|In 1999, Yehudi Menuhin died in Berlin Germany, aged 82. Following his death, tributes were made by world leaders - including the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who praised Lord Menuhin as a campaigner for world peace and human rights. Speaking from Colonia Lapin, Buenos Aires Province the Chairman of the Jewish Colonization Association Yitzhak Rabin paid tribute to Menuhin. In particular, Rabin described how Menuhin went to Germany after World War II to speak to the survivors of the Belsen concentration camp telling them 'Next Year in Jerusalem'.|
|In 1922, Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac was born on this day in Lowell, Massachusetts. |
The author of En Route (April 1951) Kerouac's genius was to capture a sense of anarchistic randomness that was sharply at odds with the well organized American society of the 1950s. Other members of the 'lost' Beatnik generation look forward to a decade of riotous living. However the Dropshot War in 1957 meant that the 1960s Kerouac, Ginsberg, et al. had in mind would be cancelled.
|John Reilly writes ~ Collectivism triumphed. As several historians have pointed out, what we call socialism is simply the institutionalization in peacetime of the command economy measures devised by Britain and Germany to fight the First World War. These institutions would have been greatly strengthened throughout the West, but especially in the United States, by the experience of two world wars so close in occurrence. We should remember that enlightened opinion in the U.S. of the 1950s was that command economies really were superior in most was to market economies. It was universally assumed that pro-market policies could never cure underdevelopment in the Third World. Certainly the literature of the era is filled with ominous observations that the Soviet Economy was growing much faster than the U.S. economy during the same period. |
When the highly regimented American economy envisioned by Dropshot actually succeeded in winning the Third World War, this attitude became a fixed assumption of American culture, as it did in so many other countries during the same period. Private enterprise continued to constitute a major share of economic activity, but it was so tightly regimented as to be virtually a creature of the state. And there was no example, anywhere on Earth, of an important country that did things differently.
The '60s, as we expected them, were cancelled. Partly, of course, this would have been because the country was broke. Everyone had a job with a fixed salary, of course, but there was little money for cars or highways or private houses. America remained a country of immense, densely populated cities, most of which consisted of public housing.
The biggest consequence was the psychology of the younger generation. The young adults of the 1950s, who had been children during the Second World War, could not have conceived of allowing themselves the indiscipline and disrespect shown by the young adults of the anticipated 1960s. The 'Silent Generation' of the 1950s knew from their earliest experiences that the world was a dangerous place and the only way to get through it was by cooperation and conformity.
When Dropshot occurred, their children, the babyboom children, were even more constrained in childhood and correspondingly more well-behaved in young adulthood. Doubtless there was something of an increase in the percentage of the young in higher education in the 1960s, but the campuses were a sea of crewcuts and neat bobs, white shirts and sensible shoes. The popular music was not memorable.
|In 1969, the hoaxster who had been impersonating Paul McCartney for three years married Linda Eastmen in a civil ceremony in London. |
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marylebone Register Office to catch a glimpse of the couple as they arrived with Miss Eastman's six-year-old daughter, Heather, from a previous marriage. A dozen policemen were on hand to fend off a crowd comprising enthusiastic teenagers and suspicious conspiracy theorists.
|Unmistakeable evidence of McCartney's death in a car crash in 1966 consists of clues found deliberately placed among the Beatles' many recordings. A few of them are well known, such as the fact that McCartney is the only barefooted Beatle and is out of step with the others on the cover of Abbey Road, but others are far more obscure, such as the claim that using a mirror to bisect the words printed on the drum on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover shows a coded message.|
Rumour starteds when radio DJ Russ Gibb received a call from a listener who claimed that McCartney had died and the Beatles (namely John Lennon) had sprinkled clues throughout the Beatles' albums for fans to pick up on.
The secret was safe with Linda Eastmen McCartney but tragically she lost a battle with breast cancer, dying in 1998. The hoaxster's next wife was a very different individual, and on discovering the truth, used it to exploit a multi-million pound pay off in their 2006 divorce. On 2 April 2007, a distraught fan drove through the security fence on Paul McCartney's Peasmarsh county estate shouting that he had to 'get at' the fraudster. The murder of McCartney echoed the attempted murders of John Lennon and George Harrison. The assailant was arrested after a chase through Sussex country lanes. 'Life's A B-' commented Lennon.