John William Finn was an amazing man. He passed away earlier this year just shy of 101 years of age. He was a military hero admired by the tens of thousands of service men and women who met him over the years, as well as the many thousands of people who never had the opportunity to meet him, but who had heard of, or read, his story. He was also a much-beloved husband, father, foster father, uncle, and neighbor. Alice, his devoted wife of nearly 60 years, died in 1998. He continued to live the simple rural life in the rustic home on their Pine Valley ranch near the California-Mexico border east of San Diego.
True history is not served if all that is remembered about December 7 is that it is the 61st anniversary of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. On that day America lost 18 naval vessels including eight battleships, 188 airplanes, over 2,000 servicemen — and its innocence about government lies, coverups, and deceit.
It should surprise no one that someone who had served in the Eisenhower administration would call FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's attention to the charge made by John Birch Society founder Robert Welch that President Dwight Eisenhower was aiding and abetting the worldwide Communist conspiracy. But it might be surprising to learn that the cabinet official thought Welch was right, at least in the effect the Eisenhower policies were having in advancing rather than containing Communism and ultimately "rolling back the Iron Curtain" — as Republicans said they would do in winning the White House and gaining effective control of Congress in the 1952 elections.
One of the many stories that grew out of John F. Kennedy’s aborted term as President has to do with an idle question put to him by a reporter aboard Air Force One. What would happen, the reporter wondered, if the plane went down, killing all on board?