Today in History, December 15, 1944:
Think of any of your favorite singers, musicians, or groups, roll them altogether, and they aren’t as popular as Glenn Miller and his band were from 1937 to 1944.
In September of 1942 Miller, at the apex of his popularity, gave up the luxuries of home and entered the US Army Air Corps as a Captain to lead the US Army Air Corps Band. He and the band went to England and gave concerts to the troops, which was richly received.
On this date in 1944, Miller took off in a single engine aircraft from England en route to Paris to set up a show for the troops who had just taken that city back from the Nazis. Its the last time Miller was heard from, his plane went down over the English Channel; his remains nor his plane were ever found.
I can’t listen to this song without picturing all of the men and women…girls and boys…who put their lives on hold and saved the world during World War II, from Normandy to Iwo Jima to the Homefront. Glenn Miller represented them, they were listening to his music before the war at High School dances and on radios before they went into combat. Thank you, Mr. Miller.
Today in History, December 15: 1890 –
Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux medicine man, is killed by his own people. Sitting Bull had been an important and historical figure amongst his people, long before his conflicts with the white man.
He had a vision of the white soldiers falling before the Sioux, and it came to pass with Custer’s Last Stand during Battle of the Little Big Horn. He would survive that battle and spend several years spent in Canada.
Later he would tour with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show across the nation. Eventually he retired to the Standing Rock Agency. In the year of his death young Sioux had begun taking part in a resurgent “Ghost Dance” movement…agency officials feared that Sitting Bull would lend his name to the movement, and sent Indian Agency Police to arrest Sitting Bull. Things went south quickly, and the Indian Agency Police shot and killed Sitting Bull, leading to the first incident at Wounded Knee.