A Brief History On March 31, 1992, the U.S. Navy decommissioned the USS Missouri, the last of the Iowa-class battleships.  The Mighty Mo, also known as BB-63, gained immortality by being the host for the signing of the Japanese surrender in World War II on September 2, 1945.  The fact that President Truman was from Missouri probably had some influence on the choice of the ship for the signing!   The Missouri now resides at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii as a museum/memorial ship.  Digging Deeper First fielded during World War II, the Iowa class was an improvement over the South Dakota and…

A Brief History Over the years, especially in the 1960s, many hit songs have made overt or covert references to drug use.  Here we list 10 of the best songs that do just that.  (Note: We are not including songs just about drinking or alcohol; these will get their own list.)  Please also make note that we are not promoting the illegal use of drugs or the abuse of prescription drugs.  Regardless of how you feel, what songs would you have included in this list? Digging Deeper 10. “Wildwood Weed,” Jim Stafford, 1974. Kind of a fun little story song, it…

A Brief History On March 29, 1911, the Colt M1911, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, was adopted as the first semi-automatic service pistol for regular use by the U.S. military. Digging Deeper  Last year we first told you the tale of this great pistol, but today we will compare the relative merits of the semi-automatic pistol vs. the merits of the revolver that preceded it. (Semi-automatics are usually called “pistols” to differentiate them from revolvers.) Originally, revolvers were built with a “single-action” mechanism, which means that prior to firing the handgun, it had to be cocked by pulling back the hammer.  Those were later made obsolete…

A Brief History On March 28, 845 A.D., a Viking raiding party led by Ragnar Lodbrok (a.k.a. Lothbrok) sacked Paris, the future capital of France, proving that it was not just coastal towns that were susceptible to such raids.  As was typical, they were given an enormous ransom to leave. Digging Deeper Ragnar Lodbrok is also the star character of the current History Channel series Vikings, in which he is depicted as a semi-mythical Viking hero kind of a George Washington, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, King Arthur, Hercules, Theseus, Perseus, all rolled into one.  A first-class production, the television series has superb acting and…

This Just In! The recent days have been full of headlines regarding the devastating crash of Germanwings flight 9525 in the French Alps, killing everyone on board.  At first inconceivable how such an incident could take place at all and why no distress signal had been sent, general horror spread through the world when the recovered black box revealed that the co-pilot had locked the captain out of the cockpit and then purposely denied him re-entry, the desperate captain supposedly going so far as to attempting to break the door down with an ax!  The general horror quickly turned to disbelief and anger…

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