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My M.Y.P. Project, We Didn't Start the Fire.
Transcript of My M.Y.P. Project, We Didn't Start the Fire.
But I did- Spencer Mical. The First Stanza- Billy Joel starts off the song, after a guitar and drum duet, with "Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchel, and Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe. Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, "The King and I," and "The Catcher in the Rye," Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new Queen, Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye." The first person Billy Joel mentions is Harry Truman. Harry Truman was elected in 1945, to be America's Thirty-Third (33) President. He took office in 1949. He served as the president for one (1) term, which expired in 1953. While he had been the Vice-President to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he barely saw the president, and had not been informed about the Manhattan project, which created the atomic bomb. However, when he became the president after F.D.R.'s sudden and unexpected death, he quickly learned about the secret project, and after requesting that Japan surrender, and end World War II peacefully, he decided to give the green light on dropping the two (2) atomic bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, respectively. Truman also didn't know much about Roosevelt's dealings with the Soviet Union, either. Truman also, in an attempt to prevent the Soviet Union from corrupting the countries of Greece and Turkey, provided them with aid, via the Truman Doctrine. His Secretary of State, George C. Marshall,also proposed the Marshall Plan, which provided aid to the countries of war-torn Europe. Truman also initiated the Berlin airlift, when the Soviet Union blockaded the West Berlin section of Berlin, Germany. , in an attempt to starve them out, until they agreed to become Communist. He retired at eighty eight (88) years of age, and died on December 26th, 1972.
The reason that Billy Joel started his song in the year of 1949 was that he was born in 1949, on May 9th. This song is a compilation of all of the major events that have occurred within his lifetime.
For Truman: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/harrystruman Billy Joel then sings about something called "Red China." Red China describes how the country of China became Communist, when its dictator, Mao Zedong, proclaimed, on October 1st, 1949, that it had decided to become Communist.
Based off of previous knowledge, and
https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_nf=3&tok=hZImpfHvLVygLyM7EYDEUw&cp=9&gs_id=14&xhr=t&q=Red+China&pf=p&tbo=d&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&oq=Red+China&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ff999713c9217bd7&bpcl=38897761&biw=1280&bih=645 The next name to be mentioned is Johnny Ray. Johnny Ray was a famous singer, songwriter, pianist, or just an overall musical entertainer. He got his first taste of recognition when he was noticed performing at The Flame Bar, which was a predominantly African-American frequented bar. Yet, he was accepted there, despite all of the racial turmoil that was occurring in America at that time. Then, Columbia/Okeh Record's Rhythm and Blues Section Chief/ director, Danny Kessler, happened to stop by the bar, and heard Johnny singing. He then recommended that Johnny come over and sign up with the record company, which he eventually did. Johnny Ray was also known for his trade-mark hearing aid, which he had gotten in 1941, when he was 14 years old. He had been involved in a blanket toss with some fellow Scout members of his, and they loosened their grip on the blanket (whether intentionally or un-intentionally is something that we will never know), and a piece of straw went through his left ear, and burst his eardrum, causing him to lose 50% of his hearing ability immediately. In addition, he didn't tell his parents or his Doctor, until it was too late, so he, as an alternative to being partially deaf, chose to wear a hearing aid, which he wore all the way up to the day that he died.
https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&gs_nf=3&tok=zcYStX-YcMkcuO39zWTYIg&pq=red%20china&cp=10&gs_id=1a&xhr=t&q=Johnny%20Ray&pf=p&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&oq=Johnny+Ray&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ff999713c9217bd7&bpcl=38897761&biw=1280&bih=645. Next in the song, Billy Joel mentions South Pacific. South Pacific is a musical, that was made in 1949, by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It's creation was formed from the Pultizer-Prize winning novel, Tales of the South Pacific, which was written by James A. Michener. It has been stated by critics that the musical is arguably one of the best musical productions of the Twentieth Century. Broadway's initial production of the musical won ten Tony Awards (awards that display a remarkable display of excellence within the Broadway theatre community), and four of which were for all four of the acting awards. The plot is about an American nurse, during World War II, who falls in love with a French plantation owner, on an island in the South Pacific.
http://www.theatrehistory.com/american/musical012.html Next up: Walter Winchell. Walter Winchell was one of America's most popular and controversial radio-commentators, of all time. He was born on April 7, 1897, in New York City. By the time he reached the Sixth grade, Walter Winchell decided to drop out of school. He then decided to pick up a career with Gus Edward's: "Newsboys Sextet." He was a member of this group for several years, until he took up a job as a columnist for the New York Daily Mirror. He wrote about regular-gossip stories and events that occurred in New York. A few years later, he found his true calling. His first debuted in 1930, on the Colombia Broadcasting System's (CBS's) program "Saks on Broadway," which was a segment of CBS that reported the latest on show-business news. Yet, he didn't really become nationally known until just two years later, where in 1932, the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC's) Blue Network (which eventually became ABC), decided to have Walter Winchell host the show, The Jergens Journal, which, similarly to Saks on Broadway, was yet another radio show that had both entertainment news, as well as news that held national importance. Despite the fact that the general mood of the time was depressed (due to the Great Depression), Walter Winchell was able to cheer up any of those who listened to him, because of his colorful, entertaining, emotional, and "strongly opinionated" segments, which made people think about other issues, rather their own sad situation. Walter Winchell stayed with a career in the radio industry until 1957, when he then decided to take up a job as a narrator for the popular television series, "The Untouchables." He kept that job for a few years, and then retired. He died on February 20, 1972, and 32 years later, in 2004, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.
http://www.radiohof.org/news/walterwinchell.html To wrap up the first stanza, Billy Joel sings the name Joe DiMaggio. Joe DiMaggio was born on November 25, 1914, in Martinez, California. As he grew up, he began to take an avid interest in the sport of baseball, and yearned to be a professional baseball player. Yet, he started his career, thanks to his brother, and a lack of a shortstop (the position between 3rd and 2nd base). Joe's older brother, Vince, had been signed on to play for the San Francisco Seals. When they needed a shortstop, Vince recommended Joe, and when the season had ended, Head Coach Charlie Graham sent Joe to New York. And, in time, Joe DiMaggio was a famous baseball player, who played for the New York Yankees, from 1935 to 1951 (despite the fast that he was in the Army for three years.) Some of Joe DiMaggio's most famous accomplishments, in the sport of baseball, were that he received the Most Valuable Player award three times, made 10 World Series games, in which the Yankees won 9, he had a record of a 56 game hitting streak, which still stands today. He was a national icon, a celebrity, and a very well-known and respected man, who captured the hearts of loyal baseball fans, Americans, and world-wide leaders. He was even more respected because of his "rags-to-riches" life story, and that whenever he was tested in life, he always seemed to do the right thing, and the majority of all of his actions went to benefit others, as well as himself.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0227154/bio The next name Billy Joel starts with is Joe McCarthy, whose name is associated with the word, "McCarthyism," for remarks or statements that are made that have no informational, or even true, value. Senator McCarthy of Wisconsin, in order to assure himself of re-election to the Senate, had to make rather drastic measures as to that he was really doing his job, although for the majority of his term, he had not accomplished much. So, he started America's Red Scare. During this time in history, America was at odds with another international superpower: Russia. Americans were afraid of potential spies, attacks, or even war with Russia. So, in order to get his voter riled up, and that he was "protecting" America, he claimed to have a list of about 250 government employees who were either Communist, suspected communists, or spies. Senator McCarthy conducted house raids of suspected Communists, arrested people with either limited or no evidence whatsoever, that proved that they were Communist, in any way. Ultimately, all of his antics proved useless, as his lies were eventually exposed, and he wound up dying in office from peripheral neuritis, which was caused by heavy drinking.
http://www.nndb.com/people/490/000051337/ Next on Billy Joel's list: yes, the one and only, Richard Nixon. He was born on January 19, 1913, in California. He would grow up to become America's 37th President. While in office, which reigned from 1969 to 1974, he made a lot of improvements with America and the World. He was able to end a rather unsuccessful war in Vietnam, and he further improved the relationships of the U.S. with both Russia (the U.S.S.R.), and China. He also had a lot on his plate back at home too. The nation was divided, on whether the war was even worth fighting anymore. So, while rioters took to the streets, Nixon was busy trying to end the war (which, as I mentioned, he does). Yet, he was unsure of his chances of re-election, so he hired an elite group of burglars to go infiltrate the Democratic Party Headquarters, which was located in the Watergate hotel. The men were caught, and Nixon's plan was found out. This Watergate scandal has lived in infamy for Nixon, and he resigned from office, before he could be impeached.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon Billy Joel next sings about the Studebaker. The Studebaker was a company that produced covered wagons, then carriages, then buggies, then automobiles. The first vehicle to be produced was a farm wagon, and it was produced in 1852. One century later, in 1953, they began designing the first post-World War II automobiles. Beginning in 1953, they introduce their "Loewy Coup." In 1959, the introduce the "Lark," and just seven years later, in 1966, the last Studebaker rolls off of the production line. Wagner Electric then buys the company in 1967, but then they sell the company to McGraw-Edison, in 1979. In 1985, McGraw-Edison is bought by Cooper Industries. Today, the Studebaker-Worthington Leasing Corporation is still in operation.
http://www.studebakerhistory.com/dnn/Timeline/tabid/65/Default.aspx Now, for an invention that for some people, they just simply cannot live without: the television. Although previous inventions of moving-silhouette pictures had occurred during the 1800's and more advanced techniques in the 1920's, the first, actual television was invented in 1927, by Philo Farnsworth. The screen was made up of 60 horizontal lines, that were able to transmit a picture. The first picture to ever be transmitted by the television was a dollar sign ($). He then developed a dissector tube for the television, which is a crucial piece of technology, that is used, today, in all forms of basic electronic television. Marvin Middlemark invented the "rabbit ears," or the "V" shaped antennae on the television.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blfarnsworth.htm. Billy Joel then sings about North Korea and South Korea. This is about the war between the two countries. The Korean war lasted from June, 1950, to July, 1953. This was a time when the Cold War between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. was getting intense. Russia, who was allied with North Korea, began shipping weapons to North Korea. Soon after, North Korea invaded South Korea. Then, South Korea pleaded for help, so the U.N. and the U.S. sent troops and ships to help them out. After and aggressive push by the U.S., U.N., and South Korean troops, the North Koreans were being pushed back. Victory seemed inevitable, and the U.S. began its push towards the Han River. Communist China was afraid that the U.S. troops would go right to the border of China, and then maybe a "little bit" over. So, the Chinese sent aid to the North Koreans, to repel back the Americans. What resulted was an eventual and grueling stalemate, along the 38th parallel.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/kowar/kowar.htm And now, to conclude the second stanza of We Didn't Start the Fire, Billy Joel sings the name, Marilyn Monroe. Born as Norma Jeane Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe had had a rough childhood. She was born in 1926, in the Charity Ward at a Los Angeles County Hospital. She spent many years of her life drifting through orphanages and relatives houses, due to the fact that she couldn't really spend time in her own house, because of her mother's mental health. Eventually, she had had enough, and a family friend constructed a marriage for Marilyn, at 16 years of age. While her husband went off to war in the Pacific, Marilyn was on an assembly line at an aeronautical plant. In 1945, Marilyn's luck changed, for the better. A photographer came into the factory, and took a picture of this stunningly gorgeous brunette, who was contributing to the war effort. Within months, her picture was in dozens of the nation's most popular magazines, and she then took a screen test with 20th Century Fox. The way she could captivate a camera crew, or even an audience, was something that the producers at 20th Century Fox were sure that Marilyn could do well. By 1946, Marilyn's hair turned (or was dyed) blonde, and her name was officially changed from Norma to Marilyn. America loved her. The loved her attractiveness, her comedic approach to situations in the multiple television shows she was in, and her over-all personality. She was also famous for her slow and suggestive birthday song to President John F. Kennedy, and their alleged "get-togethers," Regardless, Marilyn Monroe seemed to be doing fine, and she bought her first house in Brentwood, and had it furnished with things she'd brought from her numerous trips to Mexico. Yet, in 1962 (the same year), she died, under controversial circumstances. Despite that, she was a very accomplished woman, and she was America's sweetheart.
http://marilynmonroe.com/history/ Billy Joel then sings the name Rosenbergs. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were Russian- Americans. During World War II, Klaus Fuchs, a British physicist and scientist who was working on the famous "Manhattan Project," met with a Soviet spy named "Raymond." While the F.B.I. was investigating Klaus Fuchs, they came across the Rosenbergs. Investigators found the Rosenbergs by deciphering cables (in a process known as cryptanalysis). These investigators managed to intercept these "Venona Cables," or rather, messages that are sent over wire. However, these cables were different. These messages, as the investigators soon found out, had come straight from the Soviet consulate: the Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti, or, the K.G.B. One of the messages was a note to the K.G.B., from Fuchs, that detailed the progress and processes of the Manhattan Project. When Fuchs was interrogated, he finally broke, revealing that he had passed on information to a Soviet spy, code-named "Raymond." A massive investigation was underway, when the F.B.I. finally caught their suspect in their sights: Harry Gold. Harry Gold made a plea bargain: that he'd reveal everything that he knew, in exchange for information about the implosion lens component of the atomic bomb. An agreement was reached, and Gold ratted out another informant, David Greenglass. When the F.B.I. interrogated him, he ratted out his own wife, as being part of the Soviet Spy ring. On June 16, 1950, he also sold out his brother in law as well, Julius Rosenberg. Ethel Rosenberg was also suspect to some involvement, so they questioned her too. They pleaded their innocence for months on end, and finally hired a lawyer to help them. But, it was too late. By July, they had nowhere to run for help, and their innocence story wasn't being bought. All of the others who were involved had fled or hidden. Only a few remained, and when the Rosenbergs stood trial, their friends denied knowing who they were, or made accusations that the Rosenbergs tried to recruit them in the spy ring. Those who were caught denied everything, and stood up for each other, but it was ultimately did them no good. The Judge ruling over the case, Judge Irving Kaufman, called their crimes, "Worse than murder," and he blamed them for the deaths of over 50,000 U.S. soldiers who had fought in Korea. He sentenced the Rosenbergs to death, and the rest involved got prison sentences. There was both national and international support for the Rosenbergs, trying to prevent them from being executed, and pardoned, for lack of evidence and mere hearsay. But, it was to no avail. They were both strapped to "the chair," in Sing-Sing Prison, and were executed at about 8 P.M., on June 19, 1953.
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/rosenb/ROS_ACCT.HTM Billy Joel then sings about the H-Bomb. The H-Bomb, or Hydrogen Bomb, would be a substantially more lethal and devastating bomb, than the atomic bomb. A Hydrogen Bomb reacts by nuclear fusion amongst the hydrogen isotopes. Since extremely high temperatures are required for initiating these isotopic reactions, the Hydrogen Bomb is classified as a thermonuclear weapon. The U.S. was the first to detonate the H-Bomb, in 1952, at Enewetak, which is a series of islands in the Marshall Islands, that are in the Pacific Ocean. Russia detonated one a year later, then China, France, and Great Britain. Due to the immense power of these countries thermonuclear weapons, these top five elite nations are known as the "Nuclear- Club."
http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/hydrogen-bomb.html Billy Joel next sings the name Sugar Ray. Sugar Ray Leonard was born on May 17th, 1956, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He got his name from his mother, who loved the singer, Ray Charles. Sugar Ray had a good childhood, and a pretty good education too. However, when he discovered his talent for boxing, his career opened up. He is now considered to be one of the best boxers of all time. He burst onto the international stage at the 1976 Olympic Games, which were held in Montreal, Canada. It was there that he won the United States a gold medal, in the light-welterweight category. Sugar Ray's trainer, Angelo Dundee, had worked with the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, so he certainly helped prepare and train Sugar Ray in the field of boxing. In addition, he hired a great layer, Mike Trainer, who helped take care of all of the financial and legal matters, that pertained to Mr. Ray. One of Sugar Ray's biggest fights was against Wilfredo Benitez, a Puerto Rican who had been a World Champion since he was only seventeen (17) years of age. Sugar Ray also had a "Golden Age" of fights, which lasted for about seven (7) years, from 1979, to 1986. He had three (3) major fights then, the first being against Thomas Hearns, the second being against Roberto Durán, and the third being against Marvin Hagler. Over his entire career, he had won the World Boxing Championship in both the super-middleweight class, as well as the light-heavyweight. He then went into retirement, only to briefly come out, to be a part of the show, "The Contender," which he was joined by an ex-British paratrooper, and now reality television star, Mark Burnett. The show came into existance in the year 2002, and there was a guest appearance by Sylvester Stallone (more commonly known as the gun-toting Rambo.) He still lives today, and still holds some of the sport of boxing's most elite titles and achievements.
Sugar Ray is a band, that was created in 1986, in Newport Beach. Originally, their music was more of the "funk-metal" type of music, which was popular during the mid to late 80's. This band got its first taste of fame, when it released its song, "Fly," in 1997. Some members of Sugar Ray are: the lead singer and guitarist- Mark McGrath, the D.J.- Craig "DJ Homicide" Bullock, the lead guitarist- Rodney Sheppard, the programmer- Stan Frazier, and the Bass Guitarist and drums- Murphy Karges. They hold a record label with Atlantic Records.
Next on Billy Joel's song is Panmunjom. Panmunjom is what's known as a "truce village." The reason being is that Panmunjom is a small village that lies right in the middle of the demilitarized zone, between North and South Korea. Despite the fact that the village has been long since abandoned, it is a huge tourist attraction for visitors and tourists who come to visit South Korea. The tension is extreme, however, as North Korean guards stand right at the border of the two countries. This village happened to lie in the middle of this demilitarized zone, at the demands of the Korean Armistice Agreement, which occurred in 1953, at the conclusion of the Korean War. In some areas, visitors can be separated from guards by glass, where in other areas, their can be just air between the two of you. It is a very powerful and moving place.
http://www.stat.ualberta.ca/people/schmu/panmunjom.htm Brando is the next person to be mentioned. Born Marlon Brando Jr., on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. Brando was considered to be the greatest movie actor of all time, and was rivaled only by Laurence Oliver, in styles of esteem. Brando was a very big name on Broadway for five (5) years, until he finally decided that the screen was better than the stage, in 1949. Despite the heavy criticism that he received for this move, he came to be extremely successful in the field. As a child, he quickly learned that he had a talent for captivating an audience, and had very good public speaking skills. Yet, his later success didn't come free. He had a horrible childhood, as extremely negligent and alcohol-driven adults, happened to be his parents. Finally, after Brando had managed to get out of college, Brando decided to head to Broadway. He first debuted on October 19, 1944, in the play, "I remember Mama," which was a pretty ironic play for him to begin his career. Dozens of studios were impressed by his talents, and requested for him to screen test with them, but he declined. He was relatively quiet in the Broadway industry until he came back again in 1950 in Fred Zinnemann's film, "The Men." One infamous movie that Brando got involved in was the "Mutiny on the Bounty." (1962.) The movie took so long, went over-time and over-budget, went through a brief manager fiasco when people were being fired, hired, and/or re-hired. This movie even got the attention of J.F.K., who was quoted asking "if" the movie would ever be finished, not "when." Brando also declined a position in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The very last film that he was offered to be in was Man on Fire, which was produced in 2004. He, yet again, declined to be in it, and the role instead went to Christopher Walken, who shared a cast that included Denzel Washington. He died on July 1, 2004, at 80 years of age, in Los Angeles, California.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000008/bio Billy Joel then sings two book titles, "The King and I," and "The Catcher in the Rye." "The King and I" is a play/ musical, that was written and performed in 1956. The play is about a widow, Anna Leonowens (who was originally played by Deborah Kerr), who accepts a position as a live-in governess, for the King of Siam. It was a huge hit in the U.S. where it grossed about $21 million. Next, "The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger. This book was written and published on July 16, 1951. Initially written and published for adults, it has now been incorporated as a part of curriculum in adolescent students in English classes across the nation. It is popular with teenagers because of the main character, Holden Caulfield, who's a teenager himself, and how his problems relate with their own.
King and I: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049408/
Catcher: Previous knowledge. Next up: Eisenhower. Dwight David Eisenhower was both an American General during the Korean War, World War II, and the 34th president of the United States. He managed to work out a truce in Korea, and worked non-stop to try and smooth over the differences between the United States and Soviet Russia, during the course of the Cold War. During World War II, General George C. Marshall, requested that Eisenhower join him in Washington for a military briefing on some war plans. Eisenhower was also given Command of the audacious D-Day landing, at Normandy, France. This turned into a successful invasion of France, and ultimately, through France, and into the surrounding countries. When the war ended, Eisenhower returned to the states. In 1952, he decided to run for president, at the incessant urgings of the Republican emissaries, who were at his headquarters in Paris, France. The phrase," I like Ike," became a national slogan, and Eisenhower won he election by a landslide. Then, three years later, the leaders of Great Britain, France, the United States, and Russia, all met together at a conference, that was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The Geneva Convention, as it was called, dealt with the usage of thermonuclear weapons (such as the Hydrogen bomb that I mentioned before). Arrangements were proposed, and agreements were made, and it appeared as if Eisenhower had eased some of the long and enduring tension of the Cold War, that had existed between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. In 1956, he was re-elected for a second term. Then, when his second term expired in 1960, he retired. A year later, on March 28th, 1961, Eisenhower died, due to an illness that he had combated for years.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/dwightdeisenhower Billy Joel's next lyric is a vaccine. A vaccine is a biological preparation of a weakened disease. In other words, a weakened form of a virus or disease, that you've got a chance to contract, is injected into your body. Since it is a weakened form of the virus, it can't make you sick, your body will fight it, and will know how to combat it, if you do indeed manage to contract the virus. The first known vaccine occurred in 1798, when Edward Jenner, a British scientist, which was to fight cowpox and smallpox. Almost 2 centuries later, another scientist developed another ground-breaking vaccine. Jonas Salk, on February 23, 1954, developed the first successful vaccine to prevent polio, a crippling, and in some cases, lethal disease, that targeted children. Even the United States 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, suffered from polio, that left him wheelchair bound for the duration of his entire life. Advances in technology today help prepare even more sophisticated and protective vaccines, to help people prevent themselves from getting the influenza (flu) virus.
First Vaccine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/
Polio Vaccine: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/children-receive-first-polio-vaccine Billy Joel then sings about "England's new queen." This is Queen Elizabeth II, and her rise to the throne. She took the position on the throne on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. She was born on April 21st, 1926, as Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. To this day, she still remains the Queen of England, and is beloved by her constituents. Next up: Marciano. On September 1, 1923, in Brockton, Massachusetts, Rocky Marciano was born. Throughout his childhood, his parents, friends, doctor, and even he himself, noticed that he possessed a remarkable amount of strength. He played baseball and football as a child, but then found his true calling. After some misfortunes in his life, like being cut from the Varsity Baseball and football teams, and ultimately dropping school, Rocky realized he needed to find work. After a few failed attempts at finding work, Rocky turned to the Army. During World War II, during his "boring" moments, as he called them, he decided to give boxing a try. His first few bouts didn't go that great, contributed to the fact that he ate and smoked excessively. After humiliating himself in a disqualification fight, Rocky was determined to change his ways. He dieted and trained like a beast. He decided to go on a side track, and attempt baseball again after he was honorably discharged from the Army, but then decided to stick with boxing. He went on to become the most winning boxer of all time: with 49 consecutive wins, and 43 of which resulted in knock-outs for his opponents. He won the World Heavy Weight Championship six (6) times, and a crucial fight against Joe Louis. Then, on August 31, 1969, Rocky died in a plane crash. He's remembered for his successes, both in and out of the ring.
http://www.rockymarciano.com/biography.html Liberace is the next person to be mentioned in Billy Joel's song. He was born on May 16, 1919, in West Allis, Wisconsin. Originally, his birth name was Wladziu Valentino Liberace, but as he grew older, he was only called by his last name. At the age of 4, Liberace learned how to play the piano, by listening by ear. Despite his father's efforts to make him play other instruments (as Liberace's family was extremely musically talented), Liberace stuck with the piano, and was further educated by Ignancy Jan Paderewski, a famous Polish pianist. As Liberace grew older, he began to get a taste for the more popular songs of his time, and decided to play those, instead of the classics. Eventually, however, Liberace did decide to take some classic lessons with pianist Florence Bettray Kelly. When he finally became a teenager, he debuted his talents as the pianist for the Chicago Symphony, and at 17, became the pianist for the Work Progress Administration (W.P.A.'s) Symphony. During the 1940's, Liberace toured with his own custom designed and made piano. He also debuted in a movie, the "South Sea Sinner," (1950) and played the role of a pianist. In 1952, he got his own show: "The Liberace Show," which made him even more famous. To get further attention, Liberace dressed up in flashy clothing, and had an elaborate candelabra placed on his piano. His show was extremely popular during its two-year run, where it was televised by 217 American stations, and 20 countries. He appeared in another movie, "Sincerely Yours," (1955), and wrote his first book autobiography, "Liberace," in 1972, and wrote his first book, "Liberace Cooks," which underwent seven (7) printings. In 1978, the Liberace Museum opened, in Las Vegas, Nevada. His last concert was at New York's Radio City Music Hall, on November 2, 1986. He then died a few months later, on February 4, 1987, in Palm Springs, California, at only 67 years of age. He's remembered by his eccentric personality and musical style.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0508766/bio Santayana Goodbye are the next set of words that Billy Joel sings about, in his song. George Santayana was born in Madrid, Spain, on December 16, 1863. However, he wasn't born as "George" Santayana. He was christened at his Church as Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás. His half-sister, Susan, decided that it would be easier to just call him "George," so the name stuck. In 1889, Santayana received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and became a faculty member from that point, until 1912, when he retired. Yet, he was only 48. He decided to leave the United States, and lived in the United Kingdom and Europe for the remainder of his life, all the while rejecting potential academic opportunities in America. He lived from place to place, in England, then in Oxford, then in Paris, then in Cambridge- just all over Europe. At the outbreak of World War I, Santayana was stuck in England, and he alternated between living at Oxford and Cambridge. After World War I, he resumed his travels, to Madrid, Ávila, Florence and Rome, and other cities in Italy. For a guy who was so financially set, it still puzzles a few scholars as to why he decided to be a traveling scholar, and not just call one or two cities his "home." He became an important scholar, economist, philosopher, and literary figure, and remained that way until his death on September 26, 1952.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/santayana/ Now, we have finally reached the first chorus of "We Didn't Start the Fire:" We didn't start the fire, it was always burning, since the world's been turning, we didn't start the fire, no we didn't light it, but we're trying to fight it." This chorus describes how certain events have "lit the world on fire," and how even though Billy Joel has no control over what occurs, he and other people are trying to fight "the fire," or the events (if negative), that have shaped their world. Billy Joel's second stanza lists the following events and people: "Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev, Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc, Roy Kahn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron, Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock around the clock. Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team, Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland, Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev, Princess Grace, Peyton Place, and Trouble in the Suez. The first name to be listed in the second stanza is Joseph Stalin. He was born on December 18, 1879, and had been named Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, by his parents. As he grew up, Stalin began to read Marxist books and theories, which scholars say, may have influenced many of his decisions while he was in power. He never managed to graduate college, but spent his time as an active member of the Revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy. When the Bolseheviks seized power, in 1917, Stalin began to rise up through the party, and began gaining a reputation. In 1922, he became the General Secretary of the Communist party, which enabled him to build himself up a little more. When Vladimir Lenin died in 1924, Stalin called himself "the heir to power," and strategically outdid his opponents, and by the later years of the 1920's, he had established himself as Russia's dictator, and the race for power then stopped. Then, Stalin committed one of the worst acts of punishment in the history of the world. It didn't sound bad at first: collectivism of Russia's agriculture. Yet, it came to cost millions of Russia civilians lives, as they worked themselves to death. Then, when the 1930's rolled around, Stalin then targeted his previous running opponents and their parties, and had them all executed. Then, when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union during World War II, initially, Stalin didn't have enough men, but managed to supply his Red Army with enough men to stave off the Germans. After World War II had ended, and the Cold War started between the United States and the Soviet Union, Stalin began to grow more paranoid, both of his people and other countries. He suffered a massive stroke, and died on March 5, 1953.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/stalin_joseph.shtml Now, Billy Joel mentions the name Malenkov. Georgi (or Georgy) Malenkov was born in Orenburg, which was a part of the Russian Empire. When he grew up, he became the successor to Joseph Stalin, in the Soviet Union. On March 6, 1953, he took the position as dictator, from being the premiere of the Communist Party. However, nobody really took him seriously, and when he decided to relent political repression within the Soviet Union, and cut funding for the military, the people reacted negatively towards him. His stay in power was relatively short, as just a few weeks later, Nikita Khrushchev pushed him aside, and held power in Russia. Malenkov is remembered by his numerous reforms, anti-Semitic actions, and illegal forms of interrogation.
Reforms: http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/politics-and-society/georgy-malenkov/ Then, Billy Joel mentions the two names: Nasser and Prokofiev. These two men lived in two different countries, and had two different professions. Gamal Abdel Nasser was born in January, 1918, in Alexandria, and would grow up to be one of Egypt's most prominent figures. He was the second president of Egypt, and took power of office on November 17, 1954. The events leading up to his dictatorship were immense. In 1942, the British government was able to persuade Egypt's King, King Farouq, to step down from power, and let a government be run in Egypt, by a British candidate, Nahas Pasha. Nasser was deeply angered by this. So, while he was serving in the Arfika Korps, during World War II, he convinced dozens of officers, both young and old, that such international interference was unacceptable, and that action should be taken to prevent a British leader. When the war finally ended, tensions were growing high then between Egypt, and the newly formed country of Israel. In 1948, a war was waged between the two countries. When the war ended that same year, it showed that Egypt had lost the war, and many disgruntled soldiers had the experience to deal with faulty, or constantly jamming weapons. Nasser claimed that the Royal family had done it, as a favor for the British. So, Nasser planned a rebellion with millions of people, and on July 22, 1952, they took to the streets. Both King Farouq and Nahas Pasha were overthrown. Farouq fled to Italy, and Pasha fled back to Britain. The General at that time, General Neguib, was then instituted as Egypt's president. Despite how the Army loved him, he didn't really have any political skills, and he resigned from power, in November, 1954. It then became Nasser's (Neguib's deputy) turn to be the leader. He wanted to free Egypt from the colonization process of the British and French. So, in 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Although build by Egyptian laborers, a British architect designed it. This angered the French and British, and provoked them into attacking Egypt. Yet, months later, both countries withdrew their troops, as their actions had caused quite the condemnation at the international level. Then, the U.S.S.R. offered Egypt supplies and engineers, that would work on both the Suez canal, and build a dam on the Nile, for Egypt to have hydro-electric power. Nassar was reveling in the success of Egypt, until Israel waged a six-day war, in 1967, where they humiliated Egypt again. Ashamed, Nassar offered his resignation from office. Yet, the Egyptian people wouldn't have it. They protested for days, and showed their overwhelming support for Nassar, who reluctantly stayed in office, until his death in September, 1970.
Sergie Prokofiev was a born on April 23rd, 1891, in Krásné, Russia. As a young boy, he realized that he had a real talent for music, and as he became an adult, began to write numerous compositions. His ability to be a pianist, conductor, and composer, while being able to play so many genres of music, make Prokofiev one of the best major composers of the 20th Century. Some of his most famous compositions include: "The Love for Three Oranges," "War and Peace," "The Fiery Angel," "The Gambler," "Betrothal in a Monistery," "Semyon Kotko," and numerous songs from Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and Symphony Number 1. He died on March 5, 1953, in Moscow, the same day that Joseph Stalin died as well.
Prokofiev: https://www.balletmet.org/backstage/ballet-notes/158 Billy Joel then sings the name Campanella. Roy Campanella was born on November 19, 1921, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, Roy found out that he had a real talent in baseball, and that he had a really strong arm. He came up from humble beginnings as a child who would play baseball in the "sandlots" of Philadelphia, with all of his friends. When he was just 15, he was drafted into the Negro League. After playing in that league for a while, a manager from the Brooklyn Dodgers saw him play, and drafted Campanella to play with them. In 1946, Campanella decided to drop out of school, and later that same year, Campanella was on the team. He waited for two years, until in 1948, he became the starting catcher. He remained with the Dodgers until 1957, when they had finally spent their last year in Brooklyn. In addition, increasing levels of racism were abundant in America, and seeing as that Campanella was African American (and half Italian), they targeted him. Yet, their insults had no influence over his playing capabilities, as Campanella, or "Campy," as his teammates called him, became the third best catcher of all time. He was on an amazing career streak, when he suddenly got into an automobile accident in 1957. Despite the fact that he was now handicapped, he still had some amazing achievements under his belt. He won the Most Valuable Player award three (3) times, and in 1969, he was inserted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, and he received a Bronze Medallion from New York City, which is the highest honor a city can give to a citizen. He died from a heart attack on June 26, 1993, at the age of 71, and also surpassing the suspected life expectancy of someone who had suffered such a traumatic physical injury. He's remembered for his "cat-like" reflexes, and the way we could pounce and throw a baseball faster than any other catcher in the league at that time.
http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/a52ccbb5 Billy Joel then mentions the Communist Bloc. The Communist Bloc was a group of nations, that were taken over by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, in order to distance themselves away from the rest of Europe. The Soviets feared of a possible invasion, or attack from Europe, since they were greatly weakened from World War II, and didn't want to be invaded again. Also, to add to the potential threat of an invasion, Stalin (as I mentioned before), became paranoid, and took over these countries, and used them as a buffer, and if there were to be an invasion, Russia would be well alerted, and they wouldn't lose any of their "original" land. These nations were given many names, such as "Satellite nations," "The Eastern Bloc," "The Soviet Bloc," and the "Iron Curtain." These satellite nations were comprised of the following countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union itself.
Ideas: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/macdon.htm Next up: Roy Kahn. Roy Kahn was born on March 12, 1970, in Norway. This Norwegian singer produced dozens of songs with his bands, Camelot and Conception. He was a great singer, and stuck with these bands until 2011, when he decided to leave the music industry.
Courtesy of Google. The next name that Billy Joel mentions is Juan Perón. Juan Domingo Perón was born on October 8, 1895, in Lobos, Argentina. His childhood was a relatively good one, as he was the son of some wealthy , despite the fact that he lived near Patagonia, a relatively harsh region near Buenos Aires. When Perón was 16, he joined the military. When he began moving up the ranks, in the later 1930's, he became an influential and persuasive lieutenant. Although he never fought in any wars, he did travel to Europe to witness the Fascist rise to power in Italy, and the Nazi's rise to power in Germany. When he returned home, he was met with chaos. There was a political crisis occurring in Argentina. In 1943, now promoted to a Colonel's position in the Army, Perón chose to side with General Edelmiro Farrell's coup, which was plotting to overthrow the current president Ramón Castillo. The bloodless coup was successful, and in return for his loyalty, Perón was given the job as the Secretary of War, then later on, the Secretary of Labor. The choices he made were extremely beneficial to the working class of Argentina, so he gained both their love and respect. Ultimately, he served Farrell so well, that he was elected as the Vice-President of Argentina for the 1944-1945 years. However, in the month of October, still in 1945, Conservative politicians tried to remove him from office, but Perón's first wife, Evita, led a protest of Argentinians, and they forced the military to restore him back to his original position in office. When Perón was elected president in 1946, he did an amazing job throughout his entire term. He rapidly increased economic growth and employment, achieved international sovereignty, established a system of social justice. He nationalized numerous institutions, raised worker wages, and limited the average worker work-week. He paid off all international debts, and build numerous institutions for education and health. He also established Argentina as a "mediator" between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., so that Argentina could have good relationships with both. He won re-election in 1951 by a landslide, and it was easy to see why. However, he had a horrible second term. The economy faltered a little, and the people began to grow concerned. They began to lose faith and trust in Perón, and conservatives only added to their doubts. When he attempted to legalize prostitution and divorce clauses, the people began to distrust him, and began to plot against him. When he tried to raise moral and rally the people, the military launched a violent coup, in which the Air Force dropped bombs on supporters and protestors alike, killing more than 400 people. On September 16th, the military seized Cordoba, a nearby town, and, in fear of his safety, Perón fled, and he was driven out of Argentina by the 19th. However, the new President did even worse than Perón, and, from exile, Perón was able to convince both liberals and conservatives that even though he messed up, he was still their best choice to right the ship. When Perón was allowed to re-enter Argentina, approximately three million people went to meet him at the airport, as his plane landed. Yet, tragedy struck when angry conservatives, displeased with Perón's return, opened fire on the crowd, and killed 13 people. However, after a year back in office and improving Argentina's conditions almost back up to par, Perón suffered a heart attack, and died on July 1st, 1974.
http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/thehistoryofargentina/p/09juanperon.htm Next up: Rockefeller. John Davison Rockefeller, Sr., was born on July 8th, 1839, in Richford, New York. His first act of charity, or loaning money, was to a farmer when he was 12. The farmer was struggling, and Rockefeller gave him the $50 that he had saved up, but charged the man 7% interest for the year. After he had graduated Owego University, in New York, he went to the Folsom Commercial College, and attended that for 70 days (ten weeks) in 1855, and after passing his classes, he began to look for a job. Although the opportunities in Cleveland weren't great at the time, he still persistently looked. Eventually, he was hired, and after months of dedication and precision, he was widely known in the community for both his diligence and charity. Then, on March 1, 1859, Rockefeller decided to create his own business, and formed a partnership with his friend and neighbor, Maurice Clark. Together, they formed Clark and Rockefeller, and sold grain, hay, meats, and a whole variety of other goods. By 1860, they had made a profit of about $450,000. By 1863, Rockefeller realized that when the war ended, there would not be such big profits in Cleveland, as there were during the war years. He decided that he needed to find a new market of goods, and the answer was right below his feet. He debated entering the oil business, and even further debated if he should join himself with Andrews, Clark, and Company. So, he decided to get into the oil business, and within a year or two, he was making refinements to his Company's oil, that would make it more efficient. Then, in February, 1865, Rockefeller bought out the Clark Brothers Oil Company. Then, Rockefeller decided to merge his business with Andrews and Flagler (after he'd bought off the Clarks), and by the year of 1868, Rockefeller, Andrews and Flagler was the largest oil-refining company in the entire world. Rockefeller and Flagler also joined up with a railroad line, the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well, so that they could both ship and receive goods, via the rail. Then, Rockefeller started another business. On January 10, 1870, he started the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. Business was booming in Cleveland for Rockefeller, and by 1972, he had bought the majority of the oil refineries in Cleveland. Those that were insufficient and outdated were scrapped and dismantled, while the salvageable refineries were updated and outfitted with the latest technologies, as to fit the requirements of both Rockefeller and Flagler. Same situation in the Standard Oil Business. On January 2, 1882, Rockefeller became the head/ president of the Standard Oil Trust. However, the trust would dissolve a decade later, due to a lawsuit, that was brought about by an irate Ohio Senator. Rockefeller retired soon after, and in 1913, created the Rockefeller Foundation. By 1929, he had transferred over $235 million to the Foundation. Then, on May 23rd, 1937, Rockefeller died, and his estate, worth more than $26 million, was donated to his son, his heirs, and other philanthropies that he had worked with. He is remembered by his immense generosity, and practically destroying hookworm in the South (of the U.S.) by 1927.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rockefellers/peopleevents/p_rock_jsr.html Toscanini is the next person to be named, by Billy Joel. Arturo Toscanini was born on March 25th, 1867, in Parma, Italy. Similarly to the Russian Prokofiev, at an early age, discovered that he had a real talent for music, and when he had become an adult, began to compose and conduct magnificent pieces of music. He was renowned for the intensity and emotion that he put into his music, and perfectionism, without a doubt, made him one of the greatest musicians, composers, and conductors of the 19th and 20th centuries. He even appeared in a movie, "Hymn of the Nations," and played a few of his songs in that. In addition to that, he wrote a book, "The Letters of Arturo Toscanini," which fared well on the market. He died on January 16th, 1957, in New York City. He is remembered by both his intensity and emotion that he brought into his works of music.
Courtesy of Google. Dacron. This material is the next thing to be listed in Billy Joel's song. Dacron, is a man-made product, that is used to help repair or replace damaged or destroyed tissue cells within the human body. It has very few reactions with the body, and those that occur are harmless. Dacron, if used to replace blood vessels, will just format itself right into the lining of the blood vessel, and function, just as a blood vessel would.
Dacron: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002345.htm Dien Bien Phu Falls- this location in Vietnam is the next place and event to be addressed by Billy Joel. Dien Bien Phu was a French military stronghold in the northwestern providence of Vietnam. On May 7th, 1954, the Viet Minh, under the command of the notorious Ho Chi Minh, defeated the French forces at Ho Chi Minh, by a surprise raid in the early morning. After 57 days of being under siege, the French finally lost the battle, and the Viet Minh took over. The 13,000 French troops, even with substancial air support, were no math for the 40,000 Viet Minh force. When the French were evacuated out of there, the U.S. decided to take a shot at Vietnam, but Dien Bien Phu remained in the Viet Minh's power for the rest of the war, and still remains in their power to this day.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/french-defeated-at-dien-bien-phu Now, Billy Joel mentions the ever popular Rock Around the Clock. This song, sung by Bill Haley and the Comets, "finally broke down the barriers" that prevented the general public of America, from hearing the Rock and Roll style of music. Interestingly enough, this wasn't the first Rock and Roll song to be released, nor was it a national hit. In fact, Bill Haley's first song, "Crazy Man Crazy," was very popular, and another song of his, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," became an internationally loved song. Music scholars aren't quite sure what made Rock Around the Clock a catalyst for Rock and Roll in America, but one thing they know for sure, it captivated millions of people across the country, and started a Rock and Roll music style. Rock Around the Clock was released in 1955. Some say it's the "perfect Rock and Roll song," while others claim that its lyrics, rhythm, and style, are just influential upon those who listen to it.
http://www.rockabillyhall.com/RockClockTribute.html Now, Billy Joel mentions a man who we all admire, and strive to be like: Einstein. Albert Einstein was born on March 14th, 1879, at the Ulm, which is in Württemberg, Germany. His family moved around when he was a child, from Württemberg to Munich, then to Italy, and then Albert continued his education in Aarau, Switzerland. When he was 17, Albert entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, in 1896. The school was located in Zurich, and focused on his two best subjects, math and physics. In 1901, he gained Swiss citizenship, and his diploma. His first job was the technical assistant at the Swiss Patent Office. He then decided to go back to school, and four (4) years later, in 1905, he emerged from college with a doctor's (Ph.D.) degree. Throughout his life, Einstein was requested and recommended by dozens of scholars. Known for his extreme levels of intelligence and diligence, Albert only considered improvements in his life to be the "stepping stones," as he put it, to the next great thing to happen to both him and the World. He lived in Germany then for a while, and in 1914, he became a German citizen. After staying in Germany a little while after his citizenship was granted, he emigrated to the United States, where he, in 1940, became an American citizen. He was best known for his theory of relativity and reconciliation of the electromagnetic field theory. During an investigation he conducted, Einstein observed the properties of light, and at low levels of radiation, he wound up formulating his proton theory of light. He also made a number of other discoveries and theories, and even worked on the Manhattan Project. He died on April 18th, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html Now onto James Dean. James Byron Dean was born on February 8th, 1931, in Marion Indiana. As a child, James learned that he had a talent for captivating and audience, and was a very good public speaker. After a relatively good childhood, and after graduating college, James Dean decided to move to New York, in order to pursue a career in acting. When he starred in his first Broadway production, as a young Arab boy, in "The Immoralist," Hollywood managers saw his talent, and requested that he go to Hollywood with them. He did, and his first movies that he played a part in were relatively minor roles. However, James was the main star in three (3) movies: "East of Eden," by John Steinbeck, "Giant," by Edna Ferber, and possibly his most spectacular film, "Rebel Without a Cause," by Nicholas Ray. His career in Hollywood looked promising, only to be cut short by his violent death in a horrific car crash, on September 30th, 1955. He was only 24 years old, but was best remembered for these three best movies of his.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000015/bio Now, back to sports. Billy Joel mentions that "Brooklyn's got a winning team." It was the 1955 baseball season, and it was the battle of New York: the Brooklyn Dodgers, versus the New York Yankees. The Dodgers managed to pull ahead of one of baseball's best franchises, and won the Final two games of the World Series. This was the first time that the Dodgers had beaten the Yankees in a World Series match-up. The last five meetings were all won by the Yankees. This was Brooklyn's final winning season in Brooklyn. They moved to Los Angeles a few months later.
http://www2.mvusd.k12.ca.us/eett/syoung/WDSTF/br.htm Davy Crockett is up next, as Billy Joel sings his name. I'm not sure why Billy Joel included this, as Davy Crockett fought at the Alamo in the 19th Century, a whole Century before Billy Joel was even born. He was born as David Crockett, on August 17th, 1786, in Greene County, Tennessee. When he became an adult, and a member of the Tennessee militia, he went to the Alamo, to go defend Texas from the advancing Mexican Army. He was there, along with 200 other Texans, to prevent the invasion of Texas by the Mexican Army, led by Santa Anna. After about a month of relentless cannon bombardment by Santa Anna's artillery, 600 Mexican soldiers charged the Alamo. Despite the fact that the Texans were outnumbered 3 to 1, they fought hard. Yet, it was to no avail, as eventually, every Texan was killed, including Davy Crockett, who was renowned for his shooting capabilities. It has been estimated, by a slave who was allowed to escape the Alamo, that Crockett killed at least 50 Mexican troops, during his fight at the Alamo. He was killed on March 6th, 1836. He is remembered for his incredible accuracy with a rifle, and his bravery to fight to the last at the Alamo. Pertaining to the 1950s, however, raccoon, or 'coon skin hats became popular again, and were worn by millions people. The 'coon skin hat is a reference to Davy Crockett, as he was known to wear one. A television series called "Davy Crockett" was also created, and starred Hollywood actor Fess Parker. The U.S. military also created what they called M-29 Davy Crockett missiles.
Courtesy of previous knowledge and Google, as well as:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/history/start_fire_facts.htm Now, Billy Joel mentions Peter Pan. On December 27th, 1904, James M. Barrie, a British playwright, opens up his play, Peter Pan. Barrie was born in 1860, and in 1897, began writing plays that had a dramatic effect upon the audience. Then, he wanted a little deviation off of prose. He wanted to write a "gentler" form of play, and in 1904, he did just so by writing and scripting Peter Pan. Although he has written numerous other works, very few have enjoyed the duration and publicity as Peter Pan has done, for more than a Century. Then, Walt Disney came along in on February 5, 1952, and released an animated version, and even more child-friendly version, out to the public. It too, has withstood the test of time, and is still considered a much beloved classic by millions of people today.
James Barrie: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/peter-pan-by-james-barrie-opens-in-london
Walt Disney: http://disney.go.com/disneyinsider/history/movies/peter-pan Now, Billy Joel mentions an American Rock icon, Elvis Presley. Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. When his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee, he graduate Humes High schoolm which was in Tennessee. He began to take an interest in music after he got out of school, and after composing his own songs, he managed to land himself a career, singing and producing songs for the famous and legendary, not to mention renowned, Sun Records, in 1954. A year later, his contract was bought by R.C.A. Victor, and the year after that, his songs had become international hits. People were hysterical, nationally, for his music, and to receive the amount of support from other countries was amazing. Since he had grown up with both whites and African Americans, Elvis had a music style that could please both audiences, and ease the racial tensions through music. He made a notable appearances in 33 movies, made history with his multiple television show hostings and guest appearances, and had an unbelievable amount of sold out concerts and tours all around the country, and even in other parts of the world. He's had numerous record-breaking attendance numbers and sales for his Los Angeles concerts, and has made serious money, off of over a billion of record sales. His record sales in America alone have earned him Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards. He was nominated for a Grammy fourteen (14) times, and won three (3) of them, was named one of the top ten Outstanding young men in America, in 1970. He also served in the Army, and was considered one of the most successful singers of all time. He died on August 16th, 1977, at his home in Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. He is remembered for his musical talents and amazing personality.
http://www.elvis.com/about-the-king/biography_.aspx I've been to this next location only once in my whole life, and I loved it so much, I didn't want to leave. Then again, I was only six, but it was a heck of a lot of fun while it lasted. Billy Joel next sings the place, Disneyland. Disneyland got its idea from a man named Walt Disney. Walt Disney had imagined a place, where parents and their children alike could bond, and have a great time together. He contemplated a number of ideas, and ultimately decided that a "magical-themed" park would be the best option. His original plan was to build the park on an eight (8) acre stretch of land, which was next to the famous Burbank studios, where both his family, friends, and employees could go relax. Although he had pursued the park far enough to get a contract for building it, World War II interfered, and construction for the park was postponed. As the war progressed, Walt contemplated in his study what he might include in this park of his. As his ideas became more elaborate and immense, he soon realized that only 8 acres was not going to cut it for his aspirations. Then, Walt got a chance. He, in 1953, made a request for the Stanford Research Institute, to conduct measurements, data, and a survey, for a potential 100-acre site. He figured with this new, and much bigger area, he could fit in all of the castles, rockets, and waterfalls he wanted. He also wanted to make Disneyland, as he called it, accessible. It was located in the Metropolitan area of Los Angeles. He also tried to make ends meet with the project budget, as he only had so much money, in order to build this park. Eventually, however, he found his ideal location. As his research led him further through California, he stumbled upon an orange grove, that only produced a small amount of citrus. He bought the 160 acre property from the farmer, and then the architects went to work. Disneyland was now being built in rural Anaheim. Despite his efforts to fund the park, he just didn't have enough money to complete the project. So, with the little money he had left, he turned to television advertisements for funds. And, his plans worked. People loved the idea of a park like Walt's, and the money came pouring in. All of the trees were cleared, and 15 houses were relocated, before any construction was to begin. Walt then detailed his plan of the park to the architects, depicting how there would be different regions of the park, that focused on different aspects of the American way of life. His Main Street would look like any typical Main Street. Adventure land would beckon at the other end of the street, for eager visitors to go enter the actual amusement park. Frontierland and Fantasyland came next, followed by Tomorrowland. Eventually, the park was finished, even with Walt's own hands. It was a $17 million project, but it was worth every penny. It opened up July 17th, 1955, and over 28,000 people had entered the park by noon. The only setbacks were that the plumbers went on strike, and some fountains didn't work, as well as the temperature being over 110 degrees. Other than that, it was a huge success. By 1965, more than 50 million people had visited it, and today, over 17 million people visit the Magic Kingdom every year.
http://www.justdisney.com/disneyland/history.html Next on Billy Joel's list is Bardot. Presuming Billy Joel means Brigitte Bardot. Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born on September 28th, 1934, in Paris, France. Bardot was a former French and American actress, and is an avid animal rights activist. Bardot was also a former singer and fashion model, one of the most widely known in France. Brigitte Bardot is, or rather, was, also known for another profession she had: being one of France's best sex symbols from 1950 to 1960. During her career as a singer, she released twelve (12) albums, all of which were smash hits in France. She lives a more moderate and calm life today in France.
Courtesy of Google. Now, Billy Joel mentions the place Budapest. Budapest is the beautiful capitol of Hungary, which is a country in Europe. It's divided into three (3) cities, Óbuda, which is the oldest part, with ancient ruins, Buda, made famous for its castle hill and residential area, and Pest, the consumer, commercial, and government portion of the country. It was founded on November 17th, 1873During World War I, millions of Hungarians fled their home country to escape Germany's conquest of death and control. Hungary was practically repaired from the war damages that it endured from World War I, when World War II rolled around. Their Jewish population was decimated during World War II, and Hitler's "Final Solution." However, when the Allies liberated Hungary, their problems seemed to be solved. That is, until that paranoid Stalin occupied Hungary, and claimed it as one of his satellite nations. On October 23rd, 1956, the Hungarians had a revolution against the Communists, and managed to drive them out. Then, on October 23rd, 1989, the Third Hungarian Republic was declared and situated. It's currently a member of N.A.T.O., and is striving to join the European Union.
http://www.sztaki.hu/IWES04/About_Budapest.htm Then, Billy Joel mentions one of America's 50 states: Alabama. During the 20th century, there was major racial violence and segregation in Alabama. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Alabama was the heart state of the South, or "Dixieland" as the Southerners called it. The 22nd state seceded from the union on January 11th, 1861. It's capitol, Montgomery, was quickly named the capitol of the South, only to be changed to Richmond, Virginia. When the war finally ended, the free African Americans decided to stay and live in Alabama, a decision that angered many racist whites and groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. Racial unrest soon flared up, leading violence and even death, for some African Americans living in Alabama. It grew to its highest and worst levels during the 1950s-1970's. The Civil Rights Movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., encouraged African Americans to endure, and peacefully protest. That's what they did, and Alabama became notorious for its Montgomery Bus Boycott, when all of the African Americans decided to stop riding the bus, until their situation changed. At first, the bus company was unrelenting, but after weeks of losing serious money, and the intensity of the African Americans grew, the bus company eventually succumbed, and they were given a few more privileges. In Alabama's economy today, it is fueled by aerospace, agriculture, automobiles, and the public service sector.
http://www.history.com/topics/alabama Khrushchev. Nikita Khrushchev, the Russian Premire, who took power from G. Malenkov, Joseph Stalin's successor. Despite the fact that Malenkov had only been in this position of power for a few weeks, Khrushchev decided that he needed to go. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born on April 15th, 1894, in Kalinovka, Russia. Not much is known about his childlife. However, he did join the Bolshevik party in 1918, and got hit technical education in part due to the October Revolution. As he grew older, he too, like Stalin, moved up through the party's ranks, and became a member of the Central Committee in 1934. Then, after years of work there, he was put into the Politburo, in 1939. When Stalin died in 1953, and Malenkov took office, Khrushchev then was promoted to the Secretary of the Bolshevik Party. He then wanted to have the power to be the leader, so he peacefully pushed aside Malenkov, and, much like Stalin, divided and conquered over his opponents, and out maneuvered them, which made him win some decisive victories. He, later in 1953, was then pronounced the undisputed leader of Soviet Russia, and he went right to work. Again, much like Stalin, he sought out all of his opponents, but he only took them out of office, and replaced them with his own political supporters. He believed that Communism, one day, would triumph over Capitalism, but sadly for him, it has never happened. Khrushchev also did a number of interesting things while he was in office. He denounced Stalin, and his horrific acts of mass murder, and condemned him for his atrocities. Before then, you risked your life to mention any fault with Stalin. He also wanted to boast how good the Soviet Union was to the rest of the world. He flew to dozens of countries, to brag about their accomplishments. He even went to London in a prototype jet, to try and impress the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, which he did. He helped aid decolonizing colonies in three (3) continents, Asia, Africa, and South America. He grew really competitive during the Soviet's space race with America, in which they launched the first rockets, and got the first man and woman, and even dog, into space, but were second to get a man on the moon. He eased Cold War tensions with the United State's J.F.K., until the Cuban Missile Crisis, which blew up in both of their faces, J.F.K. and his "Bay of Pigs" invasion, and Khrushchev's decision to repeal the nuclear warheads that he had sent to Cuba, which were only partially developed. He lost a substantial amount of prestige after that, and was removed from office two years later, with, quite remarkably, not bloodshed. He had a peaceful retirement afterwords, and died on September 11th, 1971, in Moscow. He was the only Soviet leader not to be buried in the Kremlin wall.
http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/bios/all_bio_nikita_khrushchev.htm Billy Joel then mentions the royalty Princess Grace. Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12th, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a young girl, Grace realized that she had a real talent for acting and the stage. She could grab the attention of anyone, based off of her skills, and looks as she got older. She was always a member of productions in both her school and community, and she even went on a few modeling "extravaganzas" with her mother and sister. George Kelly, one of her uncles, encouraged her to pursue a career in Hollywood, as he was a famous playwright, and was her mentor throughout her entire rise through it. When she graduated from high school, she enrolled herself in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she modeled in magazines, and learned further tips and tricks for the stage. She graduated the Academy at age 19, and immediately went to Broadway for a job. However, it was a tough choice, because even though she was gorgeous and wore the latest fashion, she had no real talent in singing. Yet, she got her big break when World War II came about, and then ended. The movie industry was booming, and Grace was able to get into eleven (11) movies, and over sixty (60) television shows. Her first film, "Fourteen Hours," which was produced in 1951, was a smash hit, thanks to the keen eye of Gary Cooper, on the 22 year old Grace. She then starred in Mogambo with Gary Cooper, and it was in that movie that Grace was nominated for an Academy Award, and she won a Golden Globe for being the best supporting actress. Then, in 1954, after numerous other camera appearances, Grace appeared in "The Country Girl," in which her spectacular performance earned her an Oscar nomination, which she managed to win, over Judy Garland. By this point in her life an career, Grace was one of the most highly respected and paid actresses in the whole world. In 1955, a year later, she was requested to join the United States Delegation Committee, which was traveling to Cannes, France, for a film festival. While there, at a photo shoot, she happened to stumble across Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Conveniently, he was searching for a wife, and happened to be at this film festival. Rainier III needed to have an heir, a son, to his throne, or else France would then become a part of France, which both he and the people of Monaco didn't want. They fell deeply in love, and on April 26th, 1956, they were married, in a highly publicized event. Rainier III, however, made the wedding with strings attached: she must forfeit her United States Citizenship, and all movies that she was in, were to be stopped immediately. Also, all films being filmed in Monaco, regardless if Grace was in them or not, had to be stopped as well. Although she secretly longed for Hollywood, she felt that it was her duty to serve the cultural needs of Monaco, and within a few years, they had three children, Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie, and Prince Albert. However, her happiness was short lived. On September 14th, 1982, while driving along the cliffs of Côte d'Azur, which is a beautiful region located in the southern providence of France, with her daughter Stéphanie, Grace suffered a massive stroke, and drove off the cliff, unconscious. Both she and her daughter were able to survive the initial fall off of the cliff, but that put Grace in a coma for a full day, where she then tragically died on September 15th, 1982. Princess Stéphanie survived the crash with only minor injuries. Grace is remembered for her Hollywood success and talent.
http://www.biography.com/people/grace-kelly-9362226 Now, we have Peyton Place, which was originally a book, then turned into a movie. "Peyon Place" was written by Grace Metalious, and the movie was directed by Mark Robson and John Michael Hayes. The book is about a coming on age story, about a girl named Allison. She lives in this small, quaint town on Peyton Place in New England. Allison, a gorgeous girl and magnificent writer, strives to be free, but is restrained by her emotionally crippled mother. Allison also has a really close friend, Selena, who is terrorized by an abusive father. Although she feels horribly for her, there's nothing that she can do. When Allison comes of age, and finally does manage to leave Peyton Place, she's not gone long, before she's called back to the town, to come to the defense of Selena, who'd been accused of murdering her father. The town may look nice, and filled with love, but it hides scandal and atrocities.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050839/plotsummary Now, Billy Joel mentions trouble in the Suez. This relates back to Nasser. The Suez Canal is a man-made canal that was built in Egypt. The reason for its construction was to connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. The reason for this is that it would make both travel and material shipments easy access to both regions of land. Initially, as Egypt was a colony under British rule, the British, at first, had no desire to allow the Egyptians to build the canal, until they realized the profits it would yield to them, for waterway travel. The British then posted a military unit which would monitor and protect the canal, as it was being constructed. When World War II came about, the troops left, but the Egyptians continued building the canal. When the War had ended, the British returned to rule over the canal again. This angered President Gamal Nasser greatly, and requested that the British leave. They refused, so Nasser nationalized the Canal, which then forced the British to leave. Britain was furious, so it joined up with France and Israel, to try and take it back from the Egyptians. They all attacked Egypt, which resulted in a loss of forty (40) of their naval vessels, but also severely damaged the canal as well, to the point where it was nonoperational. Egypt then pleaded to its allies, the United States and the Soviet Union for help. These two superpowers made Britain, France, and Israel pay for the damages that they had caused to the canal. However, and agreement was reached that Egypt would have to pay Britain, for their seizure of the Suez Canal. The Suez canal underwent some serious repairs, and six months later, it reopened for waterway usage. Israel's involvement in the Suez canal attack most probably initiated the Six (6) Day War, between Israel and Egypt, in 1967.
http://www2.mvusd.k12.ca.us/eett/syoung/WDSTF/ts.htm Now, we have Billy Joel's second chorus of "We Didn't Start the Fire:" We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning. We didn't start the fire, no we didn't light it, but we're trying to fight it. Billy Joel's third stanza of "We Didn't Start the Fire," contains the following people and events: Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac, Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge on the River Kwai, Lebanon, Charles De Gaulle, California baseball, Starkweather, homicide, children of Thalidomide. Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia, Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel (is a no go), U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy, Chubby Checker, Psycho, Beligans in the Congo. The first thing that Billy Joel mentions in his third stanza is Little Rock. Little Rock is a town in Arkansas. Little Rock also played an important part in the integration of school, during the 1950's. On September 4th, 1957, nine (9) African American students, Minnijean Brown, Terrance Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, and Carlotta Walls, were permitted to attend an the all-white Central High School. Yet, there was a lot of racial tension going on during this time. These nine students, on the 4th of September, attempted to enter the school, but found their path blocked by a huge mob of angry racist people. As they tried to maneuver around them, they found their path to be blocked by the Arkansas National Guard, who was ordered by Governor Orval Faubus, to prevent the "Little Rock Nine," as the nine students were then called, from entering the school. Disgusted by Faubus's work, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), brought forth a lawsuit, lead by a team of lawyers, who were lead by Thurgood Marshall, against the Governor. They won the case, claiming that the Governor had broken the law, by denying the students access to an educational facility. Finally, nineteen (19) days later, and with the help of a massive police escort, on September 23rd, the Little Rock Nine took their first steps into the Central High School. But Martin Luther King Jr. said that even though the police escort protected them for a day, he wasn't satisfied that the students would be protected enough. So, he sent president Eisenhower a telegram, asking for further help and protection. Eisenhower was forced to reply, because America's segregation problem was becoming an international embarrassing attribute to America. So, he pulled out troops from the Army's 101st Airborne Division, to protect the students. The troops did this until the end of the school year. Ernest Green became the first African American to graduate from the school. In 1958, the NAACP awarded all of these brave students their highest medal of valor, the Spingarn Award. Then, as the fall came, and school was about to start, Governor Flaubus closed all four of Little Rock's high schools, to prevent further desegregation in his high schools. However, in December of 1959, a year later, the Supreme Court declared that it was unconstitutional for Flaubus to have closed the schools, on the basis of preventing desegregation, and the schools reopened.
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_little_rock_school_desegregation_1957/ Here, Billy Joel mentions the name Pasternak. Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was born on February 10th, 1890, in Moscow, Russia. All that's really known about his childhood is that when he was fourteen (14), he studied complex musical theory for six (6) years. He then went to the University of Marburg, to study philosophy. However, his education at the university was a rather brief one, as after only four (4) months of being in attendance, he took a trip to Italy, then returned to Russia, and decided to study literature. Pasternak's first two books, "Sestra moya zhizn," which means, "My Sister's Life," which was written in 1922, and "Temy i variatsii," which means, "Themes and variations," which was written a year later, went completely unnoticed by scholars. Yet, his style of writing and poets gave him some recognition in the poetic community. He wrote two more books in 1924, "Vysokaya bolezn," which means, "Sublime Malady," and "Detstvo Lyuvers," which means "The Childhood of Lovers." He wrote a dozen more books, but was most famous for his anthology, "My Sister," which is still considered one of the most influential pieces of Russian literature to this day. He died on May 30th, 1960, in Peredelkino.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1958/pasternak-bio.html Billy Joel then sings the name, "Mickey Mantle," one of the most famous baseball players of all time. Mickey Charles Mantle was born on October 20th, 1931, in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. Mickey was named "Mickey" because his father was determined to see his son get to the major leagues, so he named his son after the Philadelphia Athletics catcher, Mickey Cochrane. Soon after his fourth birthday, his family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma. His father worked in mines all day, but when he came home, Mickey, his father, and his grandfather, would play baseball in a tin shed, which was about fifty (50) feet from their house. This may not seem like such an important thing to include, but these daily baseball sessions are what would ultimately indite Mickey Mantle into the Hall of Fame. His dad would pitch to him right-handed, and Mickey would bat left-handed, to improve his left hand batting. Then, his grandfather would pitch to him left-handed, and Mickey would work on his right hand at batting. Many years later, when he was fifteen (15), he was drafted to play with the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids, which was a semi-professional league. When Mickey went to Commerce High School, in 1946, he managed to excel in three sports: Baseball, football, and basketball. However, tragedy struck, when during a football practice, Mickey was kicked in the shin. It didn't seem like such a big deal, until he got a bone infection, called Osteomyeltis. This disease almost ended Mickey's career in baseball, as doctors contemplated amputating his leg, due to the severity of the infection. Then, fate gave him another chance. A new drug, Penicillin, had been invented. Mickey was given the drug, and before long, the majority of the infection was gone, although the infections effects on him would continue to effect him throughout the rest of his life. Then, in 1948, Mickey grabbed the attention of the New York Yankees scout, Tom Greenwade. Greenwade then returned on Mickey's graduation day, and offered him a contract with the New York Yankees. Mickey then almost quit baseball altogether, while he was playing for the Independence Yankees (a class D minor league team), in 1949. He went into a hitting slump, and called his dad, to call it quits. His dad convinced Mickey to try again, and harder, and when Mickey did just that, his season got much better. Mickey then played for the Joplin Miners (a class C minor team), in 1950, where he won the Western Association batting title. Then, Mickey began to play for the Yankees, in 1951. Mickey was then assigned the number 6, as Babe Ruth had number 3, Lou Grehig had number 4, and Joe DiMaggio had number 5. Mickey was expected to be one of the next "greats" on the team. Yet, he had a pretty slow start to the majors. On April 17th, 1951, he went 1 for 4 at the plate. By July 15th of the next year, he was batting .260, and had struck out 52 times in 246 plate appearances. Mickey was then taken off the team, and was sent to the Triple A- Kansas City Blues, in an attempt to get himself more experience. Once again, Mickey contemplated quitting, but was convinced by his father to give it one last try. He was signed back onto the Yankees, and he did much better. In forty games, he had hit eleven (11) home-runs, three (3) triples, nine (9) doubles, and about 50 RBI's (runs batted in). His hitting average at the plate was .364. Then, in the 1951 World Series, when the Yankees were playing the San Francisco Giants, Mickey suffered a horrible leg injury, while attempting to catch a fly ball off of Willie Mays' bat. The injury would painfully stay with him for the rest of his career, but he impressed both his fans, teammates, and opponents, of his ability to play so well, through so mush pain. He still holds two records: A 3.1 second dash from home plate to first, and a 565 foot home run, the farthest home run ever hit. Then, in 1956, Mickey had his best year: He won four (4) awards: The Triple Crown, the Greatest Male Athlete of the Year, the American League MVP (most valuable player), and the Player of the Year. He also won the Most Valuable Player Award again a year later, and in 1962 as well, and received a Golden Glove award in 1962. Mickey died on August 13th, 1995, in Dallas, Texas. He's remembered for all of the World Series Records that he's set, including the most home runs. He is also known as the greatest switch hitter of all time. http://www.mickeymantle.com/bio.htm Now, Billy Joel mentions the name Kerouac. Jean-Louis Kerouac was born on March 12th, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Not much is known about his childhood, except that he spoke a mix of French Canadian, prior to speaking English. When he got to Lowell High School, he became a football star on the team, and was so good, that Columbia University offered him a scholarship to go to their college. He accepted, and played on their football team as well. However, after he received an injury that sidelined him on the football team, Columbia University lost its appeal to him, so he dropped out. While he was still in New York, he managed to acquaint himself Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Herbert Huncke, plus others who associated themselves as members of the "Beat Generation." He joined the Navy during World War II, and after the war, in 1947, he met Neal Cassady, the man who would give him his "wheels," during his expedition across the country. Kerouac wrote his first book, "The Town and the City," and in 1950, Allen Ginsberg helped Kerouac publish it. The book is about Kerouac's struggles to meet the demands of his family, while at the same time trying to live his "unconventional" life. He then went on a mission: to go across the country, and write about his experiences. He linked up with Cassady, and together, they drove across the country. When Kerouac returned, he handed an single- unbroken roll of paper, to his editor. This roll of unbroken paper would be turned into the book, "On The Road," and when it was published, got huge raves and ratings. However, Kerouac struggled still, as he tried to live up to the expectations of the Beat people, and tried to portray himself in real life, as he had done so successfully in his novels. However, the literary establishment denounced him, and claimed that he was a mere fad. He lived in fame for many years, and published another four (4) books, until his death on October 21st, 1969, in St. Petersberg, Russia.
http://www.jackkerouac.com/ Now, Billy Joel mentions Sputnik, the first satellite that was ever launched into space. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on October 4th, 1957. It was the size of a beach ball, about 58 centimeters, or 22.8 inches in total diameter. It weighed 183.9 pounds, and took only 98 minutes to complete its full orbit around the entire planet. It took months for Russian scientists and aeronautical engineers to research and construct Sputnik, but once they had launched Sputnik 1, they became the first country to send an artificial satellite into space, and thus propelled themselves ahead of the United States, and caught them off-guard. With this Sputnik launch, the U.S.S.R. initiated the Space Race, which was the Soviet Union against the United States. Then, on November 3rd, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik II. Sputnik II carried a much heavier payload of equipment, and even a dog named Laika. The Russians got the green light to send artificial satellites into the Earth's atmosphere when the International Council of Scientific Unions had decided to adapt a resolution, that specifically called for artificial satellites to be launched into the Earth's atmosphere, under the duration of the I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year), in order to precisely and accurately map and measure the Earth's surface.
http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/ The next name that Billy Joel sings about is Chou En-Lai. On March 5th, 1898, Chou En-Lai was born in Huai'an, China. Despite the fact that he was born into a lower class family, En-Lai still managed to be educated in three countries: China, a few countries in Europe, and Japan. In addition to his education, Chou also became one of the earliest and strongest members of the C.C.P., or, the Chinese Communist Party. He focused all of his attention on this party, and worked diligently to promote the ideas and beliefs of the party. He worked so successfully, that by the age of twenty-six (26), he had been promoted to the Senior Party leader position. In addition to having lots of power, Chou was also a very good persuader, and one of his most crucial persuasion moments was when he persuaded China's Nationalist Party leader Chiang Kai-shek, to fight with the communists, in order to fight against Japan. Their fight together began in 1936. Chou also represented the Communist party within Chiang's government, and was able to get some support for his party, during their allied time together. Due to his wit, persuasiveness, and over-all personality, he was able to receive international support for his party. After World War II had ended, China declared itself to be the The People's Republic of China, in the month of October, in 1949. Chou was unanimously elected as China's premier, and served as China's foreign minister as well, until nine (9) years later, in 1958. He was a professional negotiator and peacemaker, and he could resolve literally any feud, on any side of the political spectrum. However, when China entered a period of political unrest, Chou supported Mao Zedong's faction of the communist party. He was the party's only strong leader, and he was able to let Mao make policies, but restricted his radical behavior. This earned him the respect and admiration of many of the fighting factions of the Communist party. However, Chou supported Mao's radical ideas later on, he had to be sure to keep Mao in check, as so he didn't overstep his boundaries. In some scenarios, Chou personally intervened with Mao's policies, in order to protect historical monuments, or even individuals or businesses themselves. The last thing Chou wanted was interference from the Red Guard, who were notorious for their violent ways. In order to improve China's relations with America, Chou had a few secret meetings with an American Ambassador, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger was thoroughly impressed with Chou, and his ability to neutralize hostility with his personality. However, Chou wasn't able to please everyone, as Chou became heavily attacked by China's Left wing, during his last few years of life. When he died of cancer on January 8th, 1976, he was mourned by millions of Chinese people, many of whom held demonstrations in China's famous Tiananmen Square, even though anti-Chou leaders tried to prevent them from publicly mourning him. Chou is remembered as China's greatest leader, as he was deeply loved and well-respected by all people, and for his amazing charm, that could pacify any disagreement.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/china/peopleevents/pande04.html Now, Billy Joel mentions the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai. During World War II, the Japanese had planned to invade the country of India. However, they needed a means of getting over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, which is located on the border of Myanmar. So, the Japanese Army's solution to this was to build a meter-gauge bridge across the river. The railway line was to run from Ban Pong, a city in Thailand, to Thanbyuzayat, a city in Burma. This railway, then, stretches approximately 250 miles. However, it has been given the nickname "Death Railway," which is demonic. The purpose of this railway was to transport weapons and supplies to the Japanese Army, as they prepared themselves for their invasion of India. The Japanese Army also didn't want to risk their own engineers to possibly fall in the river and drown, or get injured while working, so they forced P.O.W.'s (prisoners of war) and Asian slave laborers to build the bridge. However, weather conditions were horrendous. Disease, especially malaria, ran high, as well as physical fatigue. "Workers" who didn't work fast enough, or meet their captors satisfaction, were killed. Construction for the Bridge started in the month of October, in 1942. Working feverishly for their lives, the bridge was fully constructed and operational in one year. Due to poor conditions, thousands of "laborers" died, either as a result of exhaustion, brutality, or drowning. Popular belief is that one life was lost for each sleeper that was laid on the track. (A sleeper is a piece of wood or metal that bonds the two iron ties together with bolts.) Today, over 7,000 P.O.W.'s who actually worked on the Bridge, are buried at the nearby Kanchanburi cemetery. In addition, 2,000 more laborers are buried at another nearby cemetery, Chungkai cemetery. Eventually, Allied bombers (bombing planes) reached the Bridge, and destroyed two-thirds (2/3) of it. Although two (2) of its central spans were rebuilt, the whole Bridge wasn't attempted to be rebuilt. The original parts of the Bridge are currently on display at the War museum. The Bridge also became the inspiration of many Hollywood movies, and books, due to its location, and sheer cliffs, where the laborers had to climb and dig through. Today, it serves itself as a popular tourist destination.
http://www.bridgeriverkwai.com/ Next up: the country of Lebanon. Billy Joel mentions this Middle Eastern country because in 1943, they gained independence from France.
Courtesy of Google. The next name that Billy Joel mentions is Charles De Gaulle. Charles De Gaulle was born on November 22nd, 1890, in Lille, France. He had a good childhood, and grew up in Paris. He then attended the Military Academy St. Cyr, and was able to graduate in 13th place, in his class of 1912. When he finally entered the Army a year later, he joined an infantry regiment, which was under the command of Colonel Henri-Philippe Petain. During World War I, De Gaulle was wounded twice within his first few months of service in the armed forces. Then, in the month of February, in 1915, he was promoted to the rank of a Captain. On March 2nd, 1916, he fought valiantly at Verdun, and was once again wounded, but couldn't escape the Germans. He was captured, and was held captive for 32 months, the equivalent of 2 years and 8 months. However, during this time, he was not idle. In fact, he was quite the opposite. Besides being transferred to numerous prisons, he plotted and executed five (5) escape attempts, but unfortunately, each one failed. When the Germans signed the Armistice, De Gaulle was released, and immediately signed under a Polish division, which was under the authority of Maxime Weygand. He fought the Red Army (Russia), and was awarded the Polish military's highest honor, the Military Virtue. After the war, he worked at France's "French War College," where he worked with his previous commander, Henri Philippe Petain. However, the two broke into a feud, where Petain accused De Gaulle of taking more credit than was due to him, from the staff at the College. Then, when World War II broke out, De Gaulle was given command of the 5th Army's tank force, a position which he grew to be greatly displeased, as he considered it a military blunder to mix artillery with air vehicles. However, on May 28th, he conducted a great victory, in which he was the only surviving French commander to force the Germans to retreat, during a portion of the German Army's invasion into France. Then, the tide was turning in De Gaulle's favor, where on June 5th, 1940, Paul Reymond, France's Prime Minister, appointed De Gaulle to be his secretary of War. De Gaulle then traveled to London, but upon his return, he realized that something was wrong. Henri Philippe Petain had seized power while he was gone, and was calling for De Gaulle's arrest. De Gaulle quicly fled back to London, where he continued to rule over the people of France by radio, and encouraged them to keep resisting against the oppressing Germans. The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, defended De Gaulle, and Henri Philippe Petain then denounced De Gaulle. While in exile in London, De Gaulle tried to unite all of the French resistance groups, and only managed to link up eight (8). Yet, these were the biggest and most strong groups. All was going well, until two of his best leaders were arrested by the German Gestapo. Then, De Gaulle declared, on May 26th, 1944, that the French Committee of National Liberation (the F.C.N.L.), had now become the Provisional Government of the French Republic. This move greatly angered Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Later on, by angering these two superpowers, he was denied access to the Yalta conference, but was allowed to sign for one of the four territories of Germany. Then, on November 13th, 1945, France's first Constituent Assembly unanimously elected De Gaulle to be their leader. Resigned on January 20th, 1946. He then got involved in right wing politics, but that venture failed for him, and he then later died on November 9th, 1970.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdegaulle.htm Next up in the song: California baseball. Billy Joel sings this to describe the Brooklyn Dodgers moved from New York to California on October 8th, 1957, and became the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also, the New York Giants agreed to move California, and play for the 1958 season, on August 19th, 1957, and became the San Fransico Giants.
https://sites.google.com/a/op97.org/5thhistory/original/california-baseball-1958 Next up, we have the Starkweather Homicide. Charles Raymond Starkweather was born on November 24th, 1928, in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child, Starkweather was constantly bullied, and struggled academically. Yet, he would become infamous for the gory atrocities that he committed. When he was just nineteen (19) years old, Starkweather robbed a gas station murdered a gas station employee, on December 1st, 1957. He did this because the employee had refused to accept his credit card, which he was trying to buy his fourteen (14) year old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, a gift. She stayed with him along his murder spree. Then, Starkweather went crazy. He went to the Fugate's home, and after getting in a verbal altercation with Caril's parents, he shot both of them to death. Then, he went over, and strangled Fugate's two and a half (2 1/2) year old sister, on January 21st, 1958. The two of them stayed in the Fugate's house for a few days, before they hit the road. Then, Starkweather had another blood lust, and as he drove through the countryside, he spotted a farmer, and two teenage boys helping him. He drove up, and killed them as well, on January 27th. But, Starkweather's violent outburst didn't satisfy his need for murder, so he continued to drive around with Caril, until he spotted his next three (3) victims: a Lincoln business man, his wife, and their maid, on January 28th. Then, on January 29th, Starkweather found his final victiom, a shoe salesman. Both Starkweather and Fugate were caught later that day, and both were tried. Starkweather was sentenced to death, and Fugate was sentenced to a fifty (50) year sentence, for being an accomplice. Starkweather died in the electric chair on June 25th, 1959. Fugate, however, on an agreement of good behavior, only served eighteen (18) years of her fifty (50) year sentencing.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/killer-couple-strikes-the-heartland. Billy Joel then mentions Children of Thalidomide. Thalidomide, or rather, Thalomid, is a drug that the Food and Drug Administration (the F.D.A.) approved of, as a form of treatment for people who had a rare skin disease/ disorder, called Erythema Nodosum Leprosum (or E.N.L.). This skin disease affects about 6,500 people in the United states alone. Then, in 2006, the F.D.A. approved of Thalomid to treat a form of cancer, called multiple Myeloma, which is a form of bone-marrow cancer. Approximately 15,000 people have this type of cancer, within the United States alone. This drug has also been proven to be effective in reducing the size and pain of ulcers in the mouths and throats of those patients who are suffering from the lethal disease, AIDS. Yet, the F.D.A. warned all pregnant women that this drug can cause severe birth defects. Thalidomide was first introduced in Europe. Doctors over the pond (a term for the Atlantic Ocean) wanted to use the drug to treat emotional and physical issues in people, such as anxiety and nervous breakdowns, as well as cold sweats and insomnia (an inability to sleep.) Soon, its usage was spread to Japan, Australia, and Canada. Then, all of the sudden, the European doctors began to discover malformations appearing on babies, of women who had taken Thalidomide. In the U.S., no patient received the drug before 1998, as an F.D.A. medical officer, Dr. Francis Kelsey, had serious doubts about the usage of this extremely harmful, but effective, drug. Birth defects were first majorly recorded in both Great Britain and Germany, as more babies were being born without arms or legs. One disease caused by Thalidomide, that effects these babies, is called Phocomelia. Phocomelia can shorten the length of a baby's arms, and/or disfigure a baby's arms or legs, to the point where they appear to be flipper-like. A baby's organs and senses can be very malformed too. The eyes, heart, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, bladder, lungs, heart, ears, kidneys, genital parts, and even the baby's lips , tongue, and mouth. Besides effecting a baby, this drug can effect normal patients too. It can cause nerve damage, which may become permanent. Research is still an ongoing process, as scientists are scrambling to find a cure for these harmful side effects to this medicine.
https://sites.google.com/a/op97.org/5thhistory/original/children-of-thalidomide-1958 Next up is our buddy, our pal, Buddy Holly. Charles Hardin Holly was born on September 7th, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas. He was the fourth and youngest child in his family, and since he was so small, his mother decided to give him the nickname "Buddy," because she believed that "Charles" was too big a name for such a small child. Why she thought this, I don't know, but the nickname she gave him would stick with im for the rest of his life. While he was still relatively young, Holly learned how to play the piano and the fiddle. As he got older, his brothers taught him the basics of playing guitar chords. When Holly recorded his first song at home, "My Two-Timin' Woman," his vocal skills were incredible, and that prompted his parents to send a letter to the editor of Lubbock's newspaper, in the defense of good old rock n' roll. Yet, in order to be recognized in the rock n' roll community, he had to be associated with something rebellious. Holly also showed obvious signs that he didn't want to be like his brothers, and work in a tiling business. Then, years later, after Holly had graduated from high school, he formed a band, that performed country and western songs, on a local Lubbock radio station. Then, he became so popular, that he was requested to be an opening band, for more prominent bands in the country. However, it was when he opened for Elvis Presley, did his career become huge. He was a look-alike to Presley. He admired him so much, that he literally looked and sang similar songs like him. However, he didn't have the public's "sex-appeal" of him, so he never did quite reach the popularity level as Elvis. However, his singing talents were recognized by a recording company, and by 1956, they were recording songs and singles. They became known as Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes, and they recorded their music in Nashville, Tennessee. However, a couple years later, they changed their band name, and became "The Crickets." Then, after their name change, Holly wrote the biggest song of his career, "That'll Be the Day," in 1957. The song is dedicated to, and pays homage to a line that John Wayne says in the movie, "The Searchers," which came out in 1956. Then, between the month of August, 1957, and a full year later, in 1958, Holly's song was at the top of the seven (7) charts, that listed the top forty (40) songs in America. However, Holly's song topped all songs in the U.S. chart exactly 500 days (about 1 1/2 years) before Holly's young death. Then, suddenly, in the month of October, in 1958, Holly split off from the Crickets, and moved to the Greenwich Village, which is located in New York City. Legal and financial complications led to the band's break-up. However, Holly agreed to tour with the Winter Dance Party, in 1959. Since they wanted to tour through the Midwest, and Holly was in New York, they sent him a plane to come on over. He got on the plane, and just a few minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed, with no survivors. He died on February 3rd, 1959, and Holly was only 22. He's best remembered for his hit song, "That'll Be the Day."
http://www.biography.com/people/buddy-holly-9342186 Now, we have Ben Hur. Ben Hur is a movie, that was written and released on November 18th, 1959. It was directed by William Wyler, and starred huge names, such as Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith, and Haya Harareet. The story takes place in Rome, in about the Fourth (4th) Century A.D. The plot is about how a Jewish prince is betrayed, and sold into slavery by, who he thought, was his best Roman friend. Then, he regains his freedom, and then plots revenge against his friend.
Courtesy of Google and
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052618/ Now, Billy Joel mentions the animal, "Space" monkey. The Works Progress Administration, a relief program, that was created by F.D.R. during the Depression, raised monkeys on many "monkey islands," that were in dozens of zoos across the country. However, one of these islands was home to the first American primate, that was to travel into space. Ralph Mitchell's zoo was selected to present the scientists and N.A.S.A. with a primitive test subject. The monkey was a Rhesus monkey, and her name was Miss Able. On May 28th, 1959, Miss Able, and another monkey named Baker, were strapped into the American rocket, Jupiter, and were launched 300 miles into the Earth's thermosphere. The monkeys survived the initial launch and landing, but when Miss Able went in for surgery the next day, scientists tried to remove her electrodes, and they managed to accidentally kill her. As the space program increased, different types of monkeys were used, from originally Rhesus monkeys, to Spider monkeys, and ultimately, Capuchin monkeys.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11873. Now, we have the highly violent and feared, Mafia. This is a group that operates by organized crime, and terror. They blackmail people to get them deals, hire hitmen to kill rival Mafia leaders, and rob banks, while committing other crimes. The Mafia originated in Sicily, Italy, during the mid-nineteenth century, and then emigrated over to the United States. They gamble, they steal, they sell narcotics, they kill. This group is a secret organization that lies low, but make public crimes. "Lucky" Luciano is the believed father of modern organized crime and Mafia in New York City.
Courtesy of Google. Next up, we have the toy that goes in circles- Hula Hoops. The company called Wham-O, which was founded by Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin. These two men formed this company in their garages in Los Angeles, in 1948. The company got their name after when they invented a slingshot. Whenever they launched an object, and then hit something, it sounded like "Wham" then followed by the "O" as the object fell. These two men invented the first Hula Hoop in 1958, and then a year later, on May 13th, 1959, Arthur Melin requested a patent for the Hula Hoop, and the first successful toy Hula Hoop was manufactured on March 5th, 1963. Over 20 million Hula Hoops were sold within the first six (6) months of production. They were sold for a price of $1.98
http://inventors.about.com/od/hstartinventions/a/Hula_Hoop.htm Next up, we have Fidel Castro. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 23rd, 1926, in Birán, Cuba. he attended Catholic schools as a child, and graduated from the University of Havana, with a degree in the field of law. Castro then joined the Ortodoxo, which was the mix between a Socialist party, and a democratic party. This party strongly criticized the government, which was run by Fulgencio Batista. They eventually reached a boiling point with him, and on July 26th, 1953, Castro, after reaching a position of high power, he launched an attack on the Moncada Army barracks, in an attempt to seize weapons, and overthrow the government. However, the Army reacted faster then the rebels had expected, and the majority of them were killed. However, some, like Castro, were only captured. When Castro had his trial, his presented the court with his speech, "History Will Absolve Me." This speech may have saved him his life. When Castro was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in prison, with good behavior, he was released in two (2). He was then exiled to Mexico, where he would later join forces with Che Guevara. While there, Castro formulated, trained, and supplied his "26th of July Movement," in which he planned to re-invade Cuba. When Castro stealthily got there, he joined forces with Guevara's forces, up in the Sierra Maestra mountains. He recruited the help of the local peasants up there, and eventually built up an Army in the mountains. Batista learned of Castro's plans, but realized that he couldn't fight him, so he fled from the country. Castro then seized power, and began to turn the government into a Marxist/ Communist one. Many Cubans feared that Castro would do that, so many fled to Miami, Florida, since it was relatively close to home, and the climate was similar to their own. Castro then nationalized all American property, especially cane sugar plantations, in Cuba. This greatly angered the U.S., and the C.I.A. tried multiple time to isolate Cuba, and assassinate Castro, but each attempt failed. Then, the U.S. tried to secretly invade Cuba, at the Bay of Pigs. However, a completely failed attack, which resulted in hundreds of American rebel deaths and captives, proved how the U.S. was incapable of defeating Cuba. As a result of successfully fending off the United States, the Soviet Union sent materials and supplies to Cuba. These monetary and materials benefits from the Soviet Union helped improve Cuba's culture, but not its relationship with the U.S. Then, when the U.S.S.R. sent nuclear warheads to Cuba, President Kennedy decided that enough was enough, as nuclear weapons in Communist Cuba would be a very bad thing. A 13 days crisis began on October 15th, 1962, when U.S. U-2 spy planes spotted nuclear weapon launch sites being constructed. J.F.K. then built up the biggest invasion for of all time: with approximately 90,000 troops, in the event that Cuba should fire any missiles. As more Soviet ships attempted to bring nuclear warheads over the Atlantic, a U.S. Naval blockade prevented the ships from continuing onto Cuba. Finally, on October 28th, 1962, the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and J.F.K. reached an agreement, where the Soviets would turn around, and go back to the Soviet Union, and the Cubans would dismantle all of their nuclear weapons. When all of the weapons were dismantled, the U.S. lifted its Naval blockade, and the crisis had ended, and averted an all-out nuclear war.
http://library.thinkquest.org/18355/fidel_castro.html Then next name to be mentioned by Billy Joel is Edsel. Edsel Bryant Ford was born on November 26th, 1893, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the son of Henry Ford, the successful automobile company of Ford. As he grew up, he learned more about automobiles and his father, and grew to enjoy working in the automobile industry. When Henry Ford resigned from the company in the month of December, in 1918, because of minority stockholders, he allowed his son to inherit the company, and Edsel became the boss. However, Henry Ford still controlled some of the strings. In 1919, Henry Ford founded a company, that would rival his own Model-t. However, he did this to get himself some minority stocks, which would still go to strictly benefit his original Ford Company. Then, when Henry Ford bought the failing Lincoln Motor Company, he allowed his son to design the model of the new Ford. This model became known as the Model A, and it was first introduced in 1927. The Ford's also got into the aviation industry as well, by building planes that would ship mail. Another faction that they got into was to build a conveyer system for B-22 bombers. All was going well, until 1942, when Edsel got surgery for a stomach ulcer. While the doctors were operating on him, they found rapidly-spreading cancer, but they decided to omit from telling Edsel about that. Later on, he accidentally drank some unpasteurized milk, from one of the farms that he had bought, which gave him undulant fever. He then, unfortunately, succumbed to a disease, whether it was the cancer or the fever, on May 26th, 1943, in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. Edsel lent his name then to the Ford motor company. The company was struggling to find a name for their newest car design. They turned to public polls for idea, poets, like "Mongoose Civique," "Pastelogram," and the "Resilient Bullet." It was then Ford's chairman, Ernest Breech, who then decided to use Edsel's name to label their newest car model. Edsel's own sons fled from the company, and gave it no support. However, their famous father's last name would stick with them, so they couldn't escape public scrutiny, as they had regarded their father as a car man, and how his sons let his model die was a very disappointing thing for them to have done. The Edsel model car couldn't quite meet the public, or even the company's standards, as it struggled to function properly, in both its mechanical aspects, as well as its aesthetic standards.
http://biography.yourdictionary.com/edsel-bryant-ford U-2 was a famous spy plane, that was created by the United States Aircraft Corporation: Lockheed Martin. During the Cold War, Lockheed Martin build a high-altitude spy plane, that would go on Reconnaissance Missions over the Soviet Union, and gather information on where the nuclear warheads were being built and stored. The C.I.A. had requested a plane that could fly at extremely high ranges, up even past 70,000 feet, as to prevent detection and stay out of the supposed range of the Soviet S.A.M. (surface-to-air-missile) Batteries, and have a long flight duration (the U-2's in 6,000 miles). However, constructing such a plane was difficult. Engineers managed to outfit the U-2 with a single engine, and incorporated a wingspan of approximately eighty (80) feet, and a total body length of about forty nine (49) feet, and seven (7) inches. After a few years of designing and testing, the U-2 had its first flight in the month of August, in the year of 1955. Early flights were carefully monitored, as the plane's maximum speed and stalling speed were remarkably close together. Yet, when the green light was given for the plane to fly, it surpassed all expectations. It took amazingly detailed pictures from its high-resolution camera, which showed the manufacturing and storing of weapons in both the Soviet Union, as well as Cuba, during the Cuban missile crisis. However, an American crisis occurred when on May 1st, 1960, a U-2 spy plane, which was piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was brought down in the Soviet Union. He had just returned from a Reconnaissance mission, that took place in the vicinity of the Peshwar Providence of Pakistan. To this day, it is still not known how the U-2 plane went down, although there are theories that suggest that it was hit by a stray S.A.M., or that the engine stalled. Nonetheless, Powers was arrested as soon as he hit the ground, and he was held on trial for espionage, for which he was convicted to serve a three (3) year sentence in a Soviet prison, and then seven (7) years of hard labor. Tensions ran high between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and when Powers had gotten incarcerated by the Soviet Army, the summit meeting at which both American president J.F.K., and the Soviet Premier Khrushchev was called off. However, fortunately for Powers, he was released from prison in the month of February, 1962, for a prisoner exchange. He was sent back to the U.S., and Soviet Colonel Rudolph Abel, who was also convicted of espionage, was sent back to Russia.
The Band U-2 is also a famous Irish band, that originated from Dublin, Ireland. They started together in 1960.
http://www.h2g2.com/approved_entry/A2619506 The next name in Billy Joel's song is Syngman Rhee. Syngman Rhee was born on March 26th, 1875, in P’yŏngsan, a town that's in the Hwanghae Providence, which can today be located in North Korea. As a child, Rhee completed a traditional and classical Confucian education, and then soon afterwords, he entered a Methodist school, where he was taught English. He then became a devout Christian, and a serious nationalist. When Rhee was just 21, in 1896, he joined an Independence Club, that strove to achieve Korea's(then just Korea, not North or South) independence from Japan. However, right wing politicians and thugs destroyed this party, and Rhee was imprisoned for eight (8) years. When he was finally released he fled to the United States, and earned a Ph.D. at Princeton University, which marked him as the first Korean to earn a doctorate and graduate from the University. By the time he was out of Princeton, Japan had annexed Korea, so Rhee decided to move back to Korea. However, he found it impossible to hide his hatred of the Japanese, so he emigrated to Hawaii, were for thirty (30) years, he spoke in vain about liberating Korea from the clutches of the Japanese. Then, in the year 1919, he was elected to be the president of the Korean Provisional Government. He moved briefly to Shanghai, China for the position, but then soon afterword moved back to Hawaii. He moved to Washington, D.C., during World War II, and there, made the case to save Korea. When the War terminated, Rhee went back to Korea, where he was supported by the United States. He made a major campaign for independence and unification. In the year 1948, he was elected president of the Republic of Korea. He was re-elected in 1952, 1956, and 1960. However, his term in 1952 was bad, because he mismanaged his powers, and became more of a dictator-type of "president," and he silenced all oppression. During the Korean War, from 1950-to-1953, he really mishandled the war. He refused to accept any treaties from North Korea, that were proposed by the U.N. He also released 25,000 anti-communist prisoners, which really angered the North Koreans. So, the North Koreans continued the fight, and butchered the South Koreans in the next few battles that they had. Rhee then wised up, and signed the treaties. When the war ended, Rhee came under public scrutiny, but they decided to re-elect him anyways. However, with his re-election in 1960, thousands of young demonstrators protested out against him, and called for his resignation. He refused, and a bloodbath ensued, where thousands of South Koreans were killed. Rhee finally stepped down and out of power on April 17th, 1960, and was exiled to Hawaii. He died on July 19th, 1965, in Honolulu.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/501064/Syngman-Rhee Now, we have Payola. Payola means to give an undercover, or indirect payment, in return for a commercial favor. Dick Clark set a major payola scandal going during the 1950's to 1960's. He famously set up Allen Freed, an actor, in a payola scandal, where he gave Freed $2,500. However, Freed was caught with the money, but claimed that it was jst a donation. Whether or not if he really understood Clark's plan is still unknown today, but Freed paid a fine to get out of jail. As he searched for a job in Hollywood, his reputation had been tarnished by the scandal, and he couldn't find a steady job. His sad tale ended with him drinking himself to death. But Clark didn't care. He had the ability to make a star out of anyone who he wanted. However, his antics seemed to be too good to be true, which brought about the House Committee on Legislative Oversight. He was brought to trial on the account of payola, but the snake defended himself by claiming that he had contacts and contracts in thirty three (33) record-label and recording studios. He had gotten these contracts by giving the companies money, in order to work with their top stars, and get on commercials. The Committee, due to the lack of evidence, couldn't find him guilty, and then Congress got involved, claiming that he was innocent, but that Allen Freed was not. They then labeled Clark as the "product" of payola, not its "inventor."
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dick-clark-survives-the-payola-scandal Now, we have the famous name, Kennedy. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He had an amazing childhood, as he grew up in a rich family, had a really good education, and was very popular. His academic accomplishments were amazing, and he graduated from Harvard University in 1940. He then enlisted in the Navy, and fought in World War II. In 1943, as his patrol boat was sailing through the Pacific, a Japanese destroyer rammed into it, causing it to sink. Kennedy received serious injuries, but was able to help the crew get off the ship, and swam them all to safety. When the War ended, he was nominated by the Democratic Party to be a Congressman from the Boston area, and then later, a Senator from Massachusetts. J.F.K. then married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on September 12th, 1953. After two (2) years of marriage and being in Congress, J.F.K. underwent back surgery, and while he was recuperating, he wrote the book, "Profiles in Courage," in which he received the Pulitzer Prize. In 1956, the Democratic Party almost nominated J.F.K. to be the Vice-Presidential candidate, but barely missed being selected during the party's caucus. However, that didn't dissuade him, and in 1960, he became the Democratic Presidential candidate, who was to run against the Republican nominee, Richard M. Nixon. During about a half-dozen (6) television debates with Nixon, millions of Americans watched these debates, and came to love J.F.K., even though he won the election by a very narrow popular vote margin. With his election, J.F.K. became the first Roman Catholic to become the president. Then, in January, 1960, J.F.K. spoke his famous speech, in which he stated, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what can you do for your country. Then, he set out on an ambitious plan to help rejuvenate America. His substantial economic programs helped boost America into its largest period of sustained expansion, since the first Great War (World War I). He also wanted to reduce the amount of poverty in America, and limit the amount of privation and depravity within the country as well. He dealt with Civil Rights cases, and helped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his attempts to try and get America more assimilated. He wanted to be a strong supporter of human rights, and when he linked up with the Peace Corps, he was able to do just that. However, one ideological belief came to be his Achilles heel: Communism. His failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, the U-2 spy plane crash incident, and the issue of protecting and supplying West Berlin, as the Soviet Union attempted to suffocate the life out of the region. But thanks to the Berlin airlift, the Soviet Union's actions were in vain. Kennedy then, after clearing up these messes, agreed with the Soviet Union, to sign the Test Ban Treaty, in 1963, which was that these two (2) superpowers, and all of the other countries that had, or were developing nuclear missiles, couldn't detonate these weapons in the Earth's atmosphere. J.F.K. had really improved the nation, and even the whole world. He came to be known as one of the most successful and beloved presidents in all of America's history. However, tragedy struck, when on November 22nd, 1963, just hours after landing in Dallas, Texas from Washington, D.C. in Air Force One, J.F.K. was traveling in an open-top limousine in a motorcade, when Lee Harvey Oswald, an ex-Marine, shot and killed J.F.K. J.F.K. is remembered for his amazing personality, and perseverance to promote the nation, as well as the world.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/johnfkennedy Now, we have Chubby Checker. Ernest Evans was born on October 3rd, 1941, in the city of Spring Gulley, South Carolina. As a young child, his family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While there, he had numerous jobs, which ranged from being a shoe-shiner, to a ice-salesman, to an assistant to a butcher, to ultimately, the job that would give him his nickname, Chubby. Ernest worked for Tony Anastazi's Produce Store as a teen, and was called "Chubby" because of his physical build. While he worked, he was impersonate his favorite singers, like Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. Soon, he realized that he had a real talent for singing, and began performing within his community, at Churches, and at street corners. He then pulled a group of guys together to sing with him, and they called themselves the Quantrells. due to their popularity amongst the community, word quickly spread about this group of singers, and soon enough, the group was receiving invitations from music executives within Philadelphia. Ernest then signed a music contract with Cameo-Parkway Records, in 1959, and produced his first two (2) songs, "The Class," and the "Dancing Dinosaur," within that same year. Despite the songs being minor successes, Cameo suggested that Ernest try his own version of Hank Ballard's, "The Twist." So, Ernest tried it, and then added his own flare to it: he added his own dance routine. This enthralled the American public, and they fell in love with this new version of the song. Then, after hearing the song, Ernest was dubbed "The King of the Twist," and Dick Clark's wife decided to nickname him Checker, because of his similar style to Fats Domino, one of Ernest's favorite singers. Chubby Checker's "The Twist" now helped "free" society, by allowing couples to break apart from each others loving arms, and just break it down on the dance floor. It was the Number 1 song in America by August, 1961, and held that title for a good 18 weeks. Then, it briefly stayed in second for about a month and a half, until it re-emerged in November, and again was the number 1 song in America for another 21 weeks. Thus, this marks Chubby Checker's "The Twist" to be the one and only 45 song to be the number one song in two different years. He then wrote a whole number of very successful songs that incorporated his "Twist," and also appeared in two (2) movies: "Twist Around the Clock" (1961) and "Don't Knock the Twist" (1962). He's married to Rina Lodder, and they have three (3) kids.
http://www.biography.com/people/chubby-checker-9542332?page=1 Now, Billy Joel mentions the movie, "Psycho." The movie, "Psycho" came out on September 8th, 1960, and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and written by Robert Bloch and Joseph Stefano. The basic plot line of the story is that a young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and in the meantime, she discovers a young man that has been oppressed by his mother for too long. Also, the movie is based off of the Wisconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein, who conveniently, only lived about 40 miles away write novelist and movie writer Robert Bloch. The movie initially got mixed reviews, but also brought to the table a new sense of violence and sexuality that managed to pleasure American audience's everywhere across the nation.
and Courtesy of Google. Uh oh, now Billy Joel mentions that there are "Belgians in the Congo." On June 30th, 1960, the Belgian King Baudoin declared that the British Congo was now independent of Belgium. The Congo had been a colony of Belgium's since 1908, when Belgian's King Leopold II, initiated a labor genocide in Congo, that lasted from 1876 to 1892. The demand for rubber was growing, so he dispatched a squad of elite soldiers to force the Congolese to work long and hard, in order to produce the most rubber possible, at very little cost to themselves, and the most profit to Leopold and his soldiers. After a week of being declared independent, the Congolese started a violent series of protests, over ethnic disputes. The President of Congo tried to restore order, but failed, and declined Belgian assistance. However, Belgian troops came anyways, and managed to restore order. This depicted Congo's wish to get Belgian authority back into Congo, but it spurred a little violence amongst the other European nations. The Belgians wanted a providence in Congo, Katanga, as it was highly sought-after, because it was rich in mineral resources. However, in order to attain Katanga, the Belgians had to work with Moise Kapenda Tshombe, the man who had declared the Congo's independence on July 11th, 1960. However, a bloody civil was initiated, when Lumumba, the Premier- Designate, requested the aid of U.N. forces to help support the Congolese, and to get the Belgians out of Congo.
General history: http://www.fkg-wuerzburg.de/schule/faecher/englisch/Projekte/Billy%20Joel%20-%20We%20didn%60t%20start%20the%20Fire/joel/strophe3/belgians.php Now, we have the third (3) chrous of We Didn't Start the Fire:" We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning. We didn't start the fire, no we didn't light it, but we're trying to fight it. Now, for the fourth (4) stanza of We Didn't Start the Fire, Billy Joel sings the following people, places, and events: Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania, Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson, Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex, J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say? Billy Joel starts the fourth (4) stanza off with the name Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21st, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. He had a very good childhood, and was successful at school, especially in English and other language arts. When he was just seventeen (17) years old, Hemingway got a job as a newspaper writer for the Kansas City Paper. When World War I rolled around, Hemingway enlisted, and became a medical officer, and served with an Italian Unit. While he served on the front lines, he was wounded seriously, and spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital, both during, and the immediate years following World War I. Despite being in the hospital so often, the Italian Government praised and awarded Hemingway for his courageous acts of bravery, while under fire. When Hemingway finally returned home, he was treated and celebrated as a hero, but he wasn't nationally known. Hemingway went back to being a writer for the Kansas City Paper, until he got promoted to a reporter, where he traveled and reported in both the United States and Canada. He was permitted to cover major events, and was even sent abroad to cover the Greek Revolution. Hemingway then returned and wrote a number of books, like: "The Sun Also Rises," (1926) and "A Farewell to Arms" (1929). Hemingway wrote his books in a style that slightly mirrored his life. For example, he wrote about soldiers and paramedics, because he could relate to that profession. Then, when Hemingway was sent to Spain to provide coverage of Spain's civil war, he wrote one of his most successful books, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," in 1940. Then, when Hemingway returned to the United States, he wrote another one of his most famous books, "The Old Man and the Sea," which was first published in 1952. His style of writing was to portray the courage and honesty of people, even during the darkest of times. Hemingway died on July 2nd, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho. He's best remembered for his courageous acts of valor during World War I, and for his two famous books.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1954/hemingway-bio.html The next name that Billy Joel mentions is Eichmann. Karl Adolf Eichmann was born on March 19th, 1906. He was born in a town near Cologne, Germany. He had a good childhood, as he grew up in a middle class and Protestant family. He had a good education as well, until he failed to complete his engineering studies. He then drifted from job to job, and then in 1932, he joined the Austrian Nazi party. He worked very hard, and climbed through the ranks of the party, until he joined the Schutzstaffel, or, more commonly known as the S.S. He became recognized for his hard work, and was promoted to the rank of a corporal. He was then sent to go work at a Dachau concentration camp, in 1934. Later in the same year, in September, Eichmann was assigned to work with Reinhard Heydreich , the founder of the Sicherheitsdienst, or S.D. Together, they formed intelligence links between other S.S. offices, and the Gestapo. He was then assigned to the Jewish section of the S.S., where he was to conduct further research the Jewish culture. He attended multiple meetings and religious services, so he could better understand the Jewish, and their beliefs. In the year of 1938, the Germans took over the country of Austria, where Eichmann was stationed. Thus, he was forced to move to Vienna, where he established the Office of Jewish Emigration. His policy for assuring their freedom was that they give him their valuables that they had, and in turn, they'd get a safe passage to another country. Approximately a hundred thousand Jewish people emigrated via Eichmann's method. Due to his success, Eichmann was requested to work in Berlin, so he accepted a position as the head of Gestapo Section 4, Group B-4. This position gave Eichmann the power to enforce all of the Nazi's policies upon the Jewish population in Germany, as well as all of the other countries that Germany had taken over. He became the third most powerful man in the Third Reich, and he would maintain that status throughout the duration of the whole war. In 1940, he proposed his Madagascar Plan, in which Germany would just simply deport all of the Jewish people to the African island of Madagascar. His plan was never considered, and was rejected fairly quickly. Later in that same year, Eichmann started his dastardly plans. He started in Poland, and rounded all of the Jewish people up, and threw them all into ghettos. He spotted the site for the gas chambers at Auschwitz. When the war ended, he was captured by the Americans, but managed to escape. He then fled to Argentina, where he created a fake surname, in which he lived under for a decade, before an Israeli Mossad Squad abducted him in his home, on May 11th, 1960. He was brought forth in court, where over a hundred Holocaust survivors testified against him. After four months of relentless trials, he was convicted, an hung on May 31st, 1962, in Ramleh Prison.
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-eichmann.htm Next, we have the book, "Stranger in a Strange Land." This book was written by Robert A. Heinlein, and was published by Ace Trade publishers on October 1st, 1991. The story is about a man, named Valentine Michael Smith, who is raised by martians, and then returns to Earth with "magical," or rather, extraterrestrial powers.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/350.Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land The next name that Billy Joel mentions is Dylan. Robert Allen Zimmerman was born on May 24th, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. He had a good childhood, as well as a good education. While attending high school, Dylan grew an interest, which was sparked by Little Richard, with playing the piano. Soon, he merged his piano talents with numerous other youths who had musical talents, and formed multiple bands. While attending the University of Minnesota, which is Minneapolis, Dylan and his bands performed both folk and country music at local cafes. He then took the stage name "Bob Dylan," as a tribute to the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Then, in 1960, Dylan dropped out of college, and moved to New York, where he then met up with other famous folk and country singers. He regularly met with Woody Guthrie, who was hospitalized, and became a regular in many local cafes and coffee houses. Then, a year later, in the fall of 1961, after one of his greatest performances, Dylan made it into the New York Times, with his performance receiving incredible amounts of support and positive feedback. Based off of this success, Dylan then signed a contract with Columbia Records, and a year later, in 1962, he debuted his first album, "Bob Dylan." Despite the fact that this album contained of only two (2) songs, people loved the style and pitch of his voice. Then, another year later, he released his second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan." This album, released in 1963, captivated music lovers nationwide, and sent Dylan into the spotlight. He is now known as one of the greatest folk and country singers in the history of the United States. Dylan also got involed in the 1960's protest movement, through music. Another one of his album's, "The Times are A-Changin," was inspired by the movement. It was also during this time, when Dylan developed a relationship with Joan Baez. Despite the fact that their relationship lasted for only two (2) years, their music businesses benefited immensely. Dylan wrote some of Baez's best songs, and Baez brought thousands of more people to Dylan's audiences.It was during the 1980's when he decided to tour professionally. He toured with fellow musicians Tom Petty, The Heartbreakers, and the Grateful Dead. He also released four (4) new albums: "Infidels," in 1983, "Biograph," in 1985, "Knocked Out Loaded," in 1986, and "Oh Mercy," in 1989. Then, in 1994, Dylan won a Grammy Award for the best Traditional Folk Album. This album was called, "World Gone Wrong." Three (3) years later, Dylan received the Kennedy Center Honors, which is considered to be one of, if not, the highest award for artistic excellence. Later in that same year, he won three (3) Grammy Awards for his album "Time out of Mind." He had quite a memorable performance for Pope John Paul II, and toured with Paul Simon, in 1999. In 2000, he recorded the song, "Times Have Changed," in which he won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for the Best Original Song. In 2004, he wrote the first of a trilogy of a series of memoirs about himself. He also participated in his first interview in twenty (20) years. He's released a number of albums within the past decade (five), the most recent being in 2011, which was "Bob Dylan in Concert- Brandeis University 1963.
http://www.biography.com/people/bob-dylan-9283052 Next up: Berlin. Berlin, Germany, was heavily bombed and practically destroyed by the end of World War II. Over night, on August 12th, hundreds of German soldiers, set up a massive fortified wall, that split the city of Berlin in half. On August 13th, 1961, the Berlin Wall was up, and the citizens were stuck. West Berliners were advocates for Democracy and the United States, while the East Berliners were for Communism and the Soviet Union. Initially, thousands of East Berliners a day would flee to the free West Berlin side of the Wall. The East German guards were also authorized to kill anybody who attempted to scale or escape East Germany. However, Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Union leader, didn't like that, so he siphoned off all of the railroads and roads leading to West Berlin, and attempted to starve the citizens out, until they agreed to join the Soviets in East Berlin. In addition, over the next two decades, the Wall's design was changed four (4) times, increasing the difficulty to get past the wall with each change. Yet, one feature remained the same: checkpoints. Although there were only a handful of them, the most famous checkpoint is checkpoint Charlie, where only authorized officials were allowed to pass to and from East and West Germany. Then, as the West Berlin siege got worse, Great Britain and the United States then got involved, and began the Berlin Airlift, where hundreds of planes a day would fly over West Berlin, and parachute supplies and food down into the city of West Berlin. After a few years of this as well, the seal was lifted, and the Berlin Airlift stopped. Over the course of the next few months, the East German guards began to let more and more people pass through the checkpoints. Finally, it got to the point where the Wall wasn't really even a barrier. Then, on November 9th, 1989, the Wall officially fell, and the World rejoiced. The Wall was split, cut, chiseled, broken into chunks, and kept as souvenirs. In the Newseum in Washington, D.C., there are three (3) sections of the Berlin Wall that are still fully intact.
http://history1900s.about.com/od/coldwa1/a/berlinwall.htm Now, we have J.F.K.'s infamous Bay of Pigs Invasion. Fidel Castro, a Communist dictator, had seized power in Cuba. J.F.K. grew anxious with a Communist power being so close to the United States, and sought out a way to reduce or eliminate the threat. Over the next few months of Fidel's seizure of power, about 1500 Cubans were exiled, or fled, from Cuba. J.F.K. then contemplated how he could use that to his advantage. So, he got the C.I.A. to train 1,300 of these rebels, and prepared them to invade their homeland, and overthrow Castro. However, even though the plan was ingenious, everything went hopelessly wrong as soon as the operation started. On April 17th, 1961, the main force of the Cuban exiles set off from Miami. An additional distraction group had been sent ahead to lead the Cuban Army and Coastal Guard away from where the main force was to land. In addition, the main force would also be given an Air-Force bombing run prior to their landing. However, the distraction group got lost, and never reached their destination. The bombing run also failed to destroy anything important, despite the fact that they reported to J.F.K. that they had been "on target." So, the main exile force was met by the entire Cuban Army at the beach. The majority of the exiles were killed or captured and arrested. When J.F.K. learned of the failure, he was heavily criticized and ridiculed throughout the entire world. Plus, he worsened the already strained relations with Cuba, and now that the Americans had attempted to invade the island once, Castro grew paranoid of another potential invasion, so he improved relations with the Soviet Union, pleaded to them for help, and built up his Army.
Based of of my previous knowledge on the subject. Now, we have the movie, "Lawrence of Arabia." This movie was released on December 10th, 1962, and was directed by David Lean. The movie is about a British Officer during World War I, who is sent to the Middle East as a British Intelligence officer. He was stationed in Arabia, and conducted his work so greatly, but unorthodoxy, that both the British officers and the Arabs admired him. He was trying to help the British Army fight their way through Gaza and Aden. Then, the Arab Revolt was initiated on June 5th, 1961. Lawrence's mission was to find a way to fight the Turkish Army, defeat them, and still preserved the main rail-line, that ran from Medina to Damascus. He lived amongst the rebels to gain their support, and over time, and by adapting their customs, he earned their respect. More rebels join the British cause, and ultimately, under the sheer number of men, the Turkish Army could no longer suppress the British and their allies. The British won, a huge celebration was held, and Lawrence returned back to Great Britain, where he then joined the Royal Air Force, or British R.A.F. After the media blew his identity, he briefly left the R.A.F., and joined a tank battalion, but soon join back up with the R.A.F., and served for a few more years. Then, just a few months after retiring from the service, he died, after he swerved and crashed his motorcycle, while trying to avoid hitting two boys.
Background: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/lawrence_of_arabia.htm Billy Joel then mentions British Beatlemania. The Beatles were a famous English rock band, that was created during the 1950's, in Liverpool, England. There were four (4) members of this band: John Lennon, who played the guitar and the harmonica, Paul McCartney, who played the guitar and the piano, George Harrison, who played the guitar and the sitar, and Richard Starkley, who went by the stage name Ringo Starr, who played the percussion. They were influenced by the American icons of rock and roll, like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. However, it wasn't until the late 1950's, to the early 1960's that the Beatles started getting so much attention. Their music began to captivate audiences across the nation, as well as the world. This phenomena was known as Beatlemania. The Beatles finally named themselves the Beatles, after undergoing numerous band name/ title changes, and then decided that as a tribute to Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets, they would name themselves similarly to him. Initially, with their first introduction to the international rock music industry, they weren't really paid much attention. However, on October 5th, 1962, everybody knew about them, as the Beatles released their first album, "Love Me Do." Then, the phrase, Beatlemania, as mentioned before, became an adjective to describe the world's fascination with this young British band. It all started on October 13th, 1963, when the band appeared on a televised appearance/ interview at the London Palladium. This made the British people go crazy, and they were all madly in love with this group and this music. Then, when the Beatles released the album, "Meet the Beatles," their first music album to be released in the United States, millions of people bought the album on its first day of release. Then, when the Beatles finally traveled to the United States for the first time, they were met by approximately five-thousand (5,000) screaming women and children, begging for autographs and pictures. In addition, about a thousand (1,000) more media people were at the airport to film the Beatles, as they took their first steps on United States soil. The men were also offered numerous interviews and television appearances, but easily their most famous television appearance was on February 9th, 1964, on the Ed Sullivan Show. Approximately 73 million people tuned in to watch the band talk and descibe their experiences as a band. Then, just two (2) days later, on February 11th, 1964, the Beatles had their first performance in the United States. It was at the Washington Coliseum. The Beatles also set a record in 1964. On April 4th, 1964, the Beatles had occupied all of the Top Five (5) positions of Billboard's Hot 100, and the Beatles single,"Can't Buy Me Love," held the number one (1) position. Then, a few months later, in August, the Beatles released their first motion picture, "A Hard Days Night." Their second motion picture film, "Help!," was filmed on February 23rd, 1965, in the Bahamas. Then, in 2004, the Beatles reached a huge milestone: 1.3 billion albums of their had been sold internationally. To this day, they are still regarded as one of the best international rock bands of all time.
http://www2.mvusd.k12.ca.us/eett/syoung/WDSTF/ba.htm Billy Joel's next term is Ole Miss. The University of Mississippi was an entirely white school. However, that all changed in the later part of the month of September, in the year of 1965. After a legal battle with the state, James Meredith, an African-American student, enrolled at the University. Chaos erupted on campus, and required the assistance of 31,000 National Guardsmen, ordered by J.F.K., to control the riots. In the aftermath, two (2) students died, and thousands more were injured. Yet, their efforts were in vain, as their school finally became integrated.
http://www.history.com/topics/ole-miss-integration The next name that Billy Joel mentions is John Glenn. John H. Glenn was born on July 18th, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio. When he was only two (2) years old, his family moved to New Concord, Ohio. Many variables during his childhood led to his love of science, flying, and patriotism, that would later define who he was as an adult. John Glenn graduate New Concord High School, and attended Muskingum college. Then, shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, John Glenn enlisted himself into the United States Naval Aviation Cadet Program, and he then became a Marine pilot. During World War II, he flew in the South Pacific, and embarked on 59 combat missions. Then, years later when the Korean War began, John Glenn enlisted once again, and asked for combat duty, and flew 63 combat missions. He, in total, received the Distinguished Flying Cross six (6) times, as well as numerous other honorable awards and medals. Afterwords, he test flew lots of military planes, like the FJ-3, the F-7U Cutlass, and the F-8U Crusader. Then, in 1957, John Glenn set a speed record, when he flew from Los Angeles to New York in just 3 hours and 23 minutes. This project, called "Project Bullet," promoted and secured John Glenn's superiority in the sky as one of the nation's best test pilots and also enabled him to participate in the emerging space exploration program, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is also known as N.A.S.A.. Based off of his experience and skills as a pilot, he was eligible, and became a participant of the National Advisory Committee. John Glenn then quickly volunteered to pilot a space rocket for N.A.S.A., after the organization inquired about pilots to test their vehicles. So, in the year of 1959, John Glenn was selected, along with six (6) other astronauts, to be the first seven (7) astronauts. Then, on February 20th, 1962, history was made, as John Glenn and the six (6) other astronauts., while strapped into an Atlas rocket. He then piloted the Friendship 7 space-rocket, and piloted it around the entire planet Earth three (3) times. Thus, he, along with the other six (6) astronauts, became the first men to orbit the planet. This helped boost the United States' prestige level across the globe, and proved to be a huge scientific and political advance as well. John Glenn continued to serve as an adviser to the N.A.S.A. program until 1964, where he left N.A.S.A. to pursue a job in public affairs. John Glenn then retired from the Marines, at the rank of a corporal, and he then decided to run for senate, at the urgings of Bobby Kennedy. He ran three (3) times, but finally won on his third campaign. He represented Ohio, and was specialized in dealing with weapons control, as well as all/any government affairs, both at home and over-seas. While in office, he became the chief author of the Nonproliferation Act, and served as the chairman of the Board of Government Affairs Committee from 1978-to-1995. Then, he became a member of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, as well as a Special Committee on Aging. He also ran for the position of the Democratic Vice-presidential candidate three (3) times, as well as the Presidential nominee for the 1984 elections. Then, on February 20th, 1997, John Glenn announced his retirement from the Senate, and N.A.S.A. requested that he rejoin the space crew that he helped to create. He accepted the invitation, and blasted off in the Space Shuttle Discovery, and on October 29th, 1998, John Glenn became the oldest person to ever fly into space. After his brief venture into space, John and Annie Glenn founded the Institute for Public Service at the Ohio State University. This Institute today still encourages youth community and service, as well as encouraging youths to contemplate jobs in the government.
http://johnglennhome.org/about/john-glenn/ Billy Joel next mentions the intense boxing match between Charles "Sonny" Liston and Floyd Patterson. Patterson, being the crowd favorite, was thought to win the match. After all, the audience loved him for his personality, character, his achievements for the United States in the Olympics (he won a gold medal in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics). However, his contender, Liston, was a thug. He was abused as a child, joined a street gang and mob member as an adolescent, and a jail inhabitant as a older teenager, he had had a rough early start. While in jail, he learned about boxing. He practiced hard every day. He challenged other prisoners to boxing matches, and won. When he was finally released, he turned pro. Liston was massive, weighing in at 210 pounds plus, he outweighed and was unmatched by anyone of the day, even Patterson. Liston tried for two (2) years to get in the ring with Patterson, but Patterson avoided him. However, on July 22nd, 1963, Patterson could hide no longer. He held a grudge match with Liston, and Liston put the beat on Patterson. Due to Liston's immense strength and speed, Patterson didn't stand a chance. He was knocked out before the first round had even ended. Then, when the two (2) met again a year later in 1963, Liston knocked Patterson out, again, in the first round. To some, it wasn't even considered a fair fight, or even a fight at all. Just a one-sided brawl.
The fight: http://www2.mvusd.k12.ca.us/eett/syoung/WDSTF/lp.htm
More information- Patterson: http://www.nndb.com/people/826/000023757/
More information- Liston: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1147918/2/index.htm Billy Joel then mentions Pope Paul. Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini was born on September 26th, 1897, in Concesio, (Lombardy), Italy. As a child, he was described as a "frail, but very intelligent" boy. His early education was taught/ instructed by Jesuits. He then entered the Seminary for the first time at the age of nineteen (19), in 1916. However, he was permitted to leave the Seminary, due to his health, and other medical issues. Then, four (4) years later, he was ordained, and was then sent to Rome, to go study at the Gregorian University, as well as the University of Rome. Two (2) years later, Montini then attended the Accademia Dei Nobili. In 1923, he was sent to Warsaw, Poland, as an attache of the society of the nunciature, but was brought back to Rome within the year, due to the Polish winter taking a harsh toll on his health. Upon his return to Rome, Montini received the honorable job as serving as the Secretariat of State. He held that position for approximately thirty (30) years, and was named and proclaimed as the chaplain to the Federation of Italian Catholic University Students (also known as the F.U.C.I.) In 1937, Montini was then declared the substitute for ordinary affairs, which was under the direction and supervision of Cardinal Pacelli. A year later, in 1938, Pacelli and Montini traveled to Budapest together, for the International Eucharistic Congress. Pacelli was elected as Pius XII, and thus enabled Montini to then re-occupy his old job as the Secretary of State, and not an assistant to Pacelli. However, there was a new supervisor now, who had replaced Pacelli: Cardinal Luigi Maglione. When Maglione died in 1944, Montini continued to work for the current Pope, and as his job, he worked extensively and extremely hard, in providing relief, comfort, and protection to all political refugees (as World War II began to escalate). All throughout World War II, Montini worked laboriously in seeking aid for those who were fleeing from the injustices of the dictators. Then, in 1952, Pius XII (Pacelli) had recommended Montini and Domenico Tardini to be promoted to the Sacred College, but they both requested that they be removed/ dispensed from the acceptance selection and process. In 1953, Montini was appointed to be the Arch Bishop of Milan. As he held this position, his amazing efforts to improve the community, the education of Catholic students and his ability to win the hearts of the Italian public were all just minor advancements, as he re-vitalized the entire Diocese, and preached the Gospel. His work ad projects gained him world-wide attention, and in 1958, at a Eucharistic Conclave, he was featured as an honored guest and was referenced several times throughout Pope John's first consistory. He also was one (1) of twenty-three (23) names that were listed as prelates, that were to be raised to the cardinalate, and on top of all that, his name was near, if not at, the top of the list/ chart. He was then appointed to the Central Preparatory Commission for the Vatican II, as well as/and the Technical-Organizational Commission. When Pope John XXIII died, Montini was elected on June 21st, 1963. As a Pope, however, people internationally had some mixed feelings about Pope Paul. Although he initially set himself to dedicate his work ethic to be similar to Pope John XXIII's, he soon started to venture. Two (2) of his ideas, the formulation of the Synod of Bishops and Celibacy, which was removed from the fourth (4) session of debate from/ of the Council, were very controversial, and tarnished his reputation. Despite the fact that he may have not been the most active or his views being controversial, he did manage to do a lot of good during his term, and he was the first Pope to visit five (5) continents. He served as Pope until August 6th, 1978, which was the day he died. He is known for being one of the most loved, yet most ideologically controversial Pope's who have ever lived.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/biography/documents/hf_p-vi_bio_16071997_biography_en.html Billy Joel then mentions Malcolm X. Malcolm Little was born on May 19th, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. His father, Earl Little, was a Baptist minister, who preached out support and advise for Civil Rights activism. However, his efforts caught the attention of the white supremacist group, the Black Legion. They made repeated death threats to the family, and forced the Littles to move twice, before Malcolm had even turned four (4) years old. They then moved to Michigan, but their efforts to avoid the group were in vain. Their house was burned down in 1929, and just two (2) years later, in 1931, Earl's body, or what was left of it, was found on railroad tracks, just outside of their town. Malcolm's mother couldn't handle the death of her husband, and she went mentally insane. The children were then sent to separate orphanages and other homes. When he attended school, he was an amazing student. He graduated junior high school at the top of his class. However, when he informed a teacher about his potential carrer choice as a lawyer, the teacher dismissively said that that field of profession wasn't for an African American. With his dream supposedly dashed, he dropped out of school. He initially had a few jobs in Boston, Massachusetts, but then he moved to Harlem, New York, and joined the criminal under-world. At first, he only committed petty crimes, but as he became more experienced, he got involved in gangs, drug rings, and other unpleasant activities. After a number of years in the criminal circuit, Malcolm grew weary of the gangs, and decided to move back to Boston, in 1946. However, he joined a few more gangs up there, and later in that year, he was caught burglarizing a home, and was sentenced to ten (10) years in prison. While in prison, he had a revelation. He decided that in order to improve his life, he must further his education. Also during this time, Malcolm's older brother, Reginald, had converted to a Muslim, and persisted the Malcolm do the same. So, while in prison, Reginald transferred Malcolm into a Muslim. Then, Malcolm left the prison early, due to good behavior, and he was released in just seven (7). In 1952- the year that he was released, Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.), and actively followed the directions, writings, and teachings of Elijah Muhammad. It was also the during this time that Malcolm changed his name to X, since he believed that "Little," his last name, represented a slave name. He changed it to X as a tribute to his lost "tribal name." He was then soon promoted to the group's minister and national spokesman position. He is also largely credited for dramatically increasing the group's membership, from only 500 in 1952, to over 30,000 in 1963. Yet, as the organization's membership grew, the F.B.I. placed bugs and other wire taps, in order to monitor the organization's activities. Malcolm X then learned that Muhammad had committed polygamy, and that he had had children with his many wives. Feeling deceived, Malcolm refused to cover up for Muhammad. Then, Muhammad "silenced" (prohibited him from publicly speaking) for roughly ninety (90) days. Malcolm also felt badly that he had encouraged so many people to join an organization that was so corrupted. He cut all ties with the N.O.I. in the month of March, in the year of 1964. Malcolm then founded his own religious-based organization, the Muslim Mosque, Incorporated. Later that same year, Malcolm had an ideology, and took a religious-based trip to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. While there, he shared his ideological beliefs, and learned about others. He described it as "life altering/ changing." He returned to America with a new perspective, and was nationally recognized as he publicly spoke to all of the races. When Malcolm finally resigned from the N.O.I. in 1964, the F.B.I. agents there warned him that he was a marked man. And sure enough, on February 14th, 1965, his apartment was fire-bombed, but his family managed to escape sans physical harm. However, the lethal white supremacists weren't done. They persisted his, attacked him whenever they could, until it reached the point where Malcolm couldn't travel without body guards. He was able to evade them for a week, until on February 21st, at the Manhattan Autobon Ballroom, in New York Coty, New York, as he was giving a speech on stage, three (3) gunmen ran up onto the stage, and shot him fifteen (15) times. He was dead before he hit the ground. His funeral was held six (6) days later on February 27th, 1965, at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ. Fifteen-hundred (1,500) people attended his funeral, and his own personal friends took the shovels away from the ordered grave-diggers, and buried Malcolm themselves. The three (3) men who were charged with killing Malcolm were Talmadge Hayer, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson. They were all members of the N.O.I., and were all convicted on first-degree murder counts.
http://www.malcolmx.com/about/bio.html Billy Joel then mentions the "British politician sex." This was a massive scandal which involved the highly regarded and respected, not to mention the Secretary of War John Profumo, and a young woman named Christine Keeler. In 1962, rumors had begun to spread about the possibility of a relationship between Keeler and Profumo, yet he denied these allegations. However, the media persisted, and never relented in interrogating him that if the rumors were true, even though he so vicariously claimed that they weren't. However, this still didn't ease the tension of the people of great Britain with the Secretary, because it was during this time that the cold War was occurring, and Keeler was known to have had a previous relationship with a Soviet spy, Eugene Ivanov. However, Profumo stated that both he and Keeler just met on "friendly terms." However, Keeler was a double agent. She lived with Stephen Ward, a wealthy and renowned doctor, but also a Soviet informant. Keeler would go over to Profumo's place, do a couple of things, and then she'd look at war documents, which she'd pass on to Ward. Ward then passed the information on to Ivanov, who passed it on to someone else. After just ten (10) weeks of viciously denying any sort of romantic or intimate relationship with Keeler, Profumo admitted to having sex and other intimate interactions with Keeler. He claimed that he lied to protect his family and Keeler, but it did him no good. He then quickly resigned from his position, and never got involved in the British Parliament again.
http://www2.mvusd.k12.ca.us/eett/syoung/WDSTF/bs.htm Billy Joel then mentions the phrase," J.F.K. blown away." This is about the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and how one day, where driving in an open-roofed car in a motercade, in Dallas, Texas, an ex-Marine sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald, took aim with his sniper rifle, a , and assassinated J.F.K. However, I'm going to start with the background, and events that culminated up to the shooting. In the Fall of 1963, J.F.K. was starting his re-election campaign with his advisers. Although he had not publicly yet stated that he was going to run for president again, it became obvious to the public, who loved him very much, that he would give it a shot, as his chances for re-election looked pretty high. On November 12th, 1963, Kennedy had stated that it would be necessary for him to win in both Florida and Texas, so he decided that his campaign trail would spend a bit of time in both. He decided to head to Texas first, since Democratic party leaders there were split on various ideas. Kennedy had planned to unite the leaders, in an attempt to assure both party strength in the state, as well as confirm his approval in the state. His first stop was in San Antonio, where he was greeted by the Vice-President, Lyndon B. Johnson, the governor of San Antonio, John B. Connally, and Senator Ralph W. Yarborough. They spent the day there until the evening, when Kennedy flew out to Fort Worth. On Friday, November 22nd, he gave a speech outside the hotel where he stayed at, to a crowd of over 5,000 people. Afterwords, he traveled to the Love Airfield, where he flew to Dallas, and then got in an open-topped Convertible, with Governor Connally and his wife, while Johnson and his wife were in another convertible. They were to drive ten (10) miles before reaching Dallas, where Kennedy would give a speech at a luncheon. However, he would never make it to the luncheon. As the motorcade turned off of Main Street at Dealy Plaza, at 12:30 P.M., all seemed normal. However, as the motorcade passed the Texas School Book depository, shots were heard. J.F.K. was struck in both the neck and head by two (2) bullets, and the governor was shot in the chest. The convertible sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital, which was just a few minutes away. However, the doctors tried incredibly hard to save the President, but there was nothing that they could do. A Catholic priest was summoned to give out final rites, and by 1:00 P.M., just half an hour later, J.F.K. was pronounced dead. Governor Connally, although seriously injured, was able to be saved. J.F.K.'s body was brought back to Love Field, and Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new President. His solemn face in the compartment of the plane is one of the most ionic and famous pictures ever taken. That occurred at 2:38 P.M. Then, less than an hour earlier, Dallas police found the sniper nest, and the finger-prints of Lee Harvey Oswald. He was arrested and charged with the assassination of J.F.K., along with also killing a Dallas police-patrolman, who saw and attempted to stop the fleeing Oswald. On Sunday, November 24th, as Oswald was being transferred from the Dallas police quarters to the county jail, a local bar and nightclub-owner, Jack Ruby, on national television, pushed through the crowd of people watching Oswald, ran up to Oswald,and shot him at point-blank range with his pistol. Interestingly enough, Oswald was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same hospital which dealt with J.F.K. as he died. Oswald died there as well. The funeral procession, at the request of Mrs. Kennedy, was to be similar to that of Abraham Lincoln's. J.F.K.'s body was driven down Pennsylvania Avenue in a caisson, and briefly stayed at Washington's Rotunda for about twenty-one (21) hours, and during that time, over 250,000 people passed by the casket, and paid their respects. He was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery on Monday, November 25th, 1963. His funeral was attended by thousands of mourners, and the heads of state, who represented more than a hundred countries, in addition to the millions watching at home. Then, Mrs. Kennedy and J.F.K.'s brothers, Robert and Edward, lit an eternal flame.
http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/November-22-1963-Death-of-the-President.aspx Billy Joel then mentions one of the most controversial subjects in today's modern world: Birth control. Birth control became legal and available to women during 1964, in the form of a pill/ contraceptive. However, shortly after it's introduction, it became a major issue, with the advent of the birth control pill. A later measure that became legalized, in part due to this, was/is abortion, another major issue/topic of controversy today.
Courtesy of Google, and:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/history/start_fire_facts.htm The next name that Billy Joel mentions is Ho-Chi-Minh. Nguyen Sinh Cung was born on May 19th, 1890, in the Nghe An Province, which is located in the central region on Vietnam. He was a very clever and witty as a child, not to mention very intelligent. Throughout his childhood, he, his family, and other Vietnamese like them, were oppressed by the French, who claimed Vietnam as one of their territories. His father rebelled against the government by quitting his job, and became an itinerant teacher. Minh's sister got a job in the French Army, where she stole weapons to give to resistance groups, who one day dreamed of over-throwing the government. But, she was caught, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Then, Minh himself became a trouble-maker, by refusing to learn French in school, and when he got older, he participated in numerous tax revolts. Yet, even though the French were oppressing the Vietnamese, Minh still wanted to travel to France, just to experience the cultural and societal values. So, in 1911, Minh sailed to Marseilles, and worked as a galley boy on a cruise liner. Upon his arrival, Minh soon found work as a photographer, and a photo re-toucher. Then, World War I occurred, and Minh didn't get involved. When President Woodrow Wilson then arrived in France in 1919, for France's signature on a treaty that would end World War I, Minh attempted to get Woodrow Wilson to look at his rather lengthy list of the French's abuses of the Vietnamese people. Minh believed that Woodrow Wilson's ideology of "self-determination" applied to the continent of Asia. Yet, Woodrow Wilson rebuffed him. Greatly angered by this, Minh then joined the French Communist Party. The Party accepted him, and very shortly after his induction into the group, he was sent all over the planet, as an agent and a spy for Moscow. His most common disguises were as a Chinese journalist or a monk, and his his most frequent destinations were Canton, Rangoon, and Calcutta. After he completed his reconnaissance missions, he would return back to France, where he would treat his tuberculosis, or any of the other illnesses that chronically hurt and affected him. Then, in 1929, Minh traveled to Hong Kong, and formed the IndoChinese Communist Group. While their, he formed two (2) romantic relationships with two women, and married them.. However, one was guillotined by the French. Then, eleven (11) years later, in 1940, Japan invaded China and Vietnam. The French officials who were stationed in Vietnam collaborated with the Japanese, as both of them liked the pro-German Vichy Administration. However, Minh came to hate the Japanese because he thought that they were no better than the French. So, Minh discreetly sneaked into Vietnam, and urged his followers to come together, and unite as one group. It was then, that in a remote camp in the hills of Vietnam, that the Viet Minh were formulated. The term "Viet Minh" stood for the Vietnam Independence League, and Ho Chi Minh attained his infamous name. In Vietnamese, Ho Chi Minh means," The Bringer of Light." Then, he declared war on the French and quickly attacked them, winning a key battle at Dien Bien Phu. The French, alarmed at the Viet Minh's forces and lethality, quickly left Vietnam. However, Lyndon B. Johnson and America stepped in. Minh then declared war on the United States. However, for Johnson, the Vietnam would prove to be his downfall, with the release of the Pentagon Papers. At first, the Americans tried to over-power the Viet Minh with numbers. When that didn't work, L.B.J. turned to diplomacy. However, Minh wouldn't relent until Vietnam was independent. Millions of Vietnamese died during the war, both civilians and soldiers, who all wanted to achieve independence. Ho Chi Minh is also infamous for establishing the Ho Chi Minh trail, which ran from North Vietnam to South Vietnam, and through the neighboring countries of Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. Ho Chi Ming died on September 2nd, 1969, at the age of 79. He died six (6) years befor his Viet Minh forces marched into the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,988162-2,00.html Now, Billy Joel mentions that Richard Nixon is back again. During the Vietnam War, Nixon lost a very close election to J.F.K., in the year of 1960. Later, when Nixon said he'd run for the position as the governor of California, he lost that election as well. He went off the media grid for a little while, but then re-emerged back onto the scene, as the front runner for the Republican Party. The American public wanted order, an end to the war in Vietnam, and a competent government, so, they turned back to Richard Nixon. Initially, the decade had gone off the a great start. J.F.K. was making everybody happy, and all was great. However, when J.F.K. was assassinated, everything started to go downhill. Lyndon B. Johnson took over, and achieved great amounts of legislative success. However, this success, like everything in this world, came at a price. And that price was the American public's views of his policies. He had managed to divide the American public, some for him, and some against him. Civil Rights also proved to be a weak point for L.B.J. as well, since he could only satisfy half the population, if he worked one way or another. So, while civil rights split races, and the Great Society split classes, it was the Vietnam War that split everyone. On one hand, you had the silent, or sometimes not so silent majority. On the other hand, you had the anti-war protestors. Plus, anti-war protestors also managed to ally-up with many of the "anarchist, or middle of the road people," thus adding to their "population." Further news coverage of the war brought more people to the belief that the war should be stopped. Then, when the United States successfully repealed the Vietcong during their Tet Offensive, people re-thought America's involvement, then went back to making anti-war protests, as they watched live coverage of U.S. Marines who were engaged in a firefight within the U.S. Embassy. L.B.J. was losing the American public's support. When L.B.J. ran for President, his role during the Vietnam war hurt him, and he struggled immensely during the primaries, to the point where he dropped out. The Democratic Party then nominated Robert Kennedy, nephew to J.F.K., but he was assassinated in June. Hubert H. Humphrey was then nominated, but his reputation was already tarnished under the L.B.J. administration. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, riots broke out everywhere, and L.B.J. was blamed for having his civil rights legislation not be effective enough. In addition, the ongoing war in Vietnam wasn't helping, and news crews at home filmed ferocious police beatings of hippies and anti-war protestors. The Democratic Party was hurting, and yet, Humphrey made a run out of the election. In addition, the governor of Alabama, Governor George Wallace, decided to jump into the race, and picked up many blue-collar voters in the South. However, Nixon soon found himself competing with Wallace for the same type of votes. So, Nixon strategically went into the South, and attempted to re-integrate the South, and make it a segment of the mainstream. By doing that, Nixon beat out Wallace, and L.B.J. ceded the South to the Republicans, which have benefited the Party ever since he had decided to do that. The Democrats also gave the Republicans the process of law and order. After all, they couldn't have it themselves, since Humphrey couldn't even address it at his own convention. So, the Democrats ceded that as well to the Republican Party. Nixon also promised additional change, through social policies. This appealed to the old New Deal Liberals, so he gained their support. So, ironically, it could be accurately stated that Nixon, a Republican candidate, could better represent the ideologies of the Democrats, then the Democrats themselves. Nixon won the election, and became the President. With confidence and assurance restored, the Americans planned to move on.
http://www.examiner.com/article/richard-nixon-back-again-1968 Billy Joel then mentions the event, Moonshot. Moonshot is, or refers to, when America landed the first man, Neil Armstrong, onto the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20th, 1969, landed on the Moon, from the rocket Apollo 11. This marked the end of the Space Race between the United States, and Russia.
Based off of previous knowledge. Now, Billy Joel mentions the crazy concerts of Woodstock. In the month of August, in the year of 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. This Fair grew an enormous amount of attention, especially from the media, as more than half a million (500,000+) people congregated here at this 600+ acre farm. There were thirty-two (32) performances, performed by the famous and rising famous singers and bands. The concerts of Woodstock lasted for four (4) days, from August 15th-to-August18th. Some of the featured names were Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Janis Joplin, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The concerts were to start on August 15th, which was a Friday. On August 13th, over 60,000 people were already on the premises of the Woodstock performing area. On the 15th, the roads leading to Woodstock were so packed, that the performers had to be flown into Woodstock by helicopter. Tickets sales prior to the concert had exceeded 100,000, but there were so many people flowing into Woodstock, that tickets became worthless. The producers of Woodstock were Artie Kornfeld, Michael Lang, John Roberts, and Joel Rosenman. The performers that performed on the 15th were: Richie Havens, Sweetwater, Bert Sommer, Tim Hardin, Ravi Shankar, Melanie Safka, Arlo Guthrie, and Joan Baez. On August 16th, the performers that performed were: Quill, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, Keef Hartley Band, Santana, The Incredible String Band, Canned Heat, Mountain, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin with the Kozmic Blues Band, Sly and the Family Stone, the Who, and the Jefferson Airplanes. On August 17th-18th, the final performers who performed were: Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, The Band, Johnny Winter, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha-na-na, and Jimi Hendrix.
http://www.woodstock.com/themusic.php Billy Joel then mentions Watergate. This is the scandal that killed the Nixon presidency. Anxious about re-election chances, Nixon hired four (4) burglars, James W. McCord, Jr., Bernard Barker, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Eugenio Martinez, to break into the Democratic Party headquarters, which was located in the luxurious Watergate hotel. They had put tape over the lock of the door, which lead to the Democratic offices. The reason that they did this was because the cleaning services that the hotel offered, put tape over the locks of doors, so they could get easy access to clean the rooms. However, the service cleaners had left for the day, when a security guard saw the tape on the door, and went to further investigate. He then found the burglars, called the police, and the five (5) men were captured, and taken into custody.The burglars were caught, ratted out Nixon, and he resigned before he could be impeached.
Based off of previous knowledge. Billy Joel then mentions the style of music, Punk Rock. Punk Rock is a style of music, that utilizes explicit, offensive, vulgar, and occasionally racists language, to depict the bad problems within society, the singer or band's anger, their social alienation, emotions/feelings, and a negative reaction against the rising rock and roll culture.
Courtesy of Google. The second person that Billy Joel mentions is Doris Day. Doris Day was a famous actress, singer, and an avid animal rights activist. Her first major gig was being a Big Band singer, back in 1939. Yet, it wasn't until she finished her first recording, Sentimental Journey, in 1945, before she got noticed by other bands, as well as other major recording companies. Doris Day then left the Les Brown and his Band of Renown, to further a career in soloist singing, and other vocal performances. During this time, she managed to get a contract with the Colombia Records company, whose term lasted from 1947 to 1967. Although this was her only remaining record label, she still went on to record more than 650 performances. Later on, she would go on to be in 39 movies, release 29 albums, and even managed to spend an impressive 460 weeks (just over 8 years) in the Top 40 Charts- which eventually earned her a spot in the hearts of millions of Americans, who came to view her as one of the greatest entertainers of all time. She also began to advocate a position for animal rights in 1971.
http://www.dorisday.com/ Billy Joel then kicks into the fourth chorus. The fifth stanza now starts. The events and people that Billy Joel sings about are: Birth Control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again, Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock, Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline(s), Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan, the Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, Heavy metal/suicide, foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz, Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law, Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore! I have yet to find an accurate acoustic-only version of the song itself.