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Dennis Burt on Leave 1941

Dennis Burt on Leave 1941

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Dennis Burt on Leave 1941

Picture from the collection of Dennis Burt

Original Caption: 1941-09-07 On Leave from Ireland

Copyright Gary Burt 2013

Many thanks to Gary for providing us with these photos from his father's collection.

Life and Death of ‘Gunsmoke’ Star Dennis Weaver Who Left This World 13 Years Ago

Born in June 1924, Dennis was a very talented athlete who served in the US Navy during World War II and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in fine arts.

In 1970, Dennis Weaver landed the role of Sam McCloud on the TV series “McCloud.”

Dennis Weaver in Beverly Hills, California, United States on November 11, 2004 | Source: Getty Images


After the war, the actor tried out and ended up sixth in the US decathlon trials for the London Olympics. Since only the first three competitors were chosen, Dennis never made it into the team.

Disappointed on his performance during the trials, Dennis decided to stay in New York and try acting, which turned out to be the best decision in his life.

Publicity photo of actor Dennis Weaver circa August 1960 | Source: Wikimedia Commons

His professional debut as an actor came in the Broadway production of “Come Back, Little Sheba,” wherein he portrayed a college athlete named Turk.

Dennis Weaver kept taking acting roles on stage and getting more experience and, thanks to his friend Shelley Winters, he landed a contract with Universal Studios in 1952.

Dennis Weaver on "The Gallant Hours" circa 1959 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images


His film debut came later that year on “Horizon West.” From that point on, his talent became evident, and he kept getting more parts in movies like “The Redhead from Wyoming,” “The Mississippi Gambler,” and “Dangerous Mission.”

After working on more than a dozen westerns and a few TV shows, Dennis’ career skyrocketed when he portrayed Chester on “Gunsmoke,” a western drama series.

#TBT The late Dennis Weaver and I on the set of Lonesome Dove: The Series 1994 pic.twitter.com/G5cFmK1Y3m

&mdash Eric McCormack (@EricMcCormack) December 10, 2015

His character was the friend of Matt Dillon, the protagonist of the show played by James Arness. Due to his outstanding performance of Chester, Dennis took home an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1959.

After “Gunsmoke” came to its end in 1964, the actor appeared in many more film and TV projects, including “Gentle Ben,” “A Man Called Sledge,” and “Duel.”

Dennis Weaver as a service… you know, in the McCloud. pic.twitter.com/pBrtWOavP6

&mdash Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) January 4, 2015


In 1970, Dennis Weaver landed the role of Sam McCloud on the TV series “McCloud,” a police drama series that ran from September 1970 until April 1977.

During his time portraying the Deputy Marshall McCloud, a western policeman who ended up in New York City, Dennis earned two Emmy Award nominations in 1974 and 1975.

Dennis Weaver On The Making Of Duel: http://t.co/vWFc8pdNJB The star of Duel on the first Spielberg classic. pic.twitter.com/1WBYfrjCFy

&mdash Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) September 30, 2014

Following the show’s finale in 1977, the actor kept himself very busy in the entertainment industry, working on projects such as “Don’t Go to Sleep,” “Emerald Point N.A.S.,” and “Two Bits & Pepper.”

Unfortunately, Dennis passed away On February 24, 2006. According to his publicist Julian Myers, the actor died due to complications of cancer. He was 81 years old.

Dennis Weaver and his wife Gerry Stowell on April 29, 2004 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images


As per his romantic life, he was married to Gerry Stowell since 1945, shortly after returning from WWII. With her, the actor had three children: Rusty, Robert, and Rick Weaver.

The three of them followed in their father’s footsteps and were involved (at least momentarily) in the entertainment industry.

In Rusty’s case, born in February 1959, he used to be an actor who had some minor roles on “Gunsmoke,” “Gentle Ben,” and “Magnum, P.I.”

Dennis Weaver and his wife Gerry Stowell on November 15, 2000 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Robert, on the other hand, was born in April 1953. Unlike Rusty, he has worked in many more films and shows, including “The Greatest American Hero,” “Thunder in Paradise Interactive,” and “Top of the Hill.”

Finally, Rick, born in 1948, also worked as an actor on “Gunsmoke” and “McCloud” but had some producer credits on “Magnum, P.I.,” “B.L. Stryker,” and “Silverfox.”

Dennis Weaver’s movies and TV shows, especially “Gunsmoke” and “McCloud,” will be kept in the memories of his fans, who miss him and his incredible acting skills.

U.S. Supreme Court

Dennis v. United States

Argued December 4, 1950

Decided June 4, 1951

1. As construed and applied in this case, §§ 2(a)(1), 2(a)(3) and 3 of the Smith Act, 54 Stat. 671, making it a crime for any person knowingly or willfully to advocate the overthrow or destruction of the Government of the United States by force or violence, to organize or help to organize any group which does so, or to conspire to do so, do not violate the First Amendment or other provisions of the Bill of Rights and do not violate the First or Fifth Amendments because of indefiniteness. Pp. 341 U. S. 495 -499, 341 U. S. 517 .

2. Petitioners, leaders of the Communist Party in this country, were indicted in a federal district court under § 3 of the Smith Act for willfully and knowingly conspiring (1) to organize as the Communist Party a group of persons to teach and advocate the overthrow and destruction of the Government of the United States by force and violence, and (2) knowingly and willfully to advocate and teach the duty and necessity of overthrowing and destroying the Government of the United States by force and violence. The trial judge instructed the jury that they could not convict unless they found that petitioners intended to overthrow the Government "as speedily as circumstances would permit," but that, if they so found, then, as a matter of law, there was sufficient danger of a substantive evil that Congress has a right to prevent to justify application of the statute under the First Amendment. Petitioners were convicted, and the convictions were sustained by the Court of Appeals. This Court granted certiorari, limited to the questions: (1) Whether either § 2 or § 3 of the Smith Act, inherently or as construed and applied in the instant case, violates the First Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights, and (2) whether either § 2 or § 3, inherently or as construed and applied in the instant case, violates the First and Fifth Amendments because of indefiniteness.

Held: The convictions are affirmed. Pp. 341 U. S. 495 -499, 341 U. S. 511 -512, 341 U. S. 517 .

For the opinions of the Justices constituting the majority of the Court, see:


Opinion of MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER, p. 341 U. S. 517 .

Opinion of MR. JUSTICE JACKSON, p. 341 U. S. 561 .

For the dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE BLACK, see p. 341 U. S. 579 .

For the dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, see p. 341 U. S. 581 .

The case is stated in the opinion of THE CHIEF JUSTICE, pp. 341 U. S. 495 -499.

The Marvel Story

Marvel Oil Company, Inc. boasting an enviable reputation among vehicle owners world-wide, is truly a legend of its own. From an auspicious beginning, it is now recognized as a product that has stood the test of time and continues to provide unsurpassed performance and benefits in the automotive, industrial and marine world.

Founded in 1923 by Burt Pierce, the brand has remained legendary for over 90 years. Pierce’s reputation for ingenuity preceded him as he was already well-known for inventing the Marvel Carburetor, standard equipment on 80% of all vehicles produced after World War I. Vehicles of the post WWI era encountered carburetor problems, the most perplexing being clogged jets due to high lead content and other contaminants found in the gasoline of the time. The problem motivated Pierce to direct his creative ingenuity towards formulating a blend of chemicals and petroleum products to clean and maintain clogged jets. He was successful beyond his wildest expectations and the legend of MMO was born.

Wyatt Earp’s Post-Tombstone Life and Legend

After leaving Tombstone, Wyatt Earp moved around the West, eventually settling in California with Josephine Marcus, with whom he would spend the next 40 years. Over the years, he made a living by gambling, saloon-keeping, mining and real estate speculation. He also worked with a personal secretary, John H. Flood, to write his memoirs, which received a poor reception during his lifetime. Earp died in Los Angeles in January 1929, at the age of 80.

The first major Earp biography, “Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal” by Stuart N. Lake, was published in 1931 and became a bestseller, establishing Earp as a folk hero among millions of Americans searching for inspiration and excitement during the hard times of the Great Depression. Though Lake met with Earp himself near the end of his life, he later admitted that many of the quotations attributed to the frontiersman were invented, and the biography today is accepted as largely fictional.

The Temptations

At age 17, Ruffin was briefly signed to Chicago&aposs Chess Records before moving to Detroit, where he met Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records. He recorded an album with the Voice Masters and signed with a Motown subsidiary, but the music just didn&apost catch on. Ruffin&aposs big break would come in 1963 when he was chosen to replace Eldridge Bryant as tenor vocalist in the Temptations. In the background for the first year and a half, in 1965 Ruffin took the vocal lead on hits such as "My Girl," "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Ain&apost Too Proud to Beg," and the band took off, appearing on American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show while becoming stars on the international music scene. His brother Jimmy also signed with Motown records and had breakout song with "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted."

As the group&aposs new front man, Ruffin began to get the lion&aposs share of media attention, but his erratic behavior, usually attributed to cocaine use, also began to draw attention. When he demanded certain privileges not afforded the other members of the group and wanted the group&aposs name to be changed to David Ruffin and the Temptations (as had been done with Diana Ross and the Supremes), he was officially deemed out of control, and the band fired him in June 1968.

The Temptations perform onstage at the Apollo Theater in 1964 in New York City

Photo: Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

Frank Sinatra was no stranger to affairs and adultery. Not only had he been arrested on charges of adultery in 1938, he had became somewhat known for his extramarital activities. The famous crooner married Nancy Barbato in 1939 and they had three children together. But in 1948, he and Ava Gardner started what would become a legendary affair. It wasn't until 1950 that the world found out about them, Sinatra labeled a cheater and Gardner a home-wrecker.

According to the Daily Mail, while Gardner was vilified for her role in the affair and considered a gold digger, the scandal hurt Sinatra's career most. As per the book, Sinatra: Behind the Legend, Sinatra's shows started suffering, he lost his recording contract, and his voice was failing. In 1951, after Barbato gave Sinatra the divorce he sought, the music giant married Gardner.

Their union, however, would be marked with great challenges. According to Ava: A Life in Movies, the couple battled publicly, was wrought with jealousy, and Gardner had two abortions. Their relationship ended in 1953, with the divorce finalizing in 1957.

Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack while appearing at a ukulele festival in Massachusetts in 1996. Released from the hospital after three weeks, he was warned to give up his touring and performing. Tiny Tim chose to pursue his art, however, and suffered a fatal heart attack in Minneapolis on November 30, 1996. He left the stage after performing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips," his signature song, and died an hour later.

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What Ended the Great Depression?

What finally ended the Great Depression? That question may be the most important in economic history. If we can answer it, we can better grasp what perpetuates economic stagnation and what cures it.

The Great Depression was the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. From 1931 to 1940 unemployment was always in double digits. In April 1939, almost ten years after the crisis began, more than one in five Americans still could not find work.

On the surface, World War II seems to mark the end of the Great Depression. During the war, more than 12 million Americans were sent into the military, and a similar number toiled in defense-related jobs. Those war jobs seemingly took care of the 17 million unemployed in 1939. Most historians have therefore cited the massive spending during wartime as the event that ended the Great Depression.

Some economists—especially Robert Higgs—have wisely challenged that conclusion. Let’s be blunt. If the recipe for economic recovery is putting tens of millions of people in defense plants or military marches, then having them make or drop bombs on our enemies overseas, the value of world peace is called into question. In truth, building tanks and feeding soldiers—necessary as it was to winning the war—became a crushing financial burden. We merely traded debt for unemployment. The expense of funding World War II hiked the national debt from $49 billion in 1941 to almost $260 billion in 1945. In other words, the war had only postponed the issue of recovery.

Even President Roosevelt and his New Dealers sensed that war spending was not the ultimate solution they feared that the Great Depression—with more unemployment than ever—would resume after Hitler and Hirohito surrendered. Yet FDR’s team was blindly wedded to the federal spending that (as I argue in New Deal or Raw Deal?) had perpetuated the causes of the Great Depression during the 1930s.

FDR had halted many of his New Deal programs during the war—and he allowed Congress to kill the WPA, the CCC, the NYA, and others—because winning the war came first. In 1944, however, as it became apparent that the Allies would prevail, he and his New Dealers prepared the country for his New Deal revival by promising a second bill of rights. Included in the President’s package of new entitlements was the right to “adequate medical care,” a “decent home,” and a “useful and remunerative job.” These rights (unlike free speech and freedom of religion) imposed obligations on other Americans to pay taxes for eyeglasses, “decent” houses, and “useful” jobs, but FDR believed his second bill of rights was an advance in thinking from what the Founders had conceived.

Roosevelt’s death in the last year of the war prevented him from unveiling his New Deal revival. But President Harry Truman was on board for most of the new reforms. In the months after the end of the war, Truman gave major speeches showcasing a full employment bill—with jobs and spending to be triggered if people failed to find work in the private sector. He also endorsed a national health care program and a federal housing program.

But 1946 was very different from 1933. In 1933, large Democratic majorities in Congress and public support gave FDR his New Deal, but stagnation and unemployment persisted. By contrast, Truman had only a small Democratic majority—and no majority at all if you subtract the more conservative southern Democrats. Plus, the failure of FDR’s New Deal left fewer Americans cheering for an encore.

In short, the Republicans and southern Democrats refused to give Truman his New Deal revival. Sometimes they emasculated his bills other times they just killed them.

Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, one of the leaders of the Republican-southern Democrat coalition, explained why he voted against much of the program:

The problem now is to get production and employment. If we can get production, prices will come down by themselves to the lowest point justified by increased costs. If we hold prices at a point where no one can make a profit, there will be no expansion of existing industry and no new industry in that field.

Robert Wason, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, simply said, “The problem of our domestic economy is the recovery of our freedom.”

Alfred Sloan, the chairman of General Motors, framed the question this way: “Is American business in the future as in the past to be conducted as a competitive system?" He answered: “General Motors . will not participate voluntarily in what stands out crystal clear at the end of the road—a regimented economy.”

Taft, Wason, and Sloan reflected the views of most congressmen, who proceeded to squelch the New Deal revival. Instead, they cut tax rates to encourage entrepreneurs to create jobs for the returning veterans.

After many years of confiscatory taxes, businessmen desperately needed incentives to expand. By 1945, the top marginal income tax rate was 94 percent on all income over $200,000. We also had a high excess-profits tax that had absorbed more than one-third of all corporate profits since 1943—and another corporate tax that reached as high as 40 percent on other profits.

In 1945 and 1946, Congress repealed the excess-profits tax, cut the corporate tax to a maximum 38 percent, and cut the top income tax rate to 86 percent. In 1948 Congress sliced the top marginal rate further, to 82 percent.

Those rates were still high, but they were the first cuts since the 1920s and sent the message that businesses could keep much of what they earned. The year 1946 was not without ups and downs in employment, occasional strikes, and rising prices. But the “regime certainty” of the 1920s had largely returned, and entrepreneurs believed they could invest again and be allowed to make money.

As Sears, Roebuck and Company Chairman Robert E. Wood observed, after the war “we were warned by private sources that a serious recession was impending. . . . I have never believed that any depression was in store for us.”

With freer markets, balanced budgets, and lower taxes, Wood was right. Unemployment was only 3.9 percent in 1946, and it remained at roughly that level during most of the next decade. The Great Depression was over.

Arrest and Trial

Upon his arrest, he immediately provided exhaustive details about his killing spree, admitting to killing 15 young men, despite receiving a legal caution. He also admitted to the attempted murder of seven others, although he could name only four of them. At no point did he show any remorse, and appeared eager to assist the police with amassing evidence against him, even taking them to his old address to point out specific disposal details.

After the confession, Nilsen was held at Brixton Prison pending trial. Whilst there, he wrote over fifty notebooks of his memories to assist the prosecution, and also drew what he referred to as "sad sketches" which detailed his treatment of some of his victims. He seemed ambivalent about his fate, at turns without remorse, and then showing concern about public attitudes towards him. He fired his legal council, then rehired him, and fired him once again, shortly before he came to trial.

His trial commenced on October 24, 1983. Nilsen was charged with six counts of murder and two charges of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, citing diminished responsibility due to mental defect.

The prosecution relied primarily on the extensive interview notes that resulted from his arrest, which took over four hours to read verbatim to the jury, as well as the testimony of the three victims, Paul Nobbs, Douglas Stewart and Carl Stotter, who had managed to escape, and all of whom he had attempted to strangle.

Despite attempts by Nilsen&aposs defense to undermine the testimony of these victims by introducing evidence of their sexual encounters with Nilsen, their harrowing accounts inflicted serious damage on the defense case.

Physical evidence included photographs of the murder scenes, as well as the chopping board used to dissect the victims, and the cooking pot used to boil the skulls, feet and hands (which is now on display at the Black Museum at Scotland Yard).

The defense case relied primarily on the testimony of two psychiatrists, Dr. James MacKeith and Dr. Patrick Gallwey. MacKeith described Nilsen&aposs troubled childhood, inability to express feelings and the resulting separation of mental function from physical behavior, which affected his own sense of identity, and implied an impaired responsibility on the part of Nilsen. Under intense cross-examination by the prosecution, however, MacKeith was forced to retract his judgment about diminished responsibility.

The second psychiatrist, Gallwey, diagnosed Nilsen as suffering from a "false self syndrome", characterized by outbreaks of schizoid disturbances which made him incapable of premeditation, but most of his testimony was extremely technical, even giving the judge cause to question Gallwey&aposs complex diagnosis.

The prosecution called Dr. Paul Bowden as rebuttal psychiatrist who had spent considerable time with Nilsen, finding no evidence for much of the testimony put forth by the defense psychiatrists. He stated that Nilsen was manipulative, with some signs of mental abnormality, but nevertheless still cognizant of, and responsible for, his actions.

During the summing up, the judge dispensed with the majority of the psychiatric jargon that had perplexed the jury, by instructing them that a mind can be evil, without being abnormal.

The jury retired on November 3, 1983, but were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The following day, the judge agreed to accept a majority verdict and, at 4:25 p.m., they delivered a verdict of guilty on all six counts of murder.

The judge sentenced Dennis Nilsen to life in prison, without eligibility for parole for at least 25 years. 



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