“Hero is a word that is often overused, but an understatement when describing Bobby Moore”
Born April 14, 1941, he would been 80 years old today
Moore’s death from colon cancer at age 51 sent much of the world into mourning for the unassuming man from London’s working-class East End who was knighted for restoring pride in the English people during the post war years of dearth and derision, as a larger than life champion in sport and as a role model in society throughout the turbulent Sixties and Seventies, due to his generous good heart and “perfect gentleman” personality. And for never losing touch with his humble origins, despite partying with the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, while having movie star babysitters like Michael Caine.
While the Babe Ruth of soccer was certainly Bobby Charleton of Manchester United, its Lou Gehrig was Bobby Moore, the man Pelé called the best defender in history, and Charleton named the greatest footballer England ever produced.
With movie star looks of curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes, Moore arose from the rough and tumble streets of Barking, “like a shining light,” at a time when England was in serious economic and social depression after WWII. He was 14 when the local pro team recruited him, but his mother wouldn’t let him go until he was 16 and had completed his “O levels,” the British equivalent of high school graduation. Moore was still in his early twenties when he led the perennial also-ran West Ham United to winning the 1964 FA Cup (the tournament of all the English football leagues) and the 1965 European Cup (the tournament of all the cup winners from European nations,) before captaining the 1966 national team that won England’s only World Cup and restored them to the heights of international soccer after years of obscurity.
Moore was the subject of two recent documentaries, the sentimental Hero (2002) and Bo66y (2016) that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup victory. Neither of those is readily available. But this one made by a TV News department just after his death is pretty great.
The New Mid-Fielder Changes Major League Baseball Forever
“Tenth player adds exciting wrinkle to America’s favorite pastime.” – MLB Commissioner Rob Mandfred
Major League Baseball hoping the ‘Rover’ position, called a Short-Outfileder by some, will revive interest after COVID-19 threatens revenues.
It is by no means hyperbole to state in no unequivocal terms that player’s union agreeing with the MLB commissioner and owners to institute this revolutionary addition of a tenth fielder is nothing less than, to quote MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, “April Fools!”
Thank you. I’m here all season. Try the hotdogs.
Women’s History Month
March 8 – Mdm. de Laroche takes wing
1908 – British Parliament rejects women’s suffrage bill.
1910 – The Baroness Elise Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first women in history to earn a pilot’s license.
1911 – International Women’s Day is celebrated for the first time.
Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss would have been 117 today
A great American original if there ever was one
George Washington and New York City are Forever Linked
This map was used by Washington to plan the defense of New York City against British invasion
Click to Enlarge and Zoom In
Today is George Washington’s 289th birthday
First in war, first in peace, and first to have a birthday sale named after him, Washington expected the Battle of New York to be his first test as the new commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. His opponent, the Viscount Willam Howe, had other ideas.
Both commanders knew the city would have been destroyed had it been directly involved. But Washington used this map with the express purpose of fighting house to house in hopes of inflicting extensive casualties upon the much larger forces of the Crown.
Instead of a direct assault, Lord Howe landed his army outside of New York Harbor, on what is now Brooklyn, where the Battle of Long Island took place on August 27, 1776. Outnumbered and outflanked, it turned into a major defeat for Washington. But as historian David McCullough makes clear in his excellent book, 1776, it was Washington’s masterful series of strategic withdrawals that saved most of his army, and the future of the USA along with it.
The British commander repeatedly out-maneuvered the Americans before, during, and after the battle, so they were forced to withdraw further up Manhattan Island to the heights later named for General Washington. And then they skedaddled all the way across New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The city had been spared, only to have much of it burned to the ground in the Great Fire less than a month later, on the night of September 20.
Originally drawn by British Army engineer John Montresor, the specific map Washington used is housed in the collection at Yale University Library.
The City of New York in 1776. Broadway has 13 blocks (it is now 13 miles long.) What is City Hall today and its park were still an “intended square or COMMON.”
Part of Greenwhich Village and the estate of one Lady Warren (née DeLancey,) the recently deceased widow of the intrepid Admiral Sir Peter Warren of the Seven Years War with France, whose remains were interred in Westminster Abbey after an illustrious career in Parliament.
Never losing his nerve, George Washington survived to fight another day, and many other days yet to come, beginning with the surprise attack victory at Trenton, New Jersey, on Christmas Day, 1776.
Six years of savage fighting later, George Washington returned to New York to say bid farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern, which still stands at 57 Pearl Street. General Washington did not know he would soon return to the City of New York, the first national capitol of the United States America, were he served as its first President.
I first learned of this NYC map thanks to the very cool article in Smithsonian Magazine on Washington’s personal map collection, in November of 2010, currently available on line at the link below.
A True Atlantis, Zealandia Sank Beneath the Sea
The eighth continent really existed for over 100 Million Years!
New Zealand and New Caledonia are all that remain of a lost eighth continent, now known to science as Zealandia.
But at the time Zealandia was above water, what is now New Zealand’s South Island was positioned to the east of North Island, with its current southwest tip pointing to the northeast. It swung around to its current location with the continental plates long after the rest of Zealandia was lost beneath the briny waves.
Schoolchildren often imagine with wonder how islands are really the tops of underwater mountains. But in this case, the island nations of New Zealand and New Caledonia aren’t the tops of individual marine volcanoes; they are actually the highest parts of a continent half the size of Australia that contained its own species of land plants and air-breathing animals reaching back to the time of the Early Cretaceous, when Titanosaurs like this Saltasauras left their footprints as they grazed on the vegetation of Zealandia and co-existed with other exotic species known only by small fossil fragments.
More interesting to me is the fact that much of land remained above the waves until “only” about 25 million years ago, meaning the dinosaurs had nearly 20 Million years to evolve into unique species after Zealandia separated from Australia, and some 40 Million more years followed their extinction, when unknown lifeforms replaced them and continued to evolve on what is now the lost continent of Zealandia.
This BBC article reveals fascinating details about 400-year search to find the predicted “eighth continent” once thought to be hiding somewhere between Australia and South America, and the modern scientists who eventually found out what happened to it.
Would that it really was still your party!
National Republican Platform as adopted by the National Republican Convention, held in Chicago, May 17, 1860
My Mind Turns to Mad Dog Mike Curtis on Super Bowl Eve
The NFL Hall of Fame inductees will be announced tonight. One name that has faded out of sight is that of my childhood sports hero, Mike Curtis, the only linebacker to make All Pro at the Outside and Middle positions