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The Big Country

The Big Country is a 1958 American Technicolor epic Western film directed by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives filmed in Technirama. The supporting cast features Chuck Connors; the picture was based on the serialized magazine novel Ambush at Blanco Canyon by Donald Hamilton and was co-produced by Wyler and Peck. The opening title sequence was created by Saul Bass; the film is one of the few pictures in which Heston plays a major supporting role instead of the lead. Ives won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as well as the Golden Globe Award; the film was nominated for an Academy Award for the musical score by Jerome Moross. Former sailor James McKay travels to the American West to join his fiancée Patricia at the enormous ranch owned by her father, Henry Terrill, referred to by all as "The Major." After a meeting with Patricia's friend, schoolteacher Julie Maragon, McKay and Patricia are accosted by a group of drunks led by Buck Hannassey, the son of the Major's ardent and implacable enemy Rufus Hannassey.

In spite of the harassment and mockery, McKay surprises Patricia by standing his ground and allowing the group to leave without further incident. The next morning, McKay declines an invitation from the Major's foreman Steve Leech to ride an indomitable bronco stallion named "Old Thunder". McKay brings a pair of dueling pistols to the Major as a gift; when the Major learns of Buck's pestering of his daughter and future son-in-law, he gathers his men and goes to raid the Hannassey ranch despite McKay's attempts to defuse the situation. The Major's group finds neither Rufus nor Buck, so they settle for terrorizing the Hannassey women and children, as well as capturing and punishing the members of Buck's posse. Meanwhile, McKay tames and rides Old Thunder after many unsuccessful attempts, swears his only witness, the ranch hand Ramon, to secrecy. A gala is held on the Terrill ranch in honor of Patricia's upcoming wedding. At the height of the festivities, an armed Rufus crashes the party and accuses the Major of hypocrisy.

The next day, McKay secretly goes to Maragon's ranch, known as the "Big Muddy". The Big Muddy's territory is the location of the town's only nearby river, as such it is a vital source of water for both the Terrill and Hannassey cattle during times of drought. McKay persuades Maragon to sell the ranch to him in the hopes of both securing a gift for Patricia and ending the conflict by continuing Maragon's policy of unrestricted access to the river. McKay is returned to town by a search party led by Leech. Leech brands McKay a liar when McKay explains he was never in danger, but McKay again refuses to be goaded into a fight, which disappoints Patricia enough to make the pair reconsider their engagement; the next morning, Maragon tells Patricia of McKay's purchase of the Big Muddy for her, which convinces her to attempt to make amends with McKay. However, when she learns of McKay's plan to allow the Hannasseys equal access to the water, she leaves. Wanting to lure the Major into an ambush in the canyon leading to his homestead, Rufus takes Maragon hostage.

Although McKay promises Rufus equal access to the water, he finds himself in a clash with Buck, settled with a duel. Buck fires before the signal, but misses, his bullet grazing McKay's forehead and leaving him open to be shot by McKay. Buck's subsequent display of cowardice convinces McKay to spare Buck; the frustrated Buck snatches another gun from a nearby civilian. Rufus goes to the canyon for a final confrontation with the Major and challenges him to a one-on-one showdown. Armed with rifles, the two old men kill one another. McKay, along with Ramon, ride off to start a new life together. Gregory Peck as James McKay Jean Simmons as Julie Maragon Carroll Baker as Patricia Terrill Charlton Heston as Steve Leech Burl Ives as Rufus Hannassey Charles Bickford as Maj. Henry Terrill Alfonso Bedoya as Ramón Gutierrez Chuck Connors as Buck Hannassey Chuck Hayward as Rafe Hannassey Buff Brady as Dude Hannassey Jim Burk as Blackie / Cracker Hannassey Dorothy Adams as Hannassey Woman Chuck Roberson as Terrill Cowboy Bob Morgan as Terrill Cowboy John McKee as Terrill Cowboy Peter Lawman as Terrill Cowboy Director William Wyler was known for shooting an exorbitant number of takes on his films without explaining to the actors what to do differently except " better," and this one was no exception.

Many of the actors, including Jean Simmons and Carroll Baker, were so traumatized by his directing style that they refused to speak about the experience for years. Simmons said they received rewrites for the script, making acting difficult. Gregory Peck and Wyler, who were good friends, fought on the set and had a falling out for three years, although they reconciled. Wyler and Charles Bickford clashed, as they had done thirty years on the production of his 1929 film Hell's Heroes. Burl Ives, claimed to have enjoyed making the film. Before principal photography was complete, Wyler left for Rome to start work on Ben-Hur, delegating creation of the final scenes involving McKay and Julie to his assistant Robert Swink, whose resulting scenes pleased Wyler so much that he wrote Swink a letter stating: "I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with the new ending... The shots you made are complete perfection." Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote in a negative review that "for all this film's mighty pretensions, it does not get far beneath the skin of its conventional Western s

Jean Filion

Jean Filion is a Canadian former politician, who represented the electoral district of Montmorency in the National Assembly of Quebec from 1991 to 1998. He was a member of the Parti Québécois, he was the party's candidate in Montmorency in the 1985 provincial election, but lost to Yves Séguin of the Quebec Liberal Party. He was first elected in a by-election on August 12, 1991, following Séguin's resignation, was reelected in the 1994 election, he left the party to sit as an independent in 1995, ran unsuccessfully for the mayoralty of Beauport in 1996. He was defeated by Jean-François Simard, he was charged with thirteen counts of fraud and breach of trust, after allegations that he diverted funds from his MNA expense budget into renovations for a building he owned. He was convicted in 2004 on eight of the thirteen counts, sentenced to six months in jail, he was subsequently stripped of his designation as a chartered accountant by the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants. Due to his conviction, the National Assembly withheld a sizable "transition payment" that he would have been entitled to as an outgoing MNA.

He filed a lawsuit against the provincial government in the Quebec Superior Court in 2012 for $52,617 in transition payments, $50,000 in moral damages and $42,000 to cover legal fees and expenses. In February 2013, Superior Court Justice Suzanne Hardy-Lemieux ruled that he was entitled to partial compensation of $29,699 for the transition payments, but rejected his claim for additional damages and expenses


Wrattonbully is a wine region in South Australia's South East, between the Padthaway and Coonawarra regions, between the Riddoch Highway and the Victorian border. The Wrattonbully wine region lies over several ranges in the area surrounding Naracoorte, including the Naracoorte Range. Wrattonbully is a region of ancient World Heritage-listed geology, which in more recent times has been chosen to establish a successful wine region due to its outstanding viticultural attributes; the first vines for winegrapes were planted in the late 1960s. The region now draws the attention of wine connoisseurs from around the world. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the two main varieties grown, Wrattonbully wines of these varieties are regarded for their complexity and elegance. Merlot and Chardonnay are widely grown with great success - in fact the cool climate of the Wrattonbully wine region is proving suitable for many varieties. South Australian wine Longbottom, Mardi.

Aesch Castle

Aesch Castle or Blarer Castle is a castle in the Swiss municipality of Aesch in the canton of Basel-Country. Aesch Castle is about 500 meters northwest of the gorge and Angenstein Castle and 1,500 meters north-northeast of the ruins of Pfeffingen Castle on the edge of the core of Aesch village; the castle was built in 1605/06 by the Blarer of Wartensee family. This family was from St. Gallen and had become wealthy from the linen trade. One line of the family settled in Wartensee Castle at hence the name of this line. With the election of Jacob Christoph Blarer of Wartensee in 1575 to the canons of the cathedral of Basel the family gained interests in the Basel region. Jacob Christoph Blarer was one of the main leaders of the Counter-Reformation in Birseck; the Blarers began to expand their power in the Basel region when Jacob Christoph Blarer appointed his brother Wolfgang Dietrich Blarer to the upper Vogt of Pfeffingen in 1583. This position gave the family a steady source of income from tithes and interest.

Many other privileges, for example a charter granted by Jacob Christoph Blarer in 1604, led to a steady growth of wealth of the Blarer family. In the years before his death in 1608, he tasked his nephew Wilhelm Blarer, to consolidate the family's position and power by building a castle at Aesch. In 1607, the castle grounds and surrounding property were given to Wilhelm by Jacob Christoph. At the same time, Jacob Christoph as the Bishop of Basel freed Wilhelm from all offerings. By 1702, the Prince-Bishop allowed the Vogt Johann Konrad Blarer to live in the castle at Aesch rather than in Pfeffingen, but his clerk had to stay in Pfeffingen Castle; as the castle at Pfeffingen lacked the comfort and prestige that the family desired for a family seat, in 1740 the Blarers moved their center of power into Aesch. During the Thirty Years' War the castle was rebuilt immediately. At the time of the French Revolution a hospital was set up in the castle. In 1851 the castle was bought from the family by the municipality of Aesch and rebuilt.

Two classrooms and two teachers' houses were added. It was renovated in 1900 by Rudolf Sandreuter, who moved the main entrance to the village side and added gothic revival and an additional half-round tower. Starting in 1909 it was used as a community center. Since the renovation of 1958/59, which restored its original condition, the municipal administration has occupied the castle. On the site of the castle there was a hostel; the castle was designed from the beginning as a multi-story mansion. Therefore, little value was placed on the defensive capability of the structure; the nearby Pfeffingen Castle provided the family with a defensive fortress, the power of gunpowder weapons at the time meant that castles were no longer effective as fortresses. The main building has a basement with a vaulted cellar. On the north and west of the palace buildings there were several support buildings including a wine-press and stables, some of which are still in existence today; the builder is not known with certainty, but it could be, according to surviving receipts, be Michael Brauwn or Braun.

Baroque extensions to the castle took place in 1730 and 1740 and at this time the French garden was added. The wall around the whole complex was decorated with several turrets and bartizans while lattice doors ensured accessibility to the grounds. Most of the current castle exterior dates back to the state after the great expansion in the 18th Century. However, the perimeter wall has been adjusted and some portions have been demolished. Due to the many different functions that the castle has served, the interiors have been changed significantly; the park is accessible to the public and the castle can be visited whenever the local government offices are open. The vaulted cellar is now expanded and used for special events and can be rented from the local authority. In the west, a former outbuilding now houses the local museum of Aesch. Carl Roth: Die Burgen und Schlösser der Kantone Basel-Stadt und Basel-Landschaft, Birkhäuser, Basel, 1932 Josef Baumann: Die Blarer von Wartensee und das Blarer-Schloss zu Aesch, Baselbieter Heimatbuch, Liestal, Jg.

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Carentan Airfield

Carentan Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield, located near the commune of Carentan in the Normandy region of northern France. Located just outside Carentan, the United States Army Air Force established a temporary airfield 15 June 1944, nine days after the first Allied landings in France on D-Day and only three days after the capture of Carentan; the airfield was one of the first established in the liberated area of Normandy, being constructed by the IX Engineering Command, 826th Engineer Aviation Battalion. Known as Advanced Landing Ground "A-10", the airfield consisted of a single 5000' Prefabricated Hessian Surfacing runway aligned 08/26. In addition, tents were erected for billeting and for support facilities; the fighter planes flew support missions during the Allied invasion of Normandy, patrolling roads in front of the beachhead. After the Americans moved east into Central France with the advancing Allied Armies, the airfield was left un-garrisoned and used for resupply and casualty evacuation.

It was closed on 4 November 1944. 50th Fighter Group 20 June - 23 August 194410th, 81st, 313th Fighter Squadrons 392d Fighter Squadron 25 June - 16 August 1944 After its closure by the Americans, the airfield was returned to farmland. Today, the Normandy Victory Museum utilizes part of the original site of the old A10 Airfield of Carentan, first aerodrome re-opened since 1944, it received a P47 2N-U replica. There is a monument to the A-10 Airfield at the junction of D 974, ex N13 toward Carentan, with D 89, turn left towards Saint Pellerin; the monument is 400 meters left, rue de Banville. Advanced Landing Ground This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website Normandy Tank Museum A-10 Memorial A-10 Carentan

DierenPark Amersfoort

DierenPark Amersfoort is a 19-hectare zoo located on the West side of Amersfoort, in the province of Utrecht, on the edge of the Birkhoven forest, in the Netherlands. The zoo was founded on 22 May 1948 by Mr. Knoester, it was a small zoo with a monkey, a bear, a camel and some farm animals. In the years afterwards the first carnivore arrived, in 1956 the elephants Indra and Rani arrived. In 1960, Mr. and Mrs. Vis-Tertoolen, one of the zoo founder's daughters and her husband, took over the management of the zoo, the first of the chimpanzees arrived. In 1979, 2 white southern white lions were born, but while growing up they became colored. In 1982 seven Sudan cheetahs were born. In 1988, the park got a savanna area and "De Ark van Amersfoort" was opened; the zoo has an area of about 14 hectares. It hosts about 650,000 visitors annually, its ridable miniature railway, has a worldwide unique gauge of 340 mm. On September 4th, 2019, the zoo's last white tiger, died of lung cancer, she was 16 years old.

Media related to DierenPark Amersfoort at Wikimedia Commons DierenPark Amersfoort