Saturday, May 31, 2008

Amtrak California

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been promoting intercity passenger rail service since 1976 by augmenting Amtrak's basic system of interstate trains.

The Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquins, and Capitol Corridor are funded primarily by the State of California. These trains (collectively referred to as Amtrak California) operate in addition to Amtrak's own interstate trains -- the Coast Starlight, the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief, and the Sunset Limited which connect California to the rest of the country with bands of passenger rail.

Amtrak California's very cool poster for National Train Day this year.

The Surfliner at San Clemente Beach - April 2006.

The Surfliner at the Santa Fe Depot in San Diego - July 2006.

Amtrak California's Pullman Standard Superliner Coach in Oakland - August 2007.

Amtrak California's revamped Pacific Parlour Cars rests in Oakland - May 2008.

Official State Map brochure: The Skunk Train offers redwood shaded excursions from the North Coast towns of Fort Bragg and Willits.

New Amtrak California Timetable for SPRING/SUMMER 2008, available at the Amtrak California Website.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mad Magazine Covers

Mad is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952. It is the last surviving title from the notorious and critically acclaimed EC Comics line.

Offering satire on all aspects of American life and pop culture, the monthly publication deflates stuffed shirts and pokes fun at common frailties.

Here are some examples of Mad Covers Trading Cards and a few recent covers that are some of my favorites.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

America in Black and White - Postcards

Main Street in Sutter Creek, California. (circa 1920's)

Main Street in Wells, Nevada. (circa 1930's)

Broadway in Fargo, North Dakota. (circa 1920's)

Dollman's Grocery, Michigan. (circa 1940's)

Standard Station on Route 66 East of Needles, California. (circa 1940's)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coca Cola - A Sign of Good Taste

The product that has given the world its best known taste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. Dr. John Stith Pemberton, a local pharmacist, produced the syrup for Coca-Cola, and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink. Carbonated water was teamed with the new syrup to produce a drink that was at once "Delicious and Refreshing," a theme that continues to echo today wherever Coca-Cola is enjoyed.

An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Clark in formal 19th century attire. The ad is entitled Drink Coca-Cola 5¢.

Coca-Cola Fountain Car, 1930's.

Coca-Cola Delivery Truck, 1940's.

Coca-Cola delivery to Delta Airlines, 1960's.

Coca-Cola bottle cap with Disneyland castle and Jungle Cruise Hippo inside, 1960's.

Examples of Coca-Cola trading cards, 1990's.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New York City Postcards

Elevated Road and Bowery New York. (Circa 1900's)

Radio City Music Hall is the world's largest theatre. Part of a capacity audience of 6,200 persons is shown watching the spectacular stage show that is a weekly feature at Rockefeller Center play-house. (Circa 1940's)

Port Authority Bus Terminal - Showing the McGraw-Hill Building and, in the background, the Hudson River and New Jersey. The Terminal services 5,000 bus trips and 130,000 passengers daily. (Circa 1950's)

Times Square by Day, New York, N.Y. (Circa 1940's)

Sparkling CHAMPALE now shines brilliantly on New York's Times Square (Broadway & 46th Street). In 50 states and in foreign countries consumers have discovered CHAMPALE ... the look, taste and sparkle of champagne for just a few pennies more than beer. Retailers everywhere add prestige to their business and sparkle to their profits by featuring CHAMPALE. (Circa 1960's)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - Remember!

Sailor and girl at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Washington, D.C. May 1943. (Photos by John Collier) (Library of Congress)

Inscription and Plaque at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day - An American Hero...

...representing all who have fallen in the service of our country. Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

For more on Lt. Murphy, please visit his website.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day - Military Decorations & Awards

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Although it was originally created for the Civil War, Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration in 1863. This is the United States Air Force version.

The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by Gen. George Washington by order from his headquarters at Newburgh, N. Y., Aug. 7, 1782. Records indicate that the Purple Heart was awarded only three times during the Revolutionary War and was not awarded again until it was revived on Washington's 200th birthday, Feb. 22, 1932. Use of the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued on Dec. 3, 1942 when the legion of Merit was created. In present day, the Purple Heart is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed in action.

The Legion of Merit was established by Congress on July 20, 1942, and is awarded to personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States and of the Government of the Commonwealth Philippines and personnel of the armed forces of friendly foreign nations who, distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.

The Joint Service Commendation Medal was established on June 25, 1963 and is awarded only to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after January 1, 1963, distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement or service while assigned to a Joint Service organization.

The Distinguished Flying Cross was established in the Air Corps Act, by Congress, on July 2, 1926, and is awarded to any person, while serving in any capacity with the Air Corps of the Army of the United States, including the National Guard and the Organized Reserves, or with the United States Navy, since April 6, 1917, has distinguished, or who, after the approval of this Act, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.

The Silver Star is the successor decoration to the Citation Star which was established by an act of Congress on July 9, 1918. It is currently awarded by all branches of the Armed Forces to any person who, while serving in any capacity, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly forces against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.