Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Queen Victoria, 1842

Queen Victoria, 1842 (by Henry Thomas Ryall)

Queen Victoria, 1843 (by Magdalena Ross)

next episode: Ulysses S.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

U.S. Grant's Speeding Ticket

 Photo by Mathew Brady (National Archives and Records Administration)

General Hiram Ulysses S. Grant (the S was given to him by an Army clerical error), was the only president arrested while in office. He was stopped and arrested by a black police officer for “speeding” his horses through the streets of Washington. He complimented the officer, paid the $20.00 fine, and was forced to walk back to the White House on foot (source:

Photo by  Mathew Brad, 21th century colorized version

next episode: Christina Robertson

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gene Tierney & Husband

In 1940, after they met at a christmas party, Gene Tierney fell in love with Oleg Cassini, a struggling fashion designer. Her father warned her to stay away from the Russian, who he deemed to be a fortune-hunter. Soon after the couple eloped in Las Vegas, Gene discovered her own father had squandered all her money behind her back. Gene was devastated and never spoke to her father again.

When she was pregnant with her first child, Gene contracted rubella (German measles) at a nightclub. As a result, her daughter was born with severe mental retardation. Gene was heartbroken. It put a massive strain on her marriage. Gene tried to save her marriage, but depression had overcome her.

Some time later she received news that a female fan had admitted she had snuck out of a quarantine while sick with rubella to go to the night club. The excited fan had hugged Gene, passing along the disease.

Gene had a nervous breakdown and she was committed to an asylum. There she became a victim of shock therapy, a cruel treatment used for mental patients in those days. After 27 shock treatments, Gene tried to escape the asylum, but was caught. Later she tried to commit suicide. When she was finally released she married a Texas oil baron and lived the rest of her live in Texas.

next episode: Vicky

Friday, July 19, 2013

LH Oswald Burial & Grave

The grave of Lee Harvey Oswald at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park,  Fort Worth, Texas. Oswald's mother is buried in an unmarked grave to his left. The grave of 'Nick Beef' is empty (source).

The Oswald family at his burial, 1963. FLTR Marina (wife), June (daughter), Robert (brother), Marguerite (mother), Rachel (daughter) and rev. Saunders (source).

Some bizarre facts:

To be sure the real Oswald was buried an exhumation of his body took place in 1981. After medical examiners announced that the body was undoubtedly Oswald's he was buried again in a new casket. The original coffin has been auctioned off for $87.000 in 2010.

To shield the original tombstone from vandalisme it has been hidden away by family for many years. At present it is exibithed at the Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, Ill (source).

next episode: gene + hubby

Monday, July 15, 2013

Crimean War: Captain George & Servant

Captain George, 4th Light Dragoons, and his servant (Roger Fenton, 1855).

next episode: LHO

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Anthony van Dyck - Pieter Stevens

Portrait of Pieter (or Peeter) Stevens by Anthony van Dyck, 1627 (Mauritshuis, The Hague)

This is a portrait by the famous painter Antoon van Dyck of Pieter Stevens (1593-1658) painted in 1627. Anthony van Dyck is one of my favorite painters. In 1628 Pieter married Anna Wake, Anthony painted her portrait as well.

next episode: a captain

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Walking Men (and Women)

photographic collage of pedestrian traffic images from cities around the world, collected by Maya Barkai (photo:

Located on the construction site of 99 Church Street in Manhattan, Walking Men 99™ is a site-specific public art installation showing 99  pedestrian traffic lights icons from cities around the world, collected by artist Maya Barkai.

The corner of Church Street, and Park Place NY in Google Street View.

One of the few walking ladies is Sofie, the traffic light icon from Amersfoort!

Sofie from Amersfoort with a ponytail, a mini skirt and high heels (source:

next episode: a Stevens

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Houseplant Asylum

Rachelle Klaassen in her living room / houseplant asylum (photo Julius Schrank)

In Amsterdam-West Rachelle Klaassen has started a houseplant asylum. An animal shelter for plants so to say. She started rescuing dumped plants from garbage piles, but after some postering and thanks to her facebook page people now bring her the plants they want to get rid of. She patches them up and then offers them to the public for adoption for free.

Don't leave your dog plant behind in the woods (photo © Roos Pollmann)

Rachelle Klaassen: "Why trash a plant when it has a shared a room with you for many years?". Two weeks ago a couple living in Zwolle have also started an asylum, and also in Rotterdam a houseplant asylum will open soon.

Houseplant Asylum certificate of adoption

next episode: a walking woman


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