On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

On the 6th of March, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, approached the US embassy in New Delhi and asked for political asylum. She is seen below arriving in the U…

Source: On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel | Open Culture

To understand how the coffee-house culture we know across the world today took its shape, we have to look back to London in the late 1950s, specifically as captured in the Look at Life newsreel on the city’s bohemian coffee house boom just above.

“Coffee is big business,” says its narrator, over a montage of neon signs advertising places like The Coffee House, Las Vegas Coffee Bar, Heaven & HELL Coffee Lounge, and La Roca. “The coffee bar boom in Britain began in 1952, when the first espresso machine arrived from Italy and

Source: The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel | Open Culture


This vintage real photo postcard features an Indian man selling coconuts out of a basket at a market in India. He is holding a coconut on his knee while he intensely stares at the camera. The postcard was published by…


On this day: the disappearance of Harold Holt | In Times Gone By…

On the 17th of December, 1967, Australia’s Prime Minister went swimming in the sea and was never seen again.

Harold Holt, who had been in office for twenty-two months at the time, was a strong swimmer. However, he ignored warnings not to swim in the rough surf and dangerous currents of Cheviot Beach and went out anyway. When he disappeared from view his friends…

Source: On this day: the disappearance of Harold Holt | In Times Gone By…

On this day: the Treznea Massacre

In Times Gone By...

Iuliu Maniu Square in Zalău on September 8, 1940 few days after the Second Vienna Award, Hungarian Army troops entering in Zalău. The Assumption Cathedral can be seen in background.

Hungarian troops nearby the day before the massacre

On the 9th of September, 1940, at least 93 (and up to 263, depending on which country is reporting) Romanians were massacred by Hungarian troops in the village of Treznea during the handing over of Northern Transylvania.

Amongst the dead were the local priest, the schoolteacher and his wife. The Orthodox church was partially burnt down.

This is a controversial event in the history of the Second World War, and historians in Hungary present a very different version of events to historians in Romania.

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On this day: the opening of the 1948 London Olympics

On this day meaning tomorrow, 29th July!

In Times Gone By...

The XIV Olympic Games opens in London, 29th July 1948. 772px-The_XIV_Olympic_Games_opens_in_London,_1948

After twelve years and the interruption of the Second World War, the Olympic Games were restored when they were opened in London on the 29th of July, 1948. Some 85 000 people packed Wembley Stadium on a brilliantly sunny day, and a speech was made*:

Your Majesty: The hour has struck. A visionary dream has today become a glorious reality. At the end of the worldwide struggle in 1945, many institutions and associations were found to have withered and only the strongest had survived. How, many wondered, had the great Olympic Movement prospered?

Central Office of Information's copy of the official poster advertising the 1948 London Olympics.

While fifty-nine countries sent competitors, Germany and Japan were not allowed to participate, and German forced labour was used to construct some of the facilities.

The Soviet Union chose not to send any representatives.

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When Making A Car Was Illegal

Pacific Paratrooper

The last Packard, 1942 The last Packard, 1942

This was originally published as a Guest Post for Judy Hardy at Greatest Generation Lessons.

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered all car manufacturers to cease the production of private automobiles and convert the factories to produce military vehicles, weaponry, airplane engines, parts, etc. But, this would not put an end to man’s love affair with the automobile. A car manual became priceless to a private owner and a truck manual was an absolute necessity for a farmer or businessman. With the rationing of gasoline in the U.S., the “National Victory Speed” was 35 mph and driving clubs were encouraged. (Our modern day car-pools).

The news spread around the world. The news spread around the world.

Automobiles were produced in massive quantities before the Great Depression and this brought the price down considerably. Then, the stock market crashed and many people were unable to afford the fuel for the cars they already…

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The Daily Retro: A Postcard about a German Sailor’s Song from 1850

The Müscleheaded Blog


” Row me across, handsome sailor
Row me to the Rialto.
Here, take this necklace as your recompense;
I earmarked it for you long ago.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
That fee is really too small,
And if I am to row you across
It cannot be for such a price!”

Row me across, handsome sailor,
I know a wondrously lovely song,
I shall sing it for you while the gondola
Glides over the soft waves.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
I will not row for such a wage,
Of what use is your most beautiful song?
The sweet sounds vanish all too quickly!”

Take this wreath of roses as a fee,
It is the best thing that I possess,
On Easter morning the bishop
Blessed and consecrated it.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
The wreath of roses is not enough for me,
Have you nothing better to give…

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Meet Elektro the Robot

The Müscleheaded Blog

Built in 1937, 8171223_f260

Elektro the Robot truly was one of a kind.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Westinghouse Electrical Laboratories was in direct competition for a good deal of their business with a very strong adversary indeed— namely, General Electric.

General Electric, a direct descendent of Thomas Edison’s ‘Edison General Electric Company’ had been a leader in electric and electronic research throughout the early part of the century, and Westinghouse was looking for a public project that could out do anything GE had come up with.

Specifically, Westinghouse wanted a robot, and they started serious research on it as far back as 1924.

Their first metal robot was called “Herbert Televox”, developed by Roy Wensley at Westinghouse’s East Pittsburgh plant…

It was primitive, but it could rise from a seated position, respond to commands given in the form of whistles, and switch appliances on and off.

WillieVocalite‘Herbert’ went through several…

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