Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My dear child! Haven't you realized what I've done? A few simple tools, a superior brain...

- The First Doctor, "The Daleks" (1964)


THE FOALS!!!!!!!!!!

This band released so-so albums in 2008 and 2010, but this 2013 album is much improved!

Call it "math rock" (they do), but I find it a wonderfully hooky mix of hard rock/grunge, prog rock, and modern/alt rock. There's an odd sound to Foals which I think fits well with Franz Ferdinand -- although the bands have nothing in common except Greek lead singers.



"...a grave injustice had been done."

looking up S face of crane statue - Memorial to Japanese American Patriotism During World War II - 2013-04-27


The Nats have scored 2 or fewer runs in half their games this year -- and in 11 of their last 16.

The fielding is mediocre, and full of errors. It's pretty clear that the days when Strasburg could throw a 102-mph fastball are long over. But in his head, he's still trying to power his way past batters. That's leading to control problems, I think. There's a short period when he's really warm, and throwing easy -- and he performs like the Stras of old. But by then, he's either in a huge jam or he tires within an inning.

They are just plain lucky that they are 13-13.

See, if you upload stuff to Flickr every day, the page views soar.

That's why I got 1,206 views yestertoday, instead of the usual 400.

He is nekkid - Court of Neptune - Library of Congress - 2013-04-27


Mount Etna is not quiet.



The stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently so 10,925 feet high (although this varies with eruptions). It is two and a half times the height of the next largest European volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, which led to the earthquakes and eruptions of fire from its summit. The forges of Vulcan were also said to be located beneath it.

A particularly violent explosive (Plinian) eruption occurred in 122 BC, causing the entire summit to collapse. About 1030 CE, laa suddenly spouted from Etna's southeast flank and spilled into the sea. About 1224 CE, a massive 1,500-foot-long fissure opened on the south flank and again lava flowed into the sea. Another massive eruption on March 11, 1669, produced such enormous amounts of lava that 10 villages were destroyed. The lava reached the city of Catania five weeks later, but the city walls diverted it and the molten rock filled Catania's harbor.

More recently, Etna has erupted explosively in 1928, 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983, and from 1991 to 1993.

Etna quieted down in 1994, but the following year heavy earthquakes began striking the mountain every few weeks. In July 2001, seven fissures broke open on the volcano's south slope, spewing pumice, ash, smoke, and small amounts of lava down the mountainside. The following year, Etna's main summit roared to life, sending up a huge column of ash that could be seen from Africa. Numerous craters formed south of the summit and along a fissure on the north flank. The mountain began issuing slow, steady amounts of very dense, viscous magma in September 2004, which ended in March 2005. That was but prelude: In July 2006, violent eruptions occurred at the volcano's southeast crater and did not stop until December. Huge lava fountains then erupted from the same crater four times (in March, April and May 2007). Consistent, low-level ejections of incandescent cinder, small rocks ("lapilli"), and lava bombs occurred at the southeast crater in mid-August 2007. A spectacular lava fountain shot out of the southeast crater in September 2007, sending liquid rock plunging down the east flank of the volcano.

After nine months of quiet, more than 200 earthquakes struck Etna's summit in May 2008, followed by eruptions of viscous lava from the summit for the next 417 days. This left Etna with four distinct craters: the Voragine and Bocca Nuova (both in the main caldera), the Northeast Crater, and the Southeast Crater.

After nearly three years of quiet, frequent eruptions of lava and ash at the summit began in January 2011. These nearly continuous, violent eruptions forced the evacuation of science teams from the summit, and did not end util February 2012. Activity subsided thereafter, but moderate eruptions continued at the southeast crater and Bocca Nuova.



Mount Etna began another period of intense activity in 2013. It has suffered more than 10 large explosions since the start of the year.

In April 2013, several strong explosions of ash, cinder, smoke, and lava pounded out of the southeast crater for almost two weeks. On April 12, a huge plume of ash issued from the crater, and lava flows and lava fountains shot out of the cone. A fissure broke open between the southeast crater and a parastic cone (small cone which has erupted before) and began spewing magma.

The style of this eruption was different from the preceding ones in 2010, 2011, and 2012, suggesting that Etna is about to enter a new phase of activitiy. First, volcanic tremors peaked, dropped a bit, and then remained unsteady but high throughout the event. In the past, earthquakes culminated with the eruption of lava, but not this time. Indeed, the peak came much later than the magma flows. Second, two rather than one law flow occurred. Third, pyroclastic flows -- ash and gas mixed together and so hot it acts like a liquid -- were observed. Scientists believe part of the parasitic cone may have collapsed. Pyroclastic flows are unusual at Etna.

Another "strombolian" eruption occurred a few days later, and then Etna began smoking heavily. The volcano's 13th eruption of the year occurred on April 27, when it shot plumes of ash into the air and spewed large amounts of lava into the air.

All these photos are from April 2013.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that anti-union demogogue Ernest T. Weir described his father as a failure and his mother as a saint, then deserted his second wife and two young sons?

Monday, April 29, 2013

The upper image is called "over-Photoshopping your HDR image".

The bottom image is called reality.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

In 1932, Ray Bradbury went to a carnival where there was a magician, Mr. Electrico. At the end of his performance, Electrico reached out to the 12-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!"

"I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard," Bradbury later said. "I started writing every day. I never stopped."
Sea Snake - Court of Neptune - Library of Congress - 2013-04-27

Sea Snake at the Court of Neptune at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The Court of Neptune was designed by Roland Hinton Perry. Created in 1898, the fountain is located at the main entrance of the Library of Congress. The fountain depicts the god Neptune flanked by figures of Tritons, with Sea Nymphs riding large seahorses on either side. Sea turtles, a sea snake, and frogs can also be seen.
You wanted advice, you said. I never give it, never. But I might just say this to you, always search for the truth.
- The First Doctor, "The Survivors" (1963)
I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that even though John Kinard had no background in museum administration or training as a historian, he believed that "the well-being of black people depends on having a record of their past" -- and so became the first director of the Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I watched an excellent science fiction film from 1968 today. The film is Quatermass and the Pit by Hammer Films. It's American title was Five Million Years to Earth. The film is based on the popular character of Prof. Bernard Quatermass, who had appeared in television serials in the United Kingdom beginning in 1953. The first appearance of the character had been in 1953's The Quatermass Experiment, a television mini-series whose plot revolved an astronaut who travels into outer space in one of rocket scientist Quatermass' ships. He comes back infected with an alien spore that is turning him into a man-eating plant-like creature. Quatermass must capture him before he sprouts and creates billions of his fellow evil aliens. Quatermass returned two years later in Quatermass II, a mini-series in which the good professor is asked to investigate a mysterious meteor shower. It turns out the meteors are arriving aliens, who have already begun to infiltrate British government and industry -- including some of Quatermass' closest friends.

A third TV serial, Quatermass and the Pit, aired in 1959. It was the last serial for two decades, as the character's creator felt that saving the earth three times from doom was enough, thank you very much. In 1979, the character moved from the BBC to the ITV network, and appeared in a new serial, Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion and Quatermass IV). The serial did only moderately well. In 2005, BBC Four (the BBC's digital channel) remade The Quatermass Experiment with mega-hottie Jason Flemyng (Dr. Jekyll in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). It was a live broadcast, with solid but not spectacular ratings.

Prof. Quatermass is considered the inspiration for Doctor Who. (Three different actors had portrayed Quatermass, due to death or unavailability. The folks behind Doctor Who picked up on this with their "regeneration" theme.)

Meanwhile, Hammer Films was looking for new, highly popular source material it could use for the basis of films. Hammer never led the pack, but always followed. That was largely its secret for success. After the success of The Quatermass Experiment, Hammer immediately licensed the character and series and condensed the six, 30-minute serial episodes into an 82-minute motion picture. The film was a huge hit for Hammer, it's most profitable picture at the time (although American actor Brian Donlevy, who portrayed the title character, was considered awful in the role). In 1957, Donlevy returned in Quatermass 2, which again contracted six 30-minute episodes into just 85 minutes of film time. The picture was succesful, but its popularity was overshadowed by the huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge success of Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein (with Peter Cushing). Hammer turned most of its attention to Gothic horror rather than science fiction, even though it had purchased the rights to the third Quatermass TV serial already.

But with the Gothic horror films having played out by the late 1960s, Hammer turned once more back to sci fi. They made their final film, Quatermass and the Pit, in 1967. This time, six 35-minute episodes were crunched into 97 minutes of film time. British character actor Andrew Kier portrayed Quatermass this time.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that African-American architect Paul S. Devrouax helped make design refinements to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial but died of a heart attack in March 2010 -- 18 months before it was unveiled?
I can't explain, but I've just realized the danger we're in.

- The First Doctor, "The Edge of Destruction" (1964)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that although the Gribley farm in Jean Craighead George's 1959 novel My Side of the Mountain is not real, people show up every year in Delhi, New York, and ask to be taken to it?
All these Whovians keep saying "Bow ties are cool." Frankly, I don't see why.

Perhaps, I should go home, back to my own planet. But I can't...
- The First Doctor, "The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve" (1966)


Our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it.
- The First Doctor, "The Reign of Terror" (1964)


Monday, April 22, 2013

We're trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale!

- The First Doctor, "The Chase" (1965)


Construction site - Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture - 2013-04-09

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that among the items already owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (now under construction in Washington, D.C.) Emmett Till's glass-topped casket, a trumpet owned by Louis Armstrong, a turntable used by DJ Tony Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers, garments worn by African American slaves, a Bible owned by Nat Turner, and a PT-13D Stearman biplane trainer flown by the Tuskegee Airmen?
There's not an ounce of curiosity in me, my dear boy. Now tell me, why are you in danger?
- The First Doctor, "The Sensorites" (1964)


Sunday, April 21, 2013

I don't believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.

- The First Doctor, "The Keys of Marinus" (1964)


Mary Surratt House - front

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.

Did You Know ... that the Surratt House in Clinton, Maryland, once featured a carriage house, corn crib, forge, general store, granary, gristmill, stable, tobacco curing house, and wheelwright's shop -- but that today only a small smokehouse survives?

Saturday, April 20, 2013



My future husband, James Franco, hasn't done too badly with The Great and Mighty Oz this year. The movie raked in $473.1 million worldwide (about half of that domestically), which means the movie will probably break even.

But this wasn't the first "Oz" sequel.......

Return to Oz was a 1985 non-musical Disney film based on The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz -- the second and third novels in the series. The character of Tik-Tok comes from the book Tik-Tok of Oz (which is itself based on an L. Frank Baum play, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, which came out a year before that book).

Fairuza Balk stars as Dorothy. She's a well-known actress and model today. Legendary editor Walter Murch directed the film, which relied heavily on mechanical effects designed by the Jim Henson Workshop rather than actors in suits (like the 1939 film). However, it was more true to the look of the Oz books than the 1939 film. Disney did, however, license the Ruby Slippers (an MGM creation to replace the less-fantastic Silver Slippers created by Baum) for use in the film.

Baum died in 1920 after finishing Glinda of Oz, having written a total of 14 books. Baum set up a system whereby his estate could choose writers to carry on his work. Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote 19 more Oz books (one each year), until she stopped in 1939. John Neill, who'd illustrated all 40 Oz books up til then, wrote three more Oz books before his death in 1943. (He wrote a fourth, The Runaway in Oz, but it was unedited at the time of his death. It was not published until 1995, and is considered non-canonical.)

The series ended for three years, but the estate hired Jack Snow to write two Oz books (1946 and 1949). Rachel Cosgrove finished the series in 1951 with The Hidden Valley of Oz. Merry Go Round in Oz by Eloise and Lauren McGraw was commissioned in 1963.

Thompson returned to the series with the noncanonical Yankee in Oz (1972) and The Enchanted Island of Oz (1976), and the McGraws with The Forbidden Fountain of Oz (1980). Dick Martin, who'd illustrated all three books, followed with The Ozmapolitan of Oz (1986).

The Wicked Witch of Oz by Rachel Cosgrove Payes, was written in 1954, but with the Oz books not selling well it was not published until 1993.

The Baum estate commssioned three books from writer Sherwood Smith. Two have been published: The Emerald Wand of Oz (2005) and Trouble Under Oz (2006). A third, Sky Pirates of Oz, was written in 2007. But the books were licensed for publication by Byron Preiss Visual Publications. Owner Byron Preiss died in a vehicular accident in late 2006, and his publishing company declared bankruptcy immediately afterward. As assets of the bankrupt company, Sky Pirates and a fourth book (never written) remain in limbo until the bankruptcy suit is settled or the assets sold off.

Since Byron Preiss Visual Publications has the right to publish the fourth novel, no one else can publish an Oz book until that assets if forfeited back to the estate or sold off.


The Central Union Mission at 1651 through 1625 14th Street NW has been sold and will be turned into condos. The sale is not news, as that happened back in 2006. What is news is that Central Union Mission has found new digs in the city's old Gale School downtown, and will move its shelter for 140 homeless men into that structure in late 2013.

The plans for Central Union Mission's three buildings? The CUM building itself (1651) will have the bottom double-floor turned into retail space with all-glass windows. A new two-story penthouse condo will be constructed on the southern side of this structure. 1627-1629 will have its ground floor windows restored for retail, too. The western half of 1627 will be raised two stories, with a setback and then a three-story behind it (creating a terrace atop the two-story addition). The western half of 1629 will be raised three stories. A new 7-story structure, mimicking the appearance of CUM, will go up on 1621-1623. Look for setbacks on the 6th and 7th floors. All of this will be condo studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms, with a few two-story condos. All will be non-standard floorplans, due to the unique internal construction of the three buildings. Price? $420,000 to $850,000.

The project is a huge change from the 2010 proposal, which would have chopped CUM in half vertically and horizontally, torn down everything else on the block and built a massive, fortress-like, bland condo building of blond brick. The new design restores the 1910s-era look of 1627-1629 and 1625, making preservationists happy.

What I find interesting is this: Around 1995, Whitman-Walker Clinic wanted to sell its Elizabeth Taylor Building (across the street from CUM), buy the mission, and transform it into a first-class medical facility. Historic preservationists in the city screamed bloody murder, and quickly had the building designated a "historic building" (a symbol of first-class architecture, if you believe that). The D.C. Historic Preservation Board rushed just as quickly to approve the designation. Whitman-Walker was prevented from altering the building's facade -- and so the deal fell through. LGBT activists were furious.

In retrospect, it's not such a bad thing. WWC practically went bankrupt five or six times over the next decade, and had numerous administrators. Had it been saddled with several million in renovation costs, it might not have survived.

But then, WWC didn't survive, did it? Its financial difficulties came about as the city's white, Asian, and Latino HIV sufferers stopped dying to due to the arrival of combination therapy. The HIV infection epidemic among these three populations largely abated, and few people in the LGBT community supported WWC through volunteering, fund-raising, or WWC's primary project -- the AIDS Walk. WWC also got involved with the AIDS Bike, a for-profit project run by a bunch of scam artists who skimmed 90 percent of the profits. When the scam was exposed, the AIDS Bike collapsed. So did WWC's biggest revenue stream. As anti-gay repression lifted in the U.S. in the late 1990s and 2000s, fewer and fewer LGBT people sought out WWC -- preferring to go to a traditional healthcare provider. To save itself, WWC turned into just another bland healthcare provider seeking your money. It's no different from Kaiser Permanente or Washington Hospital Center. Just a ton smaller.

I find it fascinating that historic preservationists 15 years later don't give a shit about the look of the CUM building. It and its setting can be radically transformed -- but no one raises a hue and cry. Were LGBT critics correct in 1995? Was the historic preservationist community homophobic?? One has to wonder.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that D.C. native Tefft Johnson appeared in 135 motion pictures for Vitagraph, directed another 50, and portrayed George Washington in 1932 in an on-site re-enactment of the laying of the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol on film for the George Washington Bicentennial Commission?
You know, I am so constantly outwitting the opposition, I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of the gentle art of fisticuffs.

- The First Doctor, "The Romans" (1965)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Taylor Lautner: All growed up.

Sure, I'd have sex with him for 27,893 hours. If you tape his mouth shut. He is, by all accounts, an ego-maniacial, arrogant, self-absorbed, selfish prick who thinks he's better than you because he's good looking.

The U.S. Institute of Peace isn't finding things very peaceful.

The quasi-governmental nonprofit that engages in peace research and international mediation built a fantastic building too close to Constitution Avenue NW. Now it wants Constitution Avenue moved 150 feet southwest because the noise of all that traffic (and the vibrations from downshifting trucks) is annoying the peace institute.

The IoP argues that not only would its clients be better off, but that Braddock's Rock -- a pre-Revolutionary War landmark currently about 25 feet below ground and accessible only via a deep well -- would be able to be exposed again. So history-lovers should support its suggestion.

No one has agreed to the IoP's proposal. It would have to pass through numerous federal agencies (Transportation, Commission of Fine Arts, Natonal Capital Planning Commission, DDOT, Congress, the White House, etc.) to get approved. The cost, while not known, would likely be in the $50 to $60 million range.

No one is even sure if the move is technically feasible, as the portion of Constitution Avenue in question links to an on-ramp to Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.

For your elucidation, here's a Google Maps screencap of the area in question.

It all started out as a mild curiosity in the junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a great spirit of adventure.

- The First Doctor, "The Sensorites" (1964)



I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that director James B. Clark directed heartwarming movies about children such as Island of the Blue Dolphins and My Side of the Mountain, but also a horrific Twilight Zone episode in which parents manufacture a child just to make life easier?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Looking S - JFK Eternal Flame - Arlington National Cemetery - 2013-01-18

Sometimes, Facebook works for good. Today, Arlington National Cemetery issued a FB update about how the John F. Kennedy eternal flame is getting its first upgrade since 1967. I had no idea!

I did some news searches, quickly discovered that this minor news item had come out in early February, and immediately updated the Wikipedia article on the flame (which, by the way, I mostly wrote).

YAY! I feel productive!
I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that the 1943 film, Holy Matrimony (which stars Monty Woolley and Gracie Fields) is a remake of the 1933 film His Double Life, just as Monty Python's 1980 song "Sit on My Face" is a remake of Fields' 1934 song "Sing As We Go"?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon explosion
Smashed my thumb and now I can't write at all. Damn.
I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that the first cameras used for the Ultra Panavision 70 widescreen process were not new, but were Mitchell 65mm cameras built for the failed 65 mm Grandeur system a quarter century earlier?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension? Have you?
- First Doctor, "An Unearthly Child" (1963)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Titanic Memorial - Washington DC - 2012-04-12 - 0001


At 11:40 P.M. (local ship's time) on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. It soon became clear that the ship was doomed. Two hours and thirty minutes later, Titanic's rate of sinking suddenly increased as her bow slipped underwater and sea water poured in through openings in the deck. Her stern rose out of the water, exposing the propellers.

At 2:20 A.M. on April 15 (that is 12:20 A.M. in Washington, D.C.), Titanic broke in half -- her bow plunging to the bottom of the sea. Her stern remained nearly vertical, hundreds of passengers clinging to it. After three or five minutes, the stern also sank.

Just 710 people survived, while 1,514 people lost their lives.

In 1917, Congress authorized a Titanic Memorial to be constructed in Washington, D.C. The memorial was designed by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who won a public competition. It consists of a 13-foot-tall figure of a nude young man clothed in a wind-swept tunic. It was sculpted by John Horrigan from a single block of red granite which came from Westerly, Rhode Island. The concrete 30-foot-wide exedra (bench) with dolphins on the end which surrounds the base of the statue was designed by Henry Bacon, who also designed the Lincoln Memorial. The Titanic Memorial was unveiled on May 26, 1931, by Helen Herron Taft, the widow of President William Howard Taft. The memorial commemorates the bravery of men who gave up their lives so that women and children might be saved, and the cost of the memorial was completely borne by the Women's Titanic Memorial Association.

The memorial was originally located where the Kennedy Center now stands. The memorial was placed in storage in 1966, and installed without ceremony in its present location in 1968.

The Women's Titanic Memorial Association laid a wreath at the memorial every April 15 between 1931 and 1966. In 1979, the Men's Titanic Society was formed to honor the memorial once again. Every April 14, the society holds a black-tie dinner at the National Press Club. The menu mimics the type of meal served to first-class passengers about the doomed liner. Around midnight the 15 members of the Men's Titanic Society (yes, all men) leave via limousine for the memorial. At 12:20 AM, the exact moment of the Titanic's sinking, they make a champagne toast to the men who died aboard the Titanic -- and praise the courage, sacrifice, and calm of the men who died.

Titanic Memorial - Washington DC - 2012-04-12 - 0004


Titanic Memorial - Washington DC - 2012-04-12 - 0015


Titanic Memorial - Washington DC - 2012-04-12 - 0005


April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre.

Lincoln Box and door Booth used - Fords Theatre - 2012-05-20


Booth turned the white handle on the yellow door to the right to enter a short corridor that led to the Presidential Box. The lock on the door was broken months earlier, but no one had fixed it. Booth closed the door, and -- taking a board he'd placed there earlier in the day -- shoved it against the door handle so no one could come to the president's aid. In pitch blackness, Booth crept down the hallway. The theater owners had drilled a hole in the door to Lincoln's booth so police could keep an eye on the president. Booth looked through this hole to see where Lincoln was sitting.

Booth knew the play, "Our American Cousin", well. He knew a big laugh line was coming up. When he heard the "straight" line that came before it, he opened the door, took two steps foward, put his one-shot derringer behind the left side of Lincoln's head. When the uproar of laughter occurred a moment later, he shot Abraham Lincoln.

John Wilkes Booth derringer used to kill Abraham Lincoln 02 - Fords Theatre - 2012-05-20


The bullet entered Lincoln's skull, fracturing it badly. It then passed through the left side of his brain before lodging just above his right eye.

Charles Leale, a young Army surgeon doctor, was the first on the scene. A second doctor, Charles Sabin Taft, was lifted bodily from the stage over the railing and into the box. They cut away Lincoln's collar and opened his shirt. Leale felt the back of his head, and found the bullet hole.

"His wound is mortal," he sobbed. "It is impossible for him to recover."

Deciding it would be undignified for the President to die in a common dance hall, a group of men bore Lincoln across the street to the Petersen House. A vigil began.

Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 A.M. on April 15, 1865. Crowded around his bed were Cabinet officers and Union generals. With tears streaming down his face, Lincoln's erstwhile critic, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, said "Now he belongs to the ages."

Abraham Lincoln death bed - Peterson House - Washington DC - 2012-05-20


I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here.
Did You Know ... that in Gregory Maguire's novel Lost, he departed from his Land of Oz theme to touch on literary sources as diverse as Ebenezer Scrooge, Jack the Ripper, and spirit possession?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Star Saloon - Fords Theatre - Washington DC - 2012-07-13


This is the Star Saloon in Washington, D.C.

This three-story brick building was constructed by John Ford (owner of Ford's Theatre, which is right next door) in 1863. A passageway between the two buildings was covered, and provided access to the south stage door of the theater. The door to this passageway is on the far left in the photo (it's the door without windows). The three doors with glass which you see are entry points to the Star Saloon. Ford's Theatre was a bit taller than the Star Saloon building. The second floor of Ford's connected to the second floor of the Star Saloon through a door and down three or four steps. This area served as a lounge for those with tickets to the "dress circle" (first balcony) of Ford's. The third floor of Ford's also connected to the third floor of the Star Saloon building, where John Ford and his brother Henry had their living quarters.

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President and Mrs. Lincoln went to Ford's Theatre at about 8:30 p.m. About 9:00 p.m., John Wilkes Booth arrived at Ford's Theatre. After speaking backstage with Edmund Spangler, a friend and scene-shifter at the theater, Booth used a trap door to go beneath the stage. He came out on the south side of the stage, then passed out of a door into the covered passageway between the theater and the Star Saloon. He walked toward 10th Street, exited onto the sidewalk, and then turned to his left and went into the Star Saloon. There he had a couple drinks to steady his nerves. Just after 10 p.m., Booth walked backed into Ford's Theatre and up to Lincoln's box...

Spanish immigrant Peter Taltavul owned the Star Saloon. It closed in 1865 after Lincoln's death. It was used as a commercial and retail space over the next 75 years: A tailor's, a hot water heater store, a manicurist's, a typewriter company, a factory. It was demolished in 1930 to make way for a parking lot.

When the federal government decided to restore Ford's Theatre in 1963, the decision was made to rebuild the Star Saloon building as well. The Star Saloon was reopened in 1967. It initially served as a box office for Ford's Theater, with the Lincoln Assassination Museum on the second floor and offices on the third. The museum moved into the basement of Ford's Theatre in 2009 after the theater underwent a significant refurbishment. Theater offices moved into the old museum space. Although offices for the theater still occupy the second and third floors, the first floor is now largely storage.