In the time of World War II, Newfoundland was under British rule and not a part of Canada. In 1941, the United States established four military bases in Newfoundland, introducing wealth, leisure activities, and American goods to the region. Consequently, a survey conducted in 1947 revealed that a staggering 80% of Newfoundland’s population desired to become American citizens.
Anne Frank, one of the most well-known victims of the Holocaust, continues to captivate the world with her compelling story. However, there’s far more to her life and legacy than what’s commonly known. Here are seven intriguing facts about Anne Frank that shed new light on her life, her writings, and the profound impact she’s made on the world.
1. Anne’s Hidden Humor and Candor: Anne Frank was not only a chronicler of her times but also a typical teenager. She penned four dirty jokes in her diary, which she subsequently concealed with paper. The concealed jokes remained undetected until 2018. Furthermore, Anne candidly wrote about her sexual awakening in her diary. However, these sensitive passages were excised by her father in later editions of the diary.
2. The Frank Family’s Failed Immigration: In a heartbreaking twist of history, Anne’s family attempted to immigrate to the United States to escape the impending Holocaust. They applied for a visa in 1938. Sadly, their application was lost in the chaos that ensued following a German bombing in 1940. A second attempt in 1941 was thwarted when all American consulates were shut down by the Nazis.
3. Anne’s Schoolmate-Turned-Hollywood Producer: Peter Lassally, an accomplished Hollywood producer who worked with Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson, shares a surprising connection with Anne. He survived a concentration camp and, in his earlier years, attended the same grade school as Anne Frank.
4. Controversies Surrounding Anne’s Diary: Anne’s diary, known for its poignant narration and candidness, has faced its share of controversies. In 1983, an Alabama school attempted to ban the book, citing it as “a real downer.” It is also banned in Lebanon for allegedly casting Jews, Israel, or Zionism in a positive light.
5. The Arresting Officer and Anne’s Height Markers: When the Frank family was arrested, Anne’s father pointed to her height markers on the wall as evidence of their long concealment. The arresting officer, later reflecting upon the event after the diary’s publication, said, “I bought the little book last week, to see if I was mentioned there, but I was not.”
6. The Quest to Validate Anne’s Existence: When her existence was questioned by a group of protesters claiming Anne Frank was a fictional character, a determined Nazi hunter and concentration camp survivor named Simon Wiesenthal embarked on a five-year journey. His mission was to track down the man who arrested Anne Frank and thereby substantiate her existence.
7. Preserving Anne’s Legacy through Saplings: Anne’s legacy continues to grow, quite literally, through saplings from the chesnut tree that once graced the garden of ‘de Achterhuis’ where she was in hiding. These saplings are being nurtured in New York and ten other locations in the United States. This initiative forms part of a project aimed at preserving Anne’s legacy and promoting the values of tolerance and understanding she espoused.
Memorial Day, an American holiday dedicated to honoring the country’s fallen military personnel, carries with it a rich and poignant history. The following fascinating facts shed light on the depth and significance of this solemn day.
1. Waterloo: The Birthplace of Memorial Day
The tranquil town of Waterloo, New York is acknowledged as the origin of the Memorial Day tradition. On May 5, 1866, local businesses shuttered their doors and townsfolk gathered to adorn the resting places of soldiers with decorations. This marked the first formal observance of what would become an enduring national tradition.
2. Manila American Cemetery: The Largest Collection of American World War II Graves
The Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines holds the record for containing the greatest number of graves for U.S. personnel who lost their lives during World War II. The cemetery is the final resting place of 17,206 individuals, with 16,636 of these belonging to U.S. personnel.
3. The Dutch Tradition at the Margraten American Cemetery
Memorial Day in the Netherlands carries its own unique tradition at the American military cemetery in Margraten. Every Memorial Day, Dutch families participate in a solemn “adoption” ritual, with each family choosing a grave to honor with flowers. This touching tribute ensures that every grave in the cemetery receives a personal commemoration.
4. The Inception of Memorial Day and its Deep Roots in Civil War History
The very first Memorial Day was conceived in the wake of the American Civil War. Freed slaves, in an act of gratitude and respect, held a commemorative funeral for the Union soldiers who had fought for their liberation in 1865.
5. The Unchanging Symbol at the Vietnam Memorial Wall
The Vietnam Memorial Wall holds an indelible symbol of soldiers still missing in action (M.I.A.). Each M.I.A. soldier’s name is etched with a cross, a poignant promise that their loss is not forgotten. However, should a soldier be found, a circle is drawn around the existing cross. To this day, the memorial has no circles, a stark reminder of those yet to return.
6. A Sobering Fact about Vietnam War Casualties
During the Vietnam War, a staggering 61% of U.S troops who were killed were under 21 years of age. Many of these young men had been drafted, their lives abruptly transitioning from adolescence to the harsh realities of war.
These six facts offer just a glimpse into the depth and breadth of the history and significance of Memorial Day. As we remember those who have given their lives for our freedom, let these stories serve as a reminder of the courage, sacrifice, and youth of those we honor.