2,000-Year-Old Roman Hercules Statue Surfaces In Greece

By The Thornical Press Staff

October 7, 2022

GREECE – A 2,000-year-old statue of the Roman god Hercules was discovered by archeologists in northeastern Greece.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Sports the ancient statues from the Roman era was excavated on September 16 in the ancient city of Philippi.  The statue was identified as Hercules by other fragments found near the statue including the telltale club and lion often associated with the Hercules.  Archeologists from Aristotle University also uncovered an ornately-decorated structure believed to be a fountain.

Archeologists estimate the Hercules statue dates from the second century AD while the structure could date from the eighth or ninth century AD.

According to Roman mythology, which is a reflection of Greek mythology, Hercules (Heracles in Greek mythology) was born a “strong and fearless” mortal son of the Roman god Jupiter (Zeus in Greek mythology), who was the chief deity of the Roman state.

Photo: Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

On This Day: Communist North Korea Slaughters American POWs in the Bloody Gulch Massacre

On Aug 12, 1950, elements of the 13th Regiment of the North Korean People’s Army slaughtered seventy-five United States Army POWs captured during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.  The murdered American POWs consisted of men from artillery battalions of the US Army’s 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions.

In an area west of Masan, South Korea, KPA units were able to attack two undefended US artillery battalions killing hundreds of artillerymen and capturing seventy-five POWs.  It is believed the KPA machine gunned fifty POWs of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion, while another twenty POWs from the 90th Field Artillery Battalion were executed with a single shot to the head.  The war crime would be discovered five weeks later by UN forces as they regained control of the area.

Never forget.

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On This Day: Lloyd Nolan Was Born Aug 11, 1902

Lloyd Nolan, best known for portraying private detective Michael Shane in several B movies during the 1940s, would become a veteran character actor with a career spanning from 1929 to 1985.  Nolan would go on to become an accomplished actor co-starring in films with the likes of John Wayne in Island in the Sky (1953) and Lana Turner in Peyton Place (1957).

Nolan may have been well known for his film career, but he was also a champion for autistic children.  Nolan, whose son was autistic, founded the Jay Nolan Community Services (nee Jay Nolan Autistic Center) in honor of his son who passed away at the age of 26.  In the early 1970s, Nolan convinced his friend Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, to sign a state bill requiring that education be provided to autistic children.

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On This Day: Actor Noah Beery, Jr Was Born

Born Aug 10, 1913, Noah Beery, Jr was known for playing warmhearted supporting characters in film and television.  Beery’s love of acting was sparked by his father, Noah Beery, Sr, and uncle, the Oscar Award winning actor Wallace Beery.  Beery’s career flourished through the 1940s to the 1980s with his most iconic role being the father of James Garner’s character Jim Rockford in the detective television series The Rockford Files (1974-1980).  Beery passed away Nov 1, 1994.

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On This Day: Smokey Bear Campaign Is Born

Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires – Smokey Bear

On Aug 9, 1944, the United States was introduced to a new icon of American advertising known as Smokey Bear.  Born by the combined efforts of the United States Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, the Ad Council, and advertising agency FCB, the Smokey Bear campaign was crafted to educate the public about the need to prevent wildfires caused by unplanned outdoor fires.  The campaign would create one of the most recognizable ad slogans in American advertising: Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.

By the 1950s and 1960s, Smokey had become so popular that the United States Congress passed the Smokey Bear Act, which limited the rights of use and kept Smokey Bear out of the public domain.  By 1984, the Smokey Bear campaign was honored for its public service with a 40th anniversary United States Postal Service stamp.

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On This Day: Famed German Artist Friedrich Georg Weitsch Was Born

Born Aug 8, 1758 into a family of well known artists, Friedrich Georg Weitsch would eventually rise to the top of his field when he was appointed a Royal Court Painter to Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick.

Weitsch began his studies under his father, well known German artist Pascha Johann Friedrich Weitsch, and by 1776 studied under Johann Heinrich Tischbein.  After further study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Weitsch obtained a position at Stobwasser, a German lacquerware manufacturer, where his father worked as an art instructor.

During the 1780s, Weitsch toured the great centers of European art: Rome, Florence, and Amsterdam.  In 1794, Weitsch was elected a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin and later Rector in 1798.

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Library of Congress Acquires Original Artwork of Vera B. Williams

by The Thornical Press Staff

The Library of Congress announced that it has acquired fifty-eight original watercolor illustrations painted by famed author Vera B. Williams for her children’s books, A Chair for Always and Cherries and Cherry Pits.

According to LOC, the artwork was acquired from Williams’ children on behalf of the Vera B. Williams Trust.

In a press release, LOC wrote: 

Award-winning author and illustrator Vera B. Williams (1927-2015) brought to life the voices and imaginations of working-class children in loving families, with dreams of success through education and hard work. Many of Williams’ books echoed her own childhood experience of poverty, separation from parents and her use of imagination that empowered her to forge her own path as a lifelong artist, author and activist.

Williams’ was born in Los Angeles to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.  As a young girl, Williams moved to New York City and would later earn a degree from Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina.  Williams would go on to write a dozen award-winning books throughout her career.

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On This Day: IBM Releases The Harvard Mark I

On Aug 7, 1944, IBM released the Harvard Mark I, also known as the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, which was one of the first mechanical operating machines capable of executing complex computations automatically.

Developed by Dr. Howard Aiken of Harvard University and manufactured at IBM’s New York Endicott plant, the Mark I stood 8 feet tall, spanned 51 feet in length, and contained 500 miles of wires.  Upon completion, the Mark I supported the Allied cause during the Second World War and would later be replaced by the Mark II in 1947.

According to Harvard University’s School of Engineering:

. . . the Mark I — originally the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator — represented a key step forward in the global digital evolution. Before it began operation in 1944, computing machines (some of them faster than the Mark I) each had to be designed to solve a specific problem, The Mark I, however, could use punched cards and punched paper tape to store data and instructions that could address an array of problems.

The Mark I is currently on display at Harvard’s Science and Engineering Complex in Allston with other sections of the original being stored at the Smithsonian Institution and IBM.

Photo: The original uploader was Daderot at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0

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On This Day: Warner Bros.’ Vitaphone Ushers In The Era Of Talkies

It’s Thursday night, Aug 6, 1926, and you’re standing in line at Warners’ Theatre in New York City waiting to see the premier of the highly hyped film Don Jaun starring John Barrymore and Warner Bros.’ new star, the Vitaphone sound film system.

Vitaphone, developed by Western Electric in the 1920s and acquired by Warner Bros. in 1926, would be used for feature films and short subjects from 1926 to 1961.  Vitaphone would become the last analog sound-on-disc system widely used and commercially successful. 

Unlike sound-on-film systems, the Vitaphone system recorded sound on shellac discs.  To improve sound quality, film equipment was placed in sound proof booths with microphones placed in strategic areas on the sound stage.  Sound recording equipment was often stationed in a separate room to prevent unwanted interruption from sound-stage production.  

Synchronization of film and sound was accomplished with synchronous electric motors in cameras and recorders. Just as in production of the film, the viewing of a Vitaphone recorded film would require a synchronized projector and phonograph sound system.

Vitaphone Projection System 1926

Although the film Don Jaun was limited to recorded music via the Vitaphone System, future films, such as the Jazz Singer (1927) would launch the “Talkie” revolution and open the door for the way we enjoy films today.

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