ministry give him a posting and he was finally invited to a selection board meeting at Adastral House in Kingsway. His flying abilities were vouched for by Air Vice Marshal Halahan, commandant of RAF Cranwell who asked the Central Flying School, Upavon, to assess his capabilities. So Bader reported for flight tests at the Central Flying School on 18 October 1939. Despite reluctance on the part of the establishment to allow him to apply for an A.1.B. (full flying category status), his persistent efforts paid off and Bader regained a medical categorisation for operational flying and was posted to the Central Flying School for a refresher course. Eight years after his accident, Bader flew solo again in an Avro Tutor; once airborne, he could not resist the temptation to turn the biplane upside down at 600 feet (180 m) inside the circuit area. Bader subsequently progressed through the Fairey Battle and Miles Master (the last training stage before flying Spitfires and Hurricanes).

In January 1940, Bader was posted to No. 19 Squadron based at RAF Duxford near Cambridge, where, at 29, he was older than most of his fellow pilots. His commanding officer, was Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson. It was thought that Bader’s success as a fighter pilot was partly because of his having no legs; pilots pulling high “g-forces” in combat turns often “blacked out” as the flow of blood from the brain drained to other parts of the body, usually the legs. As Bader had no legs he could remain conscious longer, and thus had an advantage over more able-bodied opponents. During 1940 Bader practised formation flying, air tactics, and undertook flights over sea convoys. Bader found opposition to his ideas about aerial combat. He favoured using the sun and altitude to ambush the enemy, but the RAF did not share his opinions. Official orders/doctrine dictated that pilots should fly line-astern and attack singly. Despite this being at odds with his preferred tactics, Bader obeyed orders, and his skill saw him rapidly promoted to section leader. Unfortunately Bader crashed a Spitfire on take-off after forgetting to switch the propeller pitch from coarse to fine, and the aircraft careered down the runway at 80 mph, ultimately crashing. Despite a head wound, Bader got into another Spitfire for a second attempt. Leigh-Mallory made Bader a flight commander of No. 222 Squadron RAF advancing from flying officer to flight lieutenant.

Bader had his first taste of combat with No. 222 Squadron RAF, which was based at RAF Duxford commanded by Squadron Leader “Tubby” Mermagen. On 10 May the Wehrmacht invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The Western Allies had to retreat from Dunkirk during the battle for the port. RAF Squadrons were ordered to provide air supremacy for the Royal Navy during Operation Dynamo. While patrolling the coast near Dunkirk on 1 June 1940 at around 3,000 ft (910 m), Bader engaged a Messerschmitt Bf 109 in front of him, flying in the same direction and at approximately the same speed in aeriel combat. In the next patrol Bader was credited with downing a Heinkel He 111 and a Dornier Do 17, which was attacking Allied shipping.

In 1940 Bader joined 222 Squadron, and was then posted to command No. 242 Squadron RAF which was a Hawker Hurricane unit based at RAF Coltishall, mainly made up of Canadians who had suffered high losses in the Battle of France and had low morale. Despite initial resistance to their new commanding officer, the pilots were soon won over by Bader’s strong personality and perseverance, especially in cutting through red tape to make the squadron operational again. Bader transformed 242 Squadron back into an effective fighting unit. Upon the formation of No. 12 Group RAF, 242 Squadron was assigned to the Group while based at RAF Duxford. No. 242 Squadron only became fully operational in July 1940.

During July 1940 The Luftwaffe tried to achieve air supremacy in order to launch Operation Sea Lion, the codename for an invasion of Britain. Whilst on patrol Bader engaged a Dornier Do 17 on the Norfolk Coast, unfortunately The Dornier, which crashed into the sea off Cromer, was later confirmed by a member of the Royal Observer Corps. On 21 August, a similar engagement took place. This time, a Dornier went into the sea off Great Yarmouth and again the Observer Corps confirmed the claim. There were no survivors. Bader also shot down two Messerschmitt Bf 110s. In 1940, No. 242 Squadron was moved to Duxford again and found itself in the thick of the fighting and Bader brought down two more Messerschmitt BF 110s However Bader’s Hurricane was badly hit by a Bf 109. Later Bader shot down two Bf 109s, a Junkers Ju 88 and a Dornier.Do 17 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his combat leadership. On 15 September, known as the Battle of Britain Day, Bader flew seven combat missions and damaged two Dornier Do 17’s and a Junkers Ju 88. On 27 September He shot down Another Do 17, a Ju 88 and a Messerschmitt Bf 109. On 24 September, Bader was promoted to the war substantive rank of flight lieutenant.

Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Bader joined him as an active exponent of the controversial “Big Wing” theory which provoked much debate in the RAF during the battle. Bader favoured an aggressive policy of assembling large formations of defensive fighters north of London ready to inflict maximum damage on the massed German bomber formations as they flew over South East England instead of the careful “husbanding” tactics being used by Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, the commander of 11 Group. Park was supported by Fighter Command Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, the overall commander. As the Battle progressed, Bader often found himself at the head of a composite wing of fighters consisting of up to five squadrons, known as the “Duxford Wing”.

Sir Keith Park, was replaced with Leigh-Mallory in November 1940. After the war, Bader insisted that both he and Leigh-Mallory wanted the Big Wing tactic enacted in 12 Group only as 11 Group, command was located too close to the enemy and they would not have enough time to assemble. Douglas was all for the Big Wings to counter the German formation. While Park always tried to get his squadrons into “Balbos”, Bader countered that seventy packed fighters would have taken too long to climb and could have been easy targets for Messerschmitt BF 109s, but conceded that two or three Balbos from 10 and 12 Groups, gaining height beyond the range of the 109s, may have played a terrific part in the fighting. During the Battle of Britain, Bader used three Hawker Hurricanes. The first was P3061, in which he scored six air victories. The second aircraft was unknown, but Bader did score one victory and two damaged in it on 9 September. The third was V7467. On 12 December 1940, Bader was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his services during the Battle of Britain. His unit, No. 242 Squadron, had claimed 62 aerial victories by which he was an acting squadron leader. In 1941, Bader was promoted to acting wing commander and became one of the first “wing leaders” Stationed at Tangmere with 145, 610 and 616 Squadrons under his command, Bader led his wing of Spitfires on sweeps and “Circus” operations (medium bomber escort) over north-western Europe which were designed to lure out and tie down German Luftwaffe fighter units that might otherwise serve on the Russian front.

One of the wing leader’s “perks” was permission to have his initials marked on his aircraft as personal identification, thus “D-B” was painted on the side of Bader’s Spitfire, giving rise to his radio call-sign “Dogsbody”. During 1941 his wing was re-equipped with Spitfire VBs, which had two Hispano 20 mm cannon and four .303 machine guns. Bader flew a Mk VA equipped with eight .303 machine guns. Bader’s combat missions were mainly fought against Bf 109s over France and the Channel. In May 1941 he shot down a number of Bf 109 ‘s from Jagdgeschwader 26 (Fighter Wing 26), led by German ace Adolf Galland, Who claimed his 68th victory. Bader and Galland met again 94 days later when Bader shot down a Bf 109E off the coast near Desvres. His victory was witnessed by two other pilots who saw a Bf 109 crash and the German pilot bail out. During July Bader also shot down more Bf 109Fs and a number of Bf190 E’s and was awarded the bar to his DSO. Bader wished to continue flying Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Bader’s immediate superior as OC No. 11 Group, Fighter Command, relented allowed Bader to continue frequent missions over France even though his score had reached 20

Between 24 March and 9 August 1941, Bader flew 62 fighter sweeps over France.[On 9 August 1941, Bader was flying a Spitfire Mk VA serial W3185 “D-B” on an offensive patrol over the French coast, looking for Messerschmitt Bf 109s from Abbeville or Wissant without his trusted wingman Alan Smith. Just after Bader’s section of four aircraft crossed the coast, 12 Bf 109s were spotted flying in formation approximately 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 metres). Bader dived on them too fast and too steeply to be able to aim and fire his guns, and barely avoided colliding with one of them. He levelled out at 24,000 feet (7,300 metres) to find that he was now alone, separated from his section, when he spotted three pairs of Bf 109s a couple of miles in front of him. He destroyed one of them with a short burst of fire from close range and opened fire on a second Bf 109, when he noticed the two more on his left turning towards him. Bader made a break for it but unfortunately collided with one of the Messerschmitt Bf 109’s so He bailed out, however his prosthetic leg got trapped part way out of the cockpit and still attached to his aircraft, Bader fell for some time before he released his parachute, at which point the leg’s retaining strap snapped under the strain and he was pulled free. A Bf 109 flew by some 50 yards away as he neared the ground at around 4,000 feet (1,200 metres).

It is likely that Bader’s Spitfire W3185 came down at Mont Dupil Farm near the French village of Blaringhem, possibly near Desprez sawmill. A French witness, Jacques Taffin, saw the Spitfire disintegrating as it came down. He thought it had been hit by anti-aircraft fire, but none was active in the area. There were also no Spitfire remains in the area. The lack of any remains was not surprising, owing to the Spitfire breaking up on its descent. Historians have also been misled as to the whereabouts of the Spitfire because of a mistake in the book Reach for the Sky, in which Bader stated his leg had been dug out from the wreckage but was damaged, indicating a definite crash site. Bader’s leg had actually been found in an open field.
The quest to find Bader’s Spitfire, W3185, shed light on the demise of another famous wartime ace, Wilhelm Balthasar, Geschwaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 2, who was killed in action on 3 July 1941 when his Bf 109F crashed into Ferme Goset, Wittes, France.

The Germans treated Bader with great respect. When he bailed out, Bader’s right prosthetic leg became trapped in the aircraft, and he escaped only when the leg’s retaining straps snapped after he pulled the ripcord on his parachute General Adolf Galland notified the British of his damaged leg and offered them safe passage to drop off a replacement. Hermann Göring himself gave the green light for the operation. The British responded on 19 August 1941 with the “Leg Operation” — an RAF bomber was allowed to drop a new prosthetic leg by parachute to St Omer, a Luftwaffe base in occupied France, as part of Circus 81 involving six Bristol Blenheims and a sizeable fighter escort. However The Germans were less impressed when, task done, the bombers proceeded on to their bombing mission to Gosnay Power Station near Bethune, although bad weather prevented the target being attacked. Bader also arranged for Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a fellow amputee, to be fitted with an artificial leg.

Bader escaped from the hospital where he was recovering by tying together sheets. Initially the “rope” did not reach the ground; with the help of another patient, he slid the sheet from under the comatose New Zealand pilot, Bill Russell of No. 485 Squadron, who had had his arm amputated the day before. Russell’s bed was then moved to the window to act as an anchor. A French maid at the St. Omer hospital attempted to get in touch with British agents to enable Douglas to escape to Britain and obtained a letter from a peasant couple (a Mr. and Mrs. Hiecques), who promised to shelter him outside St. Omer until he could be passed further down the line. Until then, their son would wait outside the hospital every night until there was a chance of escape. Eventually, he escaped out of a window. The plan worked initially. Bader completed the long walk to the safe house despite wearing a British uniform. Unfortunately another woman at the hospital betrayed his whereabouts He hid in the garden when a German staff car arrived at the house, but was found later. Bader denied that the couple had known he was there. They, along with the French woman at the hospital, were sent for forced labour in Germany. The couple survived. After the war, French authorities sentenced the woman informer to 20 years in prison. Over the next few years, Bader made himself a thorn in the side of the Germans. He often practised what the RAF personnel called “goon-baiting” and considered it his duty to cause as much trouble to the enemy as possible and made so many escape attempts that the Germans threatened to take away his legs. In August 1942, Bader escaped with Johnny Palmer and three others from the camp at Stalag Luft III B in Sagan. However, a Luftwaffe officer of Jagdgeschwader 26 was in the area. Keen to meet the Tangmere wing leader, he dropped by to see Bader, but when he knocked on his door, there was no answer. Soon the alarm was raised, and a few days later, Bader was recaptured. He was finally dispatched to the “escape-proof” Colditz Castle Oflag IV-C on 18 August 1942, where he remained until 15 April 1945 when it was liberated by the First United States Army.

After returning to Britain, Bader was given the honour of leading a victory flypast of 300 aircraft over London in June 1945. On 1 July, he was promoted to temporary wing commander. Bader began looking for a post in the RAF. Air Marshal Richard Atcherley, a former Schneider Trophy pilot, was commanding the Central Fighter Establishment at Tangmere. He and Bader had been junior officers at Kenley in 1930, while serving in No. 23 Squadron RAF. Bader was given the post of the Fighter Leader’s School commanding officer. He received a promotion to war substantive wing commander on 1 December and was promoted to temporary group captain.

After the War fighter aircraft’s roles grew significantly and Bader now spent most of his time instructing on ground attack and co-operation with ground forces. Bader did not get on with the newer generation of squadron leaders who considered him to be “out of date”. Air Marshal James Robb offered Bader a role commanding the North Weald sector of No. 11 Group RAF, an organisation steeped in Fighter Command and Battle of Britain history. Bader would have stayed in the RAF has his mentor Leigh-Mallory not been killed in an air crash in November 1944, after which
Bader’s enthusiasm for continued service in the RAF waned

Bader left the RAF permanently in February 1946 with the rank of Group Captain. Bader considered politics, and standing as a Member of Parliament for his home constituency in the House of Commons. He despised how the three main political parties used war veterans for their own political ends. Instead, he resolved to join Royal Dutch Shell became Managing Director of Shell Aircraft until he retired in 1969. During the 1950s, a book and a film, Reach for the Sky, chronicled his life and RAF career to the end of the Second World War he also served as a technical advisor to the film, Battle of Britain. Bader also campaigned for the disabled and in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 1976 was appointed a Knight Bachelor “for services to disabled people” and continued to fly until ill health forced him to stop in 1979. He also read a eulogy at the funeral of Air Chief Marshal Keith Park. Bader died on 5 September 1982, at the age of 72, following a heart attack.