Monday, July 16, 2012
LIFE Magazine, June 21, 1937...A Lost Plane Timeline!
A Timeline of Events...
LIFE Magazine, June 21, 1937
Putting LIFE into perspective...
I have an old copy of LIFE Magazine from 1937. I bought it because there was an article or picture concerning the "Lost Plane." I often will do a Google search to see if I can find any more information about the plane crash that has figured so prominently in our family stories. I was pleased to find a full-page lay-out...
LIFE Magazine is so large...11" by 14"...that it's too big for the scanner.
The article was to be found on page 27 in the "LIFE ON THE AMERICAN NEWSFRONT" section. I had hoped to find some tidbit of information that was new to me...maybe even a mention of my Grandpa Mel. But no...that which is of vital importance to me and my family, was deserving of only a passing interest to the American public. This is where "perspective" comes in. The years 1936 to 1937 were filled with turmoil and amazing historical events. It's important when writing Family History to be able to see the timeline of events around your family story. When you know the history of the time...you can visualize how those events affected your family.
Imagine a late-1930s housewife reading this issue of LIFE. When she gets to pages 26 and 27...which story do you think she will find most intriguing...finding a missing aircraft, or...
Page 26...Jean Harlow dies.
... the death of blonde bombshell Jean Harlow, whose "platinum blonde" hair made her famous overnight? It's a no brainer. I'm not saying that the housewife has no brains. In that time of economic woe with rumbles of war on the horizon, she can be forgiven for daydreaming about the lives of Hollywood stars and all of the glitz and glamour that were out of reach for so many everyday Joes and Janes.
Grandpa Mel and Grandma Zetta could barely make ends meet...scraping a living from the mountain soil of their little fruit farm. They couldn't even afford a radio so they could be more aware of what was happening in the outside world. When Mel wanted to hear the latest news, he traveled down the canyon to Alpine to get the news from the local store. No wonder a radio was on Mel's wish list after receiving his share of the reward money.
$36.95? That was a king's ransom back then.
I want to share with you...my readers and family...some of the things going on in the world during the years of 1936 and 1937.
Drought and depletion of the soil worsen the dustbowl in the midwest. Desperate farmers pack up their families and possessions and move to fertile areas further west...like California.
Hindenberg takes flight.
It was a wonder to behold. Measuring over 800 feet in length, the dirigible Hindenberg makes the first of its transatlantic flights as it arrives in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Hoover Dam is completed.
Bruno Hauptmann, who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering the Lindberg baby (Charles Lindberg III) was executed in April.
In May "Gone With the Wind" was published.
In August Jesse Owens upset Hitler by winning four Gold Medals.
December 15...Western Air Express plane crashes on mountain above Alpine, Utah.
This was copied from Grandma Zetta's scrapbook.
Not best surviving newspaper page, but included date and time in her own handwriting.
In May, the Hindenberg explodes as it nears its mooring in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
LIFE Magazine story on "Cinderella Man" James Braddock.
Joe Louis knocked him out for World Heavy Weight Boxing title.
Golden Gate Bridge is dedicated.
June 6, 1937...Grandpa Mel finds first pieces of missing plane.
July 2, 1937...Amelia Earhart disappears.
The following is a paragraph from the first blog post I wrote about the Lost Plane. The Lost Plane This version was written for my grandchildren:
"The first victim was found on July 4, 1937. Her name was Hazel Skinner and she was just returning home to Chicago with her new husband. They had been honeymooning in Mexico. Gradually over the next few weeks the rest of the bodies were located. Do you want to hear a strange coincidence? On that very same Fourth of July, the Salt Lake Tribune announced that Amelia Earhart had disappeared somewhere between Lae, New Guinea and Howland Island in the Pacific and was never heard from again! What happened to Amelia is one of the twentieth century's biggest mysteries."
In the grand scheme of things, we each live very small lives. Isn't it wonderful to know that there is One who is greater than even kings and presidents...and He knows us. And knowing this helps put things into perspective for me.
When you sit down to write the stories of your family, what will your timeline look like? What was going on the year that you were born? How did the history of our country and world events influence the way you lived your life? Maybe it's time to start writing that story...before it's too late.
I want to thank Meri from ImagiMeri's Creations for this darling typewriter graphic...it's just my type! =D