Sun City Anthem

History & Holidays (Archives--Page Four)

To all of our valued readers...

We wish you a...


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We invite all of you to take another survey !

We had such a wonderful response to our Thanksgiving Song survey, that we thought we needed a Best Christmas Movie survey as well.



We've come up with a list of FIFTEEN films that we can't stop watching year after year.

Here are our nominations (in no particular order):

We've even included a clip from the film to jog your memory.

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So...cast your vote...Send us an email at:

Anthem Opinions
  1. From Barbara Opinions

    "It's A Wonderful Life"
  2. From Phillip Rosen of Glenview, Opinions

    "Miracle on 34th Street"
    1. From Linda Opinions

      "A Christmas Story"
      1. From Mary Lee Opinions

        "It’s a Wonderful Life" is always shown at our home.

        1. From Eleanore Opinions

          1) "A Christmas Carol" - Reginald Owen 1938 - Still the best version!

          2)" Scrooged" - Bill Murray 1988
      2. From Dave Nall of Wilmington, Opinions

        "It's A Wonderful Life" gets my vote.
        1. From Peter Opinions

          " A Christmas Story" is without doubt, the best.
          1. From Board Director Carl Opinions

            "A Christmas Carol" is my favorite, but the best version was from 1951 with Alistair Sim as Scrooge and a cast of British actors and actresses.

            I will never forget his housekeeper who ran out of Scrooge's house thinking he was berserk
            when he started to feel the Christmas spirit.

            For some reason this version was not shown on TV this year!

            A real loss!
            1. From Donna Opinions

              Definitely National Lampoon’s "CHRISTMAS VACATION".

              I could watch it over and over again and still laugh.
              1. "It's a Wonderful Life!"   I still cry every time it comes to the scene where he stops Mr. Gower from poisoning the little kid.

Ever Been to the
Clark County Museum ?
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If you've never're missing something that's a part of Nevada history.

...and if you're tired and need a break from casinos, mah jong, or boring committee meetings, this place is fun and interesting.

 Recognize this guy?  You might even see him if you go. 

He's the museum administrator who also happens to be the historical "expert" on the hit TV series, "Pawn Stars".

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Mark Hall-Patton

Learn something about what he does for us Clark County residents !

Here's the description of the museum from their website with a few additional photos and videos to enhance the fascination you'll experience when you get there:

"If you're planning on driving to the Hoover Dam -- or want to travel back in time -- the Clark County Museum is one stop you don't want to miss.

Located on Boulder Highway in Henderson (about 35 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip), the museum is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

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But that's what makes this experience so authentic -- and fun!

The museum consists of two parts:

A vast outdoor area with historic homes, a "ghost town" and old trains...

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... and an indoor exhibit showcasing a physical timeline of Nevada from ancient times to present.

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The museum's Heritage Street takes you through a time warp.

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Not only will you forget you're in Vegas, you'll feel like you traveled back 100 years.

The tree-lined streets provide ample shading on hot summer days and the manicured lawns and rabbits hopping around add a pleasant touch. 

Explore five fully-furnished houses ranging from the early 1900s to the  1950s.

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Built in 1912, the Beckley House is a California bungalow-style house that was once located on Fourth Street in downtown Las Vegas.

At the time, it cost only $2,500. The Beckley house was the last pioneer home in the area and moved to the museum in 1979.

Built in 1931, the Goumond House was glamorous for its time. The mint green walls and pastel-colored interior give you an idea of the style of the era. The bathroom even features colored toilet paper (remember those?).

Also in the Goumond House, you'll see a room filled with old TVs and record players from the 1950s. 

Just steps away, the Candlelight Wedding Chapel was once located on the Las Vegas Strip across from the Riviera hotel.

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Built in 1966, celebrities who were married in this chapel include Bette MidlerWhoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta, to name a few.

The chapel closed in 2004 and was relocated to the Clark County Museum in 2007.

The chapel is fully furnished with pews, flowers and mannequin couples.
You can even browse through wedding albums featuring couples who tied the knot in this chapel.

Donald W. Reynolds Print Shop is a replica of what you would have seen in the 1890s.

The shop includes gigantic machines, including a national paper cutter, also known as the "guillotine cutter."

This machine was capable of slicing through a four-inch thick pile of newspaper. This cutter was also used for books and magazines. 

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You'll also see a fully furnished trailer home, trains and historic vehicles. If it's not too hot, you can take the Mojave Desert Trail, which includes a ghost town with a blacksmith shop and a jailhouse.  

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Once you're finished venturing outdoors (or if you opt to come here first), the museum is like a history book coming to life. 

Instead of reading and flipping through multiple pages, you'll enjoy choosing the exhibits you want to explore.

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Read about ancient geography in Nevada and see a model of dire wolf, an extinct breed that once roamed the valley 10,000 years ago. 

You'll also learn Nevada used to be home to Columbian mammoths, ground sloths, American lions and even camels.

This section of the museum also includes history about mysterious  petroglyphs (rock art) found on nearby canyon walls.

The museum also presents in-depth history about Southwest Native American tribes (like the Anasazi, Mohave and Pauite) and tools they used for survival.

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As you walk further into the museum, the time jumps from ancient Native American times to mining and pioneer days.

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Around this area, you'll also see an old gas tank, mannequins wearing women's fashions from the 1960s, a penny slot machine, a roulette table and retro Las Vegas hotel memorabilia.

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Speaking of Vegas, we decided to save the best for last:

The final exhibit in the museum showcases tons of trivia on Las Vegas, including resorts that made history, like the Stardust, the Sands, Moulin Rouge and the Dunes.

For instance, did you know in 1965, the 24-story Dunes tower was the state's tallest structure?

The property also had the tallest free-standing sign at 185 feet.

This area also features posters of Wayne Newton and magicians  Siegfried and Roy in their early days.

While you're here, read about the many hotel implosions on the Strip.

The Dunes (1993)
The Hacienda (1996)
The Aladdin (1998)
The Landmark (2005)
The Boardwalk (2006)
Bourbon Street (2006)
The Castaways (2006)
The Sands (2006)
The Stardust (2007)

The New Frontier (2007)
The Clarion (2015)

The Las Vegas Strip began with the El Rancho hotel in 1941 and with the opening of the Flamingo hotel five years later, the Strip veered away from its Western frontier origins to the sleek, modernized resorts we see today.

The gift shop has a variety of unique items for sale, including books and handmade Native American dolls. There's even an outdoor patio featuring benches and a fountain for a peaceful place to relax."

Watch some interesting videos regarding this fascinating "find" in the middle of nowhere !

Here are the lobby exhibits you'll enjoy.

Like to's the nature trail.

..and their newest exhibit...The Bishop Ranch Root Cellar.

The Clark County Museum is open daily from 9:00am to 4:30pm. 
It's closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Admission is only $2.00...and  kids and seniors age 50 and above get the best bargain in the valley for only $1.00.

The museum is located at 1830 S. Boulder Hwy in Henderson.
For more information, call (702) 455-7955

Get'll be glad you did !

Dick Arendt


74 Years Ago
December 7, 1941

Let all Americans fly their flags today to honor those who were killed and wounded on this "day of infamy".

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 U.S. Casualties at Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941

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God Bless those Brave Souls.

Let us Never Forget...

We owe them so much.

Anthem Opinions Administration
  1. From Mary Opinions

    VERY TRUE, Dick.
    1. From Jill for Opinions

      All servicemen then and now deserve our support emotionally and financially.
    2. From Cary Chubin of Ft. Lauderdale, Opinions

      2500 Americans died on D-Day. The bravest assault I can imagine. I don't think I could have even got ON a boat to do what those brave men did for our freedom.


Did Ya Know ?

Just How Did Lake Mead Get its Name?

Lake Mead

Many travelers to Las Vegas often make Hoover Dam a stopping point to see the wonders of man-made achievements, but that dam wouldn't exist without Lake Mead.


Did ya know....

How Lake Mead got its name?

Lake Mead is a man-made lake...the largest reservoir in the United States, located approximately 24 miles from the Las Vegas Strip between the states of Nevada and Arizona.

It's 112 miles long...when the lake is full...

...covers 246 square miles....

...has 759 miles of shoreline...

... and at its greatest depth, reaches 532 feet.

Unfortunately, those dimensions haven't been reached since 1983 as a result of both drought and increased water demand.

Lake Mead has NINE access points. 

On the west there are three roads from Las Vegas, and there is access from I-15 through the Valley of Fire State Park, and from the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Overton, Nevada.

What many people are unaware of is that the lake is divided into several bodies.

The body closest to Las Vegas is the "Boulder Basin", a narrow channel once known as Boulder Canyon and is now referred to as "The Narrows". 

Boulder Basin

"The Narrows" connect the "Boulder Basin" to the "Virgin Basin" to the east.

The Virgin River and Muddy River empty into the Overton Arm, which is connected to the northern part of the "Virgin Basin".

The next basin to the east is the "Temple Basin", and following that is "Gregg Basin", which is connected to the Temple Basin by the Virgin Basin.

There are two other basins; the "Muddy River Inlet" and the "Virgin River Basin" that are flooded when the lake reaches a high enough stage; however, currently both remain dry due to the severe drought conditions that currently exist.

Lake Mead receives the majority of its water from melting snow in the Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah Rocky Mountains.

How did this "dream" become a reality?

A need for water in settling the "Wild West" !

...and the expertise and dedication of a man named...

Elwood Mead
(January 16, 1858--January 26, 1936)

...a professor, politician, and engineer who headed the United States Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 until his death in 1936.

Mr. Mead would oversee some of the most complex projects the Bureau of Reclamation would ever undertake....the Hoover, Grand Coulee, and Owyhee Dams across the United States.

 Mead received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University in 1882 and immediately went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers for a short time before he departed for Fort Collins, Colorado.

There he would become a professor of Mathematics at Colorado Agricultural College, where he would develop and teach the first class on irrigation engineering in the United States in 1886. 

In 1888 Mead became the territorial and state engineer of Wyoming, drafting the water laws for that state until 1899. 

In 1899 he was appointed the head of irrigation investigations for the US Dept. of Agriculture, which was based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  There he would have an important role in directing irrigation studies across the West.  

In 1907 Mr. Mead would travel to Australia and work for the Australian government as Chairman of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission in Victoria until 1911, after which he returned to the United States to teach at the University of California.

At the same time he became the chairman of the California Land Settlement Board serving in those positions until in 1924 he was named the Chairman of the Bureau of Reclamation by President Calvin Coolidge. 

Elwood Mead would die just four months after the completion of Hoover Dam, and to honor his service to the United States...

...Lake Mead was named in his honor.

Some additional facts about Lake Mead:

The water flows are largely moderated by the "Glen Canyon Dam" which is REQUIRED to release 8.23 million acre feet of water each year to Lake Mead.

Glen Canyon Dam
(in northern Arizona)

Hoover Dam is REQUIRED to release 9 million acre feet of water each year with the difference made up by tributaries that join the Colorado River below "Glen Canyon" or flow into Lake Mead.

The outflow provides water delivery to Arizona, California, and Mexico.
The result of this outflow...

...a deficit of approximately 1.2 million acre feet EACH YEAR.

Before the filling of Lake Powell (a reservoir of similar size to Lake Mead) located behind the Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River flowed largely UNREGULATED into Lake Mead, making Lake Mead more vulnerable to drought.

Lake Powell

But the importance of Lake Mead became apparent as the 20th century drew to a conclusion.

In the 1970s through the 1990s,  multiple "wet years" allowed both Lake Mead and Lake Powell to fill to capacity; the result, both Lake Powell and Lake Mead releasing significantly more water than required.

In 1983, the conditions reached their peak, and have since reversed,  due to severe drought.

Since 2000 the Colorado River has experienced persistent drought conditions with average or above average conditions existing only in years 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2014.

Although Glen Canyon was able to meet its required minimum release in 2014, Lake Mead STEADILY DECLINED due to the loss of the surplus water that once made up the for annual overdraft.

 In June 2010, Lake Mead was at only 39% of capacity.
 A heavy snowfall season from May, 2011 to January, 2012 prompted the release of an EXTRA 3.3 million acre feet of water from Glen Canyon into Lake Mead.

 The remainder of 2013 and 2014 the Colorado River basin experienced its worst consecutive water years on record, prompting a LOW Glen Canyon release in 2014...

 ...the lowest since 1963 during the initial filling of Lake Powell.

 Consequently, Lake Mead has fallen significantly reaching even lower levels...and continues to drop !

 And now you know who Lake Mead was named for, as well as the significance this man-made wonder has played in US history.

Dick Arendt 
  1. From Jill from Opinions

    Always interesting and cleverly written.
    1. From Denise Opinions

      Terrific article, Dick
      1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

        Another fascinating item from my favorite online author. Thanks!

      2. From Phillip Rosen of Glenview, Opinions

        Who needs high school?

        Just read "Arendt's Tidbits" for all of the pertinent information one needs!!

It's Veterans Day, and while today we honor those who proudly served our nation, we often forget those special individuals who chose to spend their lives with them....

The spouses who were left behind...

...those individuals who would relocate from city to city and country to country while their mate would travel in and out of combat duty....

...those individuals who would raise families for years often alone in doing so.

But... there was one particular lady who shined in her role as the wife of a soldier...and today we honor every bit the Veteran her late husband always was !

Audie Murphy's wife...Pamela

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Pamela & Audie Murphy

What a beautiful Lady she was !
Audie Murphy was just 46 years old when he died in a helicopter crash in the Virginia Mountains

Like so many who return from war today...he too was troubled when he came back from World War II, and it took a heavy toll on his life. 

Sadly, he never received the medical help he needed.

Many in today's youthful world have little knowledge of who or how great a hero Audie Murphy was during the Second World War.

That's the sadness in many of today's youth....

...they know so little of the past, or of those who allowed them to have the freedom they enjoy today.

A movie "American Sniper" was nominated for an Academy Award in 2015.

That the kids of today are quite familiar with !

...but thus far, no one person has stood in the footsteps of the bravery of Audie Murphy 

Earning one or two medals would make most service members proud, but to have earned his decorations in battle is truly remarkable.

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 Let's look at what this man was awarded for his World War Service.

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Medal of Honor

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Distinguished Service Cross

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Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster)

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Legion of Merit

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Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster and Valor Device)

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Purple Heart (with two oak leaf  clusters)

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U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal 

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U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal

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Presidential Unit Citation (with First Oak Leaf  Cluster)

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American Campaign Medal

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European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine Campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France )

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World War II Victory Medal

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Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Clasp)

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Armed Forces Reserve Medal

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French Fourrage in Colors of the Croix de Guerre

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French Legion of Honor - Grade of  Chevalier

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French Croix de guerre (with Silver Star)

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French Croix de guerre (with Palm)

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Medal of Liberated France

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Belgian Croix de guerre (with 1940 Palm)

 Additionally, Murphy was awarded:

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 Combat Infantry  Marksman badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar.  

Now to find out that his widow was also most certainly a hero.

Truly Amazing !


And Now...his heroic wife....

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Pamela Murphy

Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010.

She may have been the widow of the most decorated WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, but she too was a hero in every sense of the word...

...establishing her own distinctive 35 year career working as a patient liaison at the  Sepulveda Veterans Administration Hospital, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were a VIP.

Any soldier or Marine who came into the hospital got the same special treatment from her. 

She would walk the hallways with her clipboard in hand making sure her boys got to see the specialist they needed. 

If they didn't, watch out !

"Her boys" weren't Medal of Honor recipients or movie stars like Audie, but that didn't matter to Pam.

They had served their Country. That was good enough for her.

She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always "Mister."

Respect came with the job.

"Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy," said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she befriended over the years.

"Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting more than an hour right into the doctor's office." She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn't matter to Mrs. Murphy.   "Only her boys mattered. She was our angel."

Audie Murphy died broke in a plane crash in 1971, squandering millions of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women.
"Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero," Pam told me.

She went from a comfortable ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised her two sons... a small apartment....

...talking a clerk's job at the nearby VA to support herself and start paying off her faded movie star husband's debts.

At first, no one knew who she way.  Soon though, word spread through out the VA that "that nice woman with the clipboard" was Audie Murphy's widow.

It was as if General Patton himself, had walked through the door !

Men with tears in their eyes walked up to her and gave her a hug.

 "Thank you," they said, over and over.

The first couple of years, the hugs were probably more for Audie's memory as a war hero.

The last 30 yearsthey were for Pam.

One year she was asked to be the focus of a Veteran's Day column for all the work she had done.

Pam just shook her head no.  "Honor them, not me," she said, pointing to a group of veterans down the hallway.

"They're the ones who deserve it."

The vets disagreed.

Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said.

Incredibly, in 2002, Pam's job was going to be eliminated in budget cuts.
She was considered "excess staff." 

"I don't think helping cut down on veterans' complaints and showing them the respect they deserve should be considered excess staff," she said.

Neither did the veterans.

They went ballistic, holding a rally for her outside the VA gates.

Pretty soon, word came down from the top of the VA.

Pam Murphy was no longer considered "excess staff."

She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 until she was 87.

"The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans," said Becky James, coordinator of the VA's Veterans History Project.

Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help some more of her boys.
Pam Murphy was 90 when she died. 

What a Lady !

What a Hero !

What a Veteran !

Dick Arendt
  1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

    Very nice tribute to an unsung hero. Your research shines. Thanks for sharing this wonderful person's life story.

  2. From Mary Opinions

    What an awesome story Dick. I loved it!!

    I have always loved Audie and loved his Movie "To Hell and Back".

    Didn't know he was a womanizer though. Naughty boy!!! 
  3. From Phillip Rosen of Glenview, Opinions

    Nice angle!! Dandy story! Just dandy! 
  4. From Margaret McKee of Grayslake, Opinions

    Nice article.
  5. From Linda Opinions

    Who knew!!!
    1. From Opinions

      Great tribute to an unsung hero!!!

      She was an angel on earth !!!

Norm Clarke...The Las Vegas Review Journal

The Landmark Hotel

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My Friend

Lorraine Hunt-Bono

If you enjoy entertainment and some of the historical moments of Las Vegas, a must read was on Page A-3 in the main section of the Sunday,November 8, 2015 edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The article "Hunt-Bono Recalls Landmark Opening" is in Norm Clarke's "Vegas Confidential" column.
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If you don't get the RJ...or if you've "pitched" it by now...

Just click on this link to enjoy the article.

Those of you who are regular attendees of The Dennis Bono Show each Thursday afternoon at the South Point Hotel, know of the warm relationship I share with Dennis and his wonderful wife, Lorraine Hunt-Bono, the former Lt. Governor of Nevada.

For those of you unfamiliar with Lorraine Hunt-Bono, she was the former "Lauri Perry", the performer who opened the famous Landmark Hotel's Lounge in 1969..

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Lauri Perry

...and pressed the button to implode the Landmark while she was serving as our Lt. Governor in 1995.

I've said it more than once...of all the individuals I had the opportunity of interviewing while I was the radio talk show host for The Vegas Voice....the most fascinating person I ever met...was..

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Lorraine Hunt Bono 

If you love Entertainment and the history of Las Vegas Entertainment, read this article.  I believe you'll find it both enlightening and entertaining.

Dick Arendt

Why Daylight Savings Time at All ??

Fall Back to Standard Time in the Winter
Spring Forward in the Spring

Some love it...and some...hate it, but do you the facts of why we do this year after year?

First, it all began in 1966 when President Johnson signed the "Uniform Time Act" into law...

...and believe it or not, we actually have a governmental agency who is the "official keeper of daylight savings time"...

The Department of Transportation !
(your tax dollars at work)

Why does this even exist?

Well...we have various reasons.

One argument for daylight savings time is that fewer accidents happen during daylight hours, so...extending the morning (in winter) and evening (in the summer) results in a slight reduction in auto accidents.

Another reason behind daylight savings time it to save energy.

According to a 2008 Department of Energy Study, electricity usage decreases .5% for each day of the extended daylight hours, resulting in .03% for the year as a whole.

This at first glance might appear miniscule, but in absolute terms, the extended daylight adds up to 1.2 BILLION kilowatt hours...

...enough to power 122,000 American homes for a year !

What Affect Does it Have on Your Body?
That depends on a number of factors, most of which include your age, a working schedule, and the regularity of your personal eating and sleeping habits.

A person's "internal clock" has to shift and that varies from individual to individual.

...and us seniors age 65 and over seem to have the toughest time adapting to the time changes.


Seniors tend to go to bed earlier...wake up in the middle of the night (men can surely agree with this), and often have difficulty getting back to sleep.

The good news?

The typical person normally can adjust to the time change within a day or two.

Some states do it...other's don't !

This has to be one of the most frustrating aspects of the time change.

Cross Hoover Dam into Arizona and you never know what time it is !

Arizona and Hawaii are currently the only two states that don't observe daylight savings the summertime when you enter Arizona, we're on the same time zone, but once daylight savings time ends, they are one hour ahead of us !

It took until 2005 when the State of Indiana finally adopted the change statewide.  Prior to that, some counties observed the time change, and others did not.

Bottom Line !

Enjoy your extra hour sleep for the next four and half months, because on March 13, 2016...

We do it all over again when we lose the hour we gained from November 1, 2015 !

Dick Arendt


From Channel 3 News
October 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Nevada

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It was 151 years ago Saturday, on October 31, 1864, that Nevada was admitted to the Union.

The state entered as the tide of the Civil War was turning, as the North could see victory in the distance.

But UNLV history professor Michael Green would like to get something straight:

We were not admitted, he says, because Lincoln wanted and needed our gold and silver.

Lincoln wanted electoral votes,” Green says.

“Believe it or not, in the summer of 1864, he thought he would be defeated for reelection.”

Lincoln needed Nevada, and quickly, which is why our state constitution was telegraphed to Washington over two days – Oct. 26 and 27, 1864, two weeks before the election.

It would be one of the longest telegraph transmissions in history, at a cost of $4,303.27. (If you think your cell phone bill is bad, in today’s money that bill would amount to $63,000 dollars.)

We had three electoral votes back then.

Lincoln only got two, because the third elector got trapped in a snowstorm and never cast his vote.

But Green argues the more important date in our history is March 19, 1931 – the day we eased restrictions on divorce, and legalized gaming.
Both would become huge industries, with the latter becoming our calling card to the world.

“In a way, that’s the bigger day. That shapes modern Nevada in so many important ways,” Green says.

The Depression. Hoover Dam. World War II. The Cold War. Gaming. The Mob Era. The Explosive Growth of Las Vegas. Immigration. Drought. Climate change.

Nevada has had a front row seat to the 20th century, with influence continuing into the 21st.

Not bad for a state with only 2.8 million people, of which 2 million live here in Clark County.

Yet, our history informs us.

On Friday, October 30th  the Nevada State Museum saw a steady stream of visitors, including many children, who had the day off from school.
Nevada Day, the day set aside to commemorate our admission to the Union, is a state holiday.

The scope of our history is on display, from prehistoric fossils, to gaming pioneers, to everything in between.

“A lot of people drive through the state and say there’s nothing here,” says the State Museum’s Paul Curry. “The road you’re on was probably a railroad path in the beginning, and if you just keep that in mind you’ll realize railroads were throughout Nevada,” he said, noting our mining history and the railroads that rushed in to rush the gold and silver out.

Nevada is many things: the quaintness of Carson City, the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the open space of the rurals, the desert of the Mojave, the Strip in Clark County.

In Downtown Las Vegas stands the Old Mormon Fort, the oldest structure in the city

An exposed wall highlights the original adobe brick – Las Vegas’ oldest wall is still standing.

The Curse of the Goat

goat.jpg (270×262)

It's another "Wait 'til Next Year" for my beloved Chicago Cubs....and after 2015, I have now become a true believer in the "curse of the goat" !

Have you ever heard of the Wrigley Field "Goat Curse"?

If not, I thought I would share the tale with you.

The "curse", as the story goes, dates back to October 6, 1945 when the Cubs were playing the Detroit Tigers in Game Four of the World Series.

At the time, the Cubs were one of the most successful teams in baseball history.

They had won back to back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908, and in the years following, they had appeared (unsuccessfully) in the Series in six other years, 191019181929, 1932 (the year Babe Ruth "called his shot" in Wrigley Field)...

babe-ruth-calls-his-shot-02.jpg (350×299)
...1935, and 1938, prior to their 1945 appearance.

...and in 1945, Cub fans had every belief it was going to be "their year".

1945wsprogram.jpg (175×243)

The Cubs began the 1945 World Series with a 2-1 lead over Detroit Tigers after playing the first three games in Detroit's Briggs Stadium.

They needed only 2 more to win it all....the last 4 scheduled to be played in the "Friendly Confines" of Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Chicagoans flooded into Game Four on October 6, 1945.

World War II had just ended; people were dancing in the streets; and the Cubs were favored to wrap up the Series...especially  since they had home field advantage.

October-10-1945-game-7-WS.jpg (620×480)

Then it happened....

A man named Billy Sianis walked up the turn style gate with two tickets...
One for himself...the other...for his pet goat !

Billy Sianis was well known in Chicago.  He was a Greek immigrant who owned a local bar called the "Billy Goat Tavern", which is still operating today !
BG_Navy-Pier-03.jpg (4288×2848)
Billy had rescued the animal after it fell off a passing truck in the mid-30s, and it had become a "fixture" at his bar.  

Both would often be a part of Chicago parades in his attempt to promote his restaurant.

He adopted "Billy Goat" as his nickname and even grew a goatee !

On that fateful October afternoon, Billy decided to bring his goat to Wrigley Field to publicize his bar and bring good luck to the Cubs.

The animal was draped in a banner reading...

"We Got Detroit's Goat"

528x600 (528×600)

At this point, there are various versions of what then took place.

The first is that Wrigley Field ushers blocked Sianis at the gate, refusing to allow his goat into the park.

When Sianis complained that he had a ticket for him, Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley was contacted to "make the call" as to the goat being admitted to the game.

Mr. Wrigley refused, telling Billy that the goat couldn't come in "because the goat stinks".

Upset, Billy Sianis threw up his arms and...

..put a curse on the Cubs...


 "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. They Cubs will NEVER win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field."

A second version claims the goat and Billy Sianis WERE admitted to Wrigley Field that day, but following a brief rain delay, fans surrounding Billy and his goat began complaining that  the goat's pelt was stinking up the stands, at which time he placed the "curse".

Billy and the goat left, and then history would unfold.

The Cubs would lose game 4 by a score of 4-1. 

They would lose Game 5 by a score of 8-4. 

They would however win Game six by a score of 8-7...but it took them 12 innings to win the game.

And finally, in Game 7, the Tigers would solidly defeat the Cubs 9-3 after scoring 5 runs in the very first inning !

But...there would be more to "the curse".

It took 24 years until 1969 before the Cubs would make a serious run for the  National League pennant.  

That was "the year" it was supposed to happen...but something would take place in New York's Shea stadium that would change all that !

On September 2, 1969, the Cubs led the Mets by 8 games with less than a month remaining in the season

The Cubs were beginning to lose, while the Mets continued to win.

During a two game set at Shea Stadium, Cubs Hall of Famer Ron Santo would be standing in the on deck circle awaiting his turn at bat...

and then...suddenly...this took place !

santo-shea.jpg (248×179)

Yes...a black cat would stroll on the field next the Cubs dugout, but true Cub fans knew it was "the goat" reincarnated !

By the end of the month, the Mets would finish the 1969 season 8 games in front of the Cubs....and eventually become known as "the Miracle Mets", winning the World Series.

 In 1984, the Cubs would win the National League Eastern Division, and face the San Diego Padres in the League Championship Series in a best of 5 games.

The Cubs came out like gangbusters...they won the first 2 games and then traveled to San Diego...needing only one of three to get to the World Series....they lost all three !

In 1989, the Cubs would again win the National League Eastern Division,
this time facing the San Francisco Giants.  They would lose that best of seven game series 4 games to 1.

In 1998, they lost the National League Divisional Series to the Atlanta Braves, 3 games to 0.

2003...perhaps the worst of them all ! 

The Cubs had defeated the heavily favored Atlanta Braves in the Divisional Series and would go on the face the Florida Marlins in the League Championship in the best of seven games.

The Cubs took a commanding 3 games to 1 lead, with the final 2 games to be played in Wrigley Field.

The game was in the 8th inning and Cubs were ahead 3-1...five outs to go before victory ...and a World Series berth...would be theirs !

This one was "in the bag"...the Cubs were finally going to the World Series...

...until a foul ball was hit into left field, and a poor soul named "Steve Bartman" would do what any fan would do...try to catch the ball.

dm_131010_dm_131010_mlb_wayne_drehs_interview.jpg (576×324)

Unfortunately Cubs left fielder Moises Alou felt did the 40,000+ fans who were in Wrigley Field that evening.

There's not a Cub fan in existence who's not convinced THAT BALL WOULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT...the inning would have ended !

Following that could hear a needle drop in Wrigley Field with people thinking and saying "Not Again ???" and looking out of the corner of their eyes for Billy's GOAT !

The Marlins would eventually score 8 runs in that inning and win not just that game, but the following night's game 7 as well !

That triggered a new Cubs manager...with a new spirit....but with the same results. 

The Cub organization would hire a proven winner....

chicago-cubs-jeff-samardzija-lou-pinella2.jpg (512×430)
Lou Pinella

What would be his legacy as Cubs manager?

In 2007, the Cubs would win the National League Central division only to lose the National League Divisional Series 3 games to 0 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

They would come charging back in 2008 to win the National League Central once again, this time losing the National League Divisional Series to the Los  Angeles Dodgers 3 games to 0.

And sad seasons would pass until 2015 and once again the luck of the Chicago Cubs would continue.

As they previously did...they hired yet another new skipper...this one promising that the 2014 last place Cubs would make it to post season play !

joe-maddon-speaks-300x225.png (300×225)
Joe Maddon

...and Joe kept his promise to the hungry fans of Chicago.

They would win 97 games...the third best in all of baseball...and still finish third in their division behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals..the only two teams with better records...(Pirates...98, the Cardinals....100 wins), .mostly with kids who would be rookies and youngsters that had never heard of "the goat".

2015 was destined to be different....all was going well and too good to be true....

They would defeat the Pirates in the Wild Card game and then beat the mighty Cardinals 3 games to 1 in the Divisional series....

...and off they were to play the New York Mets for the National League Championship, a team that in 7 games during the 2015 regular season, the Cubs had beaten 7 out of 7 times !

So what happens....they do it again...they lose in 4 straight games !

Now the epilogue to our sad tale.

Perhaps the single most offensive weapon in the New York Mets arsenal was a guy who had hit 6 home runs in 6 consecutive playoff games.

His name...Daniel Murphy.

is-dilson-herrera-the-second-baseman-of-the-future-for-the-mets.jpg (650×419)

What does this have to do with the "Goat Curse" ?

Billy Sianis' pet goat was named....


Oh well...there's only three things left to say !

First...Congratulations to the New York Mets...they really were "amazing" !

Second...Next time you see a goat at a baseball game...give him your seat !


  "Wait 'til Next Year"

 Dick Arendt


  1. From Rob Garrett (Neil Diamond Tribute Artist) Opinions

    WOW!! That IS a great (but sad) story - especially finding out that the goat's name was "Murphy".

    Already knew about the "Babe", the black cat and the Steve Bartman (let's find someone to blame it on) story in 2003.

    Speaking of the devil...
    you might find this interesting as I did
  2. From George Walsh (former business associate) Opinions

    Sorry Dick.

    I was hoping for a win so my bar clients would do better

    I don't think it's the goat.

    Maybe next year!
  3. From Phillip Opinions


    IT is OVER .

    (not the curse - the Cubs season!!)

    The Cubs did better this year than anyone had predicted at the outset,

    WAIT till next year!!!
  4. From Mary Lee Opinions

    Loved the story!!!!

    Hopefully the curse of the goat dies soon!

    Go Cubs! 

  5. From Gayle Opinions

    Dick, What happened?!?

    People all over the country (even Nashville where we've been for the past week) were excited and pulling for the Cubs.

    I really like your articles and appreciate your perspective
    GO CUBS!!

    All of us were hoping for an 8 game winning streak.
    1. In 2003, when Steve Bartman interfered with that ball, all Chicago Cub fans gasped...knowing in their hearts, something was going to go terribly wrong after that....

      It did...the Marlins eventually scored 8 runs in the 8th inning and eventually beat the Cubs that evening by a score of...


      Even though there was still one game left to play, every Cub fan knew the spirit of the goat was lurking somewhere in Wrigley Field waiting to rear it's ugly head in spite.

      It did...and most Cubbie fans were convinced there was no need to play the final was over before it started.

      And...they were right.

      Has the ghost of the goat reappeared?

      In 2015, what was the score of the final game that ended the Cub season?


      Yes...there is no's "The Curse of the Goat"...and you'll never convince me otherwise !

  1. From Linda Opinions

    So it's not really the Cubs fault!
    1. From Jill from Opinions

      Will we ever see the Cubs as the World Series winners?

Saying Goodbye

Kevin Corcoran

As the years pass, sadly we seem to be getting used to losing some individuals who have been a part of our history, but there are some that seem to hurt worse than others....

...namely those who were a part of our youth...and in some cases, within a year or two of our own age.

Those are the ones that "bring home" the fact that life is so fragile...and ever so brief !

On October 6, 2015, we lost one such individual...

...a person we all somehow knew...but also seemed to forget his real name.
That person was Kevin Corcoran !

Only a few knew him as Kevin Corcoran...

Nope...we grew up knowing him as "Moochie" from the Mickey Mouse Club... 

...not as an original Mousketeer back in 1955 ...

...but an "adoptedone over the years in the many Disney productions he would be a part of in his youth.

How many of you remember running home from school each weekday and watching "The Mickey Mouse Club" ?

And never missing an episode of the....


David Stollery & Tim Considine

...and the kid who always got into everything...but everyone seemed to love just the same !


Yes, that kid was Kevin Corcoran...and he would go on to perform in some of the most popular Disney movies of all time.

He was...
Young Francis Robinson



Jimmy Bean



 Montgomery "Moochie" Daniels



Youngster Arliss Coates

(with Sun City Anthem resident Beverly Washburn) one of the greatest animal tear jerkers of all time....

Yes, that was Kevin Corcoran as a child, and as he grew into manhood, he would graduate from California State University with a degree in Theater Arts, returning to the Disney studios behind the camera as a director and producer for a number of successful films that included "Pete's Dragon".

He would also serve as an assistant director on a number of television shows that included "Scarecrow & Mrs. King", "Quantum Leap" and "Murder She Wrote".

He was one of eight children, a number of those siblings also entering the acting field.

He was successfully married to his wife, Laura, for 43 years.

On  October 9, 2006, he, along with fellow Disney actors, Tim Considine (Spin), David Stollery (Marty), and Tommy Kirk were honored as "Disney Legends".

We lost Kevin "MoochieCorcoran at the young age of 66, suffering from colon cancer.

He may never have been the biggest movie star, but those of us who rushed home every day after school to see "Spin & Marty" and enjoy the many classic Disney films in which he appeared, will never forget that innocent face and the devilish mannerisms that always turned mischief into a smile.

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions

  1. From Phillip Rosen of Glenview, Opinions

    One of your best!! Brought back many, many fond memories.
    1. From Dave Nall of North Carolina,,,to...Anthem Opinions

      An excellent tribute, Dick
      1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

        You astound me with your great bits of trivia.

        Thanks and keep up the good work!

 Yogi = Icon

Growing up in Chicago....the word YANKEE in the 50s meant trouble to Windy City South Side White Sox fans; and in October, that also meant we would be humiliated by those "Damn Yankees"...they were ALWAYS in the World Series.

We knew the Cubs would never have an October ballgame, but the White Sox....they were our Baseball hope, and year after year, no matter how well a season went for the White Sox, it was always the same old story....the New York Yankees would be on their way to the World Series.

My memories of grade school were filled with the good Sisters at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel allowing us to tune into the radio broadcasts of the afternoon World Series games. 

Those were the days when all the games were played during the day....with us Chicagoans believing that God designed the Great American Pastime to be played in the sunshine, not in the darkness of night.

And we were forced to listen to the same team again and again....the New York Yankees ! 

I started kindergarten in 1952...

...the Yankees won the Series

In '53they did it again

Somehow the Indians won in '54, but that turned out to be short-lived because those damn Yankees would be back in '55'56'57, and '58.

They would give us White Sox fans a break in '59, but that too was short lived. 

Back they were in '60....and to add insult to injury, they consumed my entire high school years in '61'62, '63, and '64. 

Yes...I hated the New York Yankees.

But it took years to realize that those years probably were the greatest years in the history of the game....

...and I was fortunate to be there to experience it even if only on a radio feed through a school intercom or a Gillette Saturday broadcast on our Black & White TV wiggling the rabbit ears to see the action...instant replay never existed then ! 

Despite my disdain, the Yankees were PHENOMINAL; not just for winning, but for the names who would become ICONS in years to come.

More than 60 years have now passed since that year of 1952, but who can forget the mark these men would leave on that great game?

Mickey Mantle...Hall of Fame
Whitey Ford...Hall of Fame
Johnny Mize...Hall of Fame
Phil Rizzutto...Hall of Fame.
Enos Slaughter...Hall of Fame.
Casey Stengel...Hall of Fame.

There were men who may not have been elected to the "Hall", but are every bit the true "Yankee". 

There was Bill Skowron at first, Elston Howard in the outfield and behind the plate; infielder Billy Martin; ouffielder Roger MarisDon Larsen pitching the only no-hitter in World Series history...just to name a few.

...and one other guy....the guy who caught the games from 1946 to 1964...
Hall of Famer....

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra

Those Yankee "greats" are now either gone or advanced in age, but Yogi Berra....can best be described as the man who I believe, loved the game of baseballmore than life itself.

Why do I believe that?  

 Because this man was destined for the game...and no one could ever allow him to believe he wasn't !

Yogi was born in St. Louis on May 12, 1925 to an Italian immigrant family.

He wasn't the greatest student; he quit school after the 8th grade, but he was a heck of an athlete...

...and he loved baseball.

...and took the game so seriously that it was during his early American legion career that his friend, Jack McGuire, saw him sulking after losing a game with his arms and legs crossed...

...telling him he resembled a "Hindu Yogi"...

...and from that moment Larry Berra would forever be known as "Yogi".

The St. Louis Cardinals offered him a signing bonus of $300, but Yogi told them he wouldn't settle for less than $500.

The Cardinals passed....but he got the extra $200 from a team in New York....the Yankees.

And for the next 19 years, he wore the number "8" catching more than 100 games each year. (Those were the days of the 154 game schedule.)

During that time, he set record after record.

He was elected to the American League All-Star team 18 times, had a career batting average of .285, compiled 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in.

Yogi was one of only five players in major league history to earn the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times.

But Yogi's biggest professional prize was being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

That same year, the New York Yankees retired the Number 8 in his honor.

Yogi would go on to manage the Yankees, Mets, and Astros to a combined record of 484 wins and 444 losses before finally retiring from the game in 1985...

...almost 40 years of his life dedicated to the game he adored.

But in addition to all of his baseball feats, perhaps he will best be remembered for what has been referred to as "Yogi-isms".

What are "Yogi-isms"?  They are pure Americana Yogi Berra.

"Baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical"
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"You can observe a lot, by watching"
"It ain't over til it's over"

Off the field Yogi was also a great family man, having 3 sons who also played professional athletics, and being happily married and devoted to his wife, Carmen, for 65 years before her death in 2014. 

Sadly Yogi Berra passed away on September 22, 2015 at the age of 90

My guess is that he had hoped to hang around to see his beloved Yankees claim yet another World Title, but somehow, I know he'll be there somewhere in Yankee Stadium when that first pitch is thrown in the 2015 play-offs.

After all, he was the spirit that America learned to love...on and off the field.

Want more of Yogi ?

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions 

  1. From Bill Farrell of Raleigh, North Opinions

    Ruth, Ernie Banks, and Yogi were the biggest ambassadors of
  2. From Thom Wollard of Barrington, Opinions

    Being a devout Yankee fan during my adolescence, I enjoyed your Yogi article.

    However, for the record Don Larson threw the only PERFECT GAME in World Series history, not a no hitter.

    Also lets not forget Bobby Richardson and Ralph Houk and Ken Boyer. What a phenomenal dynasty.
  3. From Mary Lee Opinions

    Good one!
  4. From Tim Brooks (owner of Emerald Island Casino in downtown Henderson) Opinions

    Thank you for this one, Dick.

    Very, very cool!

    1. From Thom Wollard of Barrington, Opinions

      “nobody goes there anymore. Its too crowded”

      “it ain’t over ‘til its over” sadly, its finally over.
      1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

        Wow. Thanks for the memories.
    2. From Jill from Opinions

      Hi Dick,

      Too add a person note to your story -as a teenager a group of us got together and found out where he was staying .

      They convinced me to call him - I did, but when he answered the phone he sounded sleepy so I asked if I had awakened him.

      His reply:

      "Not really, cause I had to get up to answer the phone ,anyway."'

      True story !

      Loved your tribute.
    3. From Barbara Opinions

      Shared your article with my entire family including kids and grandchildren.

      We all thought you did a great job!

      1. From Linda Opinions

        Just read this!

        Thanks for the memories!

Casa de Shenandoah
Now Open to General Public

If you've lived in Vegas for any duration and driven down Pecos Road, you've probably noticed this sign at the corner of Pecos and Sunset...'s part of Vegas history and represents the glory days of Strip fame and entertainment.

It's the home of Wayne Newton.

Ever wonder what it looks like behind the gates? 

Now you can find out because it's Las Vegas' newest tourist attraction.

Wayne Newton...."Mr. Las Vegas"... as he was referred to for years, was one  of Las Vegas' greatest entertainment icons, dazzling sell-out audiences for years primarily in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Back then, you didn't think of coming to Las Vegas without catching a Wayne Newton show !

He could do it all...sing and play musical instruments that included guitar, steel guitar, violin, percussion, trumpet, and piano. 

No one ever left a Wayne Newton show without believing they hadn't gotten their money's worth, never failing to give his audiences 110% of every ounce of talent he had to give...he was that GREAT !

"Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast"
"Red Roses for a Blue Lady"

Times would change for Newton and financial problems would sadly enter his life as he became a part owner of the old Aladdin Hotel (now the location of Planet Hollywood) in 1980, unsuccessfully trying to become its sole owner in 1983.  

He would eventually declare Chapter 11 bankrupcy in 1992, but the resilient "Mr. Las Vegas" would bounce back over the years.

Father time however, would take its toll on his once famed voice as the years passed, and financial problems would again enter his life.

In 2011, Newton and his wife, Kathleen,  had originally intended to make the Newton estate a museum, but the project eventually went bankrupt, and a legal battle ensued with a Texas businessman that was recently resolved.

In late 2014 Wayne and Kathleen Newton moved back into the Casa de Shenandoah property.

Casa de Shenandoah was originally built between 1966-1968 with Newton living there with his parents and older brother. 

Over the next four years, the mansion was completed and the singer continued to expand the estate to include  52 acres decorated with 8 homes, lakes, and most notably, 2 barns, 60 stalls, and 3 arenas, to house his famous Arabian horses...60 of them !

CBS News named Casa de Shenandoah one of the Top Five Homes in the United States in 2008 (the same list that the White House was included) and it has been featured in movies  (most notably Chevy Chase's "Vegas Vacation"),  and several TV shows including "The Rockford Files", "Vegas", and most recently, "The Amazing Race".

Now it's yours to see.  The Gold Tour is $45; the Platinum Tour is $49, and the Diamond Tour is $95

Senior discounts are also available.

Here's a sample of what you're in store for when you get there !

Want more information ?

Here's their newest website:

One thing for sure....he may now be 73 years old, but there will never be another Wayne Newton...
So let's take a quick look back at Wayne at his best....

...wish him and his family well...and allow us to say...

"Danke Schoen"

Dick Arendt

"Shanah Tovah"
to our friends of the Jewish Community

Being of the Catholic faith, I have always found it fascinating to learn the traditions of other honor and respect them, and to draw from them the goodness on which most are based, sharing a belief in a divine Supreme Being.

And of all those that I have studied over the years, the one most closest to mine, is Judaism.

After Christians all have our "roots" in that religion.

Sunday evening marks a "new beginning" to Jews around the world as they  will celebrate a holiday referred to as Rosh Hashana.

And to our friends in Sun City Anthem, all of us at Anthem Opinions wish you...

"Shanah Tovah"... which, in Yiddish,  means "a good year".

I have always been surprised at how little others know of other's faiths, and how quick people are to criticize others for not sharing theirs, but I have always been a firm believer that knowledge gives one the opportunity to understand....and understanding provides an avenue to acceptance and peaceful coexistence.

...and it is with that objective, that we thought you might like to know something about the significance of this annual celebration of our Jewish friends.

Rosh Hashana is the beginning of the Jewish New Year and as of Sunday evening at sundown , the year 5,776 will commence.  It will conclude two days later at the same time on Tuesday evening.

According to the Hebrew Bible, or the Talmud as it is more properly referred  to, Rosh Hashana celebrates the creation of Adam and Eve.

It's the first day of the "High Holy Days", and begins on the first day of "Tishrei", the first month of the Jewish calendar.

It is also sometimes referred to as "The Feast of Trumpets"....and is characterized by the playing of the "Jewish trumpet"...the shofar.

This ancient musical instrument is made from a ram's horn.

Why is this article headlined by a picture of an apple and honey?

That too is Jewish tradition, and eating those foods at a Jewish holiday dinner signifies the advent of a "sweet New Year".

It is placed on a " Yehi Ratzon" platter along with other fruits, and the apples are dipped in honey...a  tasty treat if you've never tried it ...and is served with a delicious bread called "challah", a round bread that symbolizes the cycle of the year.

Rosh Hashana has a general air of happiness and it is the beginning of the "Ten Days of Penitence" which will end on the most sacred day of the Jewish faith, Yom Kipper. all our friends, we wish you the most blessed of New Years and a happy and successful...

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions
  1. From Mary Lee Opinions

    Beautifully written!

    You've shared some wonderful basics about the Jewish holidays that l was not familiar with.

    Thanks again,and "Shanah Tovah"!
  2. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

    Dick, I always enjoy your history articles. In this case, like you, I am a Catholic, but now have a better understanding of the meaning of this holiday.
  3. From Carol Horn of Phoenix, Opinions

    A Happy and healthy New Year to you and Anthem Opinions.

  4. From Mary Kolak of Des Plaines, Opinions

    Thanks for the education - I admit I am pretty bad when it comes to other faiths.
  5. From Jill from Opinions


    And may your new year be enriching happy and healthy as well.
    1. From Laura Opinions

      Thank you for your article, Dick.

      I'd like to wish all my friends and neighbors at Sun City Anthem a very happy and most of all, a healthy New Year.
      1.  ________________________

Music We Danced to in September

September means FALL...

...and Fall for many of us in the 1950s and 1960s meant it was back to school after a fun summer at the beach or at the baseball the "back seat".

Ah...the memories of those years no longer seem all that long ago....but a look in a mirror tells us differently, doesn't it ?

We're now in our 60s and 70s but those "wonder years" for some unknown reason seem to be those many of us look back at as...."the best years of our  lives" !

...and what brings those memories alive more than anything else was the music that we enjoyed and danced to as we went to those sock hops on Friday nights, or dressed up for that Saturday night date which was always with a special someone !

And so...I thought I'd bring in September with the memories of those top hits that made the #1 spots in the month of September from 1955 to 1965.

So...settle back...and let's go the days of our youth and the songs that we all enjoyed as we entered another school year !


Mitch Miller would reign as the top tune in the first 3 weeks, with...

"The Yellow Rose of Texas"
...until Pat Boone and his white bucks would take over in the last week with...

"Ain't That a Shame"

By the time this year would arrive, there was a new kid in town named Elvis Presley... 

... who would forever be known as "The King"...and the King he was...
during the first 2 weeks of the month, when he mesmerized the girls with....

"Hound Dog"
...and then flipped it on the "B" side to lead the pack for the last 2 weeks with....

"Don't Be Cruel"

As the calendar turned the page to this year and "rock" became "cool", we ended up having four different tunes rule the roost.

It began with a young kid named Paul Anka...

...who still performs to capacity crowds to this very day as he recorded a song about his babysitter...a gal named:

...but in the second week, a tune from a movie about a young girl and a bachelor made it to the top...the girl...Debbie Reynolds...the song...

In week three a group called "The Crickets" with lead singer Buddy Holly would take over with...

"That'll Be the Day"
...and the month of September would close with yet another new star named Jimmie Rodgers singing about his...


In this September year, the first three weeks would be dominated by an Italian singer named Domenico Modugne who couldn't speak English, but his song being recorded again and again in the years to come...

Ne Blu Dipinto Di Blu"
...but we went back to the English language when Tommy Edwards in the last week, released...

"It's All in the Game"

As this year went by, we lost Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in February, but their passing didn't spell the end of "rock n roll". 

In the first two weeks of September, The Browns said it all with...

"The Three Bells"

...but in the final week, one of the most beautiful pieces was recorded and today is still considered one of the top 5 instrumentals of all time.  It was by Santo & Johnny, and many of us at those sock hops couldn't wait to find that certain pretty girl and dance with her to...

"Sleep Walk"

As this year would pass, so would I...into high school.

And in the first two weeks of the ninth month, "The King"  would be discharged from the US Army, and would be back with...

"It's Now or Never"
...but in the third week, a man named Ernest Evans would change dance music forever when he changed his name to Chubby Checker and recorded...

"The Twist"
...and in the final week, America's newest female singing heart throb, Connie Francis, would release....

"My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own"

In September of this year, the first two weeks would be dominated by a group of young men called The Highwaymen when they did...

....but another young rock n roller would finish up the month in the final two+ weeks with a song that followed his first hit song, "Rubber Ball".  This one was Bobby Vee's greatest hit....

"Take Good Care of My Baby"

For two weeks, the charts were led by a new singer...who would eventually gain even greater fame in the later years with hits "Dizzy" and "Sweet Pea", but it all started for Tommy Roe with a hit named...

...but then four Jersey Boys would change their names to The Four Seasons, and  hit pay dirt with their first of many hits.... 


No one could have possibly imagined that less than two months after this September, our nation would witness the murder of a president...a young and handsome man with a lovely wife and two beautiful children...who was just within the first 2+ years of a "New Frontier"...

..but rock n roll would continue when three young ladies would dominate the first three weeks of the month with a song that was a warning to any guy....who had plans to move in on another guy's girl.   Their song...

"My Boyfriend's Back"
...and guys would figure out that being "the nice guy who opened the car door" usually got the girl.  Bobby Vinton said it all in....

 "Blue Velvet"

Yes, the Mop Tops arrived in February, but another British Group would call the shots in the first three weeks of September in this year...and these "Animals" would do it with a tune called...

"The House of the Rising Sun"
...but the month ended in a classic by a guy who was "old school".  His name was Roy Orbison...and his song...

"Pretty Woman"

Well now, we've pushed these past 11 "music years" to a point that most of you who were still in school in that year are now pushing 70...yes....70 !

..and so what better songs to end our journey as we head into the final years.

In the first three weeks of September, the Beatles would make their second movie, and the title song would rule.

Appropriately, it was called....

...and finally, as the year would wind down, a foreign war would take over, and eventually take 58,000 American lives.  Berry McGuire said it best in our last song...

"The Eve of Destruction"
Funny how 50-60 Years can pass...and some things don't change, do they ?

We hope you've enjoyed this trip down the memory lane of your youth.

Have a great fall season !

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions Administration

From Jill from Opinions

I smiled all the way through your article.

I love the music we grew up with because it brings back the memories of the people and places that brought joy to my life.

  1. From Dave Nall of Wilmington, North Opinions

    Hey Dick!

    Thanks SO MUCH for WONDERFUL AFTERNOON “Trip Down Memory Lane.

    I really appreciated the journey!

"Operation Downfall"

The American
Invasion of Japan in 1945


(Part Three of Three)

The invasion of Japan never became a reality because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima.

Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Within days the war with Japan was at a close.

Had these bombs not been dropped and had the invasion been launched as scheduled, combat casualties in Japan would have been at a minimum of the tens of thousands.

Every foot of Japanese soil would have been paid for by Japanese and American lives.

One can only guess at how many civilians would have committed suicide in their homes or in futile mass military attacks.

In retrospect, the 1 million American men who were to be the casualties of the invasion were instead lucky enough to survive the war.

Intelligence studies and military estimates made 70 years ago, and not latter-day speculation, clearly indicate that the battle for Japan might well have resulted in the biggest blood-bath in the history of modern warfare.

Far worse would be what might have happened to Japan as a nation and a culture.

When the invasion came, it would have come after several months of fire bombing all of the remaining Japanese cities.

The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation.

With American forces locked in combat in the south of Japan, little could have prevented the Soviet Union from marching into the northern half of the Japanese home islands.

Japan could have been divided much like Korea is today and Germany was until 1989.

The world was spared the cost of "Operation Downfall"; however, because Japan formally surrendered to the United Nations September 2, 1945, and World War II was over.

The aircraft carriers, cruisers and transport ships scheduled to carry the invasion troops to Japan, ferried home American troops in a gigantic operation called "Magic Carpet".

In the fall of 1945, in the aftermath of the war, few people concerned themselves with the invasion plans.

Following the surrender, the classified documents, maps, diagrams, and appendices for "Operation Downfall" were packed away in boxes and eventually stored at the National Archives.

These plans that called for the invasion of Japan paint a vivid description of what might have been one of the most horrible campaigns in the history of man.

The fact that the story of the invasion of Japan is locked up in the National Archives and is not told in our history books is, in our opinion,  something for which all Americans can be thankful.

And here's some additional  history little known to the world !

It was a General Thomas C. Handy, who had signed the operational order to drop the atomic bombs on Japan.

General Thomas B. Handy

President Truman's orders were verbal.

He never signed an order to drop the bombs.

Many of you who are now reading this article would never been born had your father participated in this proposed invasion...and in all likelihood, not returned home.

Many of you would never have seen brothers or members of their subsequent families had they participated...and not returned.

Two US Presidents might never have returned had they participated in the invasion....

Lt. John F. Kennedy

Lt. George H. W. Bush

It was a time in our history when the future was dangerous and experience that altered the lives of those who lived THEN....and those that would follow. American Spirit of those who survived a "Great Depression" only to suffer the devastation of war.

Yes...these men...

...and women...

...who served with pride and a sense of nationalism...

...whether in uniform...

...or at home ...

Have nobly deserved the reputation of...

Perhaps this story might give a better understanding as to the American decision to use atomic warfare in lieu of other methods.

Was it the right decision?

The historians will discuss the morality of a war, it's weapons, and it's objectives for as long as there is a United States of America....

But it's those who died in such conflicts.... the fathers, the sons, the brothers of this and all nations, who pay the ultimate price for man's senseless need to destroy himself ! you know the story of what "could have been" 70 years ago.

...and as our preliminary article mentioned, we'd like to hear from you.

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions

  1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions


    This series was fascinating. Your history lessons are fabulous. Thank you for educating me.


"Operation Downfall"

The American
Invasion of Japan in 1945
The Japanese Defense Plan

(Part Two of Three)

In this second of a three part series, we'll discuss the plans made by the Japanese to defend their nation in preparation of an American invasion during World War II.

As you read these plans taken from the National Archives in Washington, DC, ponder the "what if's" had this invasion commenced.

This is what "the Greatest Generation" would have encountered.


Captured Japanese documents and post war interrogations of Japanese military leaders disclose that information concerning the number of Japanese planes available for the defense of the home islands was dangerously in error.

During the sea battle at Okinawa alone, Japanese Kamikaze aircraft sank 32 Allied ships and damaged more than 400 others.

But... during the summer of 1945, American top brass concluded that the Japanese had spent their air force since American bombers and fighters daily flew unmolested over Japan.

What the military leaders did not know was that by the end of July, the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland.

As part of " Ketsu -Go", the name for the plan to defend Japan -- the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. 

They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases.

On the night before the expected invasion, 50 Japanese seaplane bombers, 100 former carrier aircraft and 50 land based army planes were to be launched in a suicide attack on the fleet.

The Japanese had 58 more airfields in Korea, western Honshu and Shikoku, which also were to be used for massive suicide attacks.

Allied intelligence had established that the Japanese had no more than 2,500 aircraft of which they guessed 300 would be deployed in suicide attacks.

In August 1945, however, unknown to Allied intelligence, the Japanese still had 5,651 army and 7,074 navy aircraft, for a total of 12,725 planes of all types.

Every village had some type of aircraft manufacturing activity hidden in mines, railway tunnels, under viaducts...

... and... basements of department stores, work was being done to construct new planes.

Additionally, the Japanese were building newer and more effective models of the "Okka", a rocket-propelled bomb much like the German V-1, but flown by a suicide pilot.

When the invasion became imminent, "Ketsu-Go" called for a fourfold aerial plan of attack to destroy up to 800 Allied ships.

While Allied ships were approaching Japan, but still in the open seas, an initial force of 2,000 army and navy fighters were to fight to the death to control the skies over Kyushu.

A second force of 330 navy combat pilots was to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports.

While these two forces were engaged, a third force of 825 suicide planes was to hit the American transports.

As the invasion convoys approached their anchorages, another 2,000 suicide planes were to be launched in waves of 200 to 300, to be used in hour by hour attacks.

By mid-morning of the first day of the invasion, most of the American land-based aircraft would be forced to return to their bases, leaving the defense against the suicide planes to the carrier pilots and the shipboard gunners.

Carrier pilots crippled by fatigue would have to land time and time again to rearm and refuel. 

Guns would malfunction from the heat of continuous firing and ammunition would become scarce. 

Gun crews would be exhausted by nightfall, but still the waves of kamikaze would continue.

With the fleet hovering off the beaches, all remaining Japanese aircraft would be committed to nonstop suicide attacks, which the Japanese hoped could be sustained for 10 days.

The Japanese planned to coordinate their air strikes with attacks from the 40 remaining submarines from the Imperial Navy - some armed with Long Lance torpedoes with a range of 20 miles -- when the invasion fleet was 180 miles offKyushu.

The Imperial Navy had 23 destroyers and two cruisers which were operational. These ships were to be used to counterattack the American invasion.

A number of the destroyers were to be beached at the last minute to be used as anti-invasion gun platforms.

Once offshore, the invasion fleet would be forced to defend not only against the attacks from the air, but would also be confronted with suicide attacks from sea.

Japan had established a suicide naval attack unit of midget submarines, human torpedoes and exploding motorboats.

The goal of the Japanese was to shatter the invasion before the landing.

The Japanese were convinced the Americans would back off or become so demoralized that they would then accept a less-than-unconditional surrender and a more honorable and face-saving end for the Japanese.


... as horrible as the battle of Japan would be off the beaches, it would be on Japanese soil that the American forces would face the most rugged and fanatical defense encountered during the war.

Throughout the island-hopping Pacific campaign, Allied troops had always out numbered the Japanese by 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to 1.

In Japan it would be different.

By virtue of a combination of cunning, guesswork, and brilliant military reasoning, a number of Japan's top military leaders were able to deduce, not only when, but where, the United States would land its first invasion forces.

Facing the 14 American divisions landing at Kyushu would be 14 Japanese divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 tank brigades and thousands of naval troops...

On Kyushu the odds would be 3 to 2 in favor of the Japanesewith 790,000 enemy defenders against 550,000 Americans.

This time the bulk of the Japanese defenders would not be the poorly trained and ill-equipped labor battalions that the Americans had faced in the earlier campaigns.

The Japanese defenders would be the hard core of the home army .

These troops were well-fed and well equipped.

They were familiar with the terrain, had stockpiles of arms and ammunition, and had developed an effective system of transportation and supply almost invisible from the air.

Many of these Japanese troops were the elite of the army, and they were swollen with a fanatical fighting spirit.

Japan's network of beach defenses consisted of offshore mines, thousands of suicide scuba divers attacking landing craft, and mines planted on the beaches.

Coming ashore, the American Eastern amphibious assault forces at Miyazaki would face three Japanese divisions, and two others poised for counterattack.

Awaiting the Southeastern attack force at Ariake Bay was an entire division and at least one mixed infantry brigade.

On the western shores of Kyushu, the Marines would face the most brutal opposition.

Along the invasion beaches would be the three Japanese divisions, a tank brigade, a mixed infantry brigade and an artillery command.

Components of two divisions would also be poised to launch counterattacks.

If not needed to reinforce the primary landing beaches, the American Reserve Force would be landed at the base of Kagoshima Bay on November 4.

There they would be confronted by two mixed infantry brigades, parts of two infantry divisions, and thousands of naval troops.

All along the invasion beaches, American troops would face coastal batteries, anti-landing obstacles, and a network of heavily fortified pillboxes, bunkers,and underground fortresses.

As Americans waded ashore, they would face intense artillery and mortar fire as they worked their way through concrete rubble and barbed-wire entanglements arranged to funnel them into the muzzles of these Japanese guns.

On the beaches and beyond would be hundreds of Japanese machine gun positions, beach mines, booby traps, trip-wire mines and sniper units.

Suicide units concealed in "spider holes" would engage the troops as they passed nearby.

In the heat of battle, Japanese infiltration units would be sent to reap havoc in the American lines by cutting phone and communication lines.

Some of the Japanese troops would be in American uniform; English-speaking Japanese officers were assigned to break in on American radio traffic to call off artillery fire, to order retreats and to further confuse troops.

Other infiltration with demolition charges strapped on their chests or backs would attempt to blow up American tanks, artillery pieces, and ammunition stores as they were unloaded ashore.

Beyond the beaches were large artillery pieces situated to bring down a curtain of fire on the beach. Some of these large guns were mounted on railroad tracks running in and out of caves protected by concrete and steel.

The battle for Japan would be won by what Simon Bolivar Buckner, a lieutenant general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, had called "Prairie Dog Warfare."

This type of fighting was almost unknown to the ground troops in Europe and the Mediterranean.

It was known only to the soldiers and Marines who fought the Japanese on islands all over the Pacific -- at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

"Prairie Dog Warfare" was a battle for yards, feet and sometimes inches

It was a brutal, deadly and dangerous form of combat aimed at an underground, heavily fortified, non-retreating enemy.

In the mountains behind the Japanese beaches were underground networks of caves,  bunkers, command posts and hospitals, connected by miles of tunnels with dozens of entrances and exits.

Some of these complexes could hold up to 1,000 troops.

In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry.

Had "Olympic" come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan - "One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation"- were prepared to fight to the death.

Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force.

They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. 

Others were armed with swords, long bows axes and bamboo spears.

The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, 
delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions.

At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour.

All this in preparation to defend a homeland.

All the devastating losses that would have been realized had an atomic bomb not been used !

We'll conclude this three part series with Part Thee, an Epilogue, reflecting what it all could have meant, and this invasion plan had been implemented.

Stay Tuned for the conclusion.

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions

"Operation Downfall"

The American

Invasion of Japan in 1945

The American Plan

(Part One of Three)

"Operation Downfall" was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945.

It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire.

In the first invasion - code named "Operation Olympic"- American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 - almost 70 years ago.

Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment.

The second invasion on March 1, 1946 - code named "Operation Coronet"- would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain.

Its goal:

The unconditional surrender of Japan.

With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, "Operation Downfall" was to be a strictly American operation.

It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8th Air Force redeployed from Europe), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force.

More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 - would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults.

Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.

Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone.

General Charles Willoughbychief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946, and Willoughby's own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative  estimate.

During the summer of 1945, America had little time to prepare for such an endeavor, but top military leaders were in almost unanimous agreement that an invasion was necessary.

While naval blockade and strategic bombing of Japan was considered to be useful, General MacArthur, for instance, did not believe a blockade would bring about an unconditional surrender.

The advocates for invasion agreed that while a naval blockade chokes, it does not kill; and though strategic bombing might destroy cities, it leaves whole armies intact.

So on May 25, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extensive deliberation, issued to General MacArthurAdmiral Chester Nimitz, and Army Air Force General Henry "Happ" Arnold, the top secret directive to proceed with the invasion of Kyushu.

The target date was after the typhoon season.

President Truman approved the plans for the invasions July 24.

Two days later, the United Nations issued the Potsdam Proclamation, which called upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or face total destruction.

Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender.

During this same period it was learned -- via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts --

...that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its school children, was arming its civilian population, and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses.

"Operation Olympic" called for a four pronged assault on Kyushu.

Its purpose was to seize and control the southern one-third of that island and establish naval and air bases, to tighten the naval blockade of the home islands, to destroy units of the main Japanese army, and to support the later invasion of the Tokyo Plain.

The preliminary invasion would begin October 27 when the 40th Infantry Division would land on a series of small islands west and southwest of Kyushu.

At the same time, the 158th Regimental Combat Team would invade and occupy a small island 28 miles south of Kyushu.

On these islands, seaplane bases would be established and radar would be set up to provide advance air warning for the invasion fleet, to serve as fighter direction centers for the carrier-based aircraft and to provide an emergency anchorage for the invasion fleet, should things not go well on the day of the invasion.

As the invasion grew imminent, the massive firepower of the Navy - the Third and Fifth Fleets -- would approach Japan.

The Third Fleet, under Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, with its big guns and naval aircraft, would provide strategic support for the operation against Honshu and Hokkaido.

Halsey's fleet would be composed of battleships, heavy cruisers, destroyers, dozens of support ships and three fast carrier task groups.

From these carriers, hundreds of Navy fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes would hit targets all over the island of Honshu.

The 3,000 ship Fifth Fleet, under Admiral Raymond Spruance, would carry the invasion troops.

Several days before the invasion, the battleships, heavy cruisers and destroyers would pour thousands of tons of high explosives into the target areas. They would not cease the bombardment until after the land forces had been launched. 
During the early morning hours of November 1, the invasion would begin.

Thousands of soldiers and Marines would pour ashore on beaches all along the eastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of Kyushu.

Waves of Hell Divers, Dauntless dive bombers, Avengers, Corsairs, and Hellcats from 66 aircraft carriers would bomb, rocket and strafe enemy defenses, gun emplacements and troop concentrations along the beaches.

The Eastern Assault Force consisting of the 25th, 33rd, and 41st Infantry Divisions, would land near Miyaski, at beaches called Austin, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler,and Ford, and move inland to attempt to capture the city and its nearby airfield.

The Southern Assault Force consisting of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 43rd Division and Americal Division would land inside Ariake Bay at beaches labeled DeSoto, Dusenberg, Essex, Ford, and Franklin and attempt to capture Shibushi and the city of Kanoya and its airfield.

On the western shore of Kyushu, at beaches Pontiac, Reo, Rolls Royce, Saxon, Star, Studebaker, Stutz, Winston and Zephyr, the V Amphibious Corps would land the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Marine Divisions, sending half of its force inland to Sendai and the other half to the port city of Kagoshima.

On November 4, the Reserve Force, consisting of the 81st and 98th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division, after feigning an attack on the island of Shikoku, would be landed -- if not needed elsewhere -- near Kaimondake, near the southernmost tip of Kagoshima Bay, at the beaches designated Locomobile, Lincoln, LaSalle, Hupmobile, Moon, Mercedes, Maxwell, Overland, Oldsmobile, Packard, and Plymouth.

"Olympic" was not just a plan for invasion, but for conquest and occupation as well.

It was expected to take four months to achieve its objective, with the three fresh American divisions per month to be landed in support of that operation if needed.

If all went well with "Olympic", "Coronet" would be launched March 1, 1946.

"Coronetwould be twice the size of "Olympic", with as many as 28 divisions landing on Honshu.

All along the coast east of Tokyo, the American 1st Army would land the 5th, 6th, and 7th Marine Divisions.

At Sagami Bay, just south of Tokyo, the entire 8th and 10th Armies would strike north and east to clear the long western shore of Tokyo Bay and attempt to go as far as Yokohama.

The assault troops landing south of Tokyo would be the 4th, 6th, 8th, 24th, 31st, 37th, and 38th Infantry Divisions, along with the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions.

Following the initial assault, eight more divisions - the 2nd, 28th, 35th, 91st, 95th, 97th, and 104th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division -- would be landed.

If additional troops were needed, as expected, other divisions redeployed from Europe and undergoing training in the United States would be shipped to Japan in what was hoped to be the final push.

Captured Japanese documents and post war interrogations of Japanese military leaders disclose that information concerning the number of Japanese planes available for the defense of the home islands was dangerously in error.

...and in Part Two.....

...we'll discuss the Japanese plan of defense of their nation.

Stay tuned !

Dick Arendt

Anthem Opinions 

  1. From Dorothy Opinions

    I would have chosen the same way to end the second world war!

    First of all, Japan invaded other countries!!!

    Countless cruelties events took place in China!

    If we were consider country stands for defending the world's righteousness, of course, we needed to end this overly long Second World War in the most effective way !!!

    There a saying that if you do the crime, you need to do the time!

    Secondly, we need to protect our own people!

    There were many innocent people in Japan who suffered tremendous loss, but how about the Chinese people?

    They were just trying to build a new country!!!

    Dick, you know how painful I feel every time this subject comes up !!!

    Thanks for bringing this topic up to so many unaware readers!!!


    1. Dorothy,

      Words can not describe my reaction to reading a book entitled "The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang.

      The atrocities suffered by the Chinese people in 1937 at the hands of the Japanese before Pearl Harbor in 1941, seemed every bit, if not worse, than what the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis in the Second World War.

      Two countries who had world domination as their goal,had to be defeated....and I feel as you do, it had to matter what the price to the innocent people of those nations.

      The difference between Germany and Japan....Germany subsequently apologized the world for those wrongs...and...we have yet to receive any such apology from Japan.

      Sadly, within our lives the words "ethnic cleansing" still remain in the vocabularies of some...70 years after the beginning of the atomic age.

      We can only pray that barbaric belief will never result in another nuclear catastrophe.
  2. From Mary Lee Opinions

    A continuing awesome job!

    Great editorials !
  3. From Tim Opinions

    By July of 1945 the US had produced enough Uranium 235 for one bomb and enough Plutonium 239 for two bombs.

    They were confident the Uranium 235 bomb would work so they decided not to test that design.

    They were not as sure the Plutonium 239 bomb would work so they used half of the plutonium for a test bomb. That test bomb is the one exploded in New Mexico in July 1945.

    They constructed the Uranium 235 bomb into "Little Boy" and that was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945

    After the successful test in July the rest of the Plutonium 239 was constructed into "Fat Man" and dropped on Nagasaki July 9, 1945.

    We had no more materials after that. It would have taken many months to construct more bombs but the Japanese did not now that. Almost no one knew that.


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St. Bartholoma

 Lake Konigssee, Germany


Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady Aparecida

St. Basil’s
 Moscow, Russia

Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame

 Dinant, Belgium

Lutheran Church of Hallgrimur



Our Lady of Covadonga Cathedral


Salisbury Cathedral

Great Britain


Nuestra Nenora de Gracia

  Cuenca, Spain

Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 San Diego, California


Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene


St. Charles Cathedral

 Vienna, Austria
Sacre-Coeur Basilica
 Paris, France

Basilica of the National Vow

 Quito, Ecuador

Church of Dmitry on Blood
 Uglich, Russia
Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ
 Shipka, Bulgaria

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

 Puy-en-Velay, France
Once again, Anthem Opinions sends our deepest thanks to Dave Nall of Wilmington, North Carolina.


Did Ya Know ?

Travelers driving on Rt. 80 across the United States often pass beautiful Lake Tahoe, but there's a small town nearby that serves as the famous northern gambling spot of Nevada...."The Biggest Little City in the World"...

...Reno, Nevada.

Did Ya Know...

....How Reno got its name?

The history of this city began in the 1850s when a few early settlers believed that part of the "Old West" could serve both as a farming well as...a business opportunity to serve those traveling to California along the "California Trail" toward Donner Lake, the last stop before they would begin their journey across the Sierra Nevada mountains.

This area was located in the Truckee Meadows, a fertile valley, through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake.

It was in the winter of 1846-47 when a group of settlers would make history on their journey westward when 39 of the 87 people of the Donner party would perish as a result of their unsuccessful attempt to cross the Sierra Nevada mountains....resorting to cannibalism to survive.

Travelers needed safe passage...

Gold was discovered in Virginia City in 1850, but it was the discovery of silver in 1859...the Comstock Lode, that led to a rush of miners to the area seeking their fortune.

As a result of the boom, a need to cross the Truckee River linking Virginia City and the California Trail emerged,  and  an entrepreneur named Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River connecting the two.

Fuller's Log Toll Bridge

Fuller also provided the gold miners a place to rest, have a meal, and exchange information with other prospectors.

In 1861 Myron Lake purchased Fuller's Bridge; and from the tolls, eventually purchased more land and constructed a mill, livery stable, hotel, and most importantly, a kiln (an oven that produces high temperatures that extracts metals) to assist the miners.

He would rename it "Lake's Crossing" in 1864.

Myron Lake

As the West began to be developed, the Central Pacific Railroad would reach Nevada from Sacramento, California, and in 1868...

...Mr. Lake, the shrewd businessman that he was, made sure that his crossing was included in its path.... deeding a portion of his land to Charles Crocker, an organizer of the Central Pacific Railroad Company...

Charles Crocker

...who promised to build a depot at the crossing's location.

The Civil War ended in 1865, and on May 9, 1868, the town that emerged as a result of the "deal" between Myron Lake & Charles Crocker, would be named...

"Reno" honor of Civil War General, Jesse Reno.

Major General Jesse L. Reno

Myron Lake would become known as "the founder of Reno".

But...who was Jesse L. Reno?

Jesse Reno entered West Point in 1842 and would develop friendships with fellow classmates (and subsequent Civil War heroes) George B. McClellanGeorge E. Pickett, and southern general, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

He graduated 8th in his class on July 1, 1846, and would eventually command a Rocketry and Mountain Howitzer battery during the Mexican American War in 1847, fighting in the famous battles of Vera Cruz and El Telegrafo, receiving a medal for "gallant and meritorious conduct".

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he trained and organized five regiments, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General by General Ambrose  Burnside (the man for which history would coin the word "sideburns".

General Ambrose Burnside

Reno would eventually face his former classmate, "StonewallJackson, in the 2nd Battle of Bull Run in July, 1862.

On July 12, 1862 he was promoted to the rank of Major General.

Two months later on September 14, 1862, he would be shot and killed while driving back Confederate forces at Fox's Gap.

Five days later, his regiment would cross Burnside Bridge under the battle cry "Remember Reno", in one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

General Burnside would eulogize Jesse Reno in this official general order:

“By the death of this distinguished officer the country loses one of its most devoted patriots, the army one of its most thorough soldiers. In the long list of battles in which General Reno has fought in his country’s service, his name always appears with the brightest luster, and he has now bravely met a soldiers death while gallantly leading his men at the Battle of South Mountain.” 

Now ya know....

...the history of Reno, Nevada...

 "The Biggest Little City in the World"

Dick Arendt

  1. From George Jacobs of Cleveland, Opinions

    You are a walking encyclopedia.

    Thanks for sharing this story about Reno, both town and General.
  1. From Jill from Opinions

    Always informative and interesting and uniquely written.

    Thanks for sharing.


I dedicate this article to my dear friend and valued reader, Dorothy Yu, who gave me the idea of a different way to say...

 "God Bless this Great Land"

...on its 239th Birthday.

Love of Country...Cost them Much

These are the men who could have been hanged...had the British succeeded in suppressing a rebellion in the American colonies.  

Why these men?

Each had the courage to sign a document that had been placed before the Continental Congress on JULY 1, 1776.

No, it's not a misprint. 

The document that said we were no longer a part of the British Empire was first brought before the men on July 1st...not July 4th.


Here's how if all "went down" in July, 1776.

On July 1, 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and onJuly 2nd, twelve of the original thirteen colonies voted for independence on a motion brought before them by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.

This was either independence or treason depending on a statesman's point of "thinking" individuals often do....they needed time to make a proper decision.

Thought the men...

If the revolution succeeded, they would be heroes in the minds of their constituents...

If they lost, the apple tree in front of their mansions would have had something other than apples swaying in the breeze !

So...they decided....hmmm...we better talk this out before we actually tell the world we're no longer Brits !

...and they spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by a young 33 year old statesmen from Virginia named Thomas Jefferson.

On July 4, 1776 Congress finally adopted the revisions, and as a result, the Declaration of Independence was "officially" adopted on that day.

...but unlike the movie "1776", not many of the gentlemen
signed it on that hot July day.

New York wouldn't give their "official" support for the Declaration until July 9th.

Then...since xerox machines hadn't been invented, it took two additional weeks to have the document written on parchment !

As a result of the New York "procrastination" and the "paperwork", most of the delegates actually signed the document on August 2, 1776.

Several men (Elbridge GerryOliver WolcottLewis MorrisThomas McKean, and Mathew Thornton), signed it at a later date.

...and two men...John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston....NEVER signed it  !  

Who were the courageous ones who signed it ?

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Mattthew Thornton

Button Gwinnett

Their signatures of course will forever be etched on that historic document that is proudly displayed at the National Archives in Washington, DC....


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men
who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Time and space won't allow us to talk about each man personally, but to summarize the "fate" of these men who "started" our nation, here's what became of them:

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,
and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army.

One had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the Revolutionary War. 

From What Walks of Life Did Them Men Come?  

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants.

Nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated.

 Some Deserve a VERY Special Mention !

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and
trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the
British Navy.

He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British
that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.

He served in the Congress without pay, and his family
was kept in hiding.

His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that
the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters.

He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.
The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and as you see fireworks light the sky and hear bands play...

"God Bless America"

...silently thank these patriots ! 

 It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

After all, everything you have today...was a result of THEM !

Dick Arendt

You're a Grand Old Flag !

From 13 stars to 50 of them...not bad for a small number of British colonies that were ready to make a mark on the world with an idea that was first introduced by the ancient Greeks in 508 BC...

...a government...

...OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people, more commonly referred to as...

Democracy !

...and to do it, those original "13" had to fight the greatest military might in the world at that time for it as well !

June 14th is Flag Day....and the entire week is Flag Week as well.

Though not an official national holiday, during National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging all US citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that displayed on all government buildings.

...and we at Anthem Opinions hope all of you will do so as our nation approaches its birthday on July 4th.

It officially became Flag Day on June 14, 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the following resolution:

"Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

...and though there is little proof dear Betsy Ross was its first designer....

Betsy Ross

...this became the first official flag of the United States of America 238 years ago !

...however. this may surprise many of you !

Prior to making it "official" in 1777, there was a previous flag that is considered the first national flag of the United States of America....
...then more commonly referred to as "The United Colonies of North America !"

It went by different names too; a number of which were the "Grand Union Flag", the "Continental Colours",  the "Congress Flag", the "Cambridge Flag", and the "First Navy Ensign".

Though similar to the flag "officially" adopted in 1777, it consisted of alternating thirteen red and white stripes with the British Union Flag (know as the Union Jack when at sea)...the variant prior to the inclusion of St. Patrick's cross for the 1801 unification of Ireland into the United Kingdom.

Whatever the current form...
...the one thing all have in common?

Old're a ...

Grand Old Flag !

And we have a 2015 version honoring you as well !

So put on those dancin' shoes...forget your aches and pains....and "think flag" all day...and week !

It's our gift to all of you...young and old...who love what that  "star spangled banner" has always represented...

Anthem Opinions  


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