THE CHRISTMAS TALE OF A LIBERAL AND OTHERS OF THEIR ILK

THE CHRISTMAS TALE OF A LIBERAL AND OTHERS OF THEIR ILK
Virginia Homes For Sale
Image by SS&SS
By Jeffrey Lord on 12.21.10 @ 6:08AM

Requiem: Hymn or dirge for repose of the dead.
— Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Christmas, 1985.

Tom Wicker was upset.

The longtime New York Times political reporter turned columnist, an icon of liberal journalism in the day, was furious with President Ronald Reagan and his conservative administration. So he sat himself down during the Christmas season and penned a column titled "Requiem at Christmas."

That would be requiem, as in a hymn for the dead.

The subject of Wicker’s fury is worth a look this Christmas, twenty-five years later. His tirade was delivered as Reagan and the conservative movement were riding a wave of public popularity just a year after Reagan’s 49-state re-election over former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Why is this important enough to take another look? Because this tale of a supposed political Scrooge and the Christmas Past of 1985 provides a glimpse of Christmas Future for conservatives in 2011.

Wicker, you see, was waxing eloquent about a pond at his rural retreat in historic Rappahannock County, Virginia. There, some twenty years earlier during the height of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the columnist built his pond on his own property. Perhaps understandably for a man who had spent his life as a liberal wordsmith, Wicker saw this moment of pond-building as "perhaps the single most constructive act of my life."

He also paid for the construction of the pond himself. Good man. A liberal who believes in private sector job creation.

But wait! Paid for it all himself? Then why in the world was Tom Wicker so furious at Ronald Reagan and conservatives?

What was this business of a "Requiem at Christmas"?

Well, there was actually more than a pond involved, you see. First, the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia arrived to stock Wicker’s pond "with large mouth bass, bluegills and channel catfish," the latter, Mr. Wicker assures us, "to establish a natural cycle" in his new private pond. But there was something else. There was also a dam. And instead of hiring a private sector contractor to design his dam, Mr. Wicker went somewhere else. Guesses, anyone?

That’s right. Instead of pumping his New York Times earnings into this task, Mr. Wicker turned to — you. You as in the taxpayers funding the federal government of the United States circa 1965. Specifically, in Wicker’s words, he turned to "Eddie Woods, the district agent for the Federal Soil Conservation Service, (who) designed the dam so well that the water eventually rose precisely to the little red flags he had set out to predict the shoreline of what he called a ‘water impoundment.’"

Said Wicker as his fury rose to what might be called the liberal anger impoundment shoreline of the Times print pond: "That’s only an infinitesimal incident in the annals of one of the Federal services dedicated to the American earth and to those who work and cherish it." Indeed, indeed. "Infinitesimal" is precisely the word for whatever federal tax dollars were spent on his pond. Then, without missing a beat or evidencing a solitary thread of irony, Wicker moves his readers from the pond-designing Federal Soil Conservation Service to another agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture: the Agricultural Extension Service.

There, he fingers Scrooge. Otherwise known as President Ronald Reagan.

While we are left to ponder the fact that good ole Eddie Woods of the Federal Soil Conservation Service was spending his time designing Wicker’s private dam on Wicker’s private property, Wicker sharply points out: "Now Ronald Reagan wants to kill the Extension Service to save money; if the service is needed his aides say, let the states pay for it."

At this point, Wicker’s outrage at this horrifying bit of Dickensian Scroogery from the Reagan White House explodes.

"What effrontery!" he splutters. The nerve of Reagan. Trying to cut back the federal government by suggesting that if a service is so valuable to a state that state should pay for the service and leave the American taxpayer in other states alone.

On a roll, Wicker moves to another outrageous Reagan idea: privatizing the Federal Housing Administration. What a wretched, foolish idea snaps Mr. Wicker. Why, the whole reason for the FHA, a New Deal program from 1934, was that private institutions "failed to make housing loans available to low and middle-income people…in the first place." Translation: mortgages were not given to those who could not afford them.

Imagine that. Way back there in 1985 Mr. Wicker simply can’t imagine what could possibly go wrong with forcing the government’s way into the private housing market and making sure people who can’t afford mortgages get them from the federal government. The very idea of getting rid of such a program made Wicker’s bile rise. As with an unrelated Agriculture Department program, this concept of getting rid of government programs is absurd on its face to Wicker and the Times. Wicker scorns Reagan, saying the President and his conservative policy advisers "in their mania for privatization and profit think they can make a buck on the sale, thus reducing the deficit."

Move ahead to 2008, August, specifically. Mr. Wicker is now presumably enjoying his retirement at the ripe-young age of 82. Which is to say one month before the subprime mortgage crisis explodes in the middle of the presidential campaign. Over in the pages of Forbes magazine, reporters Joshua Zumbrun and Maurna Desmond are waving something that might be recognized as a larger version of "the little red flags" planted by a government agent to predict the shoreline of Wicker’s now 23-year old government designed pond. This red flag is financial in nature and is being waved to alert readers that, well, a tidal wave is surging toward America’s financial shoreline. Says Forbes:

Watch your wallet.

Heralded as a savior in reversing the mortgage market’s woes, risks to the agency could cost taxpayers dearly, says one mortgage expert, as Washington morphs the FHA from a helping hand for low-income home buyers into a back door bailout for the imploding mortgage industry.…

"Nobody is talking is talking about it, but in three years the FHA bailout is going to cost taxpayers at least 0 billion dollars," said Guy Cecala, a mortgage industry insider and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. "Everybody on Capitol Hill recognizes that there will be significant costs, but they’re trying to keep the housing spigot open even if it will bring in some bad water down the road."

Ahhh yes. Red flags and bad water. Says the publication Mortgage Loan.com later after the tidal wave has crashed ashore and started financially pulling Americans financially underwater en masse:

"The FHA has committed and tapped 0 billion to ramp up the Hope for Homeowners program."

Which is to say Forbes underestimated things.

Mr. Wicker’s philosophy, in short, more or less had its way with America. There was no requiem for liberal government spending in spite of Wicker’s protestations and snappy column title. The significance of the Reagan presidency — and later the Gingrich Congress — was to red flag the shoreline of financial consequences for the endless parade of tax-and-spend politicians of all stripes who swarmed Washington after 1932. This disaster, decades in the making, would take decades to resolve. Reagan’s administration as the president himself came to realize was merely step one — recognition of the problem and beginning to apply the brakes. There were politicians — of both parties — utterly heedless of the obvious fact that even the highest taxes (if you were a liberal) or the most advanced free market policies (if you were a conservative) could not keep pace if the reality was unceasing, massive spending on everything from today’s Obamacare to the pittance that was Tom Wicker’s Great Society-era government designed dam.

This Christmas, as economies in places like Greece, Ireland, and Portugal struggle because they listened to and were run by the ideas of their own Tom Wickers, the holiday for millions really is going to be downright Dickensian.

But — thankfully — this is America. A country which has a magnificent heritage of self-reliance that, reports to the contrary, is not dead yet. There are millions of Americans who now realize the direct, very stark connection between their joblessness, the almost eighty years of so-called government "services" like designing dams for the rural retreat of a well-to-do New York Times columnist — and the federal deficit. Not to mention the role played by all those subprime mortgages
Twenty-five Christmases later, Tom Wicker’s dam is symbolic of exactly what is dragging down the American economy.

Too much government. Too much government. Too much government. Not enough money. Not enough money. Not enough money.

There are only two ways out of this mess that has been some 80-years in the making. First is economic growth — putting an end to the politics of class warfare and envy that liberals like New York’s Congressman Anthony Weiner employ to keep their own middle-class constituents economically under-water for political benefit.

And …. cutting spending. Dealing straight-up with not just the tax code but health care costs, entitlements and discretionary spending like that responsible for designing Tom Wicker’s dam. Incoming House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future, discussed here, along with repealing Obamacare, will be and should be one of the first items on the agenda of House Republicans when they take over the majority in January.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, cited on MSNBC by Joe "No Labels" Scarborough, has made the point in a recent CBS 60 minutes interview. Says Christie: "The day of reckoning has arrived…the credit card has maxed out…it’s over. It’s over."

Yes, it is.

But when the Mother of All Budget Battles arrives in March (the expiration date for the just passed "Continuing Resolution" that freezes spending at the modest (??!!) current level of .1 trillion) expect House Republicans, GOP Senators, and every conservative from presidential candidates to talk radio hosts to you to be called, in so many words, Scrooge.

What you’re really hearing, in the inevitable fashion so bluntly described by Governor Christie, is at last — is it possible? — a genuine requiem for limitless government spending.

At which point it will do well to remember that twenty-five Christmases ago one columnist in the New York Times crystallized the argument nicely in a fashion he could not foresee.

How did we get to this day of reckoning of which Governor Christie speaks? How could this country and a number of its states possibly be edging to bankruptcy?

By borrowing the money to pay for Tom Wicker’s dam.

And a lot more besides.

Merry Christmas.

spectator.org/archives/2010/12/21/requiem-for-a-columnist…

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Profile view of the SR-71 Blackbird, F-4 Corsair, P-40 Warhawk, among others

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Profile view of the SR-71 Blackbird, F-4 Corsair, P-40 Warhawk, among others
Virginia Union University
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk IA):

Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.

Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.

Manufacturer:
Curtiss Aircraft Company

Date:
1939

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft 4 13/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal, semi-monocoque

Physical Description:
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair :

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: P-40 Warhawk & F-4 Corsair hanging over the SR-71 Blackbird, among others

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: P-40 Warhawk & F-4 Corsair hanging over the SR-71 Blackbird, among others
Virginia Union University
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk IA):

Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.

Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.

Manufacturer:
Curtiss Aircraft Company

Date:
1939

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft 4 13/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal, semi-monocoque

Physical Description:
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.

• • • • •

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair :

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Profile view of the SR-71 Blackbird, F-4 Corsair, Peashooter, among others

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Profile view of the SR-71 Blackbird, F-4 Corsair, Peashooter, among others
Virginia Union University
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing P-26A Peashooter :

The Boeing P-26A of the mid-to-late 1930s introduced the concept of the high-performance, all-metal monoplane fighter design, which would become standard during World War II. A radical departure from wood-and-fabric biplanes, the Peashooter nonetheless retained an open cockpit, fixed landing gear, and external wing bracing.

Most P-26As stationed overseas were eventually sold to the Philippines or assigned to the Panama Canal Department Air Force, a branch of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Several went to China and one to Spain. This one was based at Selfridge Field in Michigan and Fairfield Air Depot in Ohio between its acceptance by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1934 and its transfer to the Canal Zone in 1938. It was given to Guatemala in 1942 and flew in the Guatemalan air force until 1954. Guatemala donated it to the Smithsonian in 1957.

Gift of the Guatemalan Air Force, Republic of Guatemala

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.

Date:
1934

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Wingspan: 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)
Length:7.3 m (23 ft 11 in)
Height:3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Weight, empty:996 kg (2,196 lb)
Weight, gross:1,334 kg (2,935 lb)
Top speed:377 km/h (234 mph)
Engine:Pratt & Whitney R-1340-27, 600 hp
Armament:two .30 cal. M2 Browning aircraft machine guns

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair :

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Giving unto others

Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Giving unto others
Virginia Homes For Sale
Image by familymwr
Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Giving unto others

Photo By: SPC Paul Harris

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History
After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.
On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.
In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work… Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm…”
In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.
In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion …to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”
Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.
To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.
The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.
Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.
Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.
Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.
In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.
Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.
While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.
In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”
The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.
In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”
In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.
The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”
In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.
As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”
At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.
When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.
In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.
The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.
During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.
The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.
In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.
Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”
The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.
In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.
After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.
The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc… New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.
The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.
The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.
The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:
* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc…)
* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence…)
* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.
* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things …).
* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.
* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).
* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).
* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).
* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc…).
* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.
* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.
What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc… were far away places that most had not visited.
As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.
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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane, B-29 Enola Gay, among others

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane, B-29 Enola Gay, among others
Virginia Homes For Sale
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher:

The Kingfisher was the U.S. Navy’s primary ship-based, scout and observation aircraft during World War II. Revolutionary spot welding techniques gave it a smooth, non-buckling fuselage structure. Deflector plate flaps that hung from the wing’s trailing edge and spoiler-augmented ailerons functioned like extra flaps to allow slower landing speeds. Most OS2Us operated in the Pacific, where they rescued many downed airmen, including World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker and the crew of his B-17 Flying Fortress.

In March 1942, this airplane was assigned to the battleship USS Indiana. It later underwent a six-month overhaul in California, returned to Pearl Harbor, and rejoined the Indiana in March 1944. Lt. j.g. Rollin M. Batten Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for making a daring rescue in this airplane under heavy enemy fire on July 4, 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division

Date:
1937

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 9 1/2in., 4122.6lb., 36ft 1 1/16in. (460 x 1030cm, 1870kg, 1100cm)

Materials:
Wings covered with fabric aft of the main spar

Physical Description:
Two-seat monoplane, deflector plate flaps hung from the trailing edge of the wing, ailerons drooped at low airspeeds to function like extra flaps, spoilers.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane, B-29 Enola Gay, among others

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: South hangar panorama, including Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher seaplane, B-29 Enola Gay, among others
Virginia Homes For Sale
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher:

The Kingfisher was the U.S. Navy’s primary ship-based, scout and observation aircraft during World War II. Revolutionary spot welding techniques gave it a smooth, non-buckling fuselage structure. Deflector plate flaps that hung from the wing’s trailing edge and spoiler-augmented ailerons functioned like extra flaps to allow slower landing speeds. Most OS2Us operated in the Pacific, where they rescued many downed airmen, including World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker and the crew of his B-17 Flying Fortress.

In March 1942, this airplane was assigned to the battleship USS Indiana. It later underwent a six-month overhaul in California, returned to Pearl Harbor, and rejoined the Indiana in March 1944. Lt. j.g. Rollin M. Batten Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for making a daring rescue in this airplane under heavy enemy fire on July 4, 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division

Date:
1937

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 9 1/2in., 4122.6lb., 36ft 1 1/16in. (460 x 1030cm, 1870kg, 1100cm)

Materials:
Wings covered with fabric aft of the main spar

Physical Description:
Two-seat monoplane, deflector plate flaps hung from the trailing edge of the wing, ailerons drooped at low airspeeds to function like extra flaps, spoilers.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":

Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.

On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr.

Date:
1945

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)

Materials:
Polished overall aluminum finish

Physical Description:
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.

Do all the oceanfront hotels in Virginia Beach have good swimming beach in front or r some better than others?

Question by EB: Do all the oceanfront hotels in Virginia Beach have good swimming beach in front or r some better than others?

Best answer:

Answer by Jack A
Absolutely yes. Any oceanfront hotel has an equally good beach. You won’t find a wider better maintained beach on the east coast.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!