As Americans come to dread the increasingly bromidic nature of the festive season (where, that is, they are still allowed to celebrate Christmas at all), they might find it profitable to reflect upon the First World War. For it was that conflagration that did so much to make the West what it is today.
When I was a wee lad in elementary school — this was back when global cooling was dogma — we kids had all heard about killer bees. You may remember the story: Scientists in Brazil had bred the African honey bee with a European honey bee and succeeded in creating, well, a really mean bee. These hybrids then escaped from their captors and started spreading throughout the Americas, bullying the nice bees and occasionally killing people. This prompted some sensationalistic stories in the media about the perils of these impudent insects, and we kids were scared. Would K-i-l-l-e-r B-e-e-s (gasp!) be the end of us? I suppose it could have made a good movie. The “Bees from Brazil,” anyone?
A generation after George Washington’s Christmastime farewell to his troops and to the Congress who commissioned him in 1775, Clement Clarke Moore penned the iconic poem he called “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” but known to most as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
A lot has changed since 1960. If Connie Francis were to sing “Where the Boys Are” today, she would not likely be talking about Ft. Lauderdale. And she probably wouldn’t be talking about college, either. This is because, in a decades-old phenomenon, boys have increasingly been stumbling academically.
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. But was the surprise attack really a "surprise"? The American military personnel and their commanders at Pearl Harbor were certainly caught by surprise, but the evidence is overwhelming that this was not the case in Washington, D.C.