On May 10th, 1969, the U.S. military engaged in an all-out assault on the North Vietnamese army who were heavily fortified on Hill 937 located near the Laotian border. The attack was successful however, it took ten days and cost 72 American soldiers their lives. Another 372 were wounded in action. The hill which had no strategic value in the war was quickly abandoned after the victory. The number of dead and wounded as a result of the fierce firepower from the entrenched North Vietnam Army resulted in bodies seemingly chopped up in pieces; thus the battle would forever become better-known by the nickname of Hamburger Hill. Through news reports, word got back to Washington about the bloody battle, the loss of lives and the uselessness of the victory. Congress began an investigation into the military leadership and actions. Continue reading
“I was born in a crossfire hurricane…” Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones.
For the first time since 1966, The Rolling Stones were touring America. It was 1969, and the venues were large palaces like Madison Square Garden. It was a month-long tour that began in early November and cumulated one month later. The Stones were on fire. Jagger is in top form strutting on stage like a rooster let loose in a hen house. The music is raw, and the audience primed. The MSG concerts would be preserved with the best cuts eventually finding their way on vinyl in 1970 as Get Your Ya Ya’s Out. The Stones agreed to end their tour with a free concert in California, a sort of west coast version of Woodstock. Continue reading
Autumn is here! Soon leaves will be turning, and there will be a nip in the air. Filmmakers have taken advantage of the colors of autumn in many films. Here are six of my favorites.
When Harry Met Sally
Having this film on the list is a no-brainer if for no other reason than the scenes that take place in Central Park. Continue reading
Ken Burn’s latest documentary, Vietnam, is currently broadcasting nightly on PBS. Up until the 1960’s, war films were good business for Hollywood. It all changed with the Vietnam War. With no clear military objective, the war became more and more unpopular on the home front. Hollywood knew a hot potato when they saw one and the major studios were slow to put themselves on the front line. There were exceptions. Most were low budget independent productions like A Yank in Vietnam (1964) and To the Shore of Hell (1966). Other low budget films dealt with the returning Vietnam Vet. Most times they were portrayed as disturbed crazies: Motorpscyho, Targets, Taxi Driver and The Visitors. Then there was John Wayne’s The Green Berets, the only film at the time distributed by a major studio. Arguably it is the worst movie made about the Vietnam War, and I am not even talking about its politics. It is just a poorly made film. With this in mind here are ten must see films about the Vietnam experience. Continue reading
For most people Labor Day means a day off from work. For many kids, it means the end of summer and the beginning of school. For both groups it’s a beach day, a shopping day or a family barbeque in the back yard. But Labor Day has a deeper and more important meaning that is generally forgotten in the hoopla to catch the next sale on Amazon or the Mall. Labor Day came about due to unfair work practices, long hours and little pay. Attached here is an article on how Labor Day came about and its true meaning. Continue reading