6 July 1941

6 July 1941

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6 July 1941



War in the Air

One of the three Bell P-39C Airacobras sent to Britain in advance of the Airacobra Is ordered for the RAF makes its first test flight.

7 Panzer Division at Senno - 6-8th July 1941

Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 17 Aug 2007, 00:25

Anyone have an account of the fighting around Senno? I have the Initial period of War on the Eastern Front, and I have some translations of Russian pages on the battles but I have no good idea were the majority of the 7PD's sub units were deployed. What I could really do with is a good map

Re: 7 Panzer Division at Senno - 6-8th July 1941

Post by AMVAS » 17 Aug 2007, 08:11

Bob_Mackenzie wrote: Gents

Anyone have an account of the fighting around Senno? I have the Initial period of War on the Eastern Front, and I have some translations of Russian pages on the battles but I have no good idea were the majority of the 7PD's sub units were deployed. What I could really do with is a good map

If I'm correct in Senno-Lepel area the Soviet 7th and 5th Mechanised corps/20th Army met heavy antitank defense of German infantry units and lost majority of their power in attacks against that positions.

P.S. Maybe not only German infantry took part in that fights.
check map on my site
http://www.rkkaww2.armchairgeneral.com/ . l11_41.jpg

Post by Bob_Mackenzie » 17 Aug 2007, 12:52

Glantz' boook definately records actions of the 7PD in the Senno area. Russian accounts talk of armoured counter attacks

Post by AMVAS » 17 Aug 2007, 13:05

Bob_Mackenzie wrote: Dear Alex

Glantz' boook definately records actions of the 7PD in the Senno area. Russian accounts talk of armoured counter attacks

Post by Andreas » 17 Aug 2007, 14:33

12. PD was also involved at Senno, IIRC according to its divisional history.

Re: 7 Panzer Division at Senno - 6-8th July 1941

Post by GaryD » 17 Aug 2007, 20:37

Bob_Mackenzie wrote: Gents

Anyone have an account of the fighting around Senno? I have the Initial period of War on the Eastern Front, and I have some translations of Russian pages on the battles but I have no good idea were the majority of the 7PD's sub units were deployed. What I could really do with is a good map

Post by GaryD » 17 Aug 2007, 22:51

Andreas wrote: 12. PD was also involved at Senno, IIRC according to its divisional history.

Did 12 PzD belong to 39 Pz Corps at that time? 39th Panzer Corps belonged to 3rd Panzer Group and, as far as I can tell, consisted of 7 PzD, 20 PzD, and 20 mot. ID. While 12 PzD and 20 mot. ID encircled Minsk on July 2nd, 20 PzD and 7 PzD exploited to the north-east in the direction of Lepel, 20 PzD on the left and 7 PzD on the right. This brought 7 PzD facing the Soviet counterattack on 6-8 July by the 5th (13 and 17 TDs, 109 MRD) and 7th (14 and 18 TDs) Mechanized Corps. 7 Mech Corps (450 tanks) attacked on the right, with 14 TD attacking south of the W. Dvina river towards Baranovichi and the 18th TD at Senno. 5 Mech Corps (880 tanks) attacked southwest of Senno. By 6 July part of 7 PzD was fighting around Senno while other parts of it were fighting to the north around Baranovichi, supported by 20 mot. ID. By 9 July the Soviet offensive had been defeated and 20 PzD and 20 mot. ID had taken Vitebsk (about 30 kilometers to the west of the northern part of the battlefield. It seems that 7 PzD was still between Senno and Baranovichi, while 12 PzD was coming up on the corps' right flank to the west of Senno. Maybe that's when it did some fighting there.

Soviet losses were severe. 5 Mech. Corps lost around 400 tanks, with over 100 of those remaining being out of service, and 7 Mech. Corps lost most of its tanks. Soviet after-action reports stated that half of the tank losses were to enemy air attacks .

As far as locations of subunits of the 7 PzD, the book The Initial Period of the War on the Eastern Front is probably as good as you'll get.

6 July 1941 - History

Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, World War 2
Researched & compiled by Don Kindell, all rights reserved

1st - 31st JULY 1941 - in date, ship/unit & name order

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net


(1) Casualty information in order - Surname, First name, Initial(s), Rank and part of the Service other than RN (RNR, RNVR, RFR etc), Service Number (ratings only, also if Dominion or Indian Navies), (on the books of another ship/shore establishment, O/P &ndash on passage), Fate

(2) Click for abbreviations

(3) L ink to Commonwealth War Graves Commission

(4) More information may be found in the Name Lists

Background Events - June-November 1941
Invasion of Russia, Malta Convoys, Japan prepares for war

1 July 1941

Devon County, ship loss

COOPER, Douglas C, Cook, RNPS, LT/JX 164687, MPK

MORRIS, Albert W, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 101800, MPK

OSBORNE, Henry, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 115438, MPK

Furious , deck accident

FAA, 816 Sqn

FOLLOWS, Frederick W, Sub Lieutenant (A), DOW

S hip's crew

PROTHERO, David A, Surgeon Lieutenant, DOW

Malvernian, ship loss

ANDERSON, James A, Act/Petty Officer, P/JX 131205, killed

ARNOLD, Leslie H J, 1st Radio Officer, T.124, killed

CHAPMAN, George M, Able Seaman, C/SSX 23774, killed

COX, Peter C, Ordinary Seaman, P/SSX 33638, killed

DAY, William H, Able Seaman, P/SSX 28132, killed

HEWITT, Richard G, Boatswain, T.124 X, killed

JEFFREY, George W, Ty/Lieutenant, RNR, killed

JENKINS, Thomas J, 3rd Radio Officer, T.124, killed

JOSLING, Leonard A, Assistant Steward, T.124 X, killed

LAGDEN, Richard M, Carpenter's Mate, T.124 X, killed

MAGRAW, Albert E, Ty/Lieutenant (E), RNR, killed

MINETT, Robert, Donkeyman, T.124 X, killed

PACKHAM, John D, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 235218, killed

PEARCE, Walter E, Butcher, T.124 X, killed

QUINLAN, John P, Radio Cadet, T.124, killed

ROOKE, Jack V, Seaman, RNR, C/X 7835 C, killed

SANKEY, Frederick E, Able Seaman, C/SSX 27181, killed

SKINNER, Henry J, Act/Leading Signalman, P/J 53188, killed

SLIMIN, James R, Ty/Lieutenant (E), RNR, killed

STARLING, Rowland S, 2nd Radio Officer, T.124, killed

TROTMAN, Kenneth H, Able Seaman, C/JX 212911, killed

WEBSTER, Kenneth D, Able Seaman, P/SSX 33180, killed

WESTWOOD, Norman, Sick Berth Attendant, C/SBR X 7704, killed

WILLIAMS, Arthur E R, Able Seaman, P/JX 154710, killed

WINSLAND, George, Storekeeper, T.124 X, killed

WOODLEY, Frederick W, Radio Cadet, T.124, killed

MTB.5 (Norwegian), explosion

AKRA, Knut, Gunner, (RNorN), killed

ELHOLM, Per T E, Motor Mechanic, (RNorN), killed

HETLAND, Jan K, Torpedoman, 32 (RNorN), died


HICKSON, Henry, Steward, NAP 1018570, died

2 July 1941


GILL, William A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 174442, died


MOFFAT, Robert, Chief Petty Officer, D/J 24130, died

VALLIS, Arthur J, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, D/K 23770, died

FAA, 768 Sqn, Condor, air crash

JENNINGS, Frederick G, Lieutenant Commander (A), killed

Furious , fire

MELLOR, James E, Able Seaman, D/SSX 30233, DOW


LANCASHIRE, Henry N, Musician, RMB/663, died

Klo, bombing

PULLMAN, Kenneth G, Ty/Lieutenant, RNR, DOW

Malvernian, ship loss

TRINEMAN, Kenneth J, Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (E), RNVR, DOW

Norwich City

IVES, Frederick, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 232419, DOWS


ANTELL, George R, Chief Petty Officer (Pens), D/232634, DOWS

HOUSLEY, Harry H, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 256956, DOWS

Shoreham, at Basrah

RICHARDS, Charles J, Act/Leading Seaman, D/J 110051, DOWS

Toronto City, steamship

CASSON, Reginald, Act/Able Seaman, RNVR, D/MD/X 3044, (President III, O/P), MPK

DAVIS, Ivor J, Marine, PLY/22735, (President III, O/P), MPK


CUSACK, Charles J, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 203608, died

WILLETTS, Frederick, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 114214, died

3 July 1941

Morris Dance

STONE, Frederick H, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 173216, DOW

Receptive, ship loss

CHISHOLM, James A, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 125340, MPK

CORK, Frederick L, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 109889, MPK

CROSSLAND, Alfred H, Act/Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 100343, killed

GARNETT, Edgar, Ordinary Seaman, R/JX 268565, killed

HAWSON, William B, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 224432, MPK

MCPHERSON, Daniel, Act/2nd Hand, RNR (PS), LT/X 19728 A, killed

REMINGTON, Raymond H A, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR, killed

SHAW, William F, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 110027, MPK

WITTRIDGE, Richard G, Assistant Cook, RNPS, LT/JX 221665, killed

4 July 1941

Robert L Holt, steamship

ASPINALL, Albert, Leading Bombardier, RA, 323499, (4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

DAVIDSON, Alfred W, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 200383, (President III, O/P), MPK

EMMETT, Geoffrey C, Ordinary Signalman, C/JX 232560, (President III, O/P), MPK

HALL, George D, Leading Bombardier, RA, 1490817, (4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

HAY, William B, Gunner, RA, 1648236, (4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

JONES, Victor M, Gunner, RA, 922651, (7/4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

LESTER, Reginald I, Gunner, RA, 5184477, (7/4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

MASON, John, Gunner, RA, 1596037, (7/4 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

SHERMAN, John F, Act/Able Seaman, P/JX 183632, (President III, O/P), MPK

SLEATH, William, Signalman, C/JX 172054, (President III, O/P), MPK

TALBOT, Arthur J, Leading Telegraphist, D/J 28051, (President III, O/P), MPK

TURNER, John C K, Signalman, C/JX 172058, (President III, O/P), MPK

WILSON, Walter H, Act/Leading Signalman, RNVR, C/LD/X 3850, (President III, O/P), MPK

WODEHOUSE, Norman A, Vice Admiral, Rtd, (Eaglet, O/P), MPK

5 July 1941

6/3 Maritime Regt, RA

ARMSTRONG, Anthony, Gunner, RA, 1784888, killed


BALL, Charles, Marine, PO/X 103724, missing

BERRIMAN, John G, Marine, PO/X 103179, missing

CHESTON, Thomas, Marine, PO/X 103220, missing

CLASPER, John W, Marine, PO/X 103218, missing

MOORE, James E, Marine, PO/X 103180, missing

THAKE, Harold S, Marine, PO/X 103173, missing

WHITCHER, Henry J, Marine, PO/X 103185, missing

WINTER, Reginald J, Marine, PO/X 103197, missing

Snaefell, ship loss

BRETT, Frank, Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander, RNR, MPK

LEGGETT, John M H, Able Seaman, D/JX 149500, killed

WALKER, James, Able Seaman, D/JX 175434, killed


SNOWDEN, Henry, Sick Berth Petty Officer, D/MX 46750, died

6 July 1941

Alresford, steamship

NIXON, James A, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 206226, (President III, O/P), died

FAA, 759 Sqn, Heron, air crash

DUNCAN, Thomas, Py/Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

RANDLE, Bertram E, Air Mechanic (O) 2c, FAA/SFX 1450, killed

Georgic, steamship

MUIR, Andrew, Ordinary Seaman, DJX 223515, died


SPARKS, James, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 108742, killed


CLARKE, Patrick J, Fireman, NAP R 200502, died


WILLIAMS, Frederick, Ordinary Telegraphist, D/JX 215231, died

7 July 1941

4/2 Maritime Regt, RA

MCNAMARA, Thomas J, Gunner, RA, 3658685, killed

Designer, steamship

MOODY, Herbert, Gunner, RA, 3658719, (4/2 Maritime Regt, RA, O/P), killed

NISBET, Arnold J, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 224599, (President III, O/P), MPK

RACKLIFF, Thomas E, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 265669, (President III, O/P), MPK

Excellent, air crash

TENNYSON, Frederick P, Ty/Act/Lieutenant, RNVR, (detached from 804 Sqn), killed


KINSEY, James, Boy 1c, D/JX 163540, died

FAA, 782 Sqn, Merlin, air crash

JONES, Walter C, Petty Officer Airman, FAA/FX 81344, killed

FAA, 804 Sqn, Pegasus

PARKE, Thomas R V, Sub Lieutenant (A), (Caroline, O/P), killed

FAA, 808 Sqn, Pegasus , air crash

MILLER, Edwin F, Ty/Act/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 78923, killed

Ferncourt, steamship

BENJAMIN, Roy E, Able Seaman, V 22258 (RCNVR), (President III, O/P), killed

Lord St Vincent

UTTING, James W, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 113986, killed

Pyramus, air crash

DOBSON, Margaret E J, 1st Officer, WRNS, killed

Queen Elizabeth

HARDY, Stanley, Marine, PO/X 4849, died


DAY, Leslie J, Able Seaman, C/JX 201683, killed


SMITH, Victoria W R, WRNS, WRNS 11978, died

8 July 1941


SMITH, Reuben E, Leading Seaman, P/J 106788, died

Dunedin , illness

CRAM, Kenneth G, Ordinary Signalman, P/JX 164084, died

FAA, 778 Sqn, Condor, flare dropping trials at Arbroath, air crash

FURLONG, Robert H, Lieutenant, killed

THOMPSON, Ward, Lieutenant Commander, killed

TILLARD, Arthur J, Lieutenant Commander, MPK

Furious , fire

GIBSON, David, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 238407, DOW

9 July 1941


HIGGINS, William, Engine Room Artificer 4c, D/MX 60245, died


MULLEN, Charles, Stoker 1c, D/K 56068, died

Lord St Vincent

CULLINGFORD, Robert E, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 113987, DOW

Moresby (RAN), illness

VANSTONE, Arthur, Stoker Petty Officer, 9318 (RAN), died

Warspite , bombing

NICHOL, William H, Marine, CH/X 3321, DOW

10 July 1941


BEASLEY, Jack, Ordinary Signalman, D/JX 250394, died

Marshal Soult

STEBBINGS, Leonard, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 186725, died

Tedworth, motor boat sank

BARNES, Percival J, Leading Seaman, P/J 110625, MPK

CALVER, Edward W, Able Seaman, P/J 49557, MPK

DAVISON, Leonard, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 209769, MPK

11 July 1941

Invergordon (location)

BAKER, Percy P, Chief Petty Officer Supply, D/MX 61431, died


COOPER, Alfred J, Stoker Petty Officer, C/K 61322, DOI


LAVERS, Caryl E P, Ordnance Artificer 4c, D/MX 51316, killed


MATHESON, James, Ordinary Seaman, R/JS 243660, died

12 July 1941

4 Maritime Regt, RA

WATCHORN, Richard, Gunner, RA, 3453213, killed

FAA, 809 Sqn, Victorious , air crash

GANNER, John B, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

POWELL, Leslie, Ty/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 79197, killed


LONG, Martin T, Ty/Act/Stoker Petty Officer, C/KX 64951, DOW


JAMES, Reginald A, Able Seaman, RNVR, D/SD/X 1008, died

13 July 1941

Skudd III

JONES, Hugh C, Wireman, C/MX 68831, DOW

14 July 1941

Afrikander IV

TENNANT, Alec F, Marine, PLY/X 3316, died


MACDONALD, Angus, Able Seaman, D/JX 175668, died

Drake I

WILLCOCKS, Eddie S C, Able Seaman, D/JX 155505, died

FAA, 821 Sqn, Daedalus, air crash

BAVIDGE, Frederick B, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 80446, killed

ROBINSON, Lawrence, Air Mechanic (A) 1c, FAA/SFX 547, killed

WOOD, Sydney F J, Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

Formidable , illness

JACKSON, William, Ordnance Artificer 3c, P/MX 51224, died

Georgic, steamship

BROWN, Robert, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 234694, (President III, O/P), MPK

GORMLEY, John W, Able Seaman, D/SSX 24745, (Drake. O/P), MPK

HOWARD, Graham V, Able Seaman, D/JX 147410, (Drake, O/P), MPK

LOUGHLIN, Hamilton, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 181582, (President III, O/P), MPK

ORR, John, Able Seaman, D/JX 152229, (Drake, O/P), MPK

WILLOCKS, Eddie, Able Seaman, D/JX 155506, (Drake, O/P), MPK

Lord Hotham, illness

CANNON, Frank J J, Skipper, RNR, died

Prince David (RCN)

HARRINGTON, Gordon J, Cook, V/25405 (RCNVR), MPK

Torrens (RAN), explosion

DANSWAN, William L E, Able Seaman, 20548 (RAN), killed

TODD, Thomas W, Able Seaman, PA 439 (RANR), killed

15 July 1941

Prince Philippe, collision

FOWLER, Robert, Wireman, P/MX 78215, missing

MONCUR, Francis G, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (E), RNR, DOI


GRAHAM, Francis, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 285485, died

16 July 1941

Ascania, illness

DAVIS, John, Greaser, NAP 991674, died


SMITH, Thomas R, Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist, P/J 14925, died

Bath (No)

OLSEN, Louis, Stoker, (RNorN), died


WILLIAMS, Victor J, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 230331, DOWS

FAA, 767 Sqn, Condor, air crash

WADDY, Roger L, Ty/Midshipman (A), RNVR, MPK

Malvernian, ship loss

STOUT, Charles A, Able Seaman, P/JX 129952, DOW


LEWIS, Albert J, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 256526, died

17 July 1941


GREEN, Stanley J, Chief Petty Officer Cook, P/347503, died

Cypress, mining

HAZZARD, John, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 221423, DOW


THOMPSON, Edward J, Marine, PO/X 102982, DOW

18 July 1941


PEACOCK, Kenneth, Ordinary Signalman, D/JX 84152, killed


HISCOCK, Samuel, Able Seaman, P/SSX 31510, died

19 July 1941

3/2 Maritime Regt, RA

HALE, Alexander R, Gunner, RA, 1434853, killed

Holmside, steamship

DAVEY, James P, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 192737, (President III, O/P), MPK

HANCOCK, Harold, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 261933, (President III, O/P), MPK

ROWLAND, Alfred A, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 167754, (President III, O/P), MPK

Luminary, illness

JACKSON, Thomas, Ty/Boom Skipper, RNR, died

Umpire, submarine, lost

BAKER, Victor E, Able Seaman, P/J 111449, MPK

BANISTER, Peter C McC, Lieutenant, MPK

BEDDIE, Charles, Act/Leading Telegraphist, P/JX 148841, MPK

DUFFY, Joseph A, Act/Leading Seaman, P/SSX 19625, MPK

FOSTER, Charles H, Engine Room Artificer, C/MX 51214, killed

GODDEN, Stephen A G, Sub Lieutenant, killed

HENSON, Henry W, Telegraphist, P/SSX 20811, MPK

HOEY, Patrick J, Act/Leading Seaman, P/JX 149552, MPK

HOUSTON, William J, Stoker 1c, C/KX 83859, MPK

JENNINGS, Harold, Leading Signalman, D/JX 132675, MPK

LEWIN, Walter W, Stoker 1c, C/K 61449, MPK

PHILLIPS, Victor G, Stoker 1c, D/KX 91724, MPK

ROBERTS, Robert, Able Seaman, P/SSX 23548, MPK

SUMNER, Frank, Able Seaman, P/SSX 30914, MPK

TOWN, Ronald T, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 87518, MPK

WELHAM, Frederick, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 200030, MPK

Victory, illness

FOLEY, Herbert O, Ty/Act/Warrant Electrician, died


HOSIE, Gilbert S, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 211626, died

20 July 1941

Bangalore, steamship

COOKE, Leonard S, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 178101, (President III, O/P), MPK


TATE, John W, Able Seaman, C/SSX 27170, died

22 July 1941


BARTLETT, James, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 232445, killed

BLOCK, Arthur P, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 183738, killed

TAMBLING, Edwin, Leading Seaman, RNR (PS), LT/7030 C, MPK

Union, submarine, lost

ACOTT, George W, Able Seaman, RFR, P/J 82584, MPK

BOUSELL, Albert E, Telegraphist, P/J 78305, MPK

BROWN, Herbert E P, Petty Officer, C/JX 128506, MPK

CARR, David L, Lieutenant, MPK

CHIPP, Cyril, Leading Seaman, C/SSX 13497, MPK

CLARK, Charles, Chief Petty Officer, P/J 111325, MPK

CONSTABLE, Frederick S, Stoker 2c, P/KX 111322, MPK

EDDY, William J, Able Seaman, D/J 95504, MPK

FRASER, David, Ty/Act/Leading Signalman, D/JX 155672, MPK

GALLOWAY, Robert M, Lieutenant, MPK

GIBBS, James H, Able Seaman, P/JX 167388, MPK

GILLAM, Albert H, Leading Seaman, RFR, P/J 98639, MPK

GRAVELL, Harry, Stoker 1c, D/KX 77615, MPK

GREAVES, Charles E, Able Seaman, P/J 115204, MPK

HAYTER, Roland H, Leading Stoker, RFR, C/KX 76736, MPK

KEERS, James, Stoker 2c, P/KX 109081, MPK

KEMPSHALL, Ronald A, Act/Leading Stoker, P/KX 93649, MPK

LEWIS, Cyril H, Able Seaman, C/JX 148112, MPK

LOCKWOOD, Arthur F, Able Seaman, C/JX 138250, MPK

MARTIN, Frederick A, Engine Room Artificer 3c, C/MX 47785, MPK

MCMAHON, Cornelius, Able Seaman, D/JX 134654, MPK

MORETON, Clifford W, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 52429, MPK

O'REILLY, John, Act/Leading Telegraphist, D/JX 144567, MPK

PEARSON, Anthony, Telegraphist, P/JX 251650, MPK

SIMMONS, Resbury D C G, Lieutenant, MPK

SPITTLE, Edward T, Engine Room Artificer 2c, P/MX 47342, MPK

SUMMERS, Sidney L, Chief Engine Room Artificer, P/M 39496, MPK

TARRANT, Daniel A, Lieutenant, RNR, MPK

TERRY, Frederick W, Able Seaman, D/SSX 20656, MPK

WICKSTEAD, Edwin J, Stoker 1c, RFR, P/K 65157, MPK

WILLIAMS, Bertie, Stoker Petty Officer, RFR, P/KX 99431, MPK

YUILLE, John B, Petty Officer Telegraphist, C/JX 135830, MPK

23 July 1941

FAA, 805 Sqn, Grebe, air crash

WOODS, Paul R E, Lieutenant (A), killed

Fearless, ship loss

APTER, Thomas G E, Able Seaman, D/SSX 26860, DOW

BAGGOTT, Richard J, Able Seaman, D/J 23228, DOW

BERRY, George I S, Stoker 1c, D/KX 108100, MPK

BOND, Samuel L, Able Seaman, RNVR, D/MD/2935, MPK

BOYCE, Henry T, Leading Steward, D/LX 21573, DOW

FITZGERALD, Thomas D, Stoker 1c, D/KX 94684, MPK

GIRLING, Samuel W, Leading Seaman, D/J 83519, MPK

HARDAKER, Edward, Able Seaman, D/SSX 15416, MPK

HOLMES, Samuel, Able Seaman, D/SSX 27583, DOW

JAMIESON, Charles, Stoker 1c, RFR, D/SS 112756, MPK

MARWOOD, Kenneth J, Leading Seaman, D/JX 136564, MPK

MCNEILL, James, Able Seaman, D/SSX 25765, MPK

MONK, William H, Stoker 1c, D/KX 86554, MPK

NARES, Ramsay A, Ty/Lieutenant, RCNVR, MPK

PATMORE, Herbert W, Leading Seaman, RFR, D/J 99468, MPK

PELLOW, Mark, Able Seaman, D/J 114523, MPK

SMITH, Hugh, Able Seaman, D/SSX 24851, MPK

SQUIRES, William J, Steward, D/LX 24867, MPK

WATSON, Herbert J V, Able Seaman, D/JX 152906, MPK

WHELAN, Clarence, Sick Berth Attendant, RNASBR, D/X 7408, MPK

Manchester (right - NavyPhotos), torpedoed

ANGUS, John O, Act/Leading Stoker, P/K 63999, killed

BALLARD, Charles D, Paymaster Sub Lieutenant, killed

BUCHANAN, Douglas, Act/Petty Officer Telegraphist, P/J 27492, killed

BUCKETT, Wallace, Petty Officer Steward, P/LX 21653, killed

BUTTERWORTH, James A, Leading Stoker, P/KX 77211, MPK

CROSS, George W, Sergeant (Pens), PO/214993, MPK

EVANS, Enoch, Stoker 1c, P/KX 105764, MPK

GRAFTON, Cyril W, Engine Room Artificer 4c, P/MX 57482, MPK

HAYWARD, Henry W, Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist, P/J 54856, MPK

HUTCHBY, Ronald, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/SSX 29028, MPK

IRVING, Thomas D, Marine, PO/X 3694, MPK

JOHNSON, Gerard J, Marine, PO/X 3692, MPK

KEY, Ivor W, Electrical Artificer 4c, P/MX 51818, MPK

LYNCH, William, Engine Room Artificer 4c, P/MX 57566, killed

MCCANN, Frederick, Canteen Assistant, NAAFI, killed

OLDMAN, Dennis J, Ordinary Coder, P/JX 229724, MPK

PARKHOUSE, Kenneth J, Act/Shipwright 4c, P/MX54925, killed

POOLEY, John D, Paymaster Midshipman, killed

PUCKETT, Herbert T, Marine, PO/X 4631, MPK

SHOTTON, Cecil A E, Marine, PO/21856, killed

SMITH, Percival F, Blacksmith 1c, P/MX 58845, killed

STRANACK, Wallace D, Paymaster Commander, killed

STUART, Kenneth, Ordinary Coder, P/JX 196299, killed

STUBBINGTON, Tom, Marine, PO/21141, MPK

WHITEHOUSE, Leonard W A, Act/Leading Telegraphist, P/JX 143130, MPK

WILCOX, Horace, Petty Officer Telegraphist, D/J 109918, killed

Marie Elena

PETERSON, Daniel, 2nd Hand, RNR (PS), LT/67 SE, died

24 July 1941

Fearless, ship loss

CLAPP, Frank, Able Seaman, D/J 64477, DOW

MORGAN, Reginald E, Supply Assistant, D/MX 63699, DOW

RODGERS, Robert S, Able Seaman, D/SSX 27365, DOW

SLEEP, Cyril B, Act/Petty Officer, D/J 111656, DOW

WILLIAMS, Robert H D, Able Seaman, D/JX 196505, DOW


MACKIE, Arthur, Leading Cook, NAP R746, died

Victory II

KELLY, Patrick V E M, Sick Berth Chief Petty Officer, P/M 4213, died

25 July 1941

Achates, mining

ALLEN, Roy C, Able Seaman, P/JX 132666, MPK

ANGEL, Walter T, Able Seaman, C/SSX 27704, MPK

AUSTIN, James T, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 90033, MPK

BAKER, George H, Telegraphist, C/JX 182395, MPK

BOOTHBY, Frederick W, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 83768, MPK

BOWE, James, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 254386, MPK

BRADLEY, John, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 113655, MPK

BROWN, Jim, Stoker 1c, C/SS 125060, MPK

BUTLER, Frederick W, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 40664, MPK

CAINE, Eric D, Stoker 1c, RFR, C/SS 118434, MPK

CALLOW, Douglas, Stoker 1c, C/KX 94652, MPK

CARD, William V, Stoker 1c, C/KX 92820, MPK

CLARK, Francis F, Cook (S), C/MX 66193, MPK

CLARK, Frank, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 240489, MPK

COLE, John A, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 247426, MPK

CORRIGAN, George, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 234821, MPK

DOWLING, John W, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 62995, MPK

ERSKINE, Samuel D, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 259952, MPK

FINCH, John M, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 259332, MPK

FISHER, Arthur J, Stoker 1c, C/KX 105296, MPK

FOGG, Leslie R, Act/Leading Seaman, C/JX 143927, MPK

FOSTER, John, Stoker, C/KX 122429, MPK

FOX, Michael J, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 227928, MPK

FRYERS, Jack D, Stoker 1c, C/KX 96893, MPK

GARWOOD, Kenneth A R, Stoker 2c, C/KX 99501, MPK

GODDING, Wilfred G, Leading Signalman, C/JX 127944, MPK

GRIFFIN, Philip, Stoker 1c, RFR, C/SS 118488, MPK

GRIFFITHS, Frank, Able Seaman, RNVR, C/LD/X 4430, MPK

HALLWORTH, Walter E, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 114400, MPK

HAMILTON, Robert R, Signalman, C/SSX 32663, MPK

HEMMINGS, Arthur J, Telegraphist, C/JX 182360, MPK

HENKE, Gordon H, Able Seaman, C/JX 187406, MPK

HOLLIDAY, John F, Able Seaman, C/JX 168977, MPK

HOLLINS, Fred, Leading Stoker, RFR, C/KX 58159, MPK

JAMES, Arthur G, Able Seaman, C/JX 193228, MPK

KIDD, John D, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/SSX 13870, MPK

KING, Reginald A, Stoker 2c, C/KX 122438, MPK

KNOTT, Archibald C, Stoker 1c, C/KX 98179, MPK

MACDONALD, William G, Able Seaman, RNVR, C/LD/X 3996, MPK

MCCLINTOCK, Bertram P, Stoker 1c, RFR, C/SS 120251, MPK

MERRITT, Walter C, Able Seaman, C/J 45741, MPK

MORRISON, John F, Able Seaman, RNVR, C/TD/X 2032, MPK

MUCKIAN, Thomas, Able Seaman, C/JX 169145, MPK

MURPHY, Vincent C, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 206170, MPK

NASH, John, Able Seaman, RFR, C/SS 7953, MPK

NEVE, Albert E, Stoker, C/SS 118075, MPK

PERRIN, Charles W, Stoker, C/KX 122448, MPK

PRITCHARD, William C, Ty/Act/Leading Seaman, C/SSX 20061, MPK

RATCLIFFE, Sidney, Signalman, C/JX 152513, MPK

REID, Joseph, Stoker 1c, C/KX 110209, MPK

RICHARDS, Henry G, Able Seaman, RFR, C/J 57444, MPK

ROBERTS, Ernest J, Stoker 1c, C/KX 107640, MPK

ROBERTSON, Jack L C, Act/Leading Telegraphist, RNV(W)R, C/WRX 302, MPK

ROBINS, Frank, Stoker 1c, C/KX 110340, MPK

SMITH, Richard V, Stoker 2c, C/KX 110095, MPK

STONE, Dennis G, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 220630, MPK

STRATTON, George C, Stoker 1c, C/K 57805, MPK

STURROCK, Alfred, Telegraphist, C/JX 129099, MPK

SWINDELLS, George, Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 91288, MPK

TAYLOR, Joseph, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 249760, MPK

WATERS, Donald R F, Coder, C/JX 207431, MPK

WELBOURNE, Jack, Able Seaman, C/JX 172218, MPK

WISBEY, Percy C, Stoker 1c, RFR, C/SS 124703, MPK

WYNNE, William H, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 259318, MPK

YOULDON, Maurice N, Able Seaman, C/SSX 16676, MPK

Corbrae, drowning

COOKE, James E, Able Seaman, C/J 89608, died

FAA, Ark Royal , air operations

806 Sqn

BARNES, Frederick A, Act/Petty Officer Airman, FAA/FX 77002, killed

807 Sqn

GRANT, Kenneth G, Py/Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

MCLEOD, Hugh, Ty/Act/Leading Airman, D/JX 182475, killed

808 Sqn

KINDERSLEY, Alistair T J, Lieutenant, killed

FAA, 815 Sqn, Grebe, air crash

CANN, Alfred H, Py/Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

WISE, Douglas A, Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

Kos XI, drowning

MANN, Geoffrey B, Ty/Lieutenant, RANVR, died


POTTER, John C A, Ty/Act/Petty Officer, C/JX 142221, DOW

26 July 1941


RYALLS, Grant, Act/Leading Airman, L/FX 81925, died

Melville (RAN), illness

GRANGER, George F, Able Seaman, 22973 (RAN), died


GREGORY, Walter E, Engineman, RNR (PS), LT/X 6076 ES, DOWS

RM Engineers, road accident

DAVIS, Stanley W, Marine, RME 10048, killed

Victory III

EARL, Robert G, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/JX 229155, died

27 July 1941


TOLLIDAY, George F, Leading Seaman, P/J 983, died


HEAVENS, Alfred E, Able Seaman, D/JX 141145, DOW


RENEAU, Louis J W, Ordinary Signalman, P/SSX 30508, died

Hawkinge, steamship

BRYNE or BYRNE, Gerard, Act/Able Seaman, D/JX 196824, (President III, O/P), MPK or killed

KENNEDY, Michael, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 255108, (President III, O/P), MPK

Kellwyn, steamship

CHRISTIE, David, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 249878, (President III, O/P), MPK

HEMPEL, Martin, Act/Able Seaman, C/JX 265710, (President III, O/P), MPK

PILLING, Roger J, Act/Able Seaman, P/JX 215146, (President III, O/P), MPK


BANKS, Arthur E B, Leading Seaman, P/J 99222, died


LESTER, William H, Able Seaman, C/JX 167769, died

RM 2nd AA Regt

HARRIS, Percy R, Marine, EX 5521, died


MESSRUTHER, Richard A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 174712, died

28 July 1941


HUMPHREY, Ernest J A, Ordinary Seaman, JX 262504, died

FAA, 759 Sqn, Heron, air crash

LANGSHAW, Ronald W, Py/Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, killed

Hiniesta, illness

TEMPLETON, James, Ty/Lieutenant (E), RNR, died

King George V

RACE, Leslie C, Stoker 2c, D/KX 109530, died


BOOKER, Frederick J, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 90859, killed


CONGREVE, Sir Geoffrey C, Commander, Rtd, killed


MURRAY, Frederick, Chief Petty Officer, P/213716, died

29 July 1941

A.8, LCT, ship loss

CHADLEY, Maurice, Motor Mechanic, C/MX 67543, MPK

GRAHAM, John R, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 211957, MPK

MILLIGAN, Hugh L, Ty/Act/Stoker Petty Officer, P/KX 83221, MPK

PRICE, Edward F, Stoker 1c, P/KX 77811, MPK

ROE, Charles C, Motor Mechanic, P/MX 78257, MPK

WARD, Clifford J, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 217207, MPK

WOTHERSPOON, Robert, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 217694, MPK

WRIGHT, Roy M, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK

Bahadur (RIN)

SULAIMAN, Khan G, Boy, 5518 (RIN), died


ASHTON, Ernest W, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 263405, killed

FAA, 832 Sqn, Daedalus, air crash

BYAM, Lawrence E W, Py/Ty/Midshipman (A), RNVR, missing

CURWEN, George, Leading Airman, P/JX 182456, missing

WHEATLEY, Colin, Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

Thracian, drowning

HEATLEY, Tom P J, Sub Lieutenant, RNR, MPK

30 July 1941

1/1 Maritime Regt, RA

GUTHRIE, Alfred E, Gunner, RA, 3774079, killed

FAA, 771 Sqn, Jackdaw, air crash

BURTON, William H, Air Mechanic (A) 1c, FAA/FX 75443, killed

WILCOX, Kenneth, Act/Leading Photographer, P/MX 62894, killed

FAA, 800 Sqn, Furious

Air crash

BEARDSLEY, James, Ty/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 82598, missing

BLACK, Joseph F, Petty Officer Airman, FAA/FX 76311, missing

Air operations

BURKE, Edmund S, Py/Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

GALLICHAN, Francis J G, Sub Lieutenant (A), missing

FAA, Victorious , air operations

809 Sqn

BARROW, Leslie E, Ty/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 78373, killed

827 Sqn

FABIEN, Ernest P, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/SR 648, DOW

MCKENDRICK, Maurice G, Lieutenant, missing

MILLS, Eric A, Py/Ty/Midshipman (A), RNVR, missing

SHARPLES, Frank, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/SFX 418, missing

WADE, Harold J R, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 79403, killed

828 Sqn

BEER, Cyril F, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/FX 80778, killed

CORNER, Dennis W, Ty/Leading Airman, D/JX 145837, missing

DAVIES, John J R, Sub Lieutenant (A), missing

FOX, Alfred, Act/Leading Airman, FAA/D/JX 148602, missing

HUGHES-WILLIAMS, Edward E, Ty/Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

MCKAY, Donald R, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

PATON, John G, Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A), RNVR, missing

31 July 1941

Ark Royal

LAPSLEY, Robert W, Air Mechanic 2c, FAA/FX 79861, died


PRATT, Harry N, Marine, EX 1967, DOWS

A calm summer evening in Norfolk | July 22,1941

It was 75 years ago this evening (July 22, 1941), and one of our photographers took a stroll through downtown Norfolk and captured these images.

It was a Tuesday, a mild evening for a Tidewater summer, and there was plenty of foot traffic along the streets to capture.

Groups of sailors in uniform heading to restaurants and bars, housewives ducking into department stores for a quick purchase and teens seeking the cool dark comfort of the NORVA and Loew's movie house.

War was raging in Europe, and folks here in the States were generally feeling that their loved ones could soon be asked to answer the call to duty. Scrap aluminum drives were in full force and there were plenty of pictures of mountains of aluminum pots and pans appearing in the newspapers. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was just a few months away. The War would visit these folks soon enough, but for now, Norfolk's downtown was a place where one could catch a movie, belly up to the bar or share a quiet dark corner in a Main Street Tavern.


Early career

Kahlo enjoyed art from an early age, receiving drawing instruction from printmaker Fernando Fernández (who was her father's friend) [7] and filling notebooks with sketches. [8] In 1925, she began to work outside of school to help her family. [9] After briefly working as a stenographer, she became a paid engraving apprentice for Fernández. [10] He was impressed by her talent, [11] although she did not consider art as a career at this time. [8]

A severe bus accident at the age of 18 left Kahlo in lifelong pain. Confined to bed for three months following the accident, Kahlo began to paint. [12] She started to consider a career as a medical illustrator, as well, which would combine her interests in science and art. Her mother provided her with a specially-made easel, which enabled her to paint in bed, and her father lent her some of his oil paints. She had a mirror placed above the easel, so that she could see herself. [13] [12] Painting became a way for Kahlo to explore questions of identity and existence. [14] She explained, "I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best." [12] She later stated that the accident and the isolating recovery period made her desire "to begin again, painting things just as [she] saw them with [her] own eyes and nothing more." [15]

Most of the paintings Kahlo made during this time were portraits of herself, her sisters, and her schoolfriends. [16] Her early paintings and correspondence show that she drew inspiration especially from European artists, in particular Renaissance masters such as Sandro Botticelli and Bronzino [17] and from avant-garde movements such as Neue Sachlichkeit and Cubism. [18]

On moving to Morelos in 1929 with her husband Rivera, Kahlo was inspired by the city of Cuernavaca where they lived. [19] She changed her artistic style and increasingly drew inspiration from Mexican folk art. [20] Art historian Andrea Kettenmann states that she may have been influenced by Adolfo Best Maugard's treatise on the subject, for she incorporated many of the characteristics that he outlined – for example, the lack of perspective and the combining of elements from pre-Columbian and colonial periods of Mexican art. [21] Her identification with La Raza, the people of Mexico, and her profound interest in its culture remained important facets of her art throughout the rest of her life. [22]

Work in the United States

When Kahlo and Rivera moved to San Francisco in 1930, Kahlo was introduced to American artists such as Edward Weston, Ralph Stackpole, Timothy L. Pflueger, and Nickolas Muray. [23] The six months spent in San Francisco were a productive period for Kahlo, [24] who further developed the folk art style she had adopted in Cuernavaca. [25] In addition to painting portraits of several new acquaintances, [26] she made Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931), a double portrait based on their wedding photograph, [27] and The Portrait of Luther Burbank (1931), which depicted the eponymous horticulturist as a hybrid between a human and a plant. [28] Although she still publicly presented herself as simply Rivera's spouse rather than as an artist, [29] she participated for the first time in an exhibition, when Frieda and Diego Rivera was included in the Sixth Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists in the Palace of the Legion of Honor. [30] [31]

On moving to Detroit with Rivera, Kahlo experienced numerous health problems related to a failed pregnancy. [32] Despite these health problems, as well as her dislike for the capitalist culture of the United States, [33] Kahlo's time in the city was beneficial for her artistic expression. She experimented with different techniques, such as etching and frescos, [34] and her paintings began to show a stronger narrative style. [35] She also began placing emphasis on the themes of "terror, suffering, wounds, and pain". [34] Despite the popularity of the mural in Mexican art at the time, she adopted a diametrically opposed medium, votive images or retablos, religious paintings made on small metal sheets by amateur artists to thank saints for their blessings during a calamity. [36] Amongst the works she made in the retablo manner in Detroit are Henry Ford Hospital (1932), My Birth (1932), and Self-Portrait on the Border of Mexico and the United States (1932). [34] While none of Kahlo's works were featured in exhibitions in Detroit, she gave an interview to the Detroit News on her art the article was condescendingly titled "Wife of the Master Mural Painter Gleefully Dabbles in Works of Art". [37]

Return to Mexico City and international recognition

Upon returning to Mexico City in 1934 Kahlo made no new paintings, and only two in the following year, due to health complications. [38] In 1937 and 1938, however, Kahlo's artistic career was extremely productive, following her divorce and then reconciliation with Rivera. She painted more "than she had done in all her eight previous years of marriage", creating such works as My Nurse and I (1937), Memory, the Heart (1937), Four Inhabitants of Mexico (1938), and What the Water Gave Me (1938). [39] Although she was still unsure about her work, the National Autonomous University of Mexico exhibited some of her paintings in early 1938. [40] She made her first significant sale in the summer of 1938 when film star and art collector Edward G. Robinson purchased four paintings at $200 each. [40] Even greater recognition followed when French Surrealist André Breton visited Rivera in April 1938. He was impressed by Kahlo, immediately claiming her as a surrealist and describing her work as "a ribbon around a bomb". [41] He not only promised to arrange for her paintings to be exhibited in Paris but also wrote to his friend and art dealer, Julien Levy, who invited her to hold her first solo exhibition at his gallery on the East 57th Street in Manhattan. [42]

In October, Kahlo traveled alone to New York, where her colorful Mexican dress "caused a sensation" and made her seen as "the height of exotica". [41] The exhibition opening in November was attended by famous figures such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Clare Boothe Luce and received much positive attention in the press, although many critics adopted a condescending tone in their reviews. [43] For example, Time wrote that "Little Frida's pictures . had the daintiness of miniatures, the vivid reds, and yellows of Mexican tradition and the playfully bloody fancy of an unsentimental child". [44] Despite the Great Depression, Kahlo sold half of the 25 paintings presented in the exhibition. [45] She also received commissions from A. Conger Goodyear, then the president of the MoMA, and Clare Boothe Luce, for whom she painted a portrait of Luce's friend, socialite Dorothy Hale, who had committed suicide by jumping from her apartment building. [46] During the three months she spent in New York, Kahlo painted very little, instead focusing on enjoying the city to the extent that her fragile health allowed. [47] She also had several affairs, continuing the one with Nickolas Muray and engaging in ones with Levy and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. [48]

In January 1939, Kahlo sailed to Paris to follow up on André Breton's invitation to stage an exhibition of her work. [49] When she arrived, she found that he had not cleared her paintings from the customs and no longer even owned a gallery. [50] With the aid of Marcel Duchamp, she was able to arrange for an exhibition at the Renou et Colle Gallery. [50] Further problems arose when the gallery refused to show all but two of Kahlo's paintings, considering them too shocking for audiences, [51] and Breton insisted that they be shown alongside photographs by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, pre-Columbian sculptures, 18th- and 19th-century Mexican portraits, and what she considered "junk": sugar skulls, toys, and other items he had bought from Mexican markets. [52]

The exhibition opened in March, but received much less attention than she had received in the United States, partly due to the looming Second World War, and made a loss financially, which led Kahlo to cancel a planned exhibition in London. [53] Regardless, the Louvre purchased The Frame, making her the first Mexican artist to be featured in their collection. [54] She was also warmly received by other Parisian artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, [52] as well as the fashion world, with designer Elsa Schiaparelli designing a dress inspired by her and Vogue Paris featuring her on its pages. [53] However, her overall opinion of Paris and the Surrealists remained negative in a letter to Muray, she called them "this bunch of coocoo lunatics and very stupid surrealists" [52] who "are so crazy 'intellectual' and rotten that I can't even stand them anymore." [55]

In the United States, Kahlo's paintings continued to raise interest. In 1941, her works were featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and, in the following year, she participated in two high-profile exhibitions in New York, the Twentieth-Century Portraits exhibition at the MoMA and the Surrealists' First Papers of Surrealism exhibition. [56] In 1943, she was included in the Mexican Art Today exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Women Artists at Peggy Guggenheim's The Art of This Century gallery in New York. [57]

Kahlo gained more appreciation for her art in Mexico as well. She became a founding member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana, a group of twenty-five artists commissioned by the Ministry of Public Education in 1942 to spread public knowledge of Mexican culture. [58] As a member, she took part in planning exhibitions and attended a conference on art. [59] In Mexico City, her paintings were featured in two exhibitions on Mexican art that were staged at the English-language Benjamin Franklin Library in 1943 and 1944. She was invited to participate in "Salon de la Flor", an exhibition presented at the annual flower exposition. [60] An article by Rivera on Kahlo's art was also published in the journal published by the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana. [61]

In 1943, Kahlo accepted a teaching position at the recently reformed, nationalistic Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda." [62] She encouraged her students to treat her in an informal and non-hierarchical way and taught them to appreciate Mexican popular culture and folk art and to derive their subjects from the street. [63] When her health problems made it difficult for her to commute to the school in Mexico City, she began to hold her lessons at La Casa Azul. [64] Four of her students – Fanny Rabel, Arturo García Bustos, Guillermo Monroy, and Arturo Estrada – became devotees, and were referred to as "Los Fridos" for their enthusiasm. [65] Kahlo secured three mural commissions for herself and her students. [66] In 1944, they painted La Rosita, a pulqueria in Coyoacán. In 1945, the government commissioned them to paint murals for a Coyoacán launderette as part of a national scheme to help poor women who made their living as laundresses. The same year, the group created murals for Posada del Sol, a hotel in Mexico City. However, it was destroyed soon after completion as the hotel's owner did not like it. [ citation needed ]

Kahlo struggled to make a living from her art until the mid to late 1940s, as she refused to adapt her style to suit her clients' wishes. [67] She received two commissions from the Mexican government in the early 1940s. She did not complete the first one, possibly due to her dislike of the subject, and the second commission was rejected by the commissioning body. [67] Nevertheless, she had regular private clients, such as engineer Eduardo Morillo Safa, who ordered more than thirty portraits of family members over the decade. [67] Her financial situation improved when she received a 5000-peso national prize for her painting Moses (1945) in 1946 and when The Two Fridas was purchased by the Museo de Arte Moderno in 1947. [68] According to art historian Andrea Kettenmann, by the mid-1940s, her paintings were "featured in the majority of group exhibitions in Mexico." Further, Martha Zamora wrote that she could "sell whatever she was currently painting sometimes incomplete pictures were purchased right off the easel." [69]

Late years

Even as Kahlo was gaining recognition in Mexico, her health was declining rapidly, and an attempted surgery to support her spine failed. [70] Her paintings from this period include Broken Column (1944), Without Hope (1945), Tree of Hope, Stand Fast (1946), and The Wounded Deer (1946), reflecting her poor physical state. [70] During her last years, Kahlo was mostly confined to the Casa Azul. [71] She painted mostly still lifes, portraying fruit and flowers with political symbols such as flags or doves. [72] She was concerned about being able to portray her political convictions, stating that "I have a great restlessness about my paintings. Mainly because I want to make it useful to the revolutionary communist movement. until now I have managed simply an honest expression of my own self . I must struggle with all my strength to ensure that the little positive my health allows me to do also benefits the Revolution, the only real reason to live." [73] [74] She also altered her painting style: her brushstrokes, previously delicate and careful, were now hastier, her use of color more brash, and the overall style more intense and feverish. [75]

Photographer Lola Alvarez Bravo understood that Kahlo did not have much longer to live, and thus staged her first solo exhibition in Mexico at the Galería Arte Contemporaneo in April 1953. [76] Though Kahlo was initially not due to attend the opening, as her doctors had prescribed bed rest for her, she ordered her four-poster bed to be moved from her home to the gallery. To the surprise of the guests, she arrived in an ambulance and was carried on a stretcher to the bed, where she stayed for the duration of the party. [76] The exhibition was a notable cultural event in Mexico and also received attention in mainstream press around the world. [77] The same year, the Tate Gallery's exhibition on Mexican art in London featured five of her paintings. [78]

In 1954, Kahlo was again hospitalized in April and May. [79] That spring, she resumed painting after a one-year interval. [80] Her last paintings include the political Marxism Will Give Health to the Sick (c. 1954) and Frida and Stalin (c. 1954) and the still-life Viva La Vida (1954). [81]

Estimates vary on how many paintings Kahlo made during her life, with figures ranging from fewer than 150 [82] to around 200. [83] [84] Her earliest paintings, which she made in the mid-1920s, show influence from Renaissance masters and European avant-garde artists such as Amedeo Modigliani. [85] Towards the end of the decade, Kahlo derived more inspiration from Mexican folk art, [86] drawn to its elements of "fantasy, naivety, and fascination with violence and death". [84] The style she developed mixed reality with surrealistic elements and often depicted pain and death. [87]

One of Kahlo's earliest champions was Surrealist artist André Breton, who claimed her as part of the movement as an artist who had supposedly developed her style "in total ignorance of the ideas that motivated the activities of my friends and myself". [88] This was echoed by Bertram D. Wolfe, who wrote that Kahlo's was a "sort of 'naïve' Surrealism, which she invented for herself". [89] Although Breton regarded her as mostly a feminine force within the Surrealist movement, Kahlo brought postcolonial questions and themes to the forefront of her brand of Surrealism. [90] Breton also described Kahlo's work as "wonderfully situated at the point of intersection between the political (philosophical) line and the artistic line." [91] While she subsequently participated in Surrealist exhibitions, she stated that she "detest[ed] Surrealism", which to her was "bourgeois art" and not "true art that the people hope from the artist". [92] Some art historians have disagreed whether her work should be classified as belonging to the movement at all. According to Andrea Kettenmann, Kahlo was a symbolist concerned more in portraying her inner experiences. [93] Emma Dexter has argued that, as Kahlo derived her mix of fantasy and reality mainly from Aztec mythology and Mexican culture instead of Surrealism, it is more appropriate to consider her paintings as having more in common with magical realism, also known as New Objectivity. It combined reality and fantasy and employed similar style to Kahlo's, such as flattened perspective, clearly outlined characters and bright colours. [94]


Similarly to many other contemporary Mexican artists, Kahlo was heavily influenced by Mexicanidad, a romantic nationalism that had developed in the aftermath of the revolution. [95] [84] The Mexicanidad movement claimed to resist the "mindset of cultural inferiority" created by colonialism, and placed special importance on indigenous cultures. [96] Before the revolution, Mexican folk culture – a mixture of indigenous and European elements – was disparaged by the elite, who claimed to have purely European ancestry and regarded Europe as the definition of civilization which Mexico should imitate. [97] Kahlo's artistic ambition was to paint for the Mexican people, and she stated that she wished "to be worthy, with my paintings, of the people to whom I belong and to the ideas which strengthen me". [92] To enforce this image, she preferred to conceal the education she had received in art from her father and Ferdinand Fernandez and at the preparatory school. Instead, she cultivated an image of herself as a "self-taught and naive artist". [98]

When Kahlo began her career as an artist in the 1920s, muralists dominated the Mexican art scene. They created large public pieces in the vein of Renaissance masters and Russian socialist realists: they usually depicted masses of people, and their political messages were easy to decipher. [99] Although she was close to muralists such as Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siquieros and shared their commitment to socialism and Mexican nationalism, the majority of Kahlo's paintings were self-portraits of relatively small size. [100] [84] Particularly in the 1930s, her style was especially indebted to votive paintings or retablos, which were postcard-sized religious images made by amateur artists. [101] Their purpose was to thank saints for their protection during a calamity, and they normally depicted an event, such as an illness or an accident, from which its commissioner had been saved. [102] The focus was on the figures depicted, and they seldom featured a realistic perspective or detailed background, thus distilling the event to its essentials. [103] Kahlo had an extensive collection of approximately 2,000 retablos, which she displayed on the walls of La Casa Azul. [104] According to Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, the retablo format enabled Kahlo to "develop the limits of the purely iconic and allowed her to use narrative and allegory." [105]

Many of Kahlo's self-portraits mimic the classic bust-length portraits that were fashionable during the colonial era, but they subverted the format by depicting their subject as less attractive than in reality. [106] She concentrated more frequently on this format towards the end of the 1930s, thus reflecting changes in Mexican society. Increasingly disillusioned by the legacy of the revolution and struggling to cope with the effects of the Great Depression, Mexicans were abandoning the ethos of socialism for individualism. [107] This was reflected by the "personality cults", which developed around Mexican film stars such as Dolores del Río. [107] According to Schaefer, Kahlo's "mask-like self-portraits echo the contemporaneous fascination with the cinematic close-up of feminine beauty, as well as the mystique of female otherness expressed in film noir." [107] By always repeating the same facial features, Kahlo drew from the depiction of goddesses and saints in indigenous and Catholic cultures. [108]

Out of specific Mexican folk artists, Kahlo was especially influenced by Hermenegildo Bustos, whose works portrayed Mexican culture and peasant life, and José Guadalupe Posada, who depicted accidents and crime in satiric manner. [109] She also derived inspiration from the works of Hieronymus Bosch, whom she called a "man of genius", and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, whose focus on peasant life was similar to her own interest in the Mexican people. [110] Another influence was the poet Rosario Castellanos, whose poems often chronicle a woman's lot in the patriarchal Mexican society, a concern with the female body, and tell stories of immense physical and emotional pain. [86]

Symbolism and iconography

Kahlo's paintings often feature root imagery, with roots growing out of her body to tie her to the ground. This reflects in a positive sense the theme of personal growth in a negative sense of being trapped in a particular place, time and situation and in an ambiguous sense of how memories of the past influence the present for either good and/or ill. [111] In My Grandparents and I, Kahlo painted herself as a ten-year old, holding a ribbon that grows from an ancient tree that bears the portraits of her grandparents and other ancestors while her left foot is a tree trunk growing out of the ground, reflecting Kahlo's view of humanity's unity with the earth and her own sense of unity with Mexico. [112] In Kahlo's paintings, trees serve as symbols of hope, of strength and of a continuity that transcends generations. [113] Additionally, hair features as a symbol of growth and of the feminine in Kahlo's paintings and in Self Portrait with Cropped Hair, Kahlo painted herself wearing a man's suit and shorn of her long hair, which she had just cut off. [114] Kahlo holds the scissors with one hand menacingly close to her genitals, which can be interpreted as a threat to Rivera – whose frequent unfaithfulness infuriated her – and/or a threat to harm her own body like she has attacked her own hair, a sign of the way that women often project their fury against others onto themselves. [115] Moreover, the picture reflects Kahlo's frustration not only with Rivera, but also her unease with the patriarchal values of Mexico as the scissors symbolize a malevolent sense of masculinity that threatens to "cut up" women, both metaphorically and literally. [115] In Mexico, the traditional Spanish values of machismo were widely embraced, but Kahlo was always uncomfortable with machismo. [115]

As she suffered for the rest of her life from the bus accident in her youth, Kahlo spent much of her life in hospitals and undergoing surgery, much of it performed by quacks who Kahlo believed could restore her back to where she had been before the accident. [112] Many of Kahlo's paintings are concerned with medical imagery, which is presented in terms of pain and hurt, featuring Kahlo bleeding and displaying her open wounds. [112] Many of Kahlo's medical paintings, especially dealing with childbirth and miscarriage, have a strong sense of guilt, of a sense of living one's life at the expense of another who has died so one might live. [113]

Although Kahlo featured herself and events from her life in her paintings, they were often ambiguous in meaning. [116] She did not use them only to show her subjective experience but to raise questions about Mexican society and the construction of identity within it, particularly gender, race, and social class. [117] Historian Liza Bakewell has stated that Kahlo "recognized the conflicts brought on by revolutionary ideology":

What was it to be a Mexican? – modern, yet pre-Columbian young, yet old anti-Catholic yet Catholic Western, yet New World developing, yet underdeveloped independent, yet colonized mestizo, yet not Spanish nor Indian. [118]

To explore these questions through her art, Kahlo developed a complex iconography, extensively employing pre-Columbian and Christian symbols and mythology in her paintings. [119] In most of her self-portraits, she depicts her face as mask-like, but surrounded by visual cues which allow the viewer to decipher deeper meanings for it. Aztec mythology features heavily in Kahlo's paintings in symbols including monkeys, skeletons, skulls, blood, and hearts often, these symbols referred to the myths of Coatlicue, Quetzalcoatl, and Xolotl. [120] Other central elements that Kahlo derived from Aztec mythology were hybridity and dualism. [121] Many of her paintings depict opposites: life and death, pre-modernity and modernity, Mexican and European, male and female. [122]

In addition to Aztec legends, Kahlo frequently depicted two central female figures from Mexican folklore in her paintings: La Llorona and La Malinche [123] as interlinked to the hard situations, the suffering, misfortune or judgement, as being calamitous, wretched or being "de la chingada". [124] For example, when she painted herself following her miscarriage in Detroit in Henry Ford Hospital (1932), she shows herself as weeping, with dishevelled hair and an exposed heart, which are all considered part of the appearance of La Llorona, a woman who murdered her children. [125] The painting was traditionally interpreted as simply a depiction of Kahlo's grief and pain over her failed pregnancies. But with the interpretation of the symbols in the painting and the information of Kahlo's actual views towards motherhood from her correspondence, the painting has been seen as depicting the unconventional and taboo choice of a woman remaining childless in Mexican society. [ citation needed ]

Kahlo often featured her own body in her paintings, presenting it in varying states and disguises: as wounded, broken, as a child, or clothed in different outfits, such as the Tehuana costume, a man's suit, or a European dress. [126] She used her body as a metaphor to explore questions on societal roles. [127] Her paintings often depicted the female body in an unconventional manner, such as during miscarriages, and childbirth or cross-dressing. [128] In depicting the female body in graphic manner, Kahlo positioned the viewer in the role of the voyeur, "making it virtually impossible for a viewer not to assume a consciously held position in response". [129]

According to Nancy Cooey, Kahlo made herself through her paintings into "the main character of her own mythology, as a woman, as a Mexican, and as a suffering person . She knew how to convert each into a symbol or sign capable of expressing the enormous spiritual resistance of humanity and its splendid sexuality". [130] Similarly, Nancy Deffebach has stated that Kahlo "created herself as a subject who was female, Mexican, modern, and powerful", and who diverged from the usual dichotomy of roles of mother/whore allowed to women in Mexican society. [131] Due to her gender and divergence from the muralist tradition, Kahlo's paintings were treated as less political and more naïve and subjective than those of her male counterparts up until the late 1980s. [132] According to art historian Joan Borsa,

the critical reception of her exploration of subjectivity and personal history has all too frequently denied or de-emphasized the politics involved in examining one's own location, inheritances and social conditions . Critical responses continue to gloss over Kahlo's reworking of the personal, ignoring or minimizing her interrogation of sexuality, sexual difference, marginality, cultural identity, female subjectivity, politics and power. [82]

1907–1924: Family and childhood

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón [a] was born on 6 July 1907 in Coyoacán, a village on the outskirts of Mexico City. [134] [135] Kahlo stated that she was born at the family home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House), but according to the official birth registry, the birth took place at the nearby home of her maternal grandmother. [136] Kahlo's parents were photographer Guillermo Kahlo (1871–1941) and Matilde Calderón y González (1876–1932), and they were thirty-six and thirty, respectively, when they had her. [137] Originally from Germany, Guillermo had immigrated to Mexico in 1891, after epilepsy caused by an accident ended his university studies. [138] Although Kahlo said her father was Jewish, he was in fact a Lutheran. [139] [140] Matilde was born in Oaxaca to an Indigenous father and a mother of Spanish descent. [141] In addition to Kahlo, the marriage produced daughters Matilde (c. 1898–1951), Adriana (c. 1902–1968), and Cristina (c. 1908–1964). [142] She had two half-sisters from Guillermo's first marriage, María Luisa and Margarita, but they were raised in a convent. [143]

Kahlo later described the atmosphere in her childhood home as often "very, very sad". [144] Both parents were often sick, [145] and their marriage was devoid of love. [146] Her relationship with her mother, Matilde, was extremely tense. [147] Kahlo described her mother as "kind, active and intelligent, but also calculating, cruel and fanatically religious." [147] Her father Guillermo's photography business suffered greatly during the Mexican Revolution, as the overthrown government had commissioned works from him, and the long civil war limited the number of private clients. [145]

When Kahlo was six years old, she contracted polio, which made her right leg shorter and thinner than the left. [148] [b] The illness forced her to be isolated from her peers for months, and she was bullied. [151] While the experience made her reclusive, [144] it made her Guillermo's favorite due to their shared experience of living with disability. [152] Kahlo credited him for making her childhood "marvelous . he was an immense example to me of tenderness, of work (photographer and also painter), and above all in understanding for all my problems." He taught her about literature, nature, and philosophy, and encouraged her to play sports to regain her strength, despite the fact that most physical exercise was seen as unsuitable for girls. [153] He also taught her photography, and she began to help him retouch, develop, and color photographs. [154]

Due to polio, Kahlo began school later than her peers. [155] Along with her younger sister Cristina, she attended the local kindergarten and primary school in Coyoacán and was homeschooled for the fifth and sixth grades. [156] While Cristina followed their sisters into a convent school, Kahlo was enrolled in a German school due to their father's wishes. [157] She was soon expelled for disobedience and was sent to a vocational teachers school. [156] Her stay at the school was brief, as she was sexually abused by a female teacher. [156]

In 1922, Kahlo was accepted to the elite National Preparatory School, where she focused on natural sciences with the aim of becoming a physician. [158] The institution had only recently begun admitting women, with only 35 girls out of 2,000 students. [159] She performed well academically, [10] was a voracious reader, and became "deeply immersed and seriously committed to Mexican culture, political activism and issues of social justice". [160] The school promoted indigenismo, a new sense of Mexican identity that took pride in the country's indigenous heritage and sought to rid itself of the colonial mindset of Europe as superior to Mexico. [161] Particularly influential to Kahlo at this time were nine of her schoolmates, with whom she formed an informal group called the "Cachuchas" – many of them would become leading figures of the Mexican intellectual elite. [162] They were rebellious and against everything conservative and pulled pranks, staged plays, and debated philosophy and Russian classics. [162] To mask the fact that she was older and to declare herself a "daughter of the revolution", she began saying that she had been born on 7 July 1910, the year the Mexican Revolution began, which she continued throughout her life. [163] She fell in love with Alejandro Gomez Arias, the leader of the group and her first love. Her parents did not approve of the relationship. Arias and Kahlo were often separated from each other, due to the political instability and violence of the period, so they exchanged passionate love letters. [12] [164]

1925–1930: Bus accident and marriage to Diego Rivera

On 17 September 1925, Kahlo and her boyfriend, Arias, were on their way home from school. They boarded one bus, but they got off the bus to look for an umbrella that Kahlo had left behind. They then boarded a second bus, which was crowded, and they sat in the back. The driver attempted to pass an oncoming electric streetcar. The streetcar crashed into the side of the wooden bus, dragging it a few feet. Several passengers were killed in the accident. While Arias suffered minor damages, Kahlo had been impaled with an iron handrail that went through her pelvis. She later described the injury as "the way a sword pierces a bull." The handrail was removed by Arias and others, which was incredibly painful for Kahlo. [164] [165] [166]

Kahlo suffered many injuries: Her pelvic bone had been fractured, her abdomen and uterus had been punctured by the rail, her spine was broken in three places, her right leg was broken in eleven places, her right foot was crushed and dislocated, her collarbone was broken, and her shoulder was dislocated. [164] [167] She spent a month in hospital and two months recovering at home before being able to return to work. [165] [166] [168] As she continued to experience fatigue and back pain, her doctors ordered X-rays, which revealed that the accident had also displaced three vertebrae. [169] As treatment she had to wear a plaster corset which confined her to bed rest for the better part of three months. [169]

The accident ended Kahlo's dreams of becoming a physician and caused her pain and illness for the rest of her life her friend Andrés Henestrosa stated that Kahlo "lived dying". [170] Kahlo's bed rest was over by late 1927, and she began socializing with her old schoolfriends, who were now at university and involved in student politics. She joined the Mexican Communist Party (PCM) and was introduced to a circle of political activists and artists, including the exiled Cuban communist Julio Antonio Mella and the Italian-American photographer Tina Modotti. [171]

At one of Modotti's parties in June 1928, Kahlo was introduced to Diego Rivera. [172] They had met briefly in 1922 when he was painting a mural at her school. [173] Shortly after their introduction in 1928, Kahlo asked him to judge whether her paintings showed enough talent for her to pursue a career as an artist. [174] Rivera recalled being impressed by her works, stating that they showed, "an unusual energy of expression, precise delineation of character, and true severity . They had a fundamental plastic honesty, and an artistic personality of their own . It was obvious to me that this girl was an authentic artist". [175]

Kahlo soon began a relationship with Rivera, who was 20 years her senior and had two common-law wives. [176] Kahlo and Rivera were married in a civil ceremony at the town hall of Coyoacán on 21 August 1929. [177] Her mother opposed the marriage, and both parents referred to it as a "marriage between an elephant and a dove", referring to the couple's differences in size Rivera was tall and overweight while Kahlo was petite and fragile. [178] Regardless, her father approved of Rivera, who was wealthy and therefore able to support Kahlo, who could not work and had to receive expensive medical treatment. [179] The wedding was reported by the Mexican and international press, [180] and the marriage was subject to constant media attention in Mexico in the following years, with articles referring to the couple as simply "Diego and Frida". [181]

Soon after the marriage, in late 1929, Kahlo and Rivera moved to Cuernavaca in the rural state of Morelos, where he had been commissioned to paint murals for the Palace of Cortés. [182] Around the same time, she resigned her membership of the PCM in support of Rivera, who had been expelled shortly before the marriage for his support of the leftist opposition movement within the Third International. [183]

During the civil war Morelos had seen some of the heaviest fighting, and life in the Spanish-style city of Cuernavaca sharpened Kahlo's sense of a Mexican identity and history. [19] Similar to many other Mexican women artists and intellectuals at the time, [184] Kahlo began wearing traditional indigenous Mexican peasant clothing to emphasize her mestiza ancestry: long and colorful skirts, huipils and rebozos, elaborate headdresses and masses of jewelry. [185] She especially favored the dress of women from the allegedly matriarchal society of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, who had come to represent "an authentic and indigenous Mexican cultural heritage" in post-revolutionary Mexico. [186] The Tehuana outfit allowed Kahlo to express her feminist and anti-colonialist ideals. [187]

1931–1933: Travels in the United States

After Rivera had completed the commission in Cuernavaca in late 1930, he and Kahlo moved to San Francisco, where he painted murals for the Luncheon Club of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the California School of Fine Arts. [188] The couple was "feted, lionized, [and] spoiled" by influential collectors and clients during their stay in the city. [23] Her long love affair with Hungarian-American photographer Nickolas Muray most likely began around this time. [189]

Kahlo and Rivera returned to Mexico for the summer of 1931, and in the fall traveled to New York City for the opening of Rivera's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In April 1932, they headed to Detroit, where Rivera had been commissioned to paint murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts. [190] By this time, Kahlo had become bolder in her interactions with the press, impressing journalists with her fluency in English and stating on her arrival to the city that she was the greater artist of the two of them. [191]

"Of course he [Rivera] does well for a little boy, but it is I who am the big artist" – Frida Kahlo in interview with the Detroit News, 2 February 1933. [192]

The year spent in Detroit was a difficult time for Kahlo. Although she had enjoyed visiting San Francisco and New York City, she disliked aspects of American society, which she regarded as colonialist, as well as most Americans, whom she found "boring". [193] She disliked having to socialize with capitalists such as Henry and Edsel Ford, and was angered that many of the hotels in Detroit refused to accept Jewish guests. [194] In a letter to a friend, she wrote that "although I am very interested in all the industrial and mechanical development of the United States", she felt "a bit of a rage against all the rich guys here, since I have seen thousands of people in the most terrible misery without anything to eat and with no place to sleep, that is what has most impressed me here, it is terrifying to see the rich having parties day and night whiles thousands and thousands of people are dying of hunger." [33] Kahlo's time in Detroit was also complicated by a pregnancy. Her doctor agreed to perform an abortion, but the medication used was ineffective. [195] Kahlo was deeply ambivalent about having a child and had already undergone an abortion earlier in her marriage to Rivera. [195] Following the failed abortion, she reluctantly agreed to continue with the pregnancy, but miscarried in July, which caused a serious hemorrhage that required her being hospitalized for two weeks. [32] Less than three months later, her mother died from complications of surgery in Mexico. [196]

Kahlo and Rivera returned to New York in March 1933, for he had been commissioned to paint a mural for the Rockefeller Center. [197] During this time, she only worked on one painting, My Dress Hangs There (1934). [197] She also gave further interviews to the American press. [197] In May, Rivera was fired from the Rockefeller Center project and was instead hired to paint a mural for the New Workers School. [198] [197] Although Rivera wished to continue their stay in the United States, Kahlo was homesick, and they returned to Mexico soon after the mural's unveiling in December 1933. [199]

1934–1949: La Casa Azul and declining health

Back in Mexico City, Kahlo and Rivera moved into a new house in the wealthy neighborhood of San Ángel. [200] Commissioned from Le Corbusier's student Juan O'Gorman, it consisted of two sections joined together by a bridge Kahlo's was painted blue and Rivera's pink and white. [201] The bohemian residence became an important meeting place for artists and political activists from Mexico and abroad. [202]

She was again experiencing health problems – undergoing an appendectomy, two abortions, and the amputation of gangrenous toes [203] [150] – and her marriage to Rivera had become strained. He was not happy to be back in Mexico and blamed Kahlo for their return. [204] While he had been unfaithful to her before, he now embarked on an affair with her younger sister Cristina, which deeply hurt Kahlo's feelings. [205] After discovering it in early 1935, she moved to an apartment in central Mexico City and considered divorcing him. [206] She also had an affair of her own with American artist Isamu Noguchi. [207]

Kahlo reconciled with Rivera and Cristina later in 1935 and moved back to San Ángel. [208] She became a loving aunt to Cristina's children, Isolda and Antonio. [209] Despite the reconciliation, both Rivera and Kahlo continued their infidelities. [210] She also resumed her political activities in 1936, joining the Fourth International and becoming a founding member of a solidarity committee to provide aid to the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. [211] She and Rivera successfully petitioned the Mexican government to grant asylum to former Soviet leader Leon Trotsky and offered La Casa Azul for him and his wife Natalia Sedova as a residence. [212] The couple lived there from January 1937 until April 1939, with Kahlo and Trotsky not only becoming good friends but also having a brief affair. [213]

After opening an exhibition in Paris, Kahlo sailed back to New York. [214] She was eager to be reunited with Muray, but he decided to end their affair, as he had met another woman whom he was planning to marry. [215] Kahlo traveled back to Mexico City, where Rivera requested a divorce from her. The exact reasons for his decision are unknown, but he stated publicly that it was merely a "matter of legal convenience in the style of modern times . there are no sentimental, artistic, or economic reasons." [216] According to their friends, the divorce was mainly caused by their mutual infidelities. [217] He and Kahlo were granted a divorce in November 1939, but remained friendly she continued to manage his finances and correspondence. [218]

July 6th, 1950 is a Thursday. It is the 187th day of the year, and in the 27th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 3rd quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1950 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 7/6/1950, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 6/7/1950.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.

July 8th, 2017 is a Saturday. It is the 189th day of the year, and in the 27th week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 3rd quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 2017 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 7/8/2017, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 8/7/2017.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.

July 29th, 1959 is a Wednesday. It is the 210th day of the year, and in the 31st week of the year (assuming each week starts on a Monday), or the 3rd quarter of the year. There are 31 days in this month. 1959 is not a leap year, so there are 365 days in this year. The short form for this date used in the United States is 7/29/1959, and almost everywhere else in the world it's 29/7/1959.

This site provides an online date calculator to help you find the difference in the number of days between any two calendar dates. Simply enter the start and end date to calculate the duration of any event. You can also use this tool to determine how many days have passed since your birthday, or measure the amount of time until your baby's due date. The calculations use the Gregorian calendar, which was created in 1582 and later adopted in 1752 by Britain and the eastern part of what is now the United States. For best results, use dates after 1752 or verify any data if you are doing genealogy research. Historical calendars have many variations, including the ancient Roman calendar and the Julian calendar. Leap years are used to match the calendar year with the astronomical year. If you're trying to figure out the date that occurs in X days from today, switch to the Days From Now calculator instead.


Gehrig was born in 1903 at 309 East 94th Street [13] in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan [14] he weighed almost 14 pounds (6.4 kg) at birth. He was the second of four children of German immigrants, Christina Foch (1881–1954) and Heinrich Gehrig (1867–1946). [15] [16] His father was a sheet-metal worker by trade who was frequently unemployed due to alcoholism and epilepsy, and his mother, a maid, was the main breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family. [17] His two sisters died at an early age from whooping cough and measles a brother also died in infancy. [18] From an early age, Gehrig helped his mother with work, doing tasks such as folding laundry and picking up supplies from the local stores. [19] Gehrig spoke German during his childhood, [20] not learning English until the age of five. [21] In 1910 he lived with his parents at 2266 Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights. [22] In 1920 the family resided on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. [23] His name was often anglicized to Henry Louis Gehrig and he was known as "Lou" so he would not be confused with his identically named father, who was known as Henry. [24]

Gehrig first garnered national attention for his baseball ability while playing in a game at Cubs Park (now Wrigley Field) in Chicago on June 26, 1920. His New York School of Commerce team was playing a local team from Lane Tech High School in front of a crowd of more than 10,000 spectators. [25] With his team leading 8–6 in the top of the ninth inning, Gehrig hit a grand slam completely out of the major league park, which was an unheard-of feat for a 17-year-old. [25] [26]

Gehrig attended PS 132 in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, then went to Commerce High School, graduating in 1921. [27] [28] He then studied engineering at Columbia University for two years, finding the schoolwork difficult before leaving to pursue a career in professional baseball. [29] He had been recruited to play football at the school, earning a scholarship there, [21] later joining the baseball squad. Before his first semester began, New York Giants manager John McGraw advised him to play summer professional baseball under an assumed name, Henry Lewis, despite the fact that it could jeopardize his collegiate sports eligibility. After he played a dozen games for the Hartford Senators in the Eastern League, he was discovered and banned from collegiate sports his freshman year. [30] In 1922 Gehrig returned to collegiate sports as a fullback for the Columbia Lions football program. Later, in 1923, he played first base and pitched for the Columbia baseball team. [30] At Columbia, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. [31]

On April 18, 1923, the same day Yankee Stadium opened for the first time and Babe Ruth inaugurated the new stadium with a home run against the Boston Red Sox, Columbia pitcher Gehrig struck out 17 Williams Ephs batters to set a team record, though Columbia lost the game. Only a handful of collegians were at Columbia's South Field that day, but more significant was the presence of Yankee scout Paul Krichell, who had been trailing Gehrig for some time. Gehrig's pitching did not particularly impress him rather, it was Gehrig's powerful left-handed hitting. Krichell observed Gehrig hit some of the longest home runs ever seen on various eastern campuses, including a 450-foot (137 m) home run on April 28 at South Field, which landed at 116th Street and Broadway. [32] Scouts saw Gehrig as "the next Babe Ruth" [21] he signed a contract with the Yankees on April 30. [33] Gehrig returned to the minor-league Hartford Senators to play parts of two seasons, 1923 and 1924, batting .344 and hitting 61 home runs in 193 games. (Except for his games with Hartford, a two-hour car ride away, Gehrig would play his entire baseball life -- sandlot, high school, college and professional -- with teams based in New York City.)

New York Yankees (1923–1939) Edit

Gehrig joined the New York Yankees midway through the 1923 season and made his major-league debut as a pinch hitter at age 19 on June 15, 1923. In his first two seasons, he was mired behind Yankee stalwart Wally Pipp at first base, a two-time AL home run champion and one of the premier power hitters in baseball's Deadball era. [34] Gehrig saw limited playing time, mostly as a pinch hitter, playing in only 23 games and being left off the Yankees' 1923 World Series roster in spite of producing both years (with lofty batting averages of .423 in 1923 and .500 in 1924). Taking over for a slumping Pipp part way into 1925, he batted a very respectable .295, with 20 home runs and 68 runs batted in (RBIs) over 126 games. [35]

Unlike Ruth, Gehrig was not a gifted position player so he played first base, often the position for a strong hitter but weaker fielder. [21] The 23-year-old Yankee's breakout season came in 1926, when he batted .313 with 47 doubles, an American League-leading 20 triples, 16 home runs, and 112 RBIs. [30] In the 1926 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Gehrig hit .348 with two doubles and four RBIs. The Cardinals won the series four games to three. [36]

1927 Edit

In 1927 Gehrig put together one of the greatest seasons by any batter in history, hitting .373, with 218 hits: 101 singles, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, a then-record 175 RBIs (surpassing teammate Babe Ruth's 171 six years earlier), and a .765 slugging percentage. [30] His 117 extra-base hits that season are second all-time to Babe Ruth's 119 extra-base hits in 1921 [30] and his 447 total bases are third all-time, after Babe Ruth's 457 total bases in 1921 and Rogers Hornsby's 450 in 1922. [30] Gehrig's production helped the 1927 Yankees to a 110–44 record, the AL pennant (by 19 games), and a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Although the AL recognized his season by naming him league MVP, Gehrig's accomplishments were overshadowed by Babe Ruth's record-breaking 60-home-runs and the overall dominance of the 1927 Yankees, a team often cited as having the greatest lineup of all time – the famed "Murderers' Row". [37]

Ruth's celebrity was so great that Gehrig's ghostwritten syndicated newspaper column that year was called "Following the Babe". [21] Despite playing in the shadow of Ruth for two-thirds of his career, Gehrig was one of the highest run producers in baseball history he had 509 RBIs during a three-season stretch (1930–32). Only two other players, Jimmie Foxx with 507 and Hank Greenberg with 503, have surpassed 500 RBIs in any three seasons their totals were not consecutive. (Babe Ruth had 498.) [38] Playing 14 complete seasons, Gehrig had 13 consecutive seasons with 100 or more RBIs (a major-league record shared with Foxx until eclipsed in 2010 by Alex Rodriguez). Gehrig had six seasons where he batted .350 or better (with a high of .379 in 1930), plus a seventh season at .349. Gehrig led the American League in runs scored four times, home runs three times, and RBIs five times. His 185 RBIs in 1931 remain the American League record as of 2021 and rank second all-time to Hack Wilson's 191 in 1930. On the single-season RBI list, Gehrig ranks second, fifth (175), and sixth (174), with four additional seasons of over 150 RBIs. He also holds the baseball record for most seasons with 400 total bases or more, accomplishing this feat five times in his career. [39] He batted fourth in the lineup behind Ruth, making intentionally walking Ruth counterproductive for opposing pitchers.

Unlike Ruth, Gehrig had the physique of a power hitter. Ruth usually hit home runs as high fly balls, while Gehrig's were line drives. [21] During the 10 seasons (1925–1934) in which Gehrig and Ruth were teammates and next to each other in the batting order and played a majority of the games, Gehrig had more home runs than Ruth only once, in 1934 (Ruth's last year with the Yankees, as a 39 year-old), when he hit 49 to Ruth's 22 (Ruth played 125 games that year, and a handful in 1935 before retiring). They tied at 46 in 1931. Ruth had 424 home runs compared to Gehrig's 347 however, Gehrig outpaced Ruth in RBIs, 1,436 to 1,316. Gehrig had a .343 batting average, compared to .338 for Ruth. [40]

1929 Edit

In 1929 the New York Yankees debuted wearing numbers on their uniforms. [41] Gehrig wore number 4 because he hit behind Babe Ruth, who batted third in the lineup. [42]

1932 Edit

In 1932, Gehrig became the first player in the 20th century to hit four home runs in a game, when he accomplished the feat on June 3 against the Philadelphia Athletics. [43] He narrowly missed getting a fifth home run when Athletics center fielder Al Simmons made a leaping catch of another fly ball at the center-field fence. After the game, manager Joe McCarthy told him, "Well, Lou, nobody can take today away from you." On the same day, however, John McGraw announced his retirement after 30 years of managing the New York Giants. McGraw, not Gehrig, got the main headlines in the sports sections the next day. [44]

1933 Edit

On August 17, 1933, Gehrig played in his 1,308th consecutive game against the St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park, which broke the longest consecutive games played streak previously held by Everett Scott. Scott attended as a guest of the Browns. [45]

Gehrig lived with his parents until 1933, when he was 30 years old. His mother ruined all of Gehrig's romances until he met Eleanor Twitchell (1904–1984) in 1932 they began dating the next year [21] and married in September. She was the daughter of Chicago Parks Commissioner Frank Twitchell. [46] She helped Gehrig leave his mother's influence and hired Christy Walsh, Ruth's sports agent Walsh helped Gehrig become the first athlete on Wheaties boxes. [21]

1936 Edit

In a 1936 World Series cover story about Lou Gehrig and Carl Hubbell, Time proclaimed Gehrig "the game's No. 1 batsman", who "takes boyish pride in banging a baseball as far, and running around the bases as quickly, as possible". [47]

Also in 1936, at the urging of his wife, Gehrig agreed to hire Babe Ruth's agent, who, in turn, persuaded him to audition for the role of Tarzan, the Ape Man, after Johnny Weissmuller had vacated the iconic movie role. Gehrig only got as far, though, as posing for a widely distributed, and embarrassing, photo of himself in a leopard-spotted costume. When Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs spotted the outfit, he telegrammed Gehrig, "I want to congratulate you on being a swell first baseman." [48]

2,130 consecutive games Edit

On June 1, 1925, Gehrig entered the game as a pinch hitter, substituting for shortstop Paul "Pee Wee" Wanninger. The next day, June 2, Yankee manager Miller Huggins started Gehrig in place of regular first baseman Wally Pipp, who had a headache. Pipp was in a slump, as was the team, so Huggins made several lineup changes in an attempt to boost their performance, replacing Pipp, Aaron Ward, and Wally Schang. [49] Fourteen years later, Gehrig had played 2,130 consecutive games, shattering the previous record of 1,307 along the way.

During the streak sportswriters in 1931 nicknamed Gehrig "the Iron Horse". [21] In a few instances, Gehrig managed to keep the streak intact through pinch-hitting appearances and fortuitous timing in others, the streak continued despite injuries. For example:

  • On April 23, 1933, a pitch by Washington Senators pitcher Earl Whitehill struck Gehrig in the head. Although almost knocked unconscious, Gehrig remained in the game.
  • On June 14, 1933, Gehrig was ejected from a game, along with manager Joe McCarthy, but he had already been at bat.
  • In a June 1934 exhibition game, Gehrig was hit by a pitch just above the right eye and was knocked unconscious. According to news reports, he was out for five minutes. Batting helmets were not commonly used until the 1940s. He left the game, but was in the lineup the next day. [50]
  • On July 13, 1934, Gehrig suffered a "lumbago attack" and had to be assisted off the field. In the next day's away game, he was listed in the lineup as "shortstop", batting lead-off. In his first and only plate appearance, he singled and was promptly replaced by a pinch runner to rest his throbbing back, never taking the field. A&E's Biography speculated that this illness, which he also described as "a cold in his back", might have been the first symptom of his debilitating disease. [51]

In addition, x-rays taken late in his life disclosed that Gehrig had sustained several fractures during his playing career, although he remained in the lineup despite those previously undisclosed injuries. [52] However, the streak was helped when Yankees general manager Ed Barrow postponed a game as a rainout on a day when Gehrig was sick with the flu, though it was not raining. [53]

He was also persuaded, but not convinced, by his wife, Eleanor, to end the streak at 1,999 games by acting sick, as he had already played through flu bouts before, and already had a nearly 700-game lead over the previous record.

Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games endured for 56 years until Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. surpassed it on September 6, 1995 Ripken finished with 2,632 consecutive games. [54]

Illness Edit

Although his performance in the second half of the 1938 season was slightly better than in the first half, Gehrig reported physical changes at the midway point. At the end of that season, he said, "I was tired mid-season. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get going again." Although his final 1938 statistics were above average (.295 batting average, 114 RBIs, 170 hits, .523 slugging percentage, 689 plate appearances with only 75 strikeouts, and 29 home runs), they were significantly down from his 1937 season, in which he batted .351 and slugged .643. In the 1938 World Series, he had four hits in 14 at-bats, all singles. [55]

When the Yankees began their 1939 spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida, Gehrig clearly no longer possessed his once-formidable power. Even his baserunning was affected, and at one point he collapsed at Al Lang Stadium, then the Yankees' spring training park. [56] By the end of spring training, he had not hit a home run. [57] Throughout his career, Gehrig was considered an excellent base runner, but as the 1939 season got under way, his coordination and speed had deteriorated significantly. [58]

By the end of April, his statistics were the worst of his career, with one RBI and a .143 batting average. Fans and the press openly speculated on Gehrig's abrupt decline. James Kahn, a reporter who wrote often about Gehrig, said in one article:

I think there is something wrong with him. Physically wrong, I mean. I don't know what it is, but I am satisfied that it goes far beyond his ball-playing. I have seen ballplayers 'go' overnight, as Gehrig seems to have done. But they were simply washed up as ballplayers. It's something deeper than that in this case, though. I have watched him very closely and this is what I have seen: I have seen him time a ball perfectly, swing on it as hard as he can, meet it squarely – and drive a soft, looping fly over the infield. In other words, for some reason that I do not know, his old power isn't there . He is meeting the ball, time after time, and it isn't going anywhere. [59]

He was indeed meeting the ball, with only one strikeout in 28 at-bats, but hitless in 5 of the first 8 games. However, Joe McCarthy found himself resisting pressure from Yankee management to switch Gehrig to a part-time role. Things came to a head when Gehrig struggled to make a routine put-out at first base. The pitcher, Johnny Murphy, had to wait for him to drag himself over to the bag so he could field the throw. Murphy said, "Nice play, Lou." [59] Lou's later assessment was very dismissive. "That was the simplest play you could ever make in baseball, and I knew then: There was something wrong with me". [60]

On April 30, Gehrig went hitless against the Washington Senators. He had just played his 2,130th consecutive major league game. [40]

On May 2, the next game after a day off, Gehrig approached McCarthy before the game in Detroit against the Tigers and said, "I'm benching myself, Joe", telling the Yankees' skipper that he was doing so "for the good of the team". [61] McCarthy acquiesced, putting Ellsworth "Babe" Dahlgren in at first base, and also said that whenever Gehrig felt he could play again, the position was his. Gehrig, as Yankee captain, himself took the lineup card out to the shocked umpires before the game, ending the 14-year streak. Before the game began, the Briggs Stadium announcer told the fans, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first time Lou Gehrig's name will not appear on the Yankee lineup in 2,130 consecutive games." The Detroit Tigers' fans gave Gehrig a standing ovation while he sat on the bench with tears in his eyes. [55] Coincidentally, among those attending the game was Wally Pipp, whom Gehrig had replaced at first base 2,130 games previously. A wire-service photograph of Gehrig reclining against the dugout steps with a stoic expression appeared the next day in the nation's newspapers. He stayed with the Yankees as team captain for the rest of the season, but never played in a major-league game again. [55]

Diagnosis Edit

As Gehrig's debilitation became steadily worse, his wife Eleanor called the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her call was transferred to Charles William Mayo, who had been following Gehrig's career and his mysterious loss of strength. Mayo told Eleanor to bring Gehrig as soon as possible. [55]

Gehrig flew alone to Rochester from Chicago, where the Yankees were playing at the time, and arrived at the Mayo Clinic on June 13, 1939. After six days of extensive testing at the clinic, doctors confirmed the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on June 19, 1939, which was Gehrig's 36th birthday. [62] The prognosis was grim: rapidly increasing paralysis, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, and a life expectancy less than three years, although no impairment of mental functions would occur. Eleanor Gehrig was told that the cause of ALS was unknown, but it was painless, noncontagious, and cruel the motor function of the central nervous system is destroyed, but the mind remains fully aware until the end. [63] [64] Gehrig often wrote letters to Eleanor, and in one such note written shortly afterwards, said in part:

The bad news is lateral sclerosis, in our language chronic infantile paralysis. There isn't any cure . there are very few of these cases. It is probably caused by some germ . Never heard of transmitting it to mates . There is a 50–50 chance of keeping me as I am. I may need a cane in 10 or 15 years. Playing is out of the question . [65]

Following Gehrig's visit to the Mayo Clinic, he briefly rejoined the Yankees in Washington, DC. As his train pulled into Union Station, he was greeted by a group of Boy Scouts, happily waving and wishing him luck. Gehrig waved back, but he leaned forward to his companion, Rutherford "Rud" Rennie of the New York Herald Tribune, and said, "They're wishing me luck – and I'm dying." [15] [66]

In spite of Gehrig's wasting being completely consistent with ALS, and absent any of the wild mood swings and eruptions of uncontrolled violence which define Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), an article in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology [67] suggested the possibility that some ALS-related illnesses diagnosed in Gehrig and other athletes may have been CTE, catalyzed by repeated concussions and other brain trauma. [68] [69] Bandwagoning on this headline-seeking exploitation of Gehrig's name to draw attention to the possibility that others, not him, may have been misdiagnosed, a reelection-seeking Minnesota state legislator sought in 2012 to change the law protecting the privacy of Gehrig's medical records, which are held by the Mayo Clinic, in an effort to determine a connection, if any, between his illness and the concussion-related trauma he received during his career. [70]

Gehrig played prior to the advent of batting helmets. To diagnose CTE would require autopsy results none was conducted on Gehrig before his remains were cremated following his open-casket wake. [70] Multiple physicians have argued that examining records alone would be fruitless. [71]

Retirement Edit

The doctors of the Mayo Clinic had released their ALS diagnosis to the public on June 19, 1939. Two days later, the New York Yankees announced Gehrig's retirement, with an immediate public push to honor Gehrig. The idea of an appreciation day reportedly began with Bill Hirsch, a friend of sports columnist Bill Corum. Corum spoke of the idea in his column, and other sportswriters picked up on the idea, promoting it far and wide in their respective periodicals. Someone suggested the appreciation day be held during the All-Star Game, but when Yankees president Ed Barrow got hold of the idea, he quickly shot down the All-Star Game suggestion. He did not want Gehrig to share the spotlight with any other all-star. Believing the idea was valid and the best thing to do, he wanted the appreciation day to be soon, and the Yankees proclaimed Tuesday, July 4, 1939, "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" at Yankee Stadium. Between games of the Independence Day doubleheader against the Washington Senators, the poignant ceremonies were held on the diamond. [72] In its coverage the following day, The New York Times said it was "perhaps as colorful and dramatic a pageant as ever was enacted on a baseball field [as] 61,808 fans thundered a hail and farewell". [73] Dignitaries extolled the dying slugger, and members of the Murderers' Row lineup attended the ceremonies. New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia called Gehrig the "perfect prototype of the best sportsmanship and citizenship" and Postmaster General James Farley concluded his speech by predicting, "Your name will live long in baseball and wherever the game is played they will point with pride and satisfaction to your record." [72]

Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy, struggling to control his emotions, then spoke of Lou Gehrig, with whom he had a close, almost father-and-son–like bond. After describing Gehrig as "the finest example of a ballplayer, sportsman, and citizen that baseball has ever known", McCarthy could stand it no longer. Turning tearfully to Gehrig, the manager said, "Lou, what else can I say except that it was a sad day in the life of everybody who knew you when you came into my hotel room that day in Detroit and told me you were quitting as a ballplayer because you felt yourself a hindrance to the team. My God, man, you were never that." [74]

The Yankees retired Gehrig's uniform number "4", making him the first player in Major League Baseball history to be accorded that honor. [75] Gehrig was given many gifts, commemorative plaques, and trophies. Some came from VIPs others came from the stadium's groundskeepers and janitorial staff. Footage of the ceremonies shows Gehrig being handed various gifts, and immediately setting them down on the ground, because he no longer had the arm strength to hold them. [15] The Yankees gave him a silver trophy with all of their signatures engraved on it. Inscribed on the front was a special poem they asked to be written by The New York Times writer John Kieran. The inscription on the trophy presented to Gehrig from his Yankees teammates: [76]

We've been to the wars together
We took our foes as they came
And always you were the leader,
And ever you played the game.

Idol of cheering millions,
Records are yours by sheaves
Iron of frame they hailed you
Decked you with laurel leaves.

But higher than that we hold you,
We who have known you best
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.

Let this be a silent token
Of lasting Friendship's gleam,
And all that we've left unspoken
Your Pals of the Yankees Team.

The trophy became one of Gehrig's most prized possessions. [77] It is currently on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

"The luckiest man on the face of the earth" Edit

On July 4, 1939, Gehrig delivered what has been called "baseball's Gettysburg Address" to a sold-out crowd at Yankee Stadium. [78] [79] [80] Having always avoided public attention, Gehrig did not want to speak, but the crowd chanted for him and he had memorized some sentences beforehand. [21] The following text is the official written version published on LouGehrig.com. [78] The parts that are different from the available snippets of recordings of the speech actually given are shown in brackets in footnotes and replaced here by the words actually spoken:

Fans, for the past two weeks, you've been reading about a bad break. [81] [pause] Today [82] I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the [83] earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

When you look around, wouldn't you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine-looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today? [84] Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that's the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. – Thank you.

Only four sentences of the speech exist in recorded form complete versions of the speech are assembled from newspaper accounts. [21]

For the past two weeks you've been reading about a bad break. (pause) Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. (cut) When you look around, wouldn't you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine-looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today? (cut) . that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you. [85]

The crowd stood and applauded for almost two minutes. Gehrig was visibly shaken as he stepped back from the microphone, and wiped the tears away from his face with his handkerchief. [77] His sometimes-estranged former teammate Babe Ruth came over and hugged him as a band played "I Love You Truly" and the crowd chanted, "We love you, Lou". The New York Times account the following day called it "one of the most touching scenes ever witnessed on a ball field", that made even hard-boiled reporters "swallow hard". [73]

Gehrig played his last game for the Yankees on April 30, 1939. [86] On July 11 of that year, he appeared at the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium as the American League team captain, officially on the roster as a reserve player, exchanging lineup cards prior to the game. [87] [88]

Following his retirement from baseball, Lou Gehrig wrote, "Don't think I am depressed or pessimistic about my condition at present". Struggling against his ever-worsening physical condition, he added, "I intend to hold on as long as possible and then if the inevitable comes, I will accept it philosophically and hope for the best. That's all we can do." [15]

In October 1939, he accepted Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's appointment to a 10-year term as a New York City Parole Commissioner (Gehrig had moved from New Rochelle to Riverdale to satisfy a residency requirement for the job) and was sworn into office on January 2, 1940. [89] The Parole Commission commended the ex-ballplayer for his "firm belief in parole, properly administered", stating that Gehrig "indicated he accepted the parole post because it represented an opportunity for public service. He had rejected other job offers – including lucrative speaking and guest appearance opportunities – worth far more financially than the $5,700 a year commissionership." Gehrig visited New York City's correctional facilities, but insisted that the visits not be covered by news media. [90] As always, Gehrig quietly and efficiently performed his duties. He was often helped by his wife Eleanor, who would guide his hand when he had to sign official documents. Gehrig reached the point where his deteriorating physical condition made it impossible for him to continue in the job, and he quietly resigned from the position about a month before his death. [91]

Death Edit

At 10:10 p.m. on June 2, 1941, 17 days before his 38th birthday, Gehrig died at his home at 5204 Delafield Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. [92] [93] Upon hearing the news, Babe Ruth and his wife Claire went to the Gehrig house to console Eleanor. Mayor La Guardia ordered flags in New York to be flown at half-staff, and major-league ballparks around the nation did likewise. [94]

Thousands viewed Gehrig's body at the Church of the Divine Paternity Ruth cut in line ahead of everyone and wept in front of the casket. [21] Following the funeral across the street from his house at Christ Episcopal Church of Riverdale, Gehrig's remains were cremated on June 4 at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, which is 21 miles (34 km) north of Yankee Stadium in suburban Westchester County. Gehrig's ashes were locked into a crypt in the stone monument marking his grave. [95] Gehrig and Ed Barrow are both interred in the same section of the cemetery, which is next door to Gate of Heaven, where the graves of Babe Ruth and Billy Martin lie in Section 25. [96]

Eleanor never remarried and was quoted as saying, "I had the best of it. I would not have traded two minutes of my life with that man for 40 years with another." She dedicated the remainder of her life to supporting ALS research. She died 43 years after Lou on her 80th birthday, March 6, 1984, and was interred with him in Kensico Cemetery. [26]

Hall of Fame Edit

During a winter meeting of the Baseball Writers' Association on December 7, 1939, Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election related to his illness. [89] At age 36, he was the youngest player to be so honored to date (that figure was surpassed by Sandy Koufax in 1972). [97] He never had a formal induction ceremony. On July 28, 2013, Gehrig and 11 other deceased ballplayers, including Rogers Hornsby, received a special tribute during the induction ceremony, held during "Hall of Fame Induction Weekend", July 26–29 in Cooperstown, New York. [98]

Monument Edit

The Yankees dedicated a monument to Gehrig in center field at Yankee Stadium on July 6, 1941 the shrine lauded him as "A man, a gentleman and a great ballplayer whose amazing record of 2,130 consecutive games should stand for all time." Gehrig's monument joined the one placed there in 1932 to Miller Huggins, which would eventually be followed by Babe Ruth's in 1949. [40]

Memorial plaques Edit

Gehrig's birthplace in Manhattan at 1994 Second Avenue, near E. 103rd Street, is memorialized with a plaque marking the site, as is another early residence on 309 E. 94th Street, near Second Avenue. As of December 26, 2011 [update] , the first-mentioned plaque is not present due to ongoing construction. The second-mentioned plaque is present, but ascribes to his birthplace, not early residence. Gehrig died in a white house at 5204 Delafield Avenue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The house still stands today on the east side of the Henry Hudson Parkway and is likewise marked by a plaque. [30]

Lou Gehrig Memorial Award Edit

The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given annually to a MLB player who best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig, off and on the field. [99] The award was created by the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in honor of Gehrig, who was a member of the fraternity at Columbia University. It was first presented in 1955, fourteen years after Gehrig's death. The award's purpose is to recognize a player's exemplary contributions in "both his community and philanthropy." [99] The bestowal of the award is overseen by the headquarters of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in Oxford, Ohio, [100] and the name of each winner is inscribed onto the Lou Gehrig Award plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Medical Center Edit

The ALS treatment and research center at his alma mater, Columbia University, is named The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center. [101] Located at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, they have a clinical and research function directed at ALS and the related motor neuron diseases primary lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy.

Lou Gehrig Day Edit

In March 2021, Major League Baseball declared June 2 henceforth to be Lou Gehrig Day. [102] June 2 was chosen because it is the anniversary of when Gehrig became the Yankees' starting first baseman in 1925 and when he died in 1941. [103]

Sixty years after his farewell to baseball, Gehrig received the most votes of any baseball player on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, chosen by fan balloting in 1999. [12]

In 1999, editors at Sporting News ranked Lou Gehrig sixth on their list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players". [104]

Records Edit

MLB Records
Accomplishment Record Refs
Most consecutive seasons with 120+ RBIs 8 (1927–1934) [105]
Highest on-base percentage by a first baseman .447 [105]
Highest slugging percentage by a first baseman .632 [105]
Most extra base hits by a first baseman 1,190 [105]
Most runs batted-in by a first baseman 184 (1931) [105]
Most runs scored by a first baseman 167 (1936) [105]
Highest slugging percentage by a first baseman .765 (1927) [105]
Extra-base hits by a first baseman 117 (1927) [105]
Most total bases by a first baseman 447 (1927) [105]
Most home runs [a] 4 [105]

Awards and honors Edit

Award/Honor No. of times Dates Refs
American League All-Star 7 1933–1939 [105]
American League MVP 2 1927, 1936 [105] [106]
Named starting first baseman on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team 1999 [12]
Inducted into National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 1939 [105]
World Series champion 6 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938

Other accomplishments Edit

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

Gehrig starred in the 1938 20th Century Fox movie Rawhide, playing himself in his only feature-film appearance. [108] In 2006, researchers presented a paper to the American Academy of Neurology, reporting on an analysis of Rawhide and photographs of Lou Gehrig from the 1937–1939 period, to ascertain when Gehrig began to show visible symptoms of ALS. They concluded that while atrophy of hand muscles could be detected in 1939 photographs of Gehrig, no such abnormality was visible at the time Rawhide was made in January 1938. "Examination of Rawhide showed that Gehrig functioned normally in January 1938", the report concluded. [109]

The life of Lou Gehrig was the subject of the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper as Gehrig and Teresa Wright as his wife. It received 11 Academy Award nominations and won in one category, Film Editing. Former Yankee teammates Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, and Bill Dickey (then still an active player) played themselves, as did sportscaster Bill Stern. In 2008, the AFI honored The Pride of the Yankees as the third-best sports picture ever made.

The 1978 TV movie A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story starred Blythe Danner and Edward Herrmann as Eleanor and Lou Gehrig. It was based on the 1976 autobiography My Luke and I, written by Eleanor Gehrig and Joseph Durso.

In an episode of the PBS series Jean Shepherd's America, the Chicago-born Jean Shepherd told of how his father (Jean Shepherd, Sr.) and he would watch Chicago White Sox games from the right-field upper deck at Comiskey Park in the 1930s. On one occasion, the Sox were playing the Yankees, and Shepherd Sr. had been taunting Gehrig, yelling at him all day. In the top of the ninth, with Sox icon Ted Lyons holding a slim lead, Gehrig came to bat with a man on base, and the senior Shepherd yelled in a voice that echoed around the ballpark, "Hit one up here, ya bum! I dare ya!" Gehrig did exactly that, hitting a screaming liner, practically into the heckler's lap, for the eventual game-winning home run. Shepherd's father was booed mercilessly, and he never again took junior Jean to a game. He apparently told this story originally when Gehrig's widow was in the audience at a speaking engagement. [110] [111] [112]

In the video game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Omar Al-Jabbar offers to trade, with Indy, a baseball signed by Lou Gehrig.

His digital likeness and the opening quote of the "baseball's Gettysburg Address" are featured in All Star Baseball 2004. [113]

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