a united world

80th Anniversary of the bombing of Guernica (Gernika)

80 years have gone by since the Nazi German Condor Legion (an air force unit Hitler wanted to test out before WWII and guess who were its Guinea pigs?) and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria warplanes bombed the Basque town of Gernika, which represented the heart of Basque culture, on April 26, 1937 at the request of the Nationalist faction during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) in an manoeuvre known as Operation Rügen.

Ruins of Guernica after the bombing. Number of victims: between 150 and 1650 (estimates vary according to different reports).

This heinous attack aimed at civilians (mostly women and children since the men were away fighting at war) on a market day, inspired one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings Guernica (1937). It took him 35 days of work and finished his masterpiece on June 4, 1937.

Guernica (1937)
Pablo Picasso
349cm x 776cm
Oil on canvas
Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (Spain)

P.S. This is primarily not related to OP but if you want a slight connection to it, think about Nazi Germany being the main base for the Vinsmoke family and Jora’s art powers would connect to cubism.

First US War Loan to Britain

William McAdoo (1863-1941), US Treasury Secretary 1913-1918. He married Wilson’s daughter Eleanor in 1914.

April 26 1917, Washington–Although the United States, across the Atlantic and without a large army, could do little to directly help the Allies in Europe at the moment, there were contributions that could be made immediately.  Several destroyers were already on their way across the Atlantic to fight the U-boat threat.  The United States was also prepared to help financially, having not had to pay for the previous three years of the war.  On April 26, Treasury Secretary McAdoo met with Lord Cunliffe, the Governor of the Bank of England (who had accompanied UK Foreign Minister Balfour to the United States), and handed him a check for $200 million (around $4 billion in 2017 currency).  This was, at the time, the largest single check written by the US Treasury.

The bulk of the money was to remain in the United States, to be used to purchase armaments from American manufacturers.  The check was not a gift, of course, but a loan, albeit one with a much more generous interest rate (by 150-200 basis points) than the United Kingdom was able to obtain elsewhere.  This was the first of many US loans to the UK during the First World War.  The United Kingdom never fully repaid these loans, ultimately ceasing payments during the Great Depression with over $4 billion in outstanding debt.

Today in 1916: Germany Calls off U-Boat Campaign
Today in 1915: Allied Landings at Gallipoli

The Choi Twins (& Yoosung Meowth) are blasting off at the speed of light!

Members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, the first all-African-American, all-female unit to serve overseas in World War II, take part in a parade ceremony in honor of Joan d'Arc at the marketplace where she was burned at the stake. Rouen, France. May 27, 1945.

(US National Archives)


19th of April.

I’m no longer currently living in Venezuela, but my family is still there as well as my friends. Today another protest is happening against the dictator that is Maduro. Venezuela represses freedom of speech and this is one of the few ways I can feel that I can help by sharing word of what is happening.

It is a peaceful protest, however “colectivos” are throwing tear gases to the public (as always), the public is trying to get away from it by crossing Caracas’ river where human disposal is thrown. Today another student’s life is added to the countless victims of their actions.

I could honestly keep going on and on but in summary human rights are being violated in Venezuela. We have been under the same government for 19 years now. Caracas is the most dangerous city in the whole world. People are dying from lack of medicine and food, so they quit their jobs all together to get something out of garbage trucks (as minimum wage can barely get you some eggs). So many other things that I could keep listing but this is just a post I’ve done out of the moment but please take time out of your day to research what’s happening at my home country or at least share what you’ve found as Venezuelans sadly can’t.

UPDATE: Two students were killed on this day. Over 400 people detained by peacefully protesting in this date alone in the Capital.

During World War II, there was a large push for recruitment of some of the best art students across the country to join the United States Army.  They formed a “deception unit”, or a “ghost army” that appeared to look like a huge mass of soldiers, tanks, trucks and artillery.  However, it was all smoke and mirrors, consisting of inflatable tanks, sound design, and clever applications of fake tank tracks overnight.  Actors also met in pubs, planting false information.  This distracted the enemy from the real troops who were gathering.

To learn more about this fascinating undertaking, which was only de-classified fairly recently, check out the podcast on the subject from 99% Invisible.  (Photo from Retronaut/Mashable, England, c. 1939)