Thursday, June 30, 2016

Their Finest Hour

We continue to celebrate Britain's secession from the European Union today with this picture of Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the UK during World War II. Shortly after he assumed this position, and in anticipation of the Battle of Britain, Churchill gave one of the most stirring speeches of all times. The powerful concluding remarks of his speech are presented below.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Britain's Finest

We continue to celebrate Britain's bold exit from the EU with this picture of two of Britain's finest. The picture was taken in 1921. In the foreground is Winston Churchill. In the background, we can see Emir Abdullah walking beside T. E. Lawrence . . . aka Lawrence of Arabia.

One of my all time favorite movies was the 1962 classic, Lawrence of Arabia, which is about T. E. Lawrence's amazing adventures on behalf of Britain in World War I. If you have never had a chance to watch the movie, it is well worth seeing.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The "Victory"

Welcome to Britain Week here at OPOD. With the UK voting to succeed from the European Union last week, it seems appropriate to recognize their independent spirit by featuring them on OPOD. We start with this picture from 1899 of the the British warship, the Victory. This was Lord Nelson's flagship.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hindenburg Disaster

Today's picture is from May 6, 1936, and it shows the crash of the German Zeppelin the Hindenburg. The German airships were inflated with Hydrogen. Hydrogen was selected because it has superior lifting characteristics over all other gases. The downside is the Hydrogen is explosive. The highly publicized crash was pretty much the death knell for lighter than air craft. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Zeppelin over Jerusalem

Today's picture shows the Graf Zeppelin from Germany over Jerusalem. The picture was taken in 1931. To me, sort of a creepy picture, knowing what Hitler was about to do to the Jews.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Naval Airships

Today's picture is from 1943 and shows a US Navy dirigible base on the east coast. Many do not realize that these airships were used in World War II for surveillance. These vessels had many unique capabilities, and I find it unfortunate that the technology was all but abandoned after the second world war.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Welcome to Lighter than Air Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at early flight that was accomplished by craft which were, well . . . lighter than air. In the earliest of airships, the gas was a lighter than air gas that came off burning coal. Then later, they used either Hydrogen or Helium as the lifting gas. Today's picture is from around 1920.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sharecropper Camp

Today's picture is another one from the mass Sharecropper Eviction in New Madrid, Missouri. You can see that some of the people who had access to tarps set up makeshift camps by the side of the road after being evicted from the property.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Evicted Sharecroppers

This is a picture of another group of Sharecroppers who were part of the massive sharecropper eviction in 1939 in New Madrid, County Missouri. All the pictures this week were taken at the same spot at the side of the highway. From the picture, it looks like dozens of families had been evicted at the same time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sharecropper Child

Today's picture is another person affected by the sharecropper eviction that occurred in New Madrid County, Missouri in 1939. This is the child of one of the sharecropping families that was evicted from the farm. Like the pictures from the last few days, everyone simply sat on the side of the road with their meager possessions, not knowing what to do next. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sharecropper's Wife

We discussed yesterday how sharecroppers had no rights to remain on the land, and could be evicted by the owner for any reason. In 1939 in Missouri a land owner evicted all the sharecroppers on his property without warning. Here is a picture of one of the wives after the eviction, standing on the side of the road.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Welcome to Sharecropping Week here at OPOD. A hundred years ago, farming was labor intensive, so large landowners would sublease their property to sharecroppers. These tenant farmers would farm a part of the land, and would give a portion of the crop back to landowner in exchange for rent. Unfortunately, the sharecroppers had not legal protection or rights, and so could be evicted from the land at the landowners whim. In the late 30's, as affordable farm equipment became available like tractors and combines, the need for sharecroppers was eliminated. The picture above is from 1939 in Missouri, and the sharecropper pictured had just been evicted from his tenant farm. He is pictured sitting on the side of the road with his meager possessions after the eviction. There were a large number of sharecroppers evicted that day, and they were all just sitting on the side of the road, not knowing what to do or where to go.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Camp Out

Today's picture is from 1919 and shows a Boy Scout camp. This is fairly nice, as notice the tents are built above elevated, level flooring. Perhaps this was an area that got a lot of rain. Where I went to summer camp, the tents were without floors, and just over the dirt.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mess Hall

Today's picture shows the Mess Hall at Boy Scout Camp Ranachqua. The picture was taken in 1919. From what I remember, the food was not that bad at the Scout Camp I went to as a child, and the mess hall did not look that much different from this one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Camp Roosevelt

This is a curious picture of Boy Scout Camp Roosevelt, taken in July of 1925. It looks like the boys are lined up getting their hands inspected. Not sure what is going on, but maybe they are checking to see if their hands are clean before entering the mess hall.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Boy Scout Camp

Today's picture is from Alabama, and shows a Boy Scout Camp. The picture was taken in 1942, and shows one of the great parts about camp . . . water fun. Not only can you swim in a river, you can see a feature of these camps typically is canoes and boats. This water activity is not normally available to kids, and so is one of the things that makes summer camp special. I wonder if summer camps are still popular?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Camp

With June here I figure it is a good time to have Summer Camp Week here at OPOD. The picture above is from the early 1900's, but it could have been  a picture of summer camp from my childhood in the 1960's. I would go to Boy Scout camps in the summer, and always looked forward to the excitement and challenges found at Camp Faucet and Samp Sol Meyer. I wonder how many of you have fond memories or not so fond memories of Summer Camp. Please share!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Sea Bass

Today's picture shows Edward Llewellen after a successful day of fishing. The Sea Bass he caught weighed in at 425 pounds. The picture was taken in 1903, and the fish was caught off Catalina Island. Many thanks to the Evil Nate Maas for sending in the picture.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Child Fishing

Today's picture is from 1920, and it shows a small child fishing from a rock on the bank of the river. The child is using an old style stick fishing pole. The picture really makes me want to go fishing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Men Fishing

Welcome to Fishing Week here at OPOD. With summer here, I am sure many of you would like to be out fishing, so we will be looking at pictures of people enjoying this past time. Today's picture is from 1903, and shows a group that had a successful day of fishing in a canoe. The picture was taken in the Adirondacks in 1903.