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That Time The Army Had To Save A Bunch Of Hippies At Woodstock
In the summer of 1969, 400,000 hippies, bohemians, artists, and revolutionaries of all stripes descended on a small dairy farm in Bethel, New York for Woodstock, an event celebrating peace, youthful rebellion, and a general disregard for personal hygiene. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was widely regarded as a watershed moment in the counterculture movement and in modern musical history. But by the time the party officially kicked off 48 years ago on Aug. 15, disaster was poised to strike, and it would have if not for the intervention of an unlikely ally: the U.S. Army.
Opening ceremony at Woodstock.Wikimedia Commons
Initially 200,000 festival goers were anticipated, but when the planners lost track of how many tickets had been sold and twice that number showed up, the influx of patrons became a serious problem. How the hell were they going to feed 400,000 hungry hippies? Vendors hiked their prices — $0.25 hot dogs shot up to $1 — and communes began passing out thousands of free cups of oats, nuts, and raisins (the Western world can thank Woodstock for Granola), but food and water shortages remained a concern.
Fortunately, local sheriff Louis Ratner had a hunch that the multi-day peace fest might have trouble feeding the masses. When one of the vendor's booths was burned down overnight — one of the few instances of violence at Woodstock — due to anger over inflated pricing and probably an abundance of lighters, Ratner was ready.
“It's like you get a certain feeling there, that something isn't right," Ratner said in Joel Makower's 1989 book, Woodstock: The Oral History. “So we got permission to get Army helicopters flown by Stewart Air Force pilots, and we already had them that morning. When that thing broke, I had the helicopters on the way."
Though Woodstock didn't frame itself as an anti-war protest, the festival took place during the height of the Vietnam War, and with the counterculture music scene closely aligned with the anti-war movement, the sight of incoming U.S. Army helicopters conjured up images of American militarization.
John Morris, the production coordinator for the festival, was onstage when the helos came in.“It was like a wave," Morris said in Woodstock: The Oral History. “You could see people start to look up ... and all I said was, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the United States Army —' and you could feel it and you could hear it, the tension — 'Medical Corps.' And the crowd broke into a cheer that was just fantastic. And just about then you could see the red crosses on the side."
Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969.Wikimedia Commons
In total, the Army air-dropped more than 10,000 sandwiches, in addition to canned goods, water, fruit, medical supplies, and blankets to the ill-supplied crowd. Refreshed and refitted, the party raged on until Aug. 18 — a full day longer than it was supposed to run — and the festival rounded out its set list with Jimi Hendrix's iconic rendition of the national anthem. Fitting.
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.