This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org[more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
The Korean War is sometimes referred to as the "Forgotten War", overshadowed by the massive effort of WWII and the political contretemps of the Vietnam War. For a lot of Americans, our only frame of reference for the war is the TV series M*A*S*H, which itself lasted more than three times as long as the war itself. This set of over 60 color photographs taken by an American soldier who served in Korea during the war offer some compelling first-hand images of the daily activities of the troops (no combat photos) and of Koreans of that time. (via Reddit)
"Sailors and cats have a special relationship that dates back thousands of years." The U.S. Naval Institute posts pictures of sailors and their cats, with photos from the 1880:s through the 1950:s.
Artillery rounds are being fired across maritime borders between the Koreas. At least one soldier is dead. In what appears to be a response for South Korean military exercises (accompanying commentary from a blog which to be run by North Korea is here), the North Korean army has fired numerous (at least 200, according to CNN) artillery rounds on an island in South Korean territory, resulting in one South Korean marine dead and 15 wounded. The South Korean army has responded by returning artillery fire and deploying fighter jets but is seeking to limit the scope of the conflict. At the same time, there have been signals that South Korea was seeking redeployment of US nuclear weapons on its soil. This just one day after revelations about North Korea's uranium enrichment facilities.
Happy birthday, Comrade Kim Pepe Escobar's series in the Asia Times (parts 1, 2, 3) reveals how everything we know about North Korea is wrong.
Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr was a prison warden, a monk, a lawyer and a religiously-oriented psychologist, and yet he was actually none of those things. Now known as "The Great Imposter", Demara held many careers as he faked his way through life, but his most famous exploit was to masquerade as surgeon Joseph Cyr aboard the HMCS Cayuga, a Royal Canadian Navy destroyer, during the Korean War. [more inside]
They Chose China is a documentary about the 22 western POWs who chose to defect to China after the Korean War armistice.
At the end of the Korean War, James Veneris was an American POW awaiting repatriation. But when his time came, he—along with twenty other Americans and a Briton—declined to leave and chose to cast his lot with Mao and the Chinese Communist Party. Over time, almost all of these men became disillusioned with Marxism and eventually returned to their homelands. The Cold War that informed their decisions has become a chapter in the history books but the story of Western defectors to the Communist bloc is just now being written.
"The Korean Saving Private Ryan," or Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004). Reviews. Plot synopsis (spoilers). Box Office: Over 20% of South Korea saw this film.
The State Department's campaign against misinformation and propaganda. Before you comment on the irony of it all, it is worth a read. Included are a careful, Snopes-like debunking of various rumors: Hugo Chavez's "Plan Balboa documents," the old 4,000 Jews and the WTC rumor, the use of chemical weapons in the Korean War, and some I hadn't heard of (the US to take over the rainforest?). Also information on how to spot disinformation, and attacks on the credibility of a few sites. Too bad that the US information services don't have the credibility they used to, but still worth reading.
The Korean War may finally be coming to an end. And I'm completely serious about that. In 1953 an armistice was signed, but no peace treaty has ever been negotiated and technically the war has been going on for nearly 50 years. They may actually be about to end it.