When Britain Burned the White House: Harry and Juana Smith

When Britain Burned The White House; Harry and Juana Smith

by Peter Snow

Many a soldier has had an exciting life. It’s not often that a solider shares the excitement and danger with his wife. But it is true of one redoubtable young officer and his attractive Spanish wife two hundred years ago. Harry Smith was an army Captain in the Napoleonic war between Britain and France. He met his wife in extraordinary circumstances. Juana Maria de los Dolores de Leon was a 14 year old member of a distinguished family from northern Spain living in the town of Badajoz near the Portuguese frontier. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

The Evolution of CIA Polygraphy: 1972 to the Present

Christopher Boyce; CIA Polygraphy

by Alan B. Trabue

Writing my memoir, A Life of Lies and Spies: Tales of a CIA Covert Ops Polygraph Interrogator, caused me to reflect on the scope of changes to the polygraph program I encountered during my forty-year CIA career. Starting as a journeyman examiner and later assigned overseas as a covert ops examiner, I eventually became a senior manager. I directed the applicant, industrial, re-investigation, and operational programs. In addition, I was Director of the CIA Polygraph School for six years and an adjunct instructor at another polygraph school for eight years. The breadth of my experience in polygraphy shaped a unique perspective, as I was intimately involved in all aspects of the profession for four decades. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Five Amazing Women of the Revolutionary War

Margaret Evans Parker Corbin 1845 - 1937. Image is in the public domain via Mr. D's Neighborhood

by Jack Kelly
Margaret Corbin

Born on the Pennsylvania frontier, Margaret Cochran was orphaned when her parents were killed during the French and Indian war. The five-year-old was taken in by relatives and knew the pangs of poverty. She married John Corbin in 1772. When he joined the Continental Army to fight the British, Margaret went with him. Many soldiers’ wives followed the army to earn money cooking, mending, washing clothes and nursing the wounded. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Bulls Before Breakfast: The Pamplona Bull Run

Pamplona Bull Run - Bulls Before Breakfast - San Fermin

by Peter N. Milligan

I run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in the summertime with my adoptive brother Ari at the famous San Fermín fiesta. After I come home, I deliver eight or nine pairs of white pants for cleaning and repair to Spot Cleaners in Cherry Hill, NJ. After two weeks at the celebrated fiesta, these once immaculate pants are muddied, torn, burnt, carelessly stained by libation spillers, and more often than not, bloodied; human, animal, and “unknown other.” Except for the pairs that are seized by United State Customs (and presumably cremated and buried in Nevada for public health and safety), Mr. Kun is able to return them to me spotlessly cleaned and seamlessly mended. Men’s white pants are hard to come by and must be kept in good repair. Read more ›

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Posted in Contemporary History

Mark Kram: “Lawdy Lawdy He’s Great”

Great Men Die Twice - Mark Kram Lawdy Lawdy

by Mark Kram
“Lawdy Lawdy He’s Great” – (Ali Frazier III) Sports Illustrated Oct 13, 1975

Across the ring Joe Frazier was wearing trunks that seemed to have been cut from a farmer’s overalls. He was darkly tense, bobbing up and down as if trying to start a cold motor inside himself. Hatred had never been a part of him, but words like “gorilla,” “ugly,” “ignorant”— all the cruelty of Ali’s endless vilifications— had finally bitten deeply into his soul. He was there not seeking victory alone; he wanted to take Ali’s heart out and then crush it slowly in his hands. One thought of the moment “LAWDY, LAWDY, HE’S GREAT” 65 days before, when Ali and Frazier with their handlers between them were walking out of the Malacañang Palace, and Frazier said to Ali, leaning over and measuring each word, “I’m gonna whup your half- breed ass.” Read more ›

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Posted in Sports History

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