The Battle of Midway

Today we commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the decisive naval engagement in the Pacific which turned the tide of war.

It was, in fact, the most decisive naval engagement since Nelson’s brilliant Trafalgar more than a century before. In eight short minutes, three of Japan’s four fleet carriers were mortally wounded and sinking, with the fourth to follow later in the day. It was, as Churchill expressed in a slightly different context, ‘not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.’ Japan persevered for more than three years, but the high tide of its invading forces was already past. Never again would it assume the strategic offensive.

There are a number of interesting and excellent books concerning the Battle of Midway from both the Japanese and the American perspective. Now, as part of an excellent series of works on historical contingencies by the Oxford University Press, Craig L. Symonds, Professor of American Naval History at the United States Naval Academy, has produced a superb volume on this important battle.

As Symonds describes it in his introductory remarks, “there are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and dramatically as it did on June 4, 1942. At ten o’clock that morning the Axis powers were winning the Second World War. Though the Red Army had counterattacked the Wehrmacht outside Moscow in December, the German Army remained deep inside the Soviet Union, and one element of it was marching toward the oil fields of the Caucasus. In the Atlantic, German U-boats ravaged Allied shipping and threatened to cut the supply line between the United States and Great Britain. In the Pacific, Japan had just completed a triumphant six-month rampage, attacking and wrecking Allied bases from the Indian Ocean to the mid-Pacific following the crippling of the US battle fleet at Pearl Harbor. Japan’s mobile striking force (the Kido Butai) was at that moment on the verge of consolidating command of the Pacific by eliminating what the strike at Pearl Harbor had missed: America’s aircraft carriers. The outcome of the war balanced on a knife-edge, but clearly leaned toward the Axis powers.

“An hour later, the balance had shifted the other way. By 11:00 a.m., three Japanese carriers were on fir and sinking. A fourth was launchibng a counterstrike, yet before the day was over, it too would be located and mortally wounded. The Japanese thrust was turned back.”

In this excellent book, Symonds’ explores the context, circumstance and course of the Battle of Midway with crisp prose, outstanding scholarship, cogent analysis, and a keen sense of timing. I strongly recommend Symonds’ The Battle of Midway for anyone interested in the Second World War, naval history and strategy, intelligence operations or any of a host of allied topics.

Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, sunk at Midway

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday at 10: Richard Renner the Vodville Klown

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

First Annual VFW/HCL Car Show

Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Car Show at HCL

Published in: on May 7, 2012 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  

31st Annual Readathon Kicks Off

Library Director Betty Cattrell Opens 31st Annual Readathon

The 31st Annual Haysville Community Library Readathon kicked off at 8 o’clock this morning, with Library Director Betty Cattrell reading the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read” statement.

The Readathon will feature continuous readers throughout the day until after midnight tonight, when County Commissioner Tim Norton will read selections from Edgar Allan Poe, including the traditional “The Raven”.

Following the Readathon a light salad supper will be held in the library’s Community Room, free for all attending readers.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 8:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Haysville Library Commemorates Titanic Sinking

On April 10, 1912, the White Star Line’s huge new passenger vessel Titanic – the largest ship afloat at the time — set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England. After brief visits at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, she departed for New York with 2,224 passengers and crew aboard. She carried lifeboats for just 1,178.

In the late evening hours of April 14th, at a point some 375 miles southeast of Newfoundland, she struck an iceberg, buckling a number of plates on her starboard side and breaching five of the ship’s sixteen watertight compartments. Within two and a half hours, early on the 15th of April, the Titanic sank with over a thousand on board. A few hours later, the 710 survivors were rescued from their lifeboats by the Carpathia, responding to the SOS transmitted by the new wireless telegraph aboard the stricken ship.

On Saturday, April 14th – the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic’s striking of the errant iceberg – the Haysville Community Library will host a special commemorative event, complete with dinner theater mystery, to celebrate the centennial.

As many Haysville residents know, the Haysville Community Library is the repository for the W. ‘Kress’ Fall Titanic Collection of memorabilia. This rich and varied collection encompasses books, papers, reproductions, models, newspapers, paintings, photographs and a host of other materials relating to the Titanic and its tragic sinking. To introduce this collection to the greater public, and acknowledge the centennial, the library plans a display of many of the items in the Kress Fall Collection along with the dinner event.

Tickets for the ‘A Night to Remember’ event, which will also raise funds for the library, are available now at the library circulation desk.

Arrival time is 5:30 pm on Saturday April 14th. The “ship” sails at 6 pm.

Tickets for First Class passengers are $25 each, or two for $45. Tickets for Steerage are $15 each, or two for $25.

First Class passengers will be served a six course meal. Steerage passengers will dine on Irish stew, biscuits and fruit. On both levels, a mystery to be solved will be presented. Steerage will also enjoy Irish music.

Passengers are encouraged to attend in period dress, but any proper dinner clothing will be acceptable.

For any details concerning ‘A Night to Remember’, the Kress Fall Titanic Collection, or other concerns, please contact the Haysville Community Library at 524-5242.

Published in: on April 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thursday: Experts in Arthritis

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer 2011 Consumer Information Catalog Now Available

The Summer 2011 edition of the Federal Citizen Information Center’s Consumer Information Catalog has arrived. Copies are available free, on a first-come-first-serve basis, on the octagon near the circulation desk at the library entrance.

The Consumer Information Catalog lists dozens of free and low-cost brochures, pamphlets, books and documents from a number of government agencies and departments on a wide range of topics – cars, computers, employment, family, federal programs, food, health, housing, and much more — all available from the Federal Citizen Information Center.

For more information, visit the Federal Citizen Information Center.

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kevin Horner To Appear Next Wednesday July 27th At 10

Kevin Horner earlier this summer at Independence Public Library

Due to a booking conflict, we have just learned that the grand finale performance of our 2011 Children’s Reading Program summer events will kick off next Wednesday morning (July 27th) at 10 am, when Kevin Horner – ventriloquist and illusionist — appears with Pirate Frank, Congo, and a cast of fascinating characters. (Leave it to an illusionist to disappear and reappear one week later.)

When you join us for this blockbuster event, we’ll have just three days to go until our special summer reading celebration, sponsored by the Friends of the Haysville Community Library: an Ice Cream Social on Saturday July 30th at 6:30 pm.

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

City Wide Garage Sale Permits On Sale Now

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ventiloquist and Illusionist Kevin Horner — Wednesday at 10

Kevin Horner earlier this summer at Independence Public Library

The grand finale performance of our 2011 Children’s Reading Program summer events kicks off Wednesday morning at 10 am, when Kevin Horner – ventriloquist and illusionist — appears with Pirate Frank, Congo, and a cast of fascinating characters.

Once you’ve joined us for this blockbuster event, don’t forget to visit our special summer reading celebration sponsored by the Friends of the Haysville Community Library: an Ice Cream Social on Saturday July 30th at 6:30 pm.

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Haysville’s 31st Annual CityWide Garage Sale — Coming Soon

It’s that time of year again.

In just four more weeks, the nation’s first and oldest Citywide Garage Sale will kick off in Haysville. The 31st Annual Citywide Garage Sale will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 13th and 14th, the weekend before USD261 students return to classes for the new school year.

Last year, more than 400 homes participated — a number which is almost certain to be eclipsed by this year’s event.

Permits for the huge two-day sale will be made available by the Friends of the Haysville Community Library beginning this coming Monday July 18th at the Haysville Community Library, and also at the TrueValue Hardware. Permits this year allow sales on both Saturday and Sunday, and can be purchased for $10.

The Library Friends will advertise the sale throughout the area, and in multiple media.

On Garage Sale Days, the library will provide lists of all sales locations* and a local area map to guide avid customers to each and every sale site.

Incidentally, the Friends of the Library will be sponsoring a community garage sale on the library’s north parking lot. Those participating will secure a permit and then pay $15 for a space. It’s an added convenience for those wishing to participate in the garage sales who have no driveway, no yard, no garage.

* limited to locations obtaining a permit by midnight Thursday August 11th

Published in: on July 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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