Sunday, June 18, 2017

HGB Ep. 207 - Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

Moment in Oddity - 1000 Japanese Soldiers Decimated by Crocodile
Suggested by: Michael Rogers

The largest reptilian predator in the world is the saltwater crocodile. The crocodile can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh 2,000 pounds and eat something as big as a water buffalo, meaning that it can eat a full-grown adult human. One of its territories is the mangrove swamps of Ramree Island. This island lies off of the Burma coast and was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The Allies launched an attack in 1945 to retake the island. The British called on the Japanese to surrender and they refused. They decided to run into the swamp despite the dangers of poisonous animals, lack of drinking water and tropical diseases. What nobody considered would come to be one of the oddest incidents during any war. Bruce Stanley Wright wrote the book Wildlife Sketches Near and Far and he described what happened as "that night was the most horrible that any member of the M.L. [marine launch] crews ever experienced. The crocodiles, alerted by the din of warfare and the smell of blood, gathered among the mangroves, lying with their eyes above water, watchfully alert for their next meal. With the ebb of the tide, the crocodiles moved in on the dead, wounded, and uninjured men who had become mired in the mud.” Nearly half of the 1,000 Japanese soldiers that ran into that swamp died. Others were left so badly injured and mauled that they were captured by the British forces. Not many know about the Battle of Ramree Island or the creepiness connected to it. The fact that a bunch of crocodiles forced the Japanese to finally surrender the island, certainly is odd!

This Month in History - SCOTUS Strikes Down Laws Against Interracial Marriage

In the month of June, on the 12th, in 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down all state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. In 1664, the state of Maryland instituted the first law against marriage between whites and slaves. In 1691, Virginia began exiling white people who married people of color. Pennsylvania would take the first steps towards repealing laws banning interracial marriage in 1780. Many northern states would follow suit before the Civil War as part of an attempt to abolish slavery. Despite these positive movements, there would be three attempts made to amend the Constitution to ban interracial marriage. The Cable Act of 1922 shined a light on marriage between whites and Asians and stripped any American citizen of their citizenship if they married an Asian immigrant. McLaughlin v. Florida was argued in 1964 and the SCOTUS unanimously ruled that banning interracial sex violated the 14th Amendment. Richard and Mildred Loving took their case to SCOTUS on that 12th  day in June of 1967 and interracial marriage was finally legal in all states.

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (Suggested by listeners Bridget Schlack and Emily Ridener)

Henry Ford was more than just an inventor. He was a collector and by the 1920s, he had amassed one of the largest collections of Americana in the world. He decided to display his collection at a museum in Dearborn, Michigan and the plan he laid out featured two separate facilities, one indoor and one outdoor. The indoor facility would tell the story of man's innovation and the outdoor museum would be a village about history. Today, we know this location as the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. On this episode, we are joined by our listener Bridget Schlack who worked at the museum for a number of years. She will share with us the types of items that are a part of the collection and she will also share some things that are unique in this collection. Some items seem to have attachments to them and this has led to stories of haunting experiences, some of which Bridget has experienced herself.

There seems to be many strange things of a supernatural variety taking place at the museum. Is the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village haunted? That is for you to decide!

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