Post World War II Blues

 

Alastair Ian Stewart was born September 5, 1945 in Glasgow. He was raised in Bournemouth, on the south England coast

 

 

Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960)

British statesman, leader of Labour's left wing "Bevanite" group.

The son of a coal miner, Bevan worked in the mines himself until eye disease forced him to leave. He became an active trade unionist, and was elected to the house of commons in 1929 as Labour member for Ebbw Vale.

Bevan served as minister of health in C. R. Attlee's Labour government after WWII, and was primarily responsible for creating the national health service.

He was described as a man of political principle and courage, a colorful personality, and a spontaneous debater possessing great personal charm and wit. He could, however, be abrupt with his opponents. Winston Churchill once called him a "merchant of discourtesy".

 

 

Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

British statesman and military hero, his career spanned both World Wars. He overcame a childhood stutter to become one of history's greatest orators.

Winston Churchill served as Britain's Prime Minister twice, including during World War II.

He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1953, and was awarded the Order of the Garter in that same year.

 

Recommended reading:

 

 

Louis Mountbatten (1900 - 1979)

British Navy officer. Entered the Royal Navy in 1913. He was appointed commander of the aircraft carrier "HMS Illustrious" in 1941. He served as Supreme Allied Commander, southeast Asia, from 1943-46. He was Viceroy and Governor General of India 1947-48, and presided over the transfer of power to India and Pakistan during the partition of the sub-continent.

Mountbatten was fourth sea lord (1950-52), commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet (1952-54) and first sea lord from 1955.

He was named viscount in 1946, and earl in 1947.

He was killed by IRA terrorists 8/28/79 when they blew up his fishing boat off the coast of Ireland.

 

 

"Life With the Lyons"

Information sent to the ASML courtesty of Charlie Hulme, garnered from 'The Radio Companion' by Paul Donovan.

Ben Lyon (1901-79) was an American film actor, who appeared alongside Jean Harlow in 'Hell's Angels.' He married Bebe Daniels (star of stage musicals like 'Rio Rita') in 1930 and they became known as "Hollywood's happiest married couple." They first visited Britain in 1935, and by 1939 they had settled here, presenting the hit radio show 'Hi Gang!' throughout the war.

Post WWII they had the idea of a sitcom based on their own real lives and also starring their real children Richard and Barbara. The 1952 BBC Yearbook includes a photograph of the actors involved, listing them as "Ben", "Bebe", "Barbara" and "Richard". 'Life with the Lyons' first aired on the BBC in 1952, and the program ran for most of the decade. It was considered one of the most popular radio comedies of all time.

 

 

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

Elected 34th President of the United States. Held office from 1/20/53 - 1/20/61. Richard M. Nixon served as Vice-President under Eisenhower's administration.

 

 

Suez Canal

An artificial waterway about 100 miles long, connecting Port Said on the Mediterranean with Suez on the Red Sea. The canal allowed shipping between Europe and the east without having to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. The canal was first opened November 17, 1869.

Britain had a large financial stake in the canal. In 1924 there were 800,000 shares of stock in the Suez Canal Company outstanding. The British government held 353,204 of them.

The canal was supposed to remain open as a neutral passageway for merchant ships of all nations as per the 1888 Convention of Constantinople. This principle, however, was difficult to make work in reality. In an attempt to maintain neutrality, management of the canal was entrusted to a board of 32 directors. In 1956 this board consisted of 16 French members, 9 British, 5 Egyptian, 1 Dutch and 1 U.S. member.

Despite an armistice agreement in 1949 between Egypt and Israel, border incidents continued. In 1950 Egypt denied ships bound for Israel passage through the canal.

Under an agreement signed in 1954, Great Britain removed it's forces from the canal zone -- the last troops leaving in June, 1956.

On July 26, 1956 Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, announced the Suez Canal Company had been nationalized, and martial law was declared in the canal zone. Egyptian officers seized control of the company's buildings and offices.

On October 29, 1956 Israeli forces invaded the Sinai peninsula, and moved towards the canal. Great Britain and France demanded all troops be withdrawn 10 miles the canal, and asked Egypt to agree to temporary Anglo-French occupation of key points along the canal. Egypt rejected the ultimatum.

Aircraft from Cyprus began bombing Egyptian bases on October 31, 1956.

By November 2, 1956 Gaza had fallen. The Egyptian army east of the canal had been routed, and Israel held key positions in the Sinai peninsula.

French and British forces invaded the north end of the canal November 5, 1956. On the same day the United States rejected a Soviet proposal that the USSR and US intervene, saying such a move was "unthinkable".

The USSR threatened to move "volunteer" troops into the area. The United Nations called for the removal of all troops from the canal zone.

Britain, France and Israel agreed to withdraw as soon as adequate UN Forces occupied the territory. The last Anglo-French troops left Egypt December 22, 1956.

The canal, which was by then clogged with the refuse of the dispute, reopened in April, 1957.

 

 

Buddy Holly (1936-1959)

American rock and roll musician. Famous for his unique style, and songs like "Peggy Sue" and "Everyday". He died in a plane crash February 3, 1959, along with Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper".

 

 

TW3

That Was the Week that Was. Comedy television program that spoofed current and historical events.

 

 

Allen Ginsberg (1926 - )

American poet, considered to have defined the generation of the 1950's. Wrote prolifically, and participated in Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in the 1960's an 1970's.

 

 

Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970)

American rock and roll guitarist, famous for his innovative musical style and overtly sexual stage performances. He burned his Stratocaster on stage during the the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, creating a lasting image.

 

 

Harold MacMillan (1894 - 1986)

British statesman. He served as prime minister 1957-1963, succeeding Anthony Eden, who resigned after Britain's failed attack of Egypt in 1956.

MacMillan was very interested in foreign policy. He met with U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, visited with Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow, and kept in contact with Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle.

In 1960 he spoke to the South African parliament and asserted the British government's opposition to the policy of apartheid.

In 1963 the security threat, and spectre of soviet espionage that led to the resignation of John Profumo (secretary of state for war) caused charges of negligence to be made against MacMillan. These charges were used by his own party to remove him from power.

 

 

Christine Keeler

In 1963 MacMillian's Secretary of State for War John Profumo had an affair with a call woman named Christine Keeler, who at much the same time was sleeping with a Russian assistant Naval Attache Eugene Ivanov. Profumo denied intimacy with Keeler to parliament, and when the truth emerged was forced to resign;
Ministers lying to the House of Commons being considered unpardonable. The scandal simmered on all summer and in the Autumn an increasingly embattled MacMillan resigned as PM when he had to enter hospital for a prostate operation.

 

 

Robert F. Kennedy (1925 - 1968)

Robert F. Kennedy served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Served as Attorney General of the United States from under the presidency of his brother, John F. Kennedy. He served in this capacity from 1961-1964.

He was a Senator from New York state 1965-1968. As a Senator he demonstrated an interest in and a concern for the problems of minorities and the poor. He won widespread liberal support for his opposition of President Lyndon Johnson's policies on the war in Vietnam.

RFK was shot during a victory celebration in Los Angeles following the California presidential primary on June 5, 1968. He died of his wounds the following day.

 

 

"Ramona's in Desolation Row" is a reference to two songs by Bob Dylan, so ...

Bob Dylan (1941 - )

Influential American folk/rock musician.

Born Robert Zimmerman, he adopted "Dylan" in honor of poet Dylan Thomas.

Met his idol Woody Guthrie in 1960, and received encouragement to pursue a career. Started playing guitar and harmonica in coffeehouses, and his rise in popularity was meteoric. His anti-establishment songs became rallying cries for 1960's youth.

His most famous songs include "Blowin' in the Wind", "Times, They Are A Changin'", "Just Like A Woman", and "Lay Lady Lay".