The Worst Picnic in History Was Interrupted by a War

The Worst Picnic in History Was Interrupted by a War

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On July 21, 1861, Washingtonians trekked to the countryside near Manassas, Virginia, to watch Union and Confederate forces clash in the first major battle of the American Civil War. Known in the North as the First Battle of Bull Run and in the South as the Battle of First Manassas, the military engagement also earned the nickname the “picnic battle” because spectators showed up with sandwiches and opera glasses. These onlookers, who included a number of U.S. congressmen, expected a victory for the Union and a swift end to the war that had begun three months before.

Instead, the battle that day resulted in a bloody defeat for the Union and sent the picnickers scrambling to safety.

On July 16, federal forces led by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell began marching from the nation’s capital toward the strategic railroad junction at Manassas, some 30 miles away, where Confederate troops commanded by General Pierre G. T. Beauregard had amassed. Five days later, ordinary citizens—along with various U.S. senators and representatives, reporters and the photographer Mathew Brady, who went on to become famous for his images of the war—arrived in the area to check out the action. Many people parked themselves near Centreville, Virginia, several miles from the actual fighting.

The battle got off to a promising start for the Yankees; however, the Confederates soon called in reinforcements and counterattacked. Later that afternoon, Union troops, who like their opponents were poorly trained, began to withdraw. Some soldiers panicked and ran from the battlefield, and the spectators’ amusing summer outing turned chaotic. Civilians hustled back to Washington along with retreating Union troops. Some legislators attempted to stem the tide.

A senator from Michigan tried to block the main road to Washington while one from Ohio grabbed a gun and threatened to shoot any deserters. Henry Wilson, a senator from Massachusetts and a future vice president took pity on the fleeing soldiers, passing out sandwiches as they passed by. Confederate forces were in too much disarray to go after the Yankee army, although rebel soldiers took a congressman, Alfred Ely of New York, prisoner.

Out of more than 28,000 Union soldiers at the First Battle of Bull Run, over 2,800 were killed, wounded, missing or captured; of the more than 32,000 Confederates, there were over 1,900 casualties. The battle showed Congress and President Abraham Lincoln that the Civil War would be much lengthier and tougher than they’d anticipated.

7 of the World’s Deadliest Shipwrecks

Travel by sea has always carried an element of risk. Accidents, human error, harsh weather, and actions during wartime are among the things that could send a ship to the bottom. While some nautical disasters such as the sinking of the Titanic have captured the popular imagination, others—some of which involved a significantly greater loss of life—have remained relatively unknown.

War and peace

The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history. The total number of deaths caused by or associated with its wars has been estimated at 187m, the equivalent of more than 10% of the world's population in 1913. Taken as having begun in 1914, it was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organised armed conflict somewhere. It was dominated by world wars: that is to say, by wars between territorial states or alliances of states.

The period from 1914 to 1945 can be regarded as a single "30 years' war" interrupted only by a pause in the 1920s - between the final withdrawal of the Japanese from the Soviet Far East in 1922 and the attack on Manchuria in 1931. This was followed, almost immediately, by some 40 years of cold war, which conformed to Hobbes's definition of war as consisting "not in battle only or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known". It is a matter for debate how far the actions in which US armed forces have been involved since the end of the cold war in various parts of the globe constitute a continuation of the era of world war. There can be no doubt, however, that the 1990s were filled with formal and informal military conflict in Europe, Africa and western and central Asia. The world as a whole has not been at peace since 1914, and is not at peace now.

Nevertheless, the century cannot be treated as a single block, either chronologically or geographically. Chronologically, it falls into three periods: the era of world war centred on Germany (1914 to 1945), the era of confrontation between the two superpowers (1945 to 1989), and the era since the end of the classic international power system. I shall call these periods I, II and III. Geographically, the impact of military operations has been highly unequal. With one exception (the Chaco war of 1932-35), there were no significant inter-state wars (as distinct from civil wars) in the western hemisphere (the Americas) in the 20th century. Enemy military operations have barely touched these territories: hence the shock of the bombing of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11.

Since 1945 inter-state wars have also disappeared from Europe, which had until then been the main battlefield region. Although in period III, war returned to south-east Europe, it seems very unlikely to recur in the rest of the continent. On the other hand, during period II inter-state wars, not necessarily unconnected with the global confrontation, remained endemic in the Middle East and south Asia, and major wars directly springing from the global confrontation took place in east and south-east Asia (Korea, Indochina). At the same time, areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, which had been comparatively unaffected by war in period I (apart from Ethiopia, belatedly subject to colonial conquest by Italy in 1935-36), came to be theatres of armed conflict during period II, and witnessed major scenes of carnage and suffering in period III.

Two other characteristics of war in the 20th century stand out, the first less obviously than the second. At the start of the 21st century we find ourselves in a world where armed operations are no longer essentially in the hands of governments or their authorised agents, and where the contending parties have no common characteristics, status or objectives, except the willingness to use violence.

Inter-state wars dominated the image of war so much in periods I and II that civil wars or other armed conflicts within the territories of existing states or empires were somewhat obscured. Even the civil wars in the territories of the Russian empire after the October revolution, and those which took place after the collapse of the Chinese empire, could be fitted into the framework of international conflicts, insofar as they were inseparable from them. On the other hand, Latin America may not have seen armies crossing state frontiers in the 20th century, but it has been the scene of major civil conflicts: in Mexico after 1911, for instance, in Colombia since 1948, and in various central American countries during period II. It is not generally recognised that the number of international wars has declined fairly continuously since the mid-1960s, when internal conflicts became more common than those fought between states. The number of conflicts within state frontiers continued to rise steeply until it levelled off in the 1990s.

More familiar is the erosion of the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. The two world wars of the first half of the century involved the entire populations of belligerent countries both combatants and non-combatants suffered. In the course of the century, however, the burden of war shifted increasingly from armed forces to civilians, who were not only its victims, but increasingly the object of military or military-political operations. The contrast between the first world war and the second is dramatic: only 5% of those who died in the first were civilians in the second, the figure increased to 66%. It is generally supposed that 80 to 90% of those affected by war today are civilians. The proportion has increased since the end of the cold war because most military operations since then have been conducted not by conscript armies, but by small bodies of regular or irregular troops, in many cases operating high-technology weapons and protected against the risk of incurring casualties. There is no reason to doubt that the main victims of war will continue to be civilians.

It would be easier to write about war and peace in the 20th century if the difference between the two remained as clear-cut as it was supposed to be at the beginning of the century, in the days when the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907 codified the rules of war. Conflicts were supposed to take place primarily between sovereign states or, if they occurred within the territory of one particular state, between parties sufficiently organised to be accorded belligerent status by other sovereign states. War was supposed to be sharply distinguished from peace, by a declaration of war at one end and a treaty of peace at the other. Military operations were supposed to distinguish clearly between combatants - marked as such by the uniforms they wore, or by other signs of belonging to an organised armed force - and non-combatant civilians. War was supposed to be between combatants. Non-combatants should, as far as possible, be protected in wartime.

It was always understood that these conventions did not cover all civil and international armed conflicts, and notably not those arising out of the imperial expansion of western states in regions not under the jurisdiction of internationally recognised sovereign states, even though some (but by no means all) of these conflicts were known as "wars". Nor did they cover large rebellions against established states, such as the so-called Indian mutiny nor the recurrent armed activity in regions beyond the effective control of the states or imperial authorities nominally ruling them, such as the raiding and blood-feuding in the mountains of Afghanistan or Morocco. Nevertheless, the Hague conventions still served as guidelines in the first world war. In the course of the 20th century, this relative clarity was replaced by confusion.

First, the line between inter-state conflicts and conflicts within states - that is, between international and civil wars - became hazy, because the 20th century was characteristically a century not only of wars, but also of revolutions and the break-up of empires. Revolutions or liberation struggles within a state had implications for the international situation, particularly during the cold war. Conversely, after the Russian revolution, intervention by states in the internal affairs of other states of which they disapproved became common, at least where it seemed comparatively risk-free. This remains the case.

Second, the clear distinction between war and peace became obscure. Except here and there, the second world war neither began with declarations of war nor ended with treaties of peace. It was followed by a period so hard to classify as either war or peace in the old sense that the neologism "cold war" had to be invented to describe it. The sheer obscurity of the position since the cold war is illustrated by the current state of affairs in the Middle East. Neither "peace" nor "war" exactly describes the situation in Iraq since the formal end of the Gulf war - the country is still bombed almost daily by foreign powers - or the relations between Palestinians and Israelis, or those between Israel and its neighbours, Lebanon and Syria. All this is an unfortunate legacy of the 20th-century world wars, but also of war's increasingly powerful machinery of mass propaganda, and of a period of confrontation between incompatible and passion-laden ideologies which brought into wars a crusading element comparable to that seen in religious conflicts of the past.

These conflicts, unlike the traditional wars of the international power system, were increasingly waged for non-negotiable ends such as "unconditional surrender". Since both wars and victories were seen as total, any limitation on a belligerent's capacity to win that might be imposed by the accepted conventions of 18th- and 19th- century warfare - even formal declarations of war - was rejected. So was any limitation on the victors' power to assert their will. Experience had shown that agreements reached in peace treaties could easily be broken.

In recent years the situation has been further complicated by the tendency in public rhetoric for the term "war" to be used to refer to the deployment of organised force against various national or international activities regarded as anti-social - "the war against the Mafia", for example, or "the war against drug cartels". In these conflicts the actions of two types of armed force are confused. One - let's call them "soldiers" - is directed against other armed forces with the object of defeating them. The other - let's call them "police" - sets out to maintain or re-establish the required degree of law and public order within an existing political entity, typically a state. Victory, which has no necessary moral connotation, is the object of one force the bringing to justice of offenders against the law, which does have a moral connotation, is the object of the other. Such a distinction is easier to draw in theory than in practice, however. Homicide by a soldier in battle is not, in itself, a breach of the law. But what if a member of the IRA regards himself as a belligerent, even though official UK law regards him as a murderer?

Were the operations in Northern Ireland a war, as the IRA held, or an attempt in the face of law-breakers to maintain orderly government in one province of the UK? Since not only a formidable local police force but a national army was mobilised against the IRA for 30 years or so, we may conclude that it was a war, but one systematically run like a police operation, in a way that minimised casualties and the disruption of life in the province. Such are the complexities and confusions of the relations between peace and war at the start of the new century. They are well illustrated by the military and other operations in which the US and its allies are at present engaged.

There is now, as there was throughout the 20th century, a complete absence of any effective global authority capable of controlling or settling armed disputes. Globalisation has advanced in almost every respect - economically, technologically, culturally, even linguistically - except one: politically and militarily, territorial states remain the only effective authorities. There are officially about 200 states, but in practice only a handful count, of which the US is overwhelmingly the most powerful. However, no state or empire has ever been large, rich or powerful enough to maintain hegemony over the political world, let alone to establish political and military supremacy over the globe. A single superpower cannot compensate for the absence of global authorities, especially given the lack of conventions - relating to international disarmament, for instance, or weapons control - strong enough to be voluntarily accepted as binding by major states. Some such authorities exist, notably the UN, various technical and financial bodies such as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, and some international tribunals. But none has any effective power other than that granted to them by agreements between states, or thanks to the backing of powerful states, or voluntarily accepted by states. Regrettable as this may be, it isn't likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Since only states wield real power, the risk is that international institutions will be ineffective or lack universal legitimacy when they try to deal with offences such as "war crimes". Even when world courts are established by general agreement (for example, the International Criminal court set up by the UN Rome statute of July 17 1998), their judgments will not necessarily be accepted as legitimate and binding, so long as powerful states are in a position to disregard them. A consortium of powerful states may be strong enough to ensure that some offenders from weaker states are brought before these tribunals, perhaps curbing the cruelty of armed conflict in certain areas. This is an example, however, of the traditional exercise of power and influence within an international state system, not of the exercise of international law.

There is, however, a major difference between the 21st and the 20th century: the idea that war takes place in a world divided into territorial areas under the authority of effective governments which possess a monopoly of the means of public power and coercion has ceased to apply. It was never applicable to countries experiencing revolution, or to the fragments of disintegrated empires, but until recently most new revolutionary or post-colonial regimes - China between 1911 and 1949 is the main exception - emerged fairly quickly as more or less organised and functioning successor regimes and states. Over the past 30 years or so, however, the territorial state has, for various reasons, lost its traditional monopoly of armed force, much of its former stability and power, and, increasingly, the fundamental sense of legitimacy, or at least of accepted permanence, which allows governments to impose burdens such as taxes and conscription on willing citizens. The material equipment for warfare is now widely available to private bodies, as are the means of financing non-state warfare. In this way, the balance between state and non-state organisations has changed.

Armed conflicts within states have become more serious and can continue for decades without any serious prospect of victory or settlement: Kashmir, Angola, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Colombia. In extreme cases, as in parts of Africa, the state may have virtually ceased to exist or may, as in Colombia, no longer exercise power over part of its territory. Even in strong and stable states, it has been difficult to eliminate small, unofficial armed groups, such as the IRA in Britain and Eta in Spain. The novelty of this situation is indicated by the fact that the most powerful state on the planet, having suffered a terrorist attack, feels obliged to launch a formal operation against a small, international, non-governmental organisation or network lacking both a territory and a recognisable army.

How do these changes affect the balance of war and peace in the coming century? I would rather not make predictions about the wars that are likely to take place or their possible outcomes. However, both the structure of armed conflict and the methods of settlement have been changed profoundly by the transformation of the world system of sovereign states.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union means that the Great Power system which governed international relations for almost two centuries and, with obvious exceptions, exercised some control over conflicts between states, no longer exists. Its disappearance has removed a major restraint on inter-state warfare and the armed intervention of states in the affairs of other states - foreign territorial borders were largely uncrossed by armed forces during the cold war. The international system was potentially unstable even then, however, as a result of the multiplication of small, sometimes quite weak states, which were nevertheless officially "sovereign" members of the UN.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the European communist regimes plainly increased this instability. Separatist tendencies of varying strength in hitherto stable nation-states such as Britain, Spain, Belgium and Italy might well increase it further. At the same time, the number of private actors on the world scene has multiplied. What mechanisms are there for controlling and settling such conflicts? The record is not promising. None of the armed conflicts of the 1990s ended with a stable settlement. The survival of cold war institutions, assumptions and rhetoric has kept old suspicions alive, exacerbating the post-communist disintegration of south-east Europe and making the settlement of the region once known as Yugoslavia more difficult.

These cold war assumptions, both ideological and power-political, will have to be dispensed with if we are to develop some means of controlling armed conflict. It is also evident that the US has failed, and will inevitably fail, to impose a new world order (of any kind) by unilateral force, however much power relations are skewed in its favour at present, and even if it is backed by an (inevitably shortlived) alliance. The international system will remain multilateral and its regulation will depend on the ability of several major units to agree with one another, even though one of these states enjoys military predominance.

How far international military action taken by the US is dependent on the negotiated agreement of other states is already clear. It is also clear that the political settlement of wars, even those in which the US is involved, will be by negotiation and not by unilateral imposition. The era of wars ending in unconditional surrender will not return in the foreseeable future.

The role of existing international bodies, notably the UN, must also be rethought. Always present, and usually called upon, it has no defined role in the settlement of disputes. Its strategy and operation are always at the mercy of shifting power politics. The absence of an international intermediary genuinely considered neutral, and capable of taking action without prior authorisation by the Security Council, has been the most obvious gap in the system of dispute management.

Since the end of the cold war the management of peace and war has been improvised. At best, as in the Balkans, armed conflicts have been stopped by outside armed intervention, and the status quo at the end of hostilities maintained by the armies of third parties. Whether a general model for the future control of armed conflict can emerge from such interventions remains unclear.

The balance of war and peace in the 21st century will depend not on devising more effective mechanisms for negotiation and settlement but on internal stability and the avoidance of military conflict. With a few exceptions, the rivalries and frictions between existing states that led to armed conflict in the past are less likely to do so today. There are, for instance, comparatively few burning disputes between governments about international borders. On the other hand, internal conflicts can easily become violent: the main danger of war lies in the involvement of outside states or military actors in these conflicts.

States with thriving, stable economies and a relatively equitable distribution of goods among their inhabitants are likely to be less shaky - socially and politically - than poor, highly inegalitarian and economically unstable ones. The avoidance or control of internal armed violence depends even more immediately, however, on the powers and effective performance of national governments and their legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of their inhabitants. No government today can take for granted the existence of an unarmed civilian population or the degree of public order long familiar in large parts of Europe. No government today is in a position to overlook or eliminate internal armed minorities.

Yet the world is increasingly divided into states capable of administering their territories and citizens effectively and into a growing number of territories bounded by officially recognised international frontiers, with national governments ranging from the weak and corrupt to the non-existent. These zones produce bloody internal struggles and international conflicts, such as those we have seen in central Africa. There is, however, no immediate prospect for lasting improvement in such regions, and a further weakening of central government in unstable countries, or a further Balkanisation of the world map, would undoubtedly increase the dangers of armed conflict.

A tentative forecast: war in the 21st century is not likely to be as murderous as it was in the 20th. But armed violence, creating disproportionate suffering and loss, will remain omnipresent and endemic - occasionally epidemic - in a large part of the world. The prospect of a century of peace is remote.

© Eric Hobsbawm A longer version of this article appears in the London Review of Books, Freepost WC3919, London WC1A 2BR. Tel: 020 7209 1141.

Tuesday was the 94th anniversary of the Bath school bombing, the deadliest school massacre in U.S. history

BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The deadliest school massacre in U.S. history happened 94 years ago today at Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township.

The victims were 38 children and four adults, six if you include Andrew Kehoe, who bombed the school, and his wife, Nellie, who was later found dead on their property.

Andrew Kehoe was a school trustee, the treasurer of the school board, a master electrician and a handyman for the school. He went into town that day around 8:30 a.m. to mail a package.

“One of the other school trustees saw him and said, ‘Hey we’re having some problems with the boiler. Could you come and take a look?’ Because he was trustee, he volunteered his time at that school and he knew everything about that school, inside and out, which, as we later found out was part of why what happened, happened,” said Arnie Bernstein, author of the 2009 book “Bath Massacre."

“He went down there with him, and he was looking at the boiler – he seemed really agitated. He said, ‘I’ve got to go,’ and he just left.’ They thought that was a little odd,” Bernstein said

Around 8:45 a.m., a huge explosion happened at the north wing of the school.

“It sort of rose a few feet in the air and then pancaked down,” Bernstein said. “Nobody knew what was going on, but it was heard – it was heard in Lansing.”

The townspeople rushed to the school.

“Kids were climbing out of the debris, there was screams…little arms sticking out through the rubble, people clawing with bare hands to get through it.”

At the same time, there was an explosion at Kehoe’s farm just down the road from the school. The explosion started a fire that quickly spread.

“Some friends of his driving by had saw it…they saw somebody through this heavy, heavy cloud of smoke, and this smoke could be seen for miles. They saw somebody next to a tank on the farm. It was a truck, and it pulled out and when it emerged from the smoke, they saw it was Kehoe and he looked at them and said, ‘Boys, you’re my friends. You better get out of here. You better go down to the school,’ and he headed off to the school,” Bernstein said.

One man recalled seeing Kehoe smiling as he drove to the school, wide enough to see both rows of his gold teeth, Bernstein said.

Superintendent of the school Emory Huyck was leading the rescue operation at the school.

“Inside the school was just as awful as awful can be. There was one teacher whose head was wedged between two boards. She couldn’t move – just hoping to be rescued. There was a boy in front of her. They were almost face-to-face. The kid’s eyes were open, and she realized the kid was dead,” Bernstein said. “Some people were identifying their children by their shoes.”

Kehoe pulled up to the school. Huyck, who had a contentious relationship with Kehoe, asked for his help and if they could take his truck to get ropes, ladders and other equipment to help rescue the victims from the rubble.

“Kehoe said, ‘Okay. I’ll take you with me.’ Then Huyck had this look of horror on his face. He said, ‘You know something about this, don’t you?’”
Kehoe fired his gun at his truck that was loaded with dynamite, old nails, old screws and other shrapnel.

Dunham was a senior in high school. Because she had stayed home with a sore throat, she was not at school that day.

“She was at home with her mother, and they heard the explosion, and her mother – they jumped in the car and they drove into town and…to see what it was about…and that’s when they saw the school explosion and the carnage and all that. She talks about seeing body parts hanging from the telephone lines, and dead children and their mothers kneeling over them crying,” her son Bruce said, recounting the story as he's heard his mother tell it.

“All I remember was all the little kids that were killed. It was terrible." Irene Dunham said.

Dunham also said she knew Kehoe.

"He talked to all of us girls like we were…okay. just before he did what he did.”

Dunham recalled when Kehoe drove up to the school about 30 minutes after the bombs in the school detonated to detonate his truck. The explosion and shrapnel killed him, Huyck and others, including an 8-year-old child.

“We had a principal we loved of the school and he was walking down to see what this guy was up to, but just as he got to the car, well this guy turned a switch on and blew the poor Huyck and of course the car and everything. Part of the car was on a wire above, a part of him with it. It was horrid to have to look at. Mom and I, we saw that," Irene said.

Matt Martyn, co-owner and co-founder of Ahptic Film and Digital, is in the final stages of producing a four-part docuseries about the massacre that he has been working on for the past 16 years.
“After 16 years, what I know more than anything is that I’ll never understand the gravity of what happened, and I don’t really know if anybody outside the town of Bath – you know, the people who suffered through 9/11 or Oklahoma City, or a war – could understand the horrifying nature of what happened that day. Especially the fact that it involved children,” he said.

“They didn’t have words to describe what he had done,” Martyn said. “It was the world’s first suicide car-bombing. Ever, in the world.”

Rescue efforts went into the night.

“It changed the town forever,” Martyn said. “Obviously a lot – dozens of children were murdered, and a lot of adults as well, but then there were many that were disfigured. Then there’s the survivor’s guilt, the second-guessing. There’s – I can’t tell you how many parents were talking about, it was the last day of school so, ‘Oh, does our kid need to go to school today? Do they not?’ They were haunted by those decisions forever.”

According to some accounts, Kehoe blew up the school because he was upset about school taxes, said they were making him unable to pay the mortgage on his farm.

Bernstein said that's not quite right.

“No. No. He blew up the school because he was a psychopath,” Bernstein said.

“His aim was to destroy the town,” Martyn said. “Narcissist is thrown around a lot, but if you take it to the very, very extreme…he fits all those categories as well.”

The next day, a wooden plaque was found at the edge of his farm that read, “criminals are made, not born.”

“You made me do this, in other words,” Bernstein said.

They found his horses burned to death with their legs wired together so they could not escape the fire. The burnt remains of Kehoe’s wife Nellie were found in a cart at the back of the farm next to boxes of family silverware, the deed to the house, liberty bonds and money.

“It looked like she had been put there with ritual – ritualistic, almost” Bernstein said.

“It could have been much worse,” Martyn said. "Only some of the explosives went off. he had a lot of other things seemingly in the works.”

They found 600 lbs. of dynamite and pyrotol under the school that did not explode. Bernstein said it was clear that it had taken Kehoe months to plan this massacre, and his complete access to the school made it very easy for him.

A teacher had called him a few days before the bombing to ask if she and her students could have a picnic on his land that Thursday. Kehoe told her it would be best if they did it a few days beforehand.

The police later found the package that Kehoe was mailing out that day. Inside was a letter from Kehoe that said he made a mistake in the school’s books as treasurer. Bernstein said the mistake was only a few cents. Kehoe ended his note by resigning from the school board.

Bernstein said it is important to bear witness and remember these lives lost, and that is why he wrote his book, which will soon be re-released with updated information and additional survivors’ stories.

Martyn said the echoes of this tragedy are still felt today.

“The children, the grandchildren, the great-grandchildren are, in a sense, survivors in a way,” Martyn said. “It very much affects everything about the community even to this day.”

Martyn said the town of Bath serves as an example of how people in a community can overcome the “worst, worst imaginable circumstance.”

He has started a website with more information that you can find here.

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On War Quotes

&ldquoWe propose to consider first the single elements of our subject, then each branch of part, and, last of all, the whole in all its relations-therefore to advance from the simple to the complex. But it is necessary for us to commence with a glance at the nature of the whole, because it is particularly necessary that in the consideration of any of the parts their relation to the whole be kept constantly in view.

We shall not enter into any of the abstruse definitions of War used by publicists. We shall keep to the element of the thing itself, to a duel. War is nothing but a duel on an extensive scale. If we would conceive as a unit the countless number of duels which make up a War, we shall do so best by supposing to ourselves two wrestlers. Each strives by physical force to compel the other to submit to his will: each endeavors to throw his adversary, and thus render him incapable of further resistance.

War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.&rdquo
― Carl Von Clausewitz, On War

Burned from the land: How 60 years of racial violence shaped America

A s the Civil War neared its end, Union General William Sherman had been convinced that newly emancipated slaves needed their own land to secure their freedom. He issued Special Field Order No. 15, setting aside 400,000 coastal acres of land for Black families and stating that, “…no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside.” A provision was added later for mules.

In three months, the potential of Sherman’s order vanished with a single shot. That April, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and in the fall President Andrew Johnson reversed Sherman’s order, allowing Confederate planters to regain the land. It demonstrated a ruthless appropriation that would be repeated for decades to come.

Still, Black Americans created pockets of wealth during the Reconstruction years and into the early 20th century. Yet where Black Americans created a refuge, White Americans pushed back through political maneuvering and violence. This year marks the centennial of one such event: the heinous attack on the Black enclave of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Williams Dreamland Theatre was destroyed during the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. (Photo by Greenwood Cultural Center/Getty Images)

A glistening city-within-a-city, Greenwood was home to grocery and retail stores, theaters, restaurants and hotels – all the businesses and services that would cater to Black residents of a segregated state. Greenwood’s streets were lined with the stately mansions of doctors and business tycoons as well as the more modest dwellings of domestic workers. It was so prosperous it became known as “Negro Wall Street.”

The affluence of Greenwood “created this tie-in between Black Tulsans and White Tulsans,” says University of Tulsa anthropologist Alicia Odewale in CNN Films’ “Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street.” “But it’s all about perspective. White Tulsans talked about Greenwood as ‘Little Africa’ or ‘Nigger Land.’”

One hundred years ago, on May 31, 1921, that racial animosity became fuel for a massacre.

A lynch mob formed in downtown Tulsa after a 19-year-old Black man was accused of assaulting a White woman. That night, thousands of White Tulsans launched an all-out assault on Greenwood with rifles, machine guns, torches and aerial bombings from private planes.

The rampage lasted into the next afternoon, leaving 10,000 Black Tulsans homeless and their community burned to nothing but ash and rubble.

The Greenwood District is seen burning during the riot on June 1, 1921. The text seen on the image was etched onto the negative at the time of printing, according to the Smithsonian. (Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture/Gift of Cassandra P. Johnson Smith)

It’s still unknown how many people were killed but it’s estimated as many as 300 lost their lives in the massacre.

It was one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history. And it was part of a larger pattern of assault.

“We estimate that there were upwards of 100 massacres that took place between the end of the Civil War and the 1940s,” says William Darity Jr., a Duke University economist who co-authored “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” with writer and folklorist A. Kirsten Mullen. “And they take place North and South, East and West.”

We looked back through research and news clippings, paying particular attention to around 50 racially charged incidents between 1863 and 1923 when people of color lost property or economic opportunity. The events highlighted here reveal how acts of racial violence of different scope played out across the country and targeted various ethnicities. Historians then helped us examine how and why they had occurred and where we still see the impact today.

"The South lost the Civil War. The South’s response to that loss was that it was going to win the race war."

1863: Detroit, Michigan

On March 6, 1863, a tavern owner named William Faulkner was found guilty of sexually assaulting a White girl. Outside the courthouse, a mostly White crowd clashed with officials as they tried to get at Faulkner.

When they couldn’t, they roamed Detroit’s streets, attacking African Americans and setting buildings on fire, which left nearly 200 Black residents homeless. Local papers had called Faulkner a “negro,” though Faulkner said he was Spanish Indian. Faulkner’s accusers later recanted, and he was released from prison, as noted in research by the late Matthew Kundinger when he was a University of Michigan history student. (Michigan Journal of History)

1875: Clinton, Mississippi

On September 4, 1875, between 1,500 and 2,500 people, most of whom were newly enfranchised Black Republicans and their families, gathered at the site of a former plantation for a picnic and political rally ahead of an election.

A White Democrat who’d been invited to the event heckled a speaker, inciting a fight. Witnesses said the White Democrats turned their weapons on the crowd and started firing. In the days after, a “presumed race riot” became a “massacre.” (Mississippi Encyclopedia)

T he achievements of Black Americans made them vulnerable to attack, said Trina Shanks, a nonresident fellow at the Urban Institute.

“If Blacks were successful and actually were visibly prosperous, that made them a target. Some of the violence might have been triggered by this economic envy,” said Shanks, director of community engagement at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. She explains that some White Americans thought, “How can we make sure that we reserve these economic benefits and opportunities for the White population and our children and push Blacks out so there can be more for us.”

The front page of the Detroit Free Press on March 7, 1863.

This dynamic played out in Wilmington, North Carolina, where many Black Americans achieved economic success for several decades in the late 1800s. They worked throughout the major port city as professionals, skilled artisans and industrial workers. They formed a building and loan association, built libraries and created baseball leagues. During the 1870s and 1880s, some Black businessmen and entrepreneurs amassed wealth rivaling that of many Whites, according to a 2006 historical report produced by the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission, which was created by the state’s General Assembly.

They were gaining political power, too, having an impact on multiple elections in the 1890s and securing seats in the city government.

As Black people increased their political and financial capital, many White residents grew increasingly angry and organized to regain control of the city.

It all came to a head just after the November 8 election in 1898. White Democrats in Wilmington forced the resignation of the city’s White mayor and local government members of both races in a coup, as well as the removal of Black employees from their municipal positions. At least 60 members of the city’s Black community were killed, according to the News & Observer, while some have estimated a death toll into the hundreds. More than 2,100 Black residents fled, and the homes of at least 1,500 Black people were then taken by White residents at low cost.

White supremacists burned down Wilmington, North Carolina’s Daily Record newspaper building in their 1898 attempt to overthrow the city’s biracial government. (Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images)

This result, where White people benefited in the aftermath of violence, repeats itself well into the 20th century in places like Ocoee, Florida, where a successful Black labor broker’s attempt to vote in 1920 sparked a massacre so violent that Black residents abandoned their properties. Within a month, their land was advertised for sale at “special bargains” by a Confederate veteran, the Orlando Sentinel found.

The racial violence during and after Reconstruction in the South began as Whites sought to maintain their supremacy economically, politically and socially, historian Dominic J. Capeci Jr. wrote in a foreword to the “Encyclopedia of American Race Riots.”

“The South lost the Civil War. The South’s response to that loss was that it was going to win the race war,” Capeci told CNN. He noted that White people sought to repress Black people, Chinese immigrants and others throughout the nation in the subsequent decades, sparked in part by growing competition for housing and jobs.

"Once upon a time in the West, there were over 200 Chinese communities until the Chinese [people] who lived in them were driven out."

1877: San Francisco, California

Weary of the high unemployment brought on by a depression, White Americans and recent European immigrants turned on the city’s thousands of Chinese workers. On July 23, 1877, around 8,000 people gathered for a labor rally in front of City Hall. Violence broke out and the rally turned into an anti-Chinese mob that set fire to a city wharf before torching, looting and murdering its way through the city’s long-established Chinatown. (SF GATE)

1885: Rock Springs, Wyoming

In the mid-1800s, Chinese immigrants started flowing into the US in search of gold. When the gold rush ended, Chinese people found jobs throughout the country. At a coal mine in Wyoming, White Americans and European immigrants resented the Chinese laborers for accepting lower wages and lashed out.

When a fight broke out between the workers on September 2, 1885, White miners gathered weapons, surrounded the Chinese enclave in Rock Springs, killed 28 Chinese men and burned down 79 of their shacks and houses. (

C hinese laborers had been coming to the United States since the mid-1800s, with many fleeing the destruction caused by the Taiping Rebellion, which began in 1850. In the 1860s, the Chinese population in the US nearly doubled as many came to do the dangerous work of building the Pacific Coast Railroad, according to researchers for the PBS series “American Experience: The Chinese Exclusion Act.”

An article from the San Francisco Examiner on July 25, 1877.

Historian William Wei told CNN that Chinese laborers were paid lower wages than White Americans and European immigrants who saw the Chinese as an economic threat.

“Once upon a time in the West there were over 200 Chinese communities until the Chinese who lived in them were driven out,” said Wei, a University of Colorado Boulder professor and author of “Asians in Colorado: A History of Persecution and Perseverance in the Centennial State.”

Wei and other Coloradans have dedicated themselves to retelling the history of Denver’s Chinatown. On October 30, 1880, political organizers held an anti-Chinese parade ahead of the presidential election. The next day, a bar fight morphed into a mob that lynched a Chinese man, beat every Chinese person they happened upon, then tore down the neighborhood that had been a respite for Chinese miners in the region.

The anti-Chinese riot of October 31, 1880, in Denver is depicted in this wood engraving first published in November 1880 in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. (Library of Congress)

Our study of similar incidents reveals the anti-Chinese fervor spread like wildfire through the West, moving from California to Washington to Wyoming. Anywhere Chinese people were trying to make a living, White and recent European immigrants, often united through unions, threatened and executed them, burned their encampments and at times even packed them up on rail cars destined for ships heading back to Asia. Wei pointed out the irony when Congress used the violence as an excuse to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, claiming that barring more Chinese laborers from entry would keep the peace.

The Chinese built much of the infrastructure that made expansion into the West possible, enriching the pockets of Gilded Age tycoons and enabling generations of Americans to make the Western half of the US their home, but the Chinese never benefited. They eventually disappeared from communities like Denver, said Wei.

“In our particular economic system, we tend to use up people a lot, right?” asked Wei, referring to immigrants and people of color. “And once we use them, we dispose of them or we deport them, as has been the case recently.”

The 1885 massacre at Rock Springs, Wyoming, is depicted in this Harper’s Weekly wood engraving. (Library of Congress)

Monica Muñoz Martinez is one of several historians working to bring more attention to the long history of persecution against Mexican people who, along with Native Americans, suffered as White American interests expanded West into territories they’d already been living in.

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War also granted citizenship to Mexican residents living on newly-acquired land. The treaty was also supposed to protect their property rights.

Mexicans had long prospered as ranch owners in California, New Mexico and Texas but then saw their lands slowly siphoned off into White hands by fraud, taxation, squatting and sometimes outright robbery, Martinez explained.

“When Anglos are stealing land from Mexicans, it was perfectly legal or sanctioned by Texas law,” said Martinez, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “But then when Mexicans tried to take land back — they were bandits that were heavily policed and murdered by groups like the Texas Rangers.”

The Texas Rangers, immortalized later as heroes of the Wild West, were a state-sanctioned force responsible for the murder and banishment of hundreds of Mexican and Mexican American people. The violence peaked in 1915 in a time called La Matanza, or the massacre. Murders often took place in quiet rural areas, often with the excuse that the people the Rangers killed were threatening White communities.

In Presidio County in January 1918, Texas Rangers went into a Mexican community and took the owner of a ranch, along with 14 other men and boys. They later executed them with no trial, suggesting the men had been involved in a raid. That summer, in response to public pressure over what was called the “Porvenir Massacre,” the state disbanded the Texas Ranger company responsible for the murders, according to congressional testimony from Martinez.

The families of the victims often fled their communities, abandoning their property in the face of the onslaught of government-sanctioned violence. Martinez noted that it took only one generation for tens of millions of acres of Mexican-owned land to shift to White hands.

"Entire communities of people were being effectively reduced overnight to the lower class."

1917: East St. Louis

“I saw negro women begging for mercy and pleading that they had harmed no one, set upon by white women of the baser sort, who laughed and answered the coarse sallies of men as thy beat the negresses’ faces and breasts with fists, stones and sticks,” wrote reporter Carlos F. Hurd — the day after watching a White mob stone and murder Black people indiscriminately on the streets of East St. Louis on July 2, 1917.

The mob killed nearly 50 people, mostly Black, and drove 6,000 from the city. The mob had formed because of an earlier incident that began with a White man in a Ford who’d been shooting into Black homes. Black residents had armed themselves and fired on two men approaching in a car, killing them. Those men later turned out to be police officers. (St. Louis Post Dispatch Archive)

1919: Corbin, Kentucky

Known for being the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Corbin is still grappling with its history as a “sundown town.” On October 30 and 31, 1919, an armed mob forced out hundreds of Black residents, bringing in extra rail cars to send them out of town.

From that point on, Black residents simply weren’t welcome there. Corbin was one of thousands of White-only communities throughout the US that became known as a “sundown town,” and remains predominantly White.

1923: Johnstown, Pennsylvania

In early September, after four police officers were killed during a shootout with a Black man, the mayor ordered all Black and Mexican people who had lived in Johnstown for less than seven years to leave the area. He relied on the local Ku Klux Klan to enforce the order, which he said wasn’t directed toward Johnstown’s “law-abiding” Black population, according to the Pittsburgh Quarterly.

An estimated 2,000 Black and Mexican residents were forced out. Black newspapers relentlessly covered the story, drawing national attention. (Pittsburgh Quarterly)

T hough these massacres happened many decades ago, their economic impact was widespread and long-lasting — and it can still be felt today.

An article from the Owensboro Messenger on Nov. 1, 1919

The wealth disparity between White and Black Americans is stunning. The typical non-Hispanic White family had a net worth of $188,200 in 2019, while the typical non-Hispanic Black family’s wealth was $24,100, according to the most recent Federal Reserve Bank data.

This enormous gap stems in part from the historic destruction of Black towns, homes and businesses, which hampered Black Americans’ ability to amass financial assets – particularly housing — and to pass them down to their children and grandchildren to help build wealth. A 2013 report using research gathered on families over a 25-year period found Whites were five times more likely to inherit than Black people, and among those receiving inheritances, Whites heirs got 10 times as much.

It’s hard for many people to understand why the massacres continue to have economic significance today, said Chris Messer, a sociology professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo. But the average American doesn’t have a grandparent or great-grandparent whose home was burned to the ground – and who received no insurance proceeds or government aid, he said. Black Americans who kept their cash at home – reluctant to put their money in White-owned banks – often lost their life savings and any other assets when their homes and businesses were destroyed or they had to flee to other communities, Messer said.

“There are plenty of really wealthy individuals in America today – they would not be wealthy if it weren’t for their parents being able to give them wealth or put them in a good school or hand their business down,” said Messer, who estimated that the property lost in the Tulsa massacre would come to $200 million based on today’s home values.

“Entire communities of people were being effectively reduced overnight to the lower class,” Messer told CNN. “They had to start completely over.”

Six blocks in East St. Louis, Illinois, were reduced to rubble during racially motivated riots in 1917. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

The Tulsa riots led to a decline in homeownership, lower average occupational status and less educational attainment among Black residents of the city and throughout the state through 1940 at least, according to a research paper published last year by Nathan Nunn, a Harvard economics professor, and two other researchers. Among their findings: More Black women entered the labor force, possibly because they had to work to support themselves and their families after the massacre.

“The massacre put Black Americans living in Tulsa, or exposed to information about the massacres, on a different trajectory,” Nunn told CNN.

Additional findings show that the massacre’s effects on homeownership have lingered even longer. The share of Black Tulsans who live in homes that either they or their families own was 25 percentage points lower in 2000 than it would have been had the massacre not occurred, Nunn said.

The gap between Black and White homeownership remains wide today. About 74% of White people owned homes in the first quarter of 2021 versus 45% of Black people, according to census data. Elsewhere, riots led to a greater divide between the races that further hindered Black Americans from building wealth.

1919 was a particularly violent year, later known as Red Summer, with nearly a hundred lynchings and dozens of racially charged incidents. In Chicago, riots broke out in July 1919 after a Black teen on a raft drifted into a swimming area unofficially restricted to Whites. After he was killed, violence raged for days, which led to more formal separation between Blacks and Whites.

An African American man moves his belongings to a safety zone under police protection during the Chicago race riots of 1919. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Segregation in the Windy City, which is no longer sanctioned but remains pervasive, has led to a 30-year difference in life expectancy between a mostly Black neighborhood and a mostly White one less than 10 miles away, according to Helene Gayle, CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. It fostered discriminatory real estate practices, such as redlining and contract home buying, that made it more difficult for Black residents to purchase property and build wealth. And it has led to lower wages for Black workers.

“As a result of these riots, what once was an imaginary line became codified in law, as it was determined that the only real way to prevent this from happening again was to segregate the races,” Gayle wrote in a 2019 essay marking the centennial of the riots. “Though this separation is no longer mandated by our government, it continues to shape Chicago 100 years later. The ‘solution’ of segregation was inspired by racism and fueled a system of inequity that continues today.”


The 1688 Glorious Revolution replaced James II and VII with his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William, who ruled as joint monarchs of England, Ireland and Scotland. Neither Mary, who died in 1694, nor her sister Anne, had surviving children, which left their Catholic half-brother James Francis Edward as the closest natural heir. The 1701 Act of Settlement excluded Catholics from the succession and when Anne became queen in 1702, her heir was the distantly related but Protestant Electress Sophia of Hanover. Sophia died in June 1714 and when Anne followed two months later in August, Sophia's son succeeded as George I. [1]

Louis XIV of France, the primary source of support for the exiled Stuarts, died in 1715 and his successors needed peace with Britain in order to rebuild their economy. [2] The 1716 Anglo-French alliance forced James to leave France he settled in Rome on a Papal pension, making him even less attractive to the Protestants who formed the vast majority of his British support. [3]

Rebellions in 1715 and 1719 failed, the latter so badly its planners concluded that it might "ruin the King's Interest and faithful subjects in these parts". [4] Senior exiles like Bolingbroke accepted pardons and returned home or took employment elsewhere. The birth of his sons Charles and Henry helped maintain public interest in the Stuarts, but by 1737, James was "living tranquilly in Rome, having abandoned all hope of a restoration". [5]

In the 1730s, French statesmen increasingly viewed the post-1713 expansion in British trade as a threat to the European balance of power and the Stuarts as one way to reduce it. [6] However, a low-level insurgency was far more cost-effective than an expensive restoration, especially since they were unlikely to be any more pro-French than the Hanoverians. [a] The Scottish Highlands was an ideal location, due to the feudal nature of clan society, their remoteness and terrain but as many Scots recognised, an uprising would also be devastating for the local populace. [7]

Opposition to taxes levied by the government in London led to the 1725 malt tax and 1737 Porteous riots. In March 1743, the Highland-recruited 42nd Regiment or Black Watch was posted to Flanders, contrary to an understanding their service was restricted to Scotland and led to a short-lived mutiny. [8] However, mutinies over pay and conditions were not unusual and the worst riots in 1725 took place in Glasgow, a town Charles noted in 1746 as one 'where I have no friends and who are not at pains to hide it.' [9]

Trade disputes between Spain and Britain led to the 1739 War of Jenkins' Ear, followed in 1740–41 by the War of the Austrian Succession. The long-serving British prime minister Robert Walpole was forced to resign in February 1742 by an alliance of Tories and anti-Walpole Patriot Whigs, who then excluded their partners from government. [10] Furious Tories like the Duke of Beaufort asked for French help in restoring James to the British throne. [11]

While war with Britain was clearly only a matter of time, Cardinal Fleury, chief minister since 1723, viewed the Jacobites as unreliable fantasists, an opinion shared by most French ministers. [12] An exception was the Marquis D'Argenson, who was appointed Foreign Minister by Louis XV after Fleury died in January 1743. [13]

Although Jacobitism remained a significant political movement in 1745, its internal divisions became increasingly apparent during the Rising historian Frank McLynn identifies seven primary drivers, with Stuart loyalism the least important. [14] Estimates of English support in particular confused indifference to the Hanoverians with enthusiasm for the Stuarts. [15]

Charles' senior advisors included Irish exiles such as John O'Sullivan, who wanted an autonomous, Catholic Ireland and the return of lands confiscated after the Irish Confederate Wars. [16] James II promised these concessions in return for Irish support in the 1689–91 Williamite War, and only a Stuart on the throne of Great Britain could ensure their fulfillment . [17]

In England and Wales, those with Jacobite sympathies were generally also Tories, who preferred a mercantilist strategy that emphasised protecting British trade land commitments were seen as expensive and primarily of benefit to Hanover. [18] This was particularly strong in the City of London, although diplomats observed opposition to foreign entanglements was true "only so long as English commerce does not suffer". [19]

The 1715 Rising in England and Wales suffered from being seen as a largely Catholic revolt, since most Tories were fervently anti-Catholic. [20] After 1720, Walpole refused to enforce anti-Catholic penal laws and many became government supporters, among them the Duke of Norfolk, unofficial head of the English Catholic community. Sentenced to death after the 1715 Rising, he was reprieved and after Charles landed, visited George II to confirm his loyalty. [21]

In 1745, even Tories sympathetic to the Stuart cause were far more concerned to ensure the primacy of the Church of England. That included defending it from Charles and his Catholic advisors, the Scots Presbyterians who formed the bulk of his army or Nonconformists in general many "Jacobite" demonstrations in Wales stemmed from hostility to the 18th century Welsh Methodist revival. [22] The Jacobite exiles failed to appreciate these distinctions or the extent to which Tory support derived from policy differences with the Whigs, not Stuart loyalism. [18]

The most prominent Welsh Jacobite was Denbighshire landowner and Tory Member of Parliament, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, head of the Jacobite White Rose society. He met with Stuart agents several times between 1740 and 1744 and promised support "if the Prince brought a French army" in the end, he spent the Rebellion in London, with participation by the Welsh gentry limited to two lawyers, David Morgan and William Vaughan. [23]

After the 1719 Rising, new laws imposed penalties on nonjuring clergy, those who refused to swear allegiance to the Hanoverian regime, rather than the Stuarts. [24] For most English Non-Jurists, the issue was whether it was permissible to swear allegiance twice and so the problem naturally diminished as these priests died. In Scotland, doctrinal differences with the majority Church of Scotland meant they preserved their independence, which continues today in the Scottish Episcopal Church many of those who participated in the Rising came from non-juring Episcopalian congregations. [25] However, the most powerful single driver for Scottish support in 1745 was opposition to the 1707 Union, whose loss of political control was not matched by perceived economic benefit. This was particularly marked in Edinburgh, former location of the Scottish Parliament, and the Highlands. [26]

In summary, Charles wanted to reclaim the throne of a united Great Britain and rule on the principles of the divine right of kings and absolutism, ideas rejected by the 1688 Glorious Revolution but which were reinforced by his trusted advisors, most of whom were long-term English or Irish Catholic exiles. [b] [27] They differed sharply from the Scottish Protestant nationalists that comprised the bulk of Jacobite support in 1745, who opposed the Union, Catholicism and "arbitrary" rule. [28]

In the 1743 Treaty of Fontainebleau or Pacte de Famille, Louis and his uncle, Philip V of Spain, agreed to co-operate against Britain, including an attempted restoration of the Stuarts. [29] In November 1743, Louis advised James the invasion was planned for February 1744 and began assembling 12,000 troops and transports at Dunkirk, selected because it was possible to reach the Thames from there in a single tide. [30] Since the Royal Navy was well aware of this, the French squadron in Brest made ostentatious preparations for putting to sea, in hopes of luring their patrols away. [31]

James remained in Rome while Charles made his way in secret to join the invasion force but when the French admiral Roquefeuil's squadron left Brest on 26 January 1744, the Royal Navy refused to follow. [32] Naval operations against Britain often took place in the winter, when wind and tides made it harder for the British to enforce a blockade due to the increased risks of winter storms. As in 1719, the weather proved the British government's best defence storms sank a number of French ships and severely damaged many others, Roquefeuil himself being among the casualties. [33] In March, Louis cancelled the invasion and declared war on Britain. [34]

In August, Charles travelled to Paris to argue for an alternative landing in Scotland: John Gordon of Glenbucket had proposed a similar plan in 1738, when it had been rejected by both the French, and James himself. [5] Charles met with Sir John Murray of Broughton, liaison between the Stuarts and their Scottish supporters, who claimed he advised against it but Charles was "determined to come [. ] though with a single footman". [35] When Murray returned with this news, the Scots reiterated their opposition to a rising without substantial French backing but Charles gambled once there, the French would have to support him. [36]

He spent the first months of 1745 purchasing weapons, while victory at Fontenoy in April encouraged the French authorities to provide him with two transport ships. These were the 16-gun privateer Du Teillay and Elizabeth, an elderly 64-gun warship captured from the British in 1704, which carried the weapons and around 100 volunteers from the French Army's Irish Brigade. [37]

In early July, Charles boarded Du Teillay at Saint-Nazaire accompanied by the "Seven Men of Moidart", the most notable being John O'Sullivan, an Irish exile and former French officer who acted as chief of staff. [38] The two vessels left for the Western Isles on 15 July but were intercepted four days out by HMS Lion, which engaged Elizabeth. After a four-hour battle, both were forced to return to port loss of the volunteers and weapons on Elizabeth was a major setback but Du Teillay landed Charles at Eriskay on 23 July. [31]

Many of those contacted advised him to return to France, including MacDonald of Sleat and Norman MacLeod. [39] Aware of the potential impact of defeat, they felt that by arriving without French military support, Charles had failed to keep his commitments and were unconvinced by his personal qualities. [40] It is also suggested Sleat and Macleod were especially vulnerable to government sanctions due to their involvement in illegally selling tenants into indentured servitude. [41] Enough were persuaded but the choice was rarely simple Donald Cameron of Lochiel committed only after Charles provided "security for the full value of his estate should the rising prove abortive," while MacLeod and Sleat helped him escape after Culloden. [42]

On 19 August, the rebellion was launched with the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan, witnessed by a force of Highlanders O'Sullivan estimated as around 700. [43] The Jacobites marched on Edinburgh, reaching Perth on 4 September where they were joined by more sympathisers, including Lord George Murray. Previously pardoned for his participation in the 1715 and 1719 risings, Murray took over from O'Sullivan due to his better understanding of Highland military customs and the Jacobites spent the next week re-organising their forces. [44]

The senior government legal officer in Scotland, Lord President Duncan Forbes, forwarded confirmation of the landing to London on 9 August. [45] Many of the 3,000 soldiers available to Sir John Cope, the government commander in Scotland, were untrained recruits, and while he lacked information on Jacobite intentions, they were well-informed on his, as Murray had been one of his advisors. Forbes instead relied on his relationships to keep people loyal he failed with Lochiel and Lord Lovat but succeeded with many others, including the Earl of Sutherland, Clan Munro and Lord Fortrose. [46]

On 17 September, Charles entered Edinburgh unopposed, although Edinburgh Castle itself remained in government hands James was proclaimed King of Scotland the next day and Charles his Regent. [47] On 21 September, the Jacobites intercepted and scattered Cope's army in less than 20 minutes at the Battle of Prestonpans, just outside Edinburgh. The Duke of Cumberland, commander of the British army in Flanders, was recalled to London, along with 12,000 troops. [48]

To consolidate his support in Scotland, Charles published two "Declarations" on 9 and 10 October: the first dissolved the "pretended Union," the second rejected the Act of Settlement. [49] He also instructed the 'Caledonian Mercury' to publish minutes of the 1695 Parliamentary enquiry into the Glencoe Massacre, often used as an example of post-1688 oppression. [50]

Jacobite morale was further boosted in mid-October when the French landed supplies of money and weapons, together with an envoy, the Marquis d’Éguilles, which seemed to validate claims of French backing. [51] However, Lord Elcho later claimed his fellow Scots were already concerned by Charles' autocratic style and fears he was overly influenced by his Irish advisors. [52] A "Prince's Council" of 15 to 20 senior leaders was established Charles resented it as an imposition by the Scots on their divinely appointed monarch, while the daily meetings accentuated divisions between the factions. [c] [54]

These internal tensions were highlighted by the meetings held on 30 and 31 October to discuss strategy. Most of the Scots wanted to consolidate, suggesting Charles summon the estates of the realm to defend it against the "English armies" they expected to be sent against them. [55] Charles argued an invasion of England was critical for attracting French support, and ensuring an independent Scotland by removing the Hanoverians. He was supported by the Irish exiles, for whom a Stuart on the British throne was the only way to achieve an autonomous, Catholic Ireland. Charles also claimed he was in contact with English supporters, who were simply waiting for their arrival, while d’Éguilles assured the council a French landing in England was imminent. [17]

Despite their doubts, the Council agreed to the invasion, on condition the promised English and French support was forthcoming. [d] Previous Scottish incursions into England had crossed the border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, but Murray selected a route via Carlisle and the North-West of England, areas strongly Jacobite in 1715. [57] The last elements of the Jacobite army left Edinburgh on 4 November and government forces under General Handasyde retook the city on 14th. [58]

Murray divided the army into two columns to conceal their destination from General Wade, government commander in Newcastle, and entered England on 8 November unopposed. [59] On 10th, they reached Carlisle, an important border fortress before the 1707 Union but whose defences were now in poor condition, held by a garrison of 80 elderly veterans. Despite this, without siege artillery the Jacobites would have to starve it into submission, an operation for which they had neither the equipment or time. The castle capitulated on 15 November, after learning Wade's relief force was delayed by snow when he retook the town in December, Cumberland wanted to execute those responsible. [60]

Leaving a small garrison, the Jacobites continued south to Preston on 26 November, then Manchester on 28th. Here they received the first notable intake of English recruits, which were formed into the Manchester Regiment. Their commander was Francis Towneley, a Lancashire Catholic who previously served as an officer in the French Army his elder brother Richard narrowly escaped execution for his part in the 1715 Rising. [61]

At previous Council meetings in Preston and Manchester, many Scots felt they had already gone far enough, but agreed to continue when Charles assured them Sir Watkin Williams Wynn would meet them at Derby, while the Duke of Beaufort was preparing to seize the strategic port of Bristol. [41] When they reached Derby on 4 December, there was no sign of these reinforcements, and the Council convened the following day to discuss next steps. [62]

There was no sign of a French landing in England, and despite the large crowds that turned out to see them on the march south, only Manchester provided a significant number of recruits Preston, a Jacobite stronghold in 1715, supplied three. [63] Murray argued they had gone as far as possible and now risked being cut off by superior forces, with Cumberland advancing north from London, and Wade moving south from Newcastle. Charles admitted he had not heard from the English Jacobites since leaving France this meant he lied when claiming otherwise and his relationship with the Scots was irretrievably damaged. [64]

The council were overwhelmingly in favour of retreat, strengthened by news the French had landed supplies, pay and Scots and Irish regulars from the Royal Écossais (Royal Scots) and the Irish Brigade at Montrose. [65] The despatch from their commander Lord John Drummond allegedly reported 10,000 French troops were preparing to follow him, "greatly influencing" the council. [66]

While debated ever since, contemporaries did not believe the Hanoverian regime would collapse, even if the Jacobites reached London. [67] The decision was driven by lack of English support or of a French landing in England, not proximity to the capital, and its wisdom supported by many modern historians. [68] Lack of heavy weapons allowed the Jacobites to move quickly and out-march their opponents, but would be a disadvantage in a set piece battle. In a letter of 30 November, the Duke of Richmond, who was with Cumberland's army, listed five possible options for the Jacobites, of which retreating to Scotland was by far the best for them, and the worst for the government. [69]

The British government was concerned by reports of an invasion fleet being prepared at Dunkirk but it is unclear how serious these plans were. Over the winter of 1745 to 1746, Maréchal Maurice de Saxe was assembling troops in Northern France in preparation for an offensive into Flanders, while Dunkirk was a major privateer base and always busy. [30] Threatening an invasion was a far more cost-effective means of consuming British resources than actually doing so and these plans were formally cancelled in January 1746. [70]

The retreat badly damaged the relationship between Charles and the Scots, both sides viewing the other with suspicion and hostility. Elcho later wrote that Murray believed they could have continued the war in Scotland "for several years", forcing the Crown to agree to terms as its troops were desperately needed for the war on the Continent. [71] However, this seems unlikely despite victories in Flanders, by early 1746, Finance Minister Machault was warning Louis that the British naval blockade had reduced the French economy to a 'catastrophic state'. [72]

The fast-moving Jacobite army evaded pursuit with only a minor skirmish at Clifton Moor, crossing back into Scotland on 20 December. Cumberland's army arrived outside Carlisle on 22 December, and seven days later the garrison was forced to surrender, ending the Jacobite military presence in England. Much of the garrison came from the Manchester Regiment and several of the officers were later executed, including Francis Towneley. [73]

The invasion itself achieved little, but reaching Derby and returning was a considerable military achievement. Morale was high, while reinforcements from Aberdeenshire and Banffshire under Lewis Gordon along with Scottish and Irish regulars in French service brought Jacobite strength to over 8,000. [74] French-supplied artillery was used to besiege Stirling Castle, the strategic key to the Highlands. On 17 January, the Jacobites dispersed a relief force under Henry Hawley at the Battle of Falkirk Muir but the siege itself made little progress. [60]

Hawley's forces were largely intact and advanced on Stirling again once Cumberland arrived in Edinburgh on 30 January, while many Highlanders had gone home after Falkirk on 1 February, the siege was abandoned and the Jacobite main force retreated to Inverness. [75] Cumberland's army advanced along the coast, allowing it to be resupplied by sea, and entered Aberdeen on 27 February both sides halted operations until the weather improved. [76]

A few French shipments evaded the Royal Navy's blockade but by spring, the Jacobites were short of both food and money to pay their men and when Cumberland left Aberdeen on 8 April, the leadership agreed giving battle was their best option. Arguments over the location stem from post-war disputes between supporters of Murray and O'Sullivan, largely responsible for selecting it, but defeat was a combination of factors. [77] In addition to superior numbers and equipment, Cumberland's troops had been drilled in countering the Highland charge, which relied on speed and ferocity to break the enemy lines. When successful it resulted in quick victories like Prestonpans and Falkirk, but if it failed, they could not hold their ground. [78]

The Battle of Culloden on 16 April, often cited as the last pitched battle on British soil, [79] lasted less than an hour and ended in a decisive government victory. Exhausted by a night march carried out in a failed attempt to surprise Cumberland's troops, many Jacobites missed the battle, leaving fewer than 5,000 to face a well-rested and equipped force of 7,000 to 9,000. [80]

Fighting began with an artillery exchange: that of the government was vastly superior in training and coordination, particularly as James Grant, an officer in the Irish Brigade who served as the Jacobite army's artillery colonel, was absent having been wounded at Fort William. Charles held his position, expecting Cumberland to attack, but he refused to do so and unable to respond to the fire, Charles ordered his front line to charge. As they did so, boggy ground in front of the Jacobite centre forced them over to the right, where they became entangled with the right wing regiments and where movement was restricted by an enclosure wall. [81]

This increased the distance to the government lines and slowed the momentum of the charge, lengthening their exposure to the government artillery, which now switched to grapeshot. [82] Despite this, the Highlanders crashed into Cumberland's left, which gave ground but did not break, while Loudon's regiment fired into their flank from behind the wall. Unable to return fire, the Highlanders broke and fell back in confusion the north-eastern regiments and Irish and Scots regulars in the second line retired in good order, allowing Charles and his personal retinue to escape northwards. [83]

Troops that held together, like the French regulars, were far less vulnerable in retreat and many Highlanders were cut down by government dragoons in the pursuit. Government casualties are estimated as 50 killed, plus 259 wounded many Jacobite wounded remaining on the battlefield were reportedly killed afterwards, their losses being 1,200 to 1,500 dead and 500 prisoners. [84] A potential 5,000 to 6,000 Jacobites remained in arms and over the next two days, an estimated 1,500 survivors assembled at Ruthven Barracks [85] however on 20 April, Charles ordered them to disperse, arguing French assistance was required to continue the fight and they should return home until he returned with additional support. [86]

Lord Elcho later claimed to have told Charles he should "put himself at the head of the [. ] men that remained to him, and live and die with them," but he was determined to leave for France. [87] After evading capture in the Western Highlands, Charles was picked up by a French ship on 20 September he never returned to Scotland but the collapse of his relationship with the Scots always made this unlikely. Even before Derby, he accused Murray and others of treachery these outbursts became more frequent due to disappointment and heavy drinking, while the Scots no longer trusted his promises of support. [88]

After Culloden, government forces spent several weeks searching for rebels, confiscating cattle and burning non-juring Episcopalian and Catholic meeting houses. [25] The brutality of these measures was driven by a widespread perception on both sides that another landing was imminent. [89] Regular soldiers in French service were treated as prisoners of war and later exchanged, regardless of nationality, but 3,500 captured Jacobites were indicted for treason. Of these, 120 were executed, primarily deserters and members of the Manchester Regiment. Some 650 died awaiting trial 900 were pardoned and the rest transported. [90]

The Jacobite lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino and Lovat were beheaded in April 1747 (Lovat becoming the last person so executed in the UK), but public opinion was against further trials and the 1747 Act of Indemnity pardoned any remaining prisoners. [91] One of these was Flora MacDonald, whose aristocratic admirers collected over £1,500 for her. [92] Lord Elcho, Lord Murray and Lochiel were excluded from this and died in exile Archibald Cameron, responsible for recruiting the Cameron regiment in 1745, was allegedly betrayed by his own clansmen on returning to Scotland and executed on 7 June 1753. [93]

The government limited confiscations of Jacobite property, since the experience of doing so after 1715 and 1719 showed the cost often exceeded the sales price. [94] Under the 1747 Vesting Act, the estates of 51 attainted for their role in 1745 were surveyed by the Court of Exchequer, and 41 forfeited. [95] The majority of these were either purchased or claimed by creditors, with 13 made crown land in 1755. [96] Under the 1784 Disannexing Act, their heirs were allowed to buy them back, in return for a total payment of £65,000. [97]

Once north of Edinburgh or inland from ports like Aberdeen, Cumberland's troops were hampered by the fact that there were few roads and no accurate maps of the Highlands. [98] New forts were built, the military road network started by Wade finally completed and William Roy made the first comprehensive survey of the Highlands. [99] Additional measures were taken to weaken the traditional clan system, which even before 1745 had been under severe stress due to changing economic conditions. [100] The most significant was the Heritable Jurisdictions (Scotland) Act 1746, which ended the feudal power of chiefs over their clansmen. The Act of Proscription outlawed Highland dress unless worn in military services although its impact is debated and the law was repealed in 1782. [101]

The Jacobite cause did not entirely disappear after 1746, but its exposure to conflicting objectives ended it as a serious threat. Many Scots were disillusioned by Charles' leadership while the decline in English Jacobitism was demonstrated by the lack of support from areas strongly Jacobite in 1715, such as Northumberland and County Durham. [102] Irish Jacobite societies increasingly reflected opposition to the existing order rather than affection for the Stuarts and were eventually absorbed by the Society of United Irishmen. [103]

D’Éguilles' report on the Rising, written in June 1747, was critical of the Jacobite leadership in general his opinion of Charles was so negative he suggested establishing a Scots Republic might be a better option for France than a Stuart restoration. [104] The Rebellion was the highlight for both leaders Cumberland resigned from the Army in 1757 and died of a stroke in 1765. Charles was forcibly deported from France after the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle Henry Stuart became a Catholic priest in June 1747, seen as tacit acceptance the Jacobite cause was finished, and his brother never forgave him. [105]

Charles continued attempts to reignite the cause, including a secret visit to London in 1750, when he met supporters and was inducted into the Non Juror church. [e] [106] In 1759, he met French Chief Minister Choiseul to discuss another invasion, but was dismissed as incapable through drink. [107] Despite Henry's urgings, Pope Clement XIII refused to recognise him as Charles III after their father died in 1766. [108] He died of a stroke in Rome in January 1788, a disappointed and embittered man. [41]

Historian Winifred Duke claimed ". the accepted idea of the Forty-Five in the minds of most people is a hazy and picturesque combination of a picnic and a crusade . in cold reality, Charles was unwanted and unwelcomed." [109] Modern commentators argue the focus on "Bonnie Prince Charlie" obscures the fact many of those who participated in the Rising did so because they opposed the Union, not the Hanoverians this nationalist aspect makes it part of an ongoing political idea, not the last act of a doomed cause and culture. [110]

An example of this misplaced focus is the portrayal of the Jacobite Army as being largely composed of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders as recently as 2013, the Culloden Visitors Centre listed Lowland regiments such as Lord Elcho's and Balmerino's Life Guards, Baggot's Hussars and Viscount Strathallan's Perthshire Horse as "Highland Horse". [111] Although a significant proportion were Highlanders, the army included many Lowland units, limited numbers of English, and several hundred French and Irish regulars. [112]

After 1745, the popular perception of Highlanders changed from that of "wyld, wykkd Helandmen," racially and culturally separate from other Scots, to members of a noble warrior race. [113] For a century before 1745, rural poverty drove increasing numbers to enlist in foreign armies, such as the Dutch Scots Brigade. However, while military experience itself was common, the military aspects of clanship had been in decline for many years, the last significant inter-clan battle being Maol Ruadh in August 1688. [114] Foreign service was banned in 1745 and recruitment into the British Army accelerated as deliberate policy. [115] Victorian imperial administrators adopted a policy of focusing their recruitment on the so-called "martial races," Highlanders being grouped with Sikhs, Dogras and Gurkhas as those arbitrarily identified as sharing military virtues. [116]

Before 1707, Scots writers formed part of a wider and often uniform European literary culture the creation of a uniquely Scottish style began as a reaction to Union, with poets like Allan Ramsay using Scots vernacular for the first time. [117] After the Rising, reconciling the Jacobite past with a Unionist present meant focusing on a shared cultural identity, which was made easier by the fact it did not imply sympathy for the Stuarts Ramsay was one of those who left Edinburgh when it fell to the Jacobites in 1745. [118] However, the study of Scottish history itself was largely ignored by schools and universities until the mid-20th century. [119]

The vernacular style was continued after 1745, most famously by Robert Burns but others avoided recent divisions within Scottish society by looking back to a far more distant and largely mythical past. These included James Macpherson, who between 1760 and 1765 published the Ossian cycle which was a best-seller throughout Europe. The claim that it was a translation from the original Gaelic has been disputed ever since but the post-1746 sense of a culture under threat led to an upsurge in Scottish Gaelic literature, much of it related to the events of the Rising. Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, generally credited as author of the first secular works in Gaelic in the early 1740s, was followed by Gaelic poets including Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir, who participated in the Rising as part of a government militia, and Catriona Nic Fhearghais, who allegedly lost her husband at Culloden. [120]

The rising and its aftermath has been a popular topic for many writers the most significant of these was Sir Walter Scott, who in the early 19th century presented the Rebellion as part of a shared Unionist history. The hero of his novel Waverley is an Englishman who fights for the Stuarts, rescues a Hanoverian Colonel and finally rejects a romantic Highland beauty for the daughter of a Lowland aristocrat. [121] Scott's reconciliation of Unionism and the '45 allowed Cumberland's nephew George IV to be painted less than 70 years later wearing Highland dress and tartans, previously symbols of Jacobite rebellion. [122]

Replacing a complex and divisive historical past with a simplified but shared cultural tradition led to the Victorian inventions of Burns Suppers, Highland Games, tartans and the adoption by a largely Protestant nation of the Catholic icons Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. These continue to shape modern perspectives on the Scots past. [123]

4. Mayim Bialik

Amy Farrah Fowler of "The Big Bang Theory" would be proud: Former "Big Bang" actress Bialik was a solid, admirable guest host, relying on her academic background and natural charisma to get through the game. She excelled as an expert and detached reader of the clues, although sometimes she seemed a little too stoic. But like Trebek and the best guest hosts so far, Bialik has an innate sense of authority, due to her doctorate in neuroscience and noted activism. When she corrects a wrong answer, it's with confidence and a desire to help everyone watching to learn.

"Jeopardy!" Greatest of All Time champion Ken Jennings was the first guest host, for a six-week stint that began Jan. 11, following Alex Trebek's final episode. (Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc)

The Worst Picnic in History Was Interrupted by a War - HISTORY

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.

Best Picture

MARTY (1955)

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)

Mister Roberts (1955)

Picnic (1955)

The Rose Tattoo (1955)

ERNEST BORGNINE in "Marty", James Cagney in "Love Me or Leave Me", James Dean in "East of Eden", Frank Sinatra in "The Man With the Golden Arm", Spencer Tracy in "Bad Day at Black Rock"
ANNA MAGNANI in "The Rose Tattoo", Susan Hayward in "I'll Cry Tomorrow", Katharine Hepburn in "Summertime", Jennifer Jones in "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing", Eleanor Parker in "Interrupted Melody"
Supporting Actor:
JACK LEMMON in "Mister Roberts", Arthur Kennedy in "Trial", Joe Mantell in "Marty", Sal Mineo in "Rebel Without a Cause", Arthur O'Connell in "Picnic"
Supporting Actress:
JO VAN FLEET in "East of Eden", Betsy Blair in "Marty", Peggy Lee in "Pete Kelly's Blues", Marisa Pavan in "The Rose Tattoo", Natalie Wood in "Rebel Without a Cause"
DELBERT MANN for "Marty", Elia Kazan for "East of Eden", David Lean for "Summertime", Joshua Logan for "Picnic", John Sturges for "Bad Day at Black Rock"

This year's ceremony (on March 21, 1956) was overshadowed by the tragic death of young star James Dean about 6 months earlier on September 30, 1955. Dean had only three films to his credit - and all were honored in some way at this year's or in the next year's ceremony [Dean was the first to be nominated post-humously]:

  • East of Eden - 4 nominations (Dean was nominated as Best Actor), with one win, Best Supporting Actress (Jo Van Fleet)
  • Rebel Without a Cause - 3 nominations with no wins supporting nominations for Dean's co-stars Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo
  • Giant (1956) - 10 nominations (Dean was nominated as Best Actor), with one win, Best Director (George Stevens)

1955 was a major turning point and milestone in Oscar history, since United Artist's came up with an unpretentious, anti-Hollywood type of winner - a simple, touching and pedestrian film about a painfully lonely, homely butcher/common man who falls in love. Marty, an unassuming, inexpensive black and white comedy/drama film from producers Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht, was a first-time feature of director Delbert Mann from a script by Paddy Chayefsky. [The first and only other time UA had won a Best Picture Oscar was in 1940 for Rebecca (1940). In the decade of the 60s, UA would win more Best Picture Oscars than any other organization.]

The "sleeper" hit in the 'year of the independents,' was nominated in eight categories and won in four major categories (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay for Paddy Chayefsky). It was the first Best Picture Oscar winner to also win the prestigious top prize honor (known as the Palme d'Or at the time) at the Cannes Film Festival (Best Picture-winner The Lost Weekend (1945) won the Grand Prix award earlier), but brought weak box-office profits. The film had originally been a small-screen TV play (with star Rod Steiger) that aired in 1953. On the bigger screen, the ninety-one minute film also had the distinction of being the shortest Best Picture winner in awards history. [The next shortest Best Picture winner was Annie Hall (1977).] It was the first Best Picture winner based on a play written for and previously produced for television, that was transferred to the big screen. It was also the first American feature film to be shown in the USSR (in Moscow) since World War II, during a 1959 cultural-exchange program.

The other nominees for Best Picture made up of one of the weakest slates of nominees for Best Picture in Academy history. Three of the five nominees were screen adaptations of Broadway stage hits:

  • co-directors John Ford's and Mervyn LeRoy's military comedy Mister Roberts (with three nominations and one win - Best Supporting Actor), based on the successful Broadway hit play about the crew of Reluctant, a Navy cargo freighter in the South Pacific during WWII that is miles away from the battle zone [Note: actor Ward Bond made his 14th appearance in this Best Picture nominee - more than any other actor/actress, although he was never nominated for an Academy Award]
  • the film adaptation of William Inge's play by director Joshua Logan, Picnic (with six nominations and two wins - Best Color Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Film Editing) about a wanderer who drifts into a small town and stirs up romance
  • another film adaptation from Tennessee Williams' stage play by director Daniel Mann, The Rose Tattoo (with eight nominations and three wins - Best Actress, Best B/W Cinematography, and Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration) about a Southern, Sicilian-born widow/seamstress who falls in love with a virile, simple-minded trucker. [James Wong Howe, cinematographer for The Rose Tattoo, won the first of two Oscars - with this award, he became the first and only Chinese-American to ever win an Academy Award. His second Oscar was for Hud (1963).]
  • Fox's top box-office romantic, melodramatic tear-jerker hit about a love affair between a married American war correspondent and a beautiful Eurasian doctor, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (with eight nominations and three wins - Best Song, Best Dramatic Score, and Best Color Costume Design)

Delbert Mann's win as Best Director was a remarkable achievement, since he was competing, in his first major directorial assignment, against veteran directors such as Elia Kazan (East of Eden), David Lean (Summertime), Broadway director Joshua Logan (Picnic), and John Sturges (Bad Day at Black Rock). [Bad Day at Black Rock, a critically-superior film, was defeated in each one of its three categories of nominations - Director, Screenplay, and Actor, by Marty.] Only two of the Best Director-nominated films, were also Best Picture candidates - Joshua Logan's Picnic and Delbert Mann's Marty.

Both the Best Actor and Actress awards in 1955 were given to Italian characters!

  • Ernest Borgnine (with his sole career nomination - and Oscar win) won the Best Actor award for his a-typical performance as a soft-hearted, dull, middle-aged, mild-mannered and shy, Bronx Italian butcher-bachelor Marty Piletti with a clinging mother who finally finds romance at a dance hall with another timid, unattractive wallflower schoolteacher (Betsy Blair) in Marty. [Borgnine broke out of a stereotyped mold as a heavy (e.g., a sadistic, pug-nosed, gap-toothed Sgt. Fatso in From Here to Eternity (1953), and as a thug in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955).] (Borgnine's award was presented by Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly - it would be her last public appearance before her much-publicized marriage to Monaco's Prince Rainier III two weeks after the Oscar-cast.)

Another of the Best Actor nominees was the legendary actor James Dean (with his first of two career nominations in his first starring role) for his magnetic, sensitive performance as rebellious adolescent Cal Trask searching for love and acceptance in a film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel - a melodramatic telling of the Biblical 'Cain and Abel' story in East of Eden (with four nominations and one win - Best Supporting Actress). Dean was killed in a tragic car accident six months before the awards ceremony - he was the first actor to be nominated posthumously for an Oscar. (A second posthumous award would be awarded to Dean the next year for his nomination in Giant (1956).) Therefore, Dean was the first and only actor to receive two consecutive posthumous Best Actor nominations.

James Cagney (with his third and last career nomination) was nominated for his role as Doris Day's gangster husband/manager Martin 'the Gimp' Snyder in the musical biopic of the life of singer Ruth Etting by director Charles Vidor, Love Me or Leave Me (with six nominations and one win - Best Motion Picture Story). [Cagney lost the award in 1938 for Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) but won the award four years later for his performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).] Spencer Tracy (with his fifth nomination) was nominated for his role as one-armed, black-clothed stranger John MacReedy who questions Japanese-American hostility in a western town in director John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (with three nominations and no wins), also lost to supporting co-star Ernest Borgnine in the film. And Frank Sinatra (with his second and final career nomination) was nominated for his role as Frankie Machine - a card dealer (with a "golden arm") and ex-junkie drummer in Otto Preminger's gritty, pioneering film about drug use and addiction, The Man With the Golden Arm (with three nominations and no wins). [Sinatra had won the Best Supporting Actor award in 1953, but lost this year to his co-star Ernest Borgnine from From Here to Eternity (1953), who sadistically taunted him in the earlier film.]

The Best Actress award was won by Italian actress Anna Magnani (with her first of two career nominations) in an outstanding role as a widowed Italian/Sicilian seamstress and husband-obsessed Serafina Delle Rose who is courted by and enamored of a simple-minded truck driver (Burt Lancaster) with whom she has a gossip-producing affair in The Rose Tattoo. The dynamic role was Magnani's first English-language role, her first Hollywood-made film, and the first of only four American films she made in her career. She also was the first Italian (and first Italian woman) to win an Oscar for Best Actress. [Sophia Loren duplicated the feat with a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Two Women (1960).]

The other Best Actress nominees were:

  • Katharine Hepburn (with her sixth nomination) as middle-aged spinster Jane Hudson experiencing her first - and maybe last romantic fling in Venice with Rossano Brazzi in David Lean's director-nominated Summertime (with two nominations and no wins)
  • Susan Hayward (with her fourth nomination) as star-crossed alcoholic Broadway/Hollywood actress and singer Lillian Roth in I'll Cry Tomorrow (with four nominations and one win - Best B/W Costume Design) [Hayward's earlier nominations were for Smash up - The Story of a Woman (1947), My Foolish Heart (1949), and With a Song in My Heart (1952) - she would finally win three years later for her role as a woman on death row in I Want to Live! (1958)]
  • Eleanor Parker (with her third and last unsuccessful nomination) as Australian opera singer Marjorie Lawrence who battles polio in director Curtis Bernhardt's biopic film titled Interrupted Melody (with three nominations and one win - Best Story and Screenplay)
  • Jennifer Jones (with her last of five career nominations) as Eurasian doctor Han Suyin in Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. [Jones won only once in her first attempt for The Song of Bernadette (1943), followed by nominations for Since You Went Away (1944), Love Letters (1945), and Duel in the Sun (1946).] Interrupted Melody won the Story and Screenplay Award (what is now called Original Screenplay)

And there were two Italian performers among the Best Supporting nominees (Sal Mineo and Marisa Pavan).

Jack Lemmon (with his first of eight career nominations) in his fourth film won his first Best Supporting Actor award for his comic portrayal as the amiable, flighty, misfit laundry officer Ensign Frank Thurlowe Pulver aboard James Cagney's escort ship in the comedy/drama Mister Roberts. [Lemmon was the first actor to win Oscars as both supporting and lead actor. This win was later followed by a fifth nomination and Best Actor Oscar win, his second and final Oscar, for Save the Tiger (1973).]

Sal Mineo (with his first of two unsuccessful career nominations) was also nominated for his role as the confused and suicidal teenager Plato in director Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause (with three nominations and no wins).

The other three nominees in the category were:

  • Arthur O'Connell (with his first of two unsuccessful career nominations) as small-town bachelor Howard Bevans (forced into marriage by Rosalind Russell) in Picnic
  • Arthur Kennedy (with his third of five unsuccessful career nominations) as Communist lawyer Barney Castle in director Mark Robson's Trial (the film's sole nomination)
  • Joe Mantell (with his sole nomination) as Marty's pal, Angie who keeps asking: "What do you feel like doing tonight?" in Marty

And Jo Van Fleet (with her sole career nomination - and only Oscar win for her first film) won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Kate (love-starved James Dean's mysterious mother and madam of a brothel) who deserted her family, with tragic consequences in director Elia Kazan's film of John Steinbeck's novel titled East of Eden. [Van Fleet had also appeared in I'll Cry Tomorrow and The Rose Tattoo in the same year.]

Among the other nominees for Best Supporting Actress were:

  • Marisa Pavan (with her sole nomination) as Magnani's hot-blooded, virgin daughter Rosa Delle Rose in The Rose Tatoo
  • Natalie Wood (with her first of three unsuccessful career nominations) as troubled Judy (James Dean's girlfriend) in Rebel Without a Cause
  • Betsy Blair (with her sole nomination) as Clara - a sensitive, unattractive schoolteacher who is dumped by her blind date at a Saturday night dance and slowly fumbles her way toward love with a physically-unattractive and inarticulate butcher in Marty
  • Peggy Lee (with her sole nomination) as a gangster's girlfriend Rose Hopkins - an alcoholic jazz singer in producer/director Jack Webb's musical melodrama titled Pete Kelly's Blues (the film's sole nomination)

An Honorary Award was presented to the three-part Japanese epic film Samurai, The Legend of Musashi, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki - as the best foreign language film - first released in the US during 1955.

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Many fine pictures in 1955, which were at least as good as the Best Picture nominees - but un-nominated for Best Picture - included Rebel Without a Cause, Bad Day at Black Rock, East of Eden, the animated Lady and the Tramp (completely overlooked, especially for its potential Best Song nomination for Bella Notte ("She's a Tramp") sung by Peggy Lee), and Richard Brooks' Blackboard Jungle. The troubled teen-James Dean film, a tale of youthful defiance, Rebel Without a Cause also lacked a Best Director nomination for Nicholas Ray.

Actor Charles Laughton's only directorial effort, the brilliant thriller The Night of the Hunter was totally ignored by the Academy and although it bombed at the box-office, the film was eventually considered a critical masterpiece. The un-nominated film provided one of Robert Mitchum's greatest performances as crazed, murderous and perverse preacher Reverend Harry Powell (with finger tattoos on each hand who reenacted the struggle between H-A-T-E and L-O-V-E in a memorable monologue, and sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arm"), and one of the last performances of silent star Lillian Gish.

Sidney Poitier was overlooked as Gregory Miller, a disaffected, inner city young black student, in the urban drama Blackboard Jungle, as was Vic Morrow - portraying the insolent, delinquent gang leader Artie West. Tom Ewell was also missing from the acting nominees for his role as neighborly Richard Sherman opposite Marilyn Monroe as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch.

Director Robert Aldrich's greatest film - the brutal crime film Kiss Me Deadly, did not receive a single nomination. And Douglas Sirk's radical, soap-operish melodrama All That Heaven Allows with performances by Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson, was completely ignored by the Academy. Picnic, one of the Best Picture nominees and a film with a total of six nominations, featured three un-nominated stars - William Holden, Rosalind Russell, and Kim Novak.

Henry Fonda, as Lt. Doug Roberts, the first officer of the cargo ship - the major title-role star in the comedy Mister Roberts, didn't receive an acting nomination (although he was recreating his character from the Broadway stage version). And although Cagney was nominated for Best Actor, it wasn't for his better role in Mister Roberts as the power-mad and despotic Captain Morion.

Raymond Massey as James Dean's strict father in East of Eden wasn't nominated for his Supporting Role. [Massey had been nominated - and lost - only once in his film career, for Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940).] Although James Dean was Best Actor-nominated for East of Eden, he was NOT nominated for his more memorable, electrifying performance as Jim - a restless, brooding juvenile and new-kid-on-the-block in Rebel Without a Cause. Julie Harris, who played opposite James Dean as Abra in East of Eden, wasn't nominated.

Love Me or Leave Me, with six nominations (and one Oscar win for Best Story), neglected to have its star Doris Day nominated for her role as 1930s torch-singer Ruth Etting. Bette Davis was neglected for her reprised role as Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen.

The Honorary Award for the best foreign language film, awarded to Samurai, The Legend of Musashi, should have been given to Henri-Georges Clouzot's psychological thriller Les Diaboliques (Fr.) instead.

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