Post by Byker
"When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population
enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory." Lots of folks remember the
summer of 1939 the same way, that is, until Sept. 1st.
Complete nonsense - my late grandmother was VERY VERY plain in her view
that from the time Hitler occupied Prague (Jan 1939) the view was nearly
universal that it wasn't IF war was coming but WHEN and the feeling was
that they did well to get to September without war.
They remember it as experienced within their own personal bubbles, as seen
through rose-colored glasses. I remember reading somewhere of how shocked
one British historian was when he went through a series of old letters
between his mother and grandmother, as mom and grandma reminisced about how
wonderful the summer of 1916 was (!). Never mind the carnage of Verdun and
the Somme. Unless you had a friend or relative dying in the trenches, the
war was something that might as well have happened on another planet.
At the same time in France, a serialized superhero entertained theater
Post by Byker
Reportedly the German military brass years before, upon seeing Buffalo
Bill's Wild West Show, paid particular attention as to how the troupe was
able to load all those men and animals on a train and move them to their
next venue in short order...
Hmmm. I heard the same story about the Germans and Ringling Brothers.
The way I heard it:
"In 1885, Buffalo Bill hired Annie [Oakley] and her husband for his Wild
West Show and toured with the show for sixteen years. They performed
throughout the United States and eventually, across Europe. Annie was the
star of the show, and Frank was working as her manager and assistant.
"In 1890, Annie was performing in Berlin where among the audience was
Friedrich Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia.
He was a great admirer of Oakley’s performances who previously had been to
several runs of the show.
"During the show, Annie asked a for a volunteer to accept risking his life
by holding a cigarette in his mouth from which she would attempt to shoot
the ashes. She did this regularly while performing, but until that day no
one was brave enough to accept the challenge except for her husband who
always stepped forward as her assistant.
"However, there was a volunteer that time, and it was the Kaiser himself. He
was the last person which Annie expected to volunteer for this dangerous
shooting act, but she had no choice and invited him onto the stage. She knew
that he was one of the most powerful men in Europe and that his life was in
her hands. She raised her Colt .45 while Kaiser placed a cigar in his mouth
and she pulled the trigger.
"She blew away the ashes right off the Kaiser’s cigarette. Had the bullet
hit him instead of the cigarette placed in his mouth, the event would have
changed the course of the history."