Danger Close

Danger Close Long Tan Movie Vietnam War Travis Fimmel Australian Army 1966

I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of Danger Close – The Battle of Long Tan last night with some Vietnam veterans (including my father) and other members of the Australian Defence Force. They actually had a counsellor there just in case, and now I understand why – it was quite the experience.

Long Tan is the best-known battle Australia (and New Zealand) fought in the Vietnam War, but I was still amazed both by the quality of the movie, and the actors in it. The “face” of the movie is Major Harry Smith, played by Travis Fimmel, of Vikings fame.

In the 1960s my father was an armoured personnel carrier driver stationed in Nui Dat, which is the base under attack in the movie. He later fought another major battle only a few kilometres from the base: Binh Ba, which had its fiftieth anniversary this year.

It was amazing to see people my father knows portrayed on the big screen, and to know people who consulted on the film.

I would strongly recommend this movie, as long as you’re prepared for it. It’s very confronting, and that much sadder because none of it is fiction.

On this day: a New National Library

Sir Robert Menzies speaking at the laying of the National Library of Australia_s foundation stone on 31 March 1966. National Library of Australia, nla.obj-136760449 Canberr

Sir Robert Menzies speaks at the laying of the National Library of Australia’s foundation stone in Canberra on the 31st of March, 1966. The library was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on the 15th of August, 1968.

National Library of Australia, nla.obj-136760449 

50 Years of the National Library

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The National Library of Australia, located in Canberra, was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on the 15th of August, 1968.

Sir Robert Menzies speaking at the laying of the National Library of Australia_s foundation stone on 31 March 1966. National Library of Australia, nla.obj-136760449 Canberr

Sir Robert Menzies speaks at the laying of the foundation stone on the 31st of March, 1966.

On this day…

Wakefield Kirkgate railway station in West Yorkshire, England, photographed on the 29th of July, 1966.

Much of the original Victorian structure was removed in the 1970s, before it could be listed as a building of Historic Interest.

EPSON scanner image

On this day: the death of a Russian fascist leader

Anastase Andreivich Vonsiatsky, Vozhd of the All-Russian Fascist Party

In 1935

Polish-born Russian Anastasy Vonsyatsky, leader of the US-based All-Russian Fascist Organisation, died on the 5th of February, 1966 at the age of sixty-six.

Born in Warsaw and educated in Moscow, Vonsyatsky travelled to the United States in his twenties. There, he founded his fascist party (also known as the Russian National Revolutionary Labor and Workers Peasant Party of Fascists) in Connecticut.

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Party Logo

After the US joined the Second World War at the midway point, he was arrested by the FBI in 1942 for connections to people in an American-based Nazi organisation.

He served a prison sentence until 1946, and then (ironically) lived in St Petersburg, Florida until his death.

On this day…

The Nutcracker ballet, in a photograph dated the 11th of December, 1966. The Snow Queen and Snow King are played by Jiji Jahrig and Charlie Putman, and the Snowflakes are Sherry Darmopray, Christy Darmopray and Linda Vigil. The picture comes from The Denver Post.

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DEC 5 1966, DEC 11 1966; Charlie Putman and Jiji Jahrig appear as the Snow King and Snow Queen and d

On this day: the premiere of Days of Our Lives

American soap opera Days of Our Lives had its premiere on the 8th of November, 1965.

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The Horton family cast in 1966. X

Famous for its outlandish storylines, including characters being possessed by the devil, and people coming back from the dead multiple times, it is one of the longest-running scripted shows in history.

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The 2010 logo.

Due to Days’ popularity, episodes were expanded from half-hour to one hour length in April 1975.