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The Joy Reid Saga: The Wayback Machine cannot guarantee authenticity

Recently, Mediaite posted screen shots captured by a Twitter user who goes by the name of Not a Bot that seemingly showed several homophobic comments made on a now defunct weblog by MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid. Reid replied that her weblog had been hacked and several articles modified by unknown parties. The media has responded by digging up an apology Reid made late last year about homophobic comments she had made in the past, which seemingly contradicts her claim of being hacked.

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Battle of the Bulge

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

On this anniversary of the World War II Battle of the Bulge, Jules Crittenden provides a comprehensive summary of the battle, as well as a book and other references, and photos.

The photos are especially compelling, as they lack of romanticism of so many WWII photos in books and in other publications. The following photo is of members of the the 82nd Airborne, my Dad’s division, following the 340th Tank Battalion. The photo is from the Life Magazine collection hosted by Google.

82 Airborne following tank

My Dad’s war history has been on my mind quite a bit recently, since reading Norman Costa’s story of his father and his experiences during D-Day. My father was also in the same battle, and in the same regiment. Unfortunately, my father, unlike his, was not comfortable telling his daughter about some of the more difficult moments during the war. As I told Costa in an email, Dad was less reticent with my ex-husband.

Dad…grew up in a time when one shielded “unpleasant” stories from the womenfolk, which means he did not tell me stories of especially difficult times. He did, however, share them with my ex-husband, who passed them on to me.

Dad was, at one time, trapped by sniper fire, and thought he was a goner, until other soldiers managed to kill the sniper. His worst time, though, was leading a small group of men towards a farm with a house designated as a “spotter” house, which should mean the house was safe. However, Dad didn’t know if the house was safe or not, so ordered his men to stay behind, under cover, while he checked the place out. The house was safe, but unfortunately the men took cover in a shell blast “crater”, which got hit by another shell. Dad returned, only to find all of the men dead.

Most of Dad’s war memorabilia was lost during a move years ago, but he gave me the handgun, an M1911, he carried during the war. Dad paid a German POW a package of cigarettes to engrave his name on the barrel, and attached his paratrooper wings and the 82nd Airborne badge to the handle on one side, a photo of my uncle, who was in the Navy during WWII, on the other.


Women soldiers

From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that’s no longer online:

Jennie Irene Hodgers was born in County Louth, Ireland, on Christmas Day in 1843 and later sailed to New York with her family.

But she already was calling herself Albert D.J. Cashier when she turned up in Belvidere, Ill., and enlisted in the 95th Illinois Regiment in 1862. She served as an infantryman through three years and some 40 Civil War battles.

Later, it was as Cashier that she lived and worked in Saunemin, voted in elections, collected her Army pension and moved in 1911 to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home (now the Illinois Veterans Home) in Quincy.

She became Jennie Hodgers again only when she was transferred in 1913 to the former Watertown State Hospital near East Moline and psychiatrists forced her to wear female attire.

But while she was confined at Watertown, men from her old unit rallied to her defense, convincing the federal Pension Board to rule in 1914 that she could continue to collect her pension as Pvt. Albert D.J. Cashier.

And at the insistence of Saunemin residents, that was the name she was buried under — clad in her Civil War uniform — after her death in 1915.

Interesting story about women who disguised themselves as men in order to fight in wars. About Jennie Hodgers, historians say she may have taken a male persona for economic rather than transsexual reasons:

As an illiterate immigrant girl, Hodgers could have found lawful employment only as a domestic servant. But in male disguise, she could work in factories or as a farmhand. At enlistment, Hodgers gave her occupation as “laborer, farmhand and shepherd.” A private in the Union army earned more than an agricultural worker.