On this day: the birth of “Axis Sally”

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American woman Mildred Gillars, nicknamed “Axis Sally” for the prominent role she played broadcasting Nazi propaganda during World War Two, was born on the 29th of November, 1900.

Born in Maine, but moving to Ohio as a child, Gillars moved to Germany to study in 1934, and then later obtained work as an English teacher in Berlin.

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As a young actress in America in the 1920s. X

By 1940, she was working as an announcer for Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft: German State Radio.

Along with an Italian-American woman by the name of Rita Zucca, who performed the same work for Mussolini in Fascist Italy, she was dubbed “Axis Sally” for her anti-American propaganda that was broadcast to US troops once her home country joined the war.

Gillars’ broadcasts told stories of wives and sweethearts at home who cheated with other men while the troops were away, and spread defeatist propaganda to try and destroy American morale.

At the end of the war “Wanted” posters for Gillars were put up around Berlin. Once she was found and arrested in 1946 she was returned to the United States, where she was put on trial for treason.

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The New York Times announces that Mildred Gillars is to stand trial for treason. X

She was eventually convicted of treason for a broadcast titled Vision Of Invasion, and spent twelve years in prison before being released on parole.

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The FBI escorts Gillars to her trial in 1949. X

Gillars went on to live in a convent and work as a schoolteacher, before dying of cancer in 1988.

Her fellow “Sally”, Rita Zucca, spent nine months in an Italian prison, and – having given up her American citizenship – was barred from the United States.

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On this day: the Jolimont Centre siege

js-1On the 29th of November, 1993 a man by the name of Felipe Ruizdiaz went on a rampage in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Ruizdiaz

On the 29th of November, 1993 a man by the name of Felipe Ruizdiaz went on a rampage in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Ruizdiaz, 47, shot the manager at Dickson Swimming Pool before driving his ute, filled with gas canisters and petrol, to the Jolimont Centre in Canberra’s city centre.

Jolimont_Centre_siege_1993In what was believed to be a revenge attack on his estranged wife

In what was believed to be a revenge attack on his estranged wife, he drove into the entrance of the multi-storey building and began to throw petrol bombs before shooting at emergency service members who responded to the incident.

Ruizdiaz eventually shot and killed himself.

js-2On the 29th of November, 1993 a man by the name of Felipe Ruizdiaz went on a rampage in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Ruizdiaz

A radio station located in the building continued to broadcast throughout the attack.

On this day: a Thanksgiving dinner at the Marine Barracks

US Thanksgiving Day fell on the 28th of November in 1918. The Marine Barracks at Fort Mifflin hosted a Thanksgiving dinner that evening.

This is the menu for the dinner, which included oyster soup, dressing and crackers, minced pie, creamed corn, and cigarettes and cigars on offer at the end. On either side of the menu are the names of the Marines at the barracks.

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On this day…

American Civil War veteran Joseph Dutton, who fought for the Union in the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, photographed on the 27th of November, 1919.

This was Thanksgiving Day in the United States in the year 1919.

Following the war, Dutton went on to convert to Catholicism and work as a missionary in Molokai, Hawaii.

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On this day: a Thanksgiving festival in an internment camp

Halfway through the Second World War, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States joined the conflict, American citizens and legal US residents of Japanese descent were moved to internment camps for the remainder of the war.

Construction of the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona began in May 1942.

A few months later, in the same year, the camp hosted a Christian service and then a Harvest Festival parade on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday fell on the 26th of November that year.

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On this day: Norway’s new royals

Norway’s new royal family arrives in the capital, Christiania (now called Oslo) on the 25th of November, 1905.

The new king, Haakon VII, was a Danish prince who became ruler of Norway when the union with Sweden was dissolved that year.

Haakon ruled until his death in 1957, and is famous for his resistance against the long Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

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