Steve McQueen turned down leading roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Apocalypse Now, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dirty Harry, The French Connection, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The first film with Leo the Lion roaring in MGM's logo was "He Who Gets Slapped" in 1924. That makes Leo almost 100 years old!

Where are Witches?

A belief in witches -- and consequently witch-hunts -- have been found in every single inhabited continent of the world, and most of the peoples who have lived on it. But belief in witches is not entirely universal: the largest witch-free area is Siberia, covering about a third of the northern hemisphere, and the ancient Egyptians were notable for their lack of belief of witchcraft and embracing magic, instead of fearing magic.

Perhaps no photograph so well illustrated the the assassination of President JFK as this one: John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting as his father’s casket passes. Most of you probably recognize it. The photograph was the most reproduced image of the funeral. It does have a small mystery around it: who took this famous shot has been debated for years.

Dreadlocks: A Brief Explanation

Dreadlocks are a Rastafarian hairstyle, in which hair is allowed to grow without combing or cutting. Now it is more widespread, common among many who do not practice the Rastafarian religion, but originally the hairstyle was specifically to show religious commitment. The name comes from the Nazirites in the Bible. They were men who took a special vow to God: "All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long" (Numbers 6:5). The hairstyle's name is a big allusion to the hairstyle's purpose: it was to show that their possessor "dreaded" or feared or was in awe of God. The word itself, "dreadlocks" was first used in 1960.

Operation Aerial and Operation Cycle

After Dunkirk was evacuated in the opening days of World War II in Europe, there were still plenty of soldiers left on the continent who despised Nazi Germany, but were now stuck in enemy territory. With France fallen and Spain friendly to Germany, there was nowhere for such soldiers to go. So the British decided to try rescuing them. The order went out to any remaining British Expeditionary Forces who had missed Dunkirk, and any friendly forces, including French, Belgium Polish, Czech, et cetera. If they could get to the ports along the French west coast, they might get picked up by a British ship, and evacuated to Britain. Every ship available began visiting the French west coast; many merchant ships were requisitioned to assist in the evacuation, some little more than sail boats. But it worked! They were able to rescue 191,870 fighting men including 144,171 British, 18,246 French, 24,352 Polish, 4,938 Czechs, and 163 Belgians. Each soldier was one more person that could eventually be sent back to fight the Nazis.

La Llorona

In English, her name means "the Weeping Woman." She is a legendary figure in Mexico, who wanders for eternity, seeking her lost children. To hear her cries brings misfortune. According to legend, La Llorona was once a living woman, whose husband on day left her for a younger woman. In her grief and anger, La Llorona drowned her children, to hurt their unfaithful father. When she realized what she had done, she drowned herself too. According to some versions, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who even vaguely resemble her dead children. Crying and apologizing, she will then drown the children, so they can take the place of her own. La Llorona is understandably a popular threat to keep Mexican children from wandering.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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