Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Graf Spree and Gone with The Wind

I was in Orlando earlier this week for the Spring meeting of ASIDIC which was my first attendance at this event. It was a small meeting but it there were some high quality presentations and I will attempt to attend subsequent meetings. Among the speakers was Joe Wikert who wrote a post about the meeting. Dinner on the Monday evening was at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando where most people wouldn't ordinarily go. The exhibits we actually quite interesting and they had an extensive civil war exhibit but the item that caught my eye was in the smaller exhibit celebrating Gone with The Wind. In this newspaper front page a significant amount of space is given over to the premier of the movie but in the lower left is a story about the Graf Spree, a German battle cruiser that had been chased around the Atlantic by the British and had holed up in Uruguay. The juxtaposition of these two events - the movie and the war - is very interesting. It shows that at the same time the war was a very real thing in Europe that perhaps it wasn't quite so important at the time in the US. The British were frustrated in their victory in this skurmish of course since the Graf Spree was scuttled. On the other hand Viv Leigh did get best actress. (Sorry for the bad photo).

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