#AceHistoryNews – March.21: The three-cent nickel was designed by the US Mint’s Chief Engraver James B. Longacre and struck by the mint from 1865 to 1889.
When precious metal coinage was hoarded during the economic turmoil of the American Civil War, including the silver three-cent piece, and even the copper- nickel cent was commanding a premium, Congress issued paper money in denominations as small as three cents, but these small slips of paper became ragged and dirty.
After the issue of a lighter bronze cent and a two-cent piece in 1864, there were proposals for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel. The advocates were led by Pennsylvania industrialist Joseph Wharton, who then controlled the domestic supply of nickel ore.
On the last day of the congressional session, March 3, 1865, a bill for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel alloy was introduced in Congress, passed by both houses without debate, and signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
Although initially popular, the three-cent nickel piece became less so with the introduction in 1866 of the five-cent nickel, a larger, more convenient coin, with a value better fitting the decimal system.
After 1870, most years saw low annual mintages for the three-cent nickel, and in 1890 Congress abolished it.
#AceHistoryNews – March.21: When l was just a boy l remember the good olde westerns and the men that wore the white hats were goodies and black hats were baddies, of course over time Hollywood changed this scenario. But even with a black hat Audie Murphy (1925–1971), was still one of my all time heroes. Though he was a consummate goodie in his real life gaining many commendations, and eventually being buried with honours at Arlington National Cemetery. So l had to do a little research on his life, finding out he truly was a hero on and off the silver screen.
He was in point of fact one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism.
Coming from a poor sharecropping family of Irish descent in Texas, he served in nine World War II campaigns, receiving the Medal of Honor after single-handedly holding off an entire company of German soldiers for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in France.
After the war, he appeared in more than forty feature films, mostly westerns; his most successful film was To Hell and Back (1955), based on his war memoirs.
During the Korean War, Murphy was commissioned as an officer in the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard. Possessing a natural gift for rhyme, he collaborated on numerous songs between 1962 and 1970.
He suffered from what would today be termed posttraumatic stress disorder, and was plagued by money problems in the last few years of his life, but refused offers to appear in alcohol and cigarette commercials to avoid setting a bad example.
Murphy died in a plane crash in Virginia, and was interred with full military honours at Arlington National Cemetery. his biography of his life can be found here.
#AceHistoryNews – March.21: Tintin in the Congo is the second volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Commissioned by the conservative newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle (The Twentieth Century) for its children’s supplement, it was serialised weekly from May 1930 to June 1931.
The story tells of young reporter Tintin, who is sent to the Belgian Congo with his dog Snowy. Encountering native Congolese people and wild animals, Tintin unearths a diamond smuggling operation run by the American gangster Al Capone. Following Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and bolstered by publicity stunts, it was a commercial success and appeared in book form shortly after the serial’s conclusion.
The Tintin series grew over the 1930s and 1940s to become a defining part of the Franco-Belgian comics tradition. In 1946, Hergé re-drew and coloured Tintin in the Congo in his distinctive style of uniform lines and low contrast for republication by Casterman, revised for a 1975 edition.
In the late 20th century, Tintin in the Congo was criticised for its representation of big-game hunting and for its typically colonial depictions of Africans as unable to fend for themselves and in need of European masters.
#AceHistoryNews – March.21: The Tosa-class battleships were two dreadnoughts ordered by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the early 1920s. The ships were larger versions of the preceding Nagato class, and carried an additional 41-centimeter (16.1 in) twin-gun turret; their design served as a basis for the Amagi-class battlecruisers.
The first ship, Tosa, was canceled according to the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty before it could be completed, and was used in experiments testing the effectiveness of its armor scheme before being scuttled in the Bungo Channel.
The hull of the second ship, Kaga (model pictured), was converted into an aircraft carrier of the same name. The carrier supported Japanese troops in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War of the late 1930s, and took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the invasion of Rabaul in the Southwest Pacific in January 1942.
The following month her aircraft participated in a combined carrier airstrike on Darwin, Australia, during the Dutch East Indies campaign. She was sunk during the Battle of Midway in 1942.