The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day And Hedy Lamarr's 100th Birthday

At 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918 - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the Allies signed a ceasefire agreement with Germany bringing The Great War a/k/a World War I to an end.  Known as Armistice Day for many years, it became a day to remember the fallen of that war.  In the U.S., Armistice Day eventually became Veteran's Day, a day to honor living veterans of all conflicts, while Memorial Day in May became the designated day to honor the fallen.  In Europe, November 11 is still Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day in the UK, and it is still dedicated to the fallen. 

The above photo, from the Library of Congress, shows an Army mechanic working on a truck.  I once heard a theory that the four machines that won World War II were not guns, tanks, planes or other armaments, but rather the C-47 cargo plane, the landing craft, the bulldozer and the 2 1/2 ton truck.  It was these machines that enabled men and supplies to get where they needed to be, and so the work this soldier performs on this truck is just as important as a front line soldier, because without food and ammunition, those at the front could not do much.

Hedy Lamarr in an MGM publicity photo from 1942. She was 28.Today is also the 100th birthday of Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, a/k/a Hedy Lamarr.  Aside from being one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen, in 1942, she patented a method for remote radio control of torpedoes that led to technology we still use today in our smart phones. 

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