The Tokyo Rose is one of the most ingenious and chilling bits of psychological warfare in human history. During World War II, in an effort to unnerve American GI’s and lower morale, the Japanese broadcasted an English-language radio show hosted by a rotating roster of female voices. “Tokyo Rose” was the generic moniker given (by Americans) to all the announcers, but the most famous voice (and probably the one you hear in the broadcast below) was that of Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American who had the misfortune to have been caring for a sick aunt in Japan when the war broke out. After the war, she was arrested and convicted of treason—apparently being a prisoner of war was no excuse for making a radio show. She wasn’t released until 1956.
The format of the show was actually pretty brilliant; in between coy “updates” on the war, (and insinuations of Japan’s impending attacks), Tokyo Rose would play the hits of the day. The show was incredibly popular among American serviceman. Rumors circulated that she possessed insider knowledge of American military actions. Some said she named specific servicemen as recent captures in her broadcasts—this is completely unsubstantiated, of course, and popular opinion is that the myth of Tokyo Rose flourished in the bewildered minds of her targets. And it that sense, the program was a complete success; Americans did overestimate the power and knowledge of Axis Japan.
Similar programs were employed by other Axis countries, including the insidious Lord Haw Haw in Germany, but none quite had the eery charm of Tokyo Rose, whose sweet voice and romantic tunes belied a brutal war.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l39iZb4uSpEMy father was a Marine in the South Pacific during WWII. He said he and his fellow Marines loved Tokyo Rose. They found her broadcasts very entertaining, and, he said, actually GOOD for Marine morale, the total opposite of what the Japanese intended. My father was indignant that Tokyo Rose was committed to the political mental hospital in D.C., St. Elizabeth’s, for a dozen years. “For talking on the radio, for Christ’s sake!” he would say.
Louis Cyr, c.1885-1899
Louis Cyr (born Cyprien-Noé Cyr, 1863–1912) was a famous French Canadian strongman with a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His recorded feats, including lifting 500 pounds (227 kg) with three fingers and carrying 4,337 pounds (1,967 kg) on his back, show Cyr to be, according to former International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness chairman Ben Weider, the strongest man ever to have lived.
Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill, 1885. Photograph originally taken by William Notman studios, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, during Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, August 1885. Later copyrighted by D.F. Barry in June 1897. LOC.
Stone in Etienne St. Cemetery, Montreal. “To preserve from desecration the remains of 6,000 immigrants who died of ship fever A.D. 1847-8. This stone is erected by the workmen of Messrs Peto. Brassey Betts, employed in the construction of the Victoria Bridge, A.D. 1859. Source: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ggb2004008933/