Great Depression & World War II – us-history.com http://us-history.com Fri, 20 Dec 2013 14:53:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Harley Davidson: A Legendary History http://us-history.com/harley-davidson-a-legendary-history/ http://us-history.com/harley-davidson-a-legendary-history/#respond Fri, 24 May 2013 12:36:56 +0000 http://us-history.com/?p=130 From a 1901 engine blueprint, to the first production machine in 1903, and on to the latest, 122 horsepower, V-Rod Muscle, Harley Davidson have been building iconic motorcycles for over a century. From inauspicious beginnings in a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with “Harley Davidson Motor Company” scrawled crudely across the door, the company have continued to defined the motorcycle’s visceral appeal.

The engine is the beating heart of every motorcycle and Harley Davidson have been responsible for some enduring designs. The first V-Twin engines were introduced in 1909, with the “F-head” following in 1911, the latter remaining a Harley Davidson workhorse until 1929 when the 45 cubic inch V-Twin was introduced, remaining in service in various guises until 1973.

During both World Wars, Harley Davidson supplied increasing numbers of motorcycles to the US military. In 1918, almost half of all motorcycles produced by the company were sold for military use and production of civilian motorcycles ceased almost entirely during World War Two. During both conflicts, the Quartermasters’ School familiarised army mechanics with the specifics of the Harley Davidson repair manuals.

By November 1945, production of Harley Davidsons for the civilian market had resumed and, by the early 1950’s, the side-valved K model (which would later evolve into the Sportster) had been introduced, partly as a response to smaller, more agile British motorcycles.

Harley Davidson motorcycles also have an illustrious sporting pedigree, recording many Daytona 200 and National Championship victories. In 1970, Cal Rayborn set the land speed record for a motorcycle at Bonneville, averaging over 265mph on a streamlined, Sportster-engined machine.

The evolution of Harley Davidson motorcycles continues but preserves the marque’s genetic heritage. The XL Forty-Eight is an example of this evolution, combining modern mechanical integrity with a design evoking the rawness of early custom Sportsters, while the race-inspired V-Rod, a modern performance machine introduced in 2001, combines fuel injection, overhead cams and liquid cooling with styling that is unmistakeably Harley Davidson.

To prove the company’s legacy, in 2003, 250,000 bikers congregated in Milwaukee for the company’s centennial celebrations, just one more milestone in a remarkable history.

Photo: El coleccionista de instantes

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World War 2: A Brief History http://us-history.com/world-war-2-a-brief-history/ http://us-history.com/world-war-2-a-brief-history/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:42:42 +0000 http://oneclick.i.biz/instances/www.us-history.com/?p=45 World War 2 is historically recognized as beginning in September of 1939 with Germany’s invasion of Poland, although Japan had been at war with China since 1937. The launch of Europe into war, however, ultimately embroiled the world’s greatest powers in the conflict, resulting in World War 2.

World War II

World War II

Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi Party, was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Prior to the military invasion that instigated World War 2, Hitler had slowly been rebuilding Germany’s army and infrastructure, which was devastated after the First World War. He also began eroding the rights of Jews in Germany and devising his plan to take over Europe and eradicate the Jewish people entirely.

After Hitler invaded Poland, France and England declared war on Germany, but did not offer sufficient support to thwart Hitler’s Nazis. In May of 1940, Germany invaded many more European countries, including France and Holland, and many of them fell to Nazi forces within weeks. By the end of September in 1940, the major power players of World War 2 had divided into two groups: the Allies, including England, France, Poland, and the U.S., and the Axis powers, comprised of Germany, Italy, and Japan. With the attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor by Japanese bombers in 1941, the Americans were drawn into the fray against both in the Pacific and in Europe.

It is estimated that between 50 and 70 million people died during World War 2. When Allied troops finally advanced into German territory, they discovered what Hitler had termed his “final solution” for the Jews: concentration camps in which millions of Jews had been systematically murdered.

World War 2 in Europe ended in May of 1945. The United States’ war with Japan did not end until August of that year when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two Japanese cities. World War 2 was the first and only time nuclear weaponry had been used in warfare, and World War 2 holds the unenviable distinction of resulting in more deaths than any other human conflict in history.

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1920s: The Great Depression http://us-history.com/1920s-the-great-depression/ http://us-history.com/1920s-the-great-depression/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:23:51 +0000 http://oneclick.i.biz/instances/www.us-history.com/?p=29 The 1920’s could be described as economic boom gone bust. The early 1900’s began with an advancing industrial revolution and ended with the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The trigger that caused the great depression began with the boom in sales of stocks in a bull market. It continued for six months into the start of the Hoover Administration in January 1929. Two market crashes within a short period of time in October 1929 leading some economists to refer to Thursday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 29, 1929 as the “Dead Cat Bounce” that initiated the great depression of the 1930’s. By 1932, stocks dropped to 90% of their values. A decade of overpriced stocks took two years to create the great depression that followed.

The Great Depression – The End Of An Economic Boom

Great Depression

Great Depression

For two decades, the US enjoyed an unparalleled economic boom as a result of widespread business growth and a general freewheeling attitude. World War I was over. Women were given the right to vote in 1912, Lindbergh was making strides in aviation and the 1920’s “roared” with jazz, bootlegged liquor and women shockingly smoking in public. Stocks continued to spiral upward in price. Suddenly, a “Dead Cat Bounce” occurred on two days in October 1929. Stock prices hit rock bottom and wild selling left banks with little in reserves to stabilize. A depression in an economic phase is referred to as a “depression”. Due to the severity of the economic depression in the 1930’s, this period was referred to as the great depression.

Hard Times For The Whole Country

The great depression lasted almost ten years. Millions of jobs were lost, all debt was called in for payment by banks scrambling to create financial reserves, until banks closed one after during the great depression. This brought on the emergence of “Hoovervilles”, shacks fashioned by the homeless, heated by old newspapers and charities providing food with bread lines and soup kitchens. The era of the great depression was echoed in the song, “Buddy, can you spare a dime?”

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Pearl Harbor http://us-history.com/pearl-harbor/ http://us-history.com/pearl-harbor/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:20:43 +0000 http://oneclick.i.biz/instances/www.us-history.com/?p=23 On December 7, 1941, Japan carried out an unexpected attack on the United States. The attack took place at Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The one day strike resulted in the loss of over 2,300 American lives, 21 ships and 300 United States military planes. In his address to Congress and the American people the following day, President Roosevelt referred to December 7 as “a date that will live in infamy.” That day is now observed as Pearl Harbor Day. Though it is not a national holiday, flags on schools and government buildings are flown at half-mast to remember Pearl Harbor and the lives that were lost on that day.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Prior to Pearl Harbor, the United States made several attempts to halt Japanese expansion into China. Embargos on airplane fuel, scrap metal and steel were placed on Japan when they took over French Indonesia. When Japan invaded Indochina, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands froze Japanese assets, making it impossible for them to acquire oil. Seeing no other way to continue on their path to controlling China and get the oil embargo lifted, Japan launched an air strike on the United States in the early morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941. The following day, in his address to Congress, President Roosevelt asked that they declare war on the Japanese Empire.

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was hesitant to get directly involved in World War II. Pearl Harbor was the catalyst to the United States’ entrance into the war. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor necessitated US involvement and helped secure the win for the allies. The United States fought World War II alongside the allied forces of China, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. President Roosevelt named the allies the United Nations.

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