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19 April 1943
Start of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto
Quisling meets Hitler at his headquarters
British 8th Army attacks the Enfidaville Line
Joe Kubert’s Yossel: April 19, 1943
In analyzing Joe Kubert'sYossel: April 19, 1943, this essay argues that the 1943 Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto only peripherally propels the story forward, despite the book’s title. Nor does Kubert’s tale about his alter ego reign solely supreme, even as concern about Yossel’s welfare in the festering ghetto factors into how readers receive the story. This essay centers on a third theme that runs through the graphic narrative, as important but more subtly conveyed: one of faith during the Holocaust, and consequently how Kubert employs tropes from art history’s history to make points about the challenges of belief and the agony of its loss. While doing so, this essay argues that Kubert upends those visual tropes in order to expose how the Holocaust mercilessly upended humanity, transforming and displacing even the most devout.
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On "Bicycle Day," Albert Hofmann Took the First LSD Trip
A scientist's brave self-experimentation led to a new awakening.
Can you imagine riding a bicycle on acid?
On April 19, 1943, Albert Hofmann, the Swiss father of psychedelic medicine, dropped lysergic acid diethylamide and went on a bike ride, becoming the first human to ever trip on acid. The rest is psychedelic history.
Hofmann had synthesized LSD in his lab as a medical stimulant for the respiratory and circulatory system in 1938, but at the time he didn’t know what powers it held. Revisiting his discovery five years later, he caught a glimpse of its effects when some of the drug was absorbed through his fingertips, describing the experience as “dream-like” and a “not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition.”
Intrigued, three days later — on a day that would go down in history as “Bicycle Day” — he did what any responsible scientist would do: Experiment on himself.
Taking a dose of 250 micrograms in his laboratory, thinking it was an appropriate threshold dose (we know now that he overdid it 200 micrograms is the standard), Hofmann turned on, tuned in, and dropped out for the first time. Within an hour, his perception began to ebb and flow rapidly, and he began to freak out, convinced that his neighbor was a witch and that he was going insane. Hofmann wanted to go home.
Unfortunately, Hofmann had no access to a car because of wartime restrictions, so he had to make the journey home by bicycle. The trip was a stressful one — his vision wavered and he felt as though he were motionless — but as soon as he reached his condition’s climax, he came back from a “weird, unfamiliar world” to reassuring everyday reality.
In his notes, he went on to describe the hallucinogenic trip that would go on to inspire a countercultural revolution and, decades later, a generation of scientists looking to harness LSD’s powers to treat mental health issues:
The stigma leftover from the 1960s remains hard to shake, but LSD has slowly been undergoing a rebrand in recent years that is much more in line with Hofmann’s original vision: Using it as a treatment for psychiatric ailments.
Just this month, scientists applied cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques to find out what exactly LSD does to the human brain, in hopes that research on the drug will regain credence in the scientific community that Hofmann himself proudly represented.
Yossel - April 19, 1943 - A Graphic Novel About the Warsaw Ghetto
This is the end of Joe Kubert's introduction to his comic, recounting his memories of the descriptions his parents gave of their emigration to the United States in 1926 . When Kubert started to work as a cartoonist in 1940, the former neighbours of his parents were being deported and murdered back where their home had been. Besides on historical sources, the story of Yossel is therefore also based on his parents' stories, and on letters and documents of family members and survivors of the Holocaust.
In the days of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, 13-year-old Yossel tells his story, which starts at the village of Ytzeran in 1941, with the expulsion of its Jewish citizens and their ghettoisation in Warsaw. Everyday life at the ghetto is determined by hunger, disease, being starved to death, violence of the German occupants and deportations. Yossel, who has been drawing cartoon heroes as long as he can remember, starts documenting life in the ghetto in his drawings. As his talent also appeals to the SS, he is saved from deportation, but his family is sent to Auschwitz. Through a fugitive from a concentration camp he learns what happened to his family and other deportees. Yossel joins a group of young adults who are trying to convince the inhabitants of the ghetto to put up resistance. The uprising begins on April 19, 1943&hellip
Kubert's graphic novel consists of drafted entries of a sort of journal of the Warsaw ghetto the plot as well as the drawings are very convincing. He purposefully uses lead pencil drawings and does not put them into the bold black frames typically used in comics, thus emphasising their draft-like character. The pictures we see are supposed to be Yossel's drawings, telling his own story as well as that of the ghetto and the annihilation. Kubert concentrates on the description of persons, which contributes largely to the individualising narrative style of the comic. The reader's interest is not to be roused by the recognition of images, places or symbols often seen before, but through the identification with the views of the acting characters. This identification is successful especially with respect to Yossel, who shares the reader's love of comic-books.
The drawings of the concentration camp are superbly impressive. A fugitive prisoner takes the role of the narrator, and Yossel produces the drawings to his story. The drawings are far more convincing than those in Pascal Croci's "Auschwitz" as they do not repeat the often seen images of the selection at the ramp or the gas chambers, but leave the recipients space for the development of their own imagination by showing details of the environment and the people. Thus Kubert's graphic novel provides much more motivation for discussions.
The comic is interesting for the use in historical-political education as it tackles the often asked question about Jewish resistance action, using a medium which is much more attractive to young people than conventional books. The graphic novel describes many different forms of resistance action, e.g. the keeping up of religious traditions, daily self-assertion, solidarity, and armed struggle, thus widening the often narrowly defined term.
The comic can be used, like any other fiction story, as a complement to working with historical sources and secondary texts, or as a motivation for further independent studies. It is suitable for all those who &ndash in spite of the medium comic &ndash show interest in the reading of more comprehensive texts. It cannot and should not be misused as a "lure" for studying the National Socialist crimes. This would neither do justice to the intensely narrated story nor would it be convincing, as Kubert's drawings will probably be too much of a disappointment for the expectations of the usual comic-book reader.
Today in History, April 19, 1775: ‘Shot heard ’round the world’ began Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. American colonists met British troops at Lexington, Massachusetts and shots were fired, although it is unknown who shot first.
A funeral was held at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln, assassinated five days earlier his coffin was then taken to the U.S. Capitol for a private memorial service in the Rotunda.
Connecticut became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after it took effect.
During World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die they just fade away.”
“The Simpsons” debuted as a cartoon short on “The Tracey Ullman Show.”
The Simpsons first appeared on "The Tracey Ullman Show" before spinning off in their own series in the 1990s. (Photo: Fox)
47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
The 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
A truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium he took the name Benedict XVI.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police.
Raul Castro turned over Cuba’s presidency to Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the first non-Castro to hold Cuba’s top government office since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul.
There are more than 3.7 million records in this collection showing the huge number of travelers who arrived in the city of Boston, Massachusetts through the 19th and 20th centuries. While the information for each person may vary, Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943 typically provides:
Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1620 is one of the oldest cities in the United States and has received travelers by sea for almost 400 years. Located in the northeastern part of the country, the city is the largest city in “New England” and is nicknamed “The Hub” for its central position and importance in the region. These passenger lists document the pull of Boston and the millions of people who passed through the port, from the early years of national independence up until the middle of the Second World War.
Explore these records and find out new information that you can use to expand your family history and continue your genealogical research. The details you learn will help you discover even more facts about your relatives in our other collections, including Massachusetts records and newspapers, federal censuses and military records.
The Switch to Steam Power
The 19th century ushered in the use of steam power, and big changes in coin production. In 1816, rollers and cutting presses were the first machines powered by a steam engine. Then in 1833, the Mint hired Franklin Peale to travel to mints in Europe to observe their processes. He brought back many ideas for advancements to the Mint and its equipment.
Two years after Peale returned, the Mint built steam-powered coining presses modeled after those used in Europe. A single person operated a press, dropping blank coins down a tube to feed between the dies. Coin production became a lot less labor-intensive, opening up many jobs to women.
The new presses dramatically increased production numbers, with each press capable of making around 100 coins per minute. That, combined with the opening of other branch Mints, brought coinage to the levels needed for the country’s circulation. In 1857, Congress passed a law to ban all foreign coins from circulation.
When branch Mints opened in Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans in 1838, there became a need for mint marks to distinguish the coins. All the branch Mints used mint marks, but Philadelphia – as the original Mint – did not. It wasn’t until 1942 that Philadelphia’s “P” mint mark appeared briefly for the first time on the nickel. Since 1980 all of Philadelphia’s coins, except the cent, receive the “P” mint mark.
|Mint Branch||Mint Mark||Years Mark Used|
|Carson City (NV)||CC||1870-1893|
|New Orleans (LA)||O||1838-1861, 1879-1909|
|Philadelphia (PA)||P||1942-45, 1979-Present|
|San Francisco (CA)||S||1854-1955, 1968-Present|
|West Point (NY)||W||1984-Present|
Nostradamus’ Most Famed Prophecies
It’s clear that Nostradamus isn’t a supernatural figure with powers or abilities — he was just very adept at bibliomancy, or the practice of divining the future by interpreting a passage from a sacred text, like the Bible. In fact, linguist, translator and Nostradamus aficionado Peter Lemesurier expanded upon this idea, and History summarized his notions, explaining that, "[Nostradamus] simply believed that history will repeat itself. …[He] purportedly selected extracts from older sources at random and then used astrological calculations to project its recurrence in the future."
Okay, so he wasn’t claiming to be Cassandra of Troy, but there’s still something kind of dubious about his astrology-informed bibliomancy. So, why all the hype? Well, Nostradamus has seemingly predicted several history-making moments.
Here are excerpts from several well-known quatrains and the events they allegedly relate to:
- The Death of Henry II: "He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage," Nostradamus wrote. And then Henry II was stabbed through his helmet — and through his eye — during a jousting match, which led to his untimely death.
- The French Revolution: When the Third Estate stormed the Bastille and took control of Paris, it did seem to parallel the seer’s words, "From the enslaved populace, songs, / Chants and demands / While princes and lords are held captive in prisons."
- The Discovery of Pasteurization: "Pastor will be celebrated almost as a God-like figure" — and, yes, Louis Pasteur’s last name does translate to "pastor."
- The Rise of Adolf Hitler: "From the depths of the West of Europe, / A young child will be born of poor people, / He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop / His fame will increase towards the realm of the East," Nostradamus wrote. In another quatrain, he also penned "The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister," which some believe to be a misspelling of the fascist dictator’s name.
- The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: "The dreadful war which prepared in the West, the following year the pestilence will come, so very horrible that young, nor old, nor animal (will survive)." The pandemic came on the heels of World War I — enough said.
- Sept. 11, 2001: Nostradamus spoke of "two great rocks" and "tremors" in a place called "New City," though other parts of the quatrain don’t seem to connect with that tragic day.
The seer is also credited with predicting JFK’s assassination, the Great Fire of London and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, now, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Axis merchants lost on the North Africa Route – 1941-1943
The most helpful Lorenzo Colombo, owner of the excellent Con la pelle appesa a un chiodo blog has taken time during the lockdown to type up the list. He summed up as “sunk” a few ships that were actually run aground and considered total losses: Sebastiano Venier (Jason) , Regulus , Vettor Pisani , Napoli , etc. These were lost to all effects and purposes as well as if they had been sunk. The list does not include warships and ships sunk in port for whatever reason.
The list also does not include naval transport vessels such as German F-lighters (see this link ) or minor vessels such as Motoveliere , small sailing cargo vessels which were heavily used in coastal traffic in particular.
SS Oriani, lost to Blenheim bombers of No.105 Squadron from Malta, 11 September 1941.
See this link .
Losses by Year
The total of 230 vessels lost is given below. The list will make it possible to compare claims by e.g. Malta-based aircraft against actual losses, and should therefore help researchers.
I am grateful for Lorenzo’s permission to repost it here with some minor formatting.
North African Campaign
The North African Campaign, or Desert War, took place in the North African desert during World War II between 1940 and 1943. North Africa is a region generally considered to include Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and the Western Sahara. Before World War II, European powers held long-established positions in the region. Algeria was a colony of France, Libya of Italy, and the British held two tiny but strategic points in the Mediterranean -- Gibraltar at the straits opening to the Atlantic and Malta in its center. France and particularly Britain heavily influenced Egypt as a result of their joint ownership of the Suez Canal. German influence was slight and there was no American bases. Italy was a full member of the Axis alliance but was not as committed to territorial aggrandizement as Germany. Until June 1940, the United States held out hope that Italy could be kept on the sidelines despite its philosophical inclinations, in the same way Franco was not bringing Spain into the war. However, five days after the Germans invaded France, Italy declared war on both Britain and France on June 10, 1940. Speaking at the University of Virginia on that very day, Roosevelt made clear the position of his government: