All posts by rgsmith

Nuremberg Trials

On this day Nov. 20, 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. Some thoughts on remembering Nuremberg. Sixty three years ago the victorious powers of World War Two created the Nuremberg trials in order to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. It was the first time that an aggressive power had to face trial and judgment for their crimes against humanity. Three years ago the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law held a conference to recall and…

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Uncle Jack

I read that Google was going to archive 10-millions Life Magazine photos from the 1860’s to the present. I clicked on the link and found an astounding number of photos already in a categorized collection. I sifted through some from the Civil War and into the 1880’s, but then the 1910 category caught my attention and I remembered that my Uncle Jack fought in World War One with a Canadian infantry regiment. I don’t know much about him accept he was a stepbrother of my…

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Joachimsthalern

Some thoughts on the Joachimsthalern. Yep! The Joachimsthalern. If things had been a little different we might be saying bet your bottom joachimsthalern or shopping at the Joachimsthalern Store. Believe it or not we get the English word “dollar” from Joachimsthalern. Back in the 16th century a little valley in Czechoslovakia called Joachimsthal established a mint and made silver and gold coins. They were widely distributed and eventually the Joachimsthal truncated to the “Thaler.” Over time other European countries patterned their currency units after the…

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The War Prayer

Once again I had the pleasure to watch actor Hal Holbrook’s portrayal of American humorist and raconteur Mark Twain. It was in a large theatre in a small city. All 15-hundred seats were filled. At one point Holbrook goes into Twain’s “The War Prayer”. Twain wrote it around 1905. It was rejected by his publisher and then found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. Twain apparently wrote it as an opposition to the Philippines War of 1899-1902. The whole story is too long for…

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