More bark than bite to Monday afternoon’s stuff. Figured it was a bit of a stretch to get severe stuff but we did have some gusty winds for a time. Derby Week Forecast still looks on track…sorta. Tuesday, the sun returns and we will be cool. Wednesday a chilly start gives way to upper 60′s and lower 70′s. Can we say Steamboat Race? How about a parade on Thursday? Why not. Partly cloudy and upper 70′s and low 80′s. Now, we still have the aforementioned threat of afternoon showers and t’storms on Friday during Oaks Day. We still have a front overnight. Now, Sunday night we had a front followed by a break mid/late morning Monday and then another guy swung around Monday afternoon bringing rain followed by chillier air. There is some evidence that we will have a similar deal this weekend. Front comes through with mild air and then an upper low pivots around from the Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley which may trigger some rain/t’storms Saturday afternoon. Its a cold pool aloft like Monday but the difference would be we would be near 70 at the surface and not 60 like Monday. Hence, lapse rates increased and rain chances enhanced. It’s still 4 days away but certainly will be something to consider. Just like everything in life…timing will be the key.
On This Date In History: Remember how in the Sopranos that the FBI guys were trying to get Tony to help them out to catch terrorists? Well, in real life that sort of thing has happened in war-time. In WWII it has been said that the underworld controlled the docks in New York and that the government turned to the criminal element for national security help to prevent sabotage and capture spies. Though the veracity of the claim is unclear, US Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden was put in charge of New York dock security and said:
“I’ll talk to anybody, a priest, a bank manager, a gangster, the devil himself, if I can get the information I need. This is a war. American lives are at stake. ”
What seems to contradict the idea that the mobsters helped out Uncle Sam is what bigshot Meyer Lansky, recalled:
“Everybody in New York was laughing at the way those naive Navy agents… ”
It is notable though that Lansky never denied helping the government. Anyway, the real boss in the New York syndicate was Charles “Lucky” Luciano who had risen through the ranks of organized crime after arriving in the US as a poor immigrant from Sicily earlier in the century. He earned the “Lucky” moniker by numerous escapes from “hits” put out on him by his competition. In 1943, Luciano was serving a 30-50 year prison sentence. The allies were planning on invading Sicily but didn’t have much intel. Luciano is portrayed as having an allegiance to the United States but he also had a vendetta against Benito Mussolini who had cracked down on the mafia in Italy in the 1920′s. So, on April 29, 1942 US Naval intelligence asked for Luciano’s help and he eventually agreed with spectacular results. With the hundreds of informants attracted with Luciano’s help, United States intelligence officers were able to infiltrate Italy’s naval headquarters and get all sorts of maps and documents. It is said that Luciano’s helpers were even able to convince some Italian soldiers not to fight…but they weren’t doing much of that anyway as the German army did most of the heavy lifting. Of course, the invasion was successful and the rest, as they say, is history.
The US Navy tried to cover its trail regarding the work with the underworld but eventually it came out with perhaps the greatest evidence being the inexplicable release of Luciano from prison in 1946 after serving just 10 years of his sentence. Luciano was deported to Sicily continuing his fame as being Lucky Luciano.