On This Date in History: Have you ever seen one of those Star Trek episodes that deals with time travel? In one Kirk is in the 1920’s and if he knows a woman (Joan Collins) will be killed in a car accident and he has the ability to save her life. But Spock tells him that if he does save her, then all of history will be changed and that even the world that they know in the 23rd century would be altered, perhaps negavtively. But Kirk is not the only one hot for Joan. Bones has his eye on her and for once he gets a chance to be the hero in the show. There is no way that Kirk is going to allow the writers to make McCoy the hero of any show so he keeps the good doctor from saving the woman. In the end, it’s Kirk who is the hero to millions…again. Too bad he wasn’t around in 1918.
British Private Henry Tandey was serving in the 5th Duke of Wellington Regiment near the French village of Marcoing. On this date in 1918, toward the end of a battle, the Germans were in retreat and a wounded German soldier came into his line of fire. Tandey later said he just couldn’t bring himself to shoot a wounded man. The German soldier nodded in thanks for Tandey’s kindness and disappeared. A photograph that appeared in London newspapers of Tandey carrying a wounded soldier at the the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 was later put on canvas by Italian artist Fortunino Matania that glorified the Allied war effort. Move ahead a couple of decades.
In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Germany to meet with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler as part of his effort to prevent another war. Hitler took Chamberlain to his country retreat in Bavaria where he showed the British Prime Minister a copy of the painting by Matania. Now, it was odd that Hitler would have such a painting because his motivation for building the Nazi party and gaining control of Germany was due to the humiliating defeat and armistice following World War I. Some evidence suggests that Hitler did indeed have the copy of the painting as early as 1937. Why would he have a painting that depicted the defeat over Germany? When Hitler showed the painting to Chamberlain, he said, “That’s the man who nearly shot me.”
Now, this tale cannot be totally verified and is generally chalked up as legend. There is no way to actually prove that the man whose life Tandey spared in an act of compassion was really Hitler. But, I think its safe to say that Hitler thought it was the case. And if it was so, then think of how many millions of lives might have been saved and how history may have been altered if the man who confronted the young German soldier on the battlefield had been a mean, hard-ass soldier instead of one of humanity and compassion. Had Hitler not lived, then there not only may not have been World War II, but also the rise of the Soviet Union may not have come about and then no Cold War. Would the atomic bomb have become a reality? Would the post war economic boom in the US taken place? With no Soviet Union, then perhaps there would have been no drive to put a man on the moon. Who knows. It’s a kinda fun exercise to think of such things but largely not relevant and an exercise in futility. It’s best to look forward because in our individual lives and our large-scale collective lives, we live in the world in which we are given left to play the hand which we are dealt. Here is a full rendition of the story.
Weather Bottom Line: I’ve been telling you since last week that we may not see the 70’s for part of this week. Well, we’re not going to see the 70’s until Thursday. And, I added that I wouldn’t be surprised to see some 30’s on Tuesday or Wednesday morning in the northern part of the viewing area. We will probably be too windy overnight for 30’s on Tuesday morning as high pressure continues to settle in. But, Wednesday morning the 30’s may go beyond just the northern fringes…how about the northern half? Could very well shake out that way. This little cool snap with the wet summer we’ve had and it may be setting the stage for a great fall color season….certainly I’d expect something better than the crappy colors we’ve seen the past two years.