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Vladislav Hall

Vladislav Hall is a large room within the Prague Castle complex in the Czech Republic, used for large public events of the Bohemian monarchy and the modern Czech state. Built between 1493–1502 by Benedikt Rejt during the reign of Vladislav II, the hall was the largest secular space in medieval Prague and belongs to the most complex structural and architectural spaces of the late Middle Ages. In particular, the construction of the complex stone vaulting system, spanning 16m, was a refined engineering feat; the third and highest floor of the palace, the hall replaced a group of rooms dating from the 14th century. Underneath, the second floor is a Gothic addition built during the reign of Charles IV in the 14th century, while the lowest, first floor is a Romanesque palace; the hall was used for banquets, receptions and other events of the Bohemian court. It was large enough to accommodate tournaments between knights.

Russ Hinze

Russell James Hinze was a politician in Queensland, Australia, in the 1970s and 1980s. He presided over an era of controversy that included the setting up of the Racing Development Fund, ministerial re-zonings and the licensing of Jupiters Casino, his career in public life spanned four decades, first in local government in the 1950s and 1960s, in the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 1966 to 1988. His exit from Parliament occurred amid allegations. Russell James Hinze was born on 19 June 1919 in Oxenford on the Gold Coast of Queensland, his father was a dairy farmer. He started his career as a sugar cane cutter, he took up dairy-farming, like his father. After becoming chairman of the South Coast Cooperative Dairy Association, he was elected to the Albert Shire Council in the early 1950s, serving as shire chairman for nine years from 1958 to 1967. In 1966, Hinze entered the State political arena as the member for South Coast, representing the Country Party. After eight years as a backbench member of the Coalition Government, he was promoted to Cabinet.

In 1971, while still a backbencher, he was part of a plot within the Country Party parliamentary wing to topple Joh Bjelke-Petersen that failed only when Bjelke-Petersen broke a tie in the party-room meeting by voting for himself. Between 1974 and 1987, he served as the Minister for Local Main Roads. Between 1980 and 1987, he served as the Minister for Racing. Between 1980 and 1982, he served as the Minister for Police; these ministerial positions earned him the known title of'Minister for Everything'. In May 1988, Hinze resigned from Queensland Parliament after damaging allegations were made against him during the Fitzgerald Inquiry, investigating corruption in Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era. In December 1989 Hinze was charged on eight counts of having received corrupt payments of $520,000. However, he died from bowel cancer on 29 June 1991 aged 72 at the Allamanda Private Hospital in Southport, before the case went to trial, he was buried in Lower Coomera cemetery on the Gold Coast.

After his death in 1991 Queensland Deputy Premier Tom Burns remembered him in parliament with the following anecdote: "The best cartoon of him was the one that showed him as a bulldog. I saw him on television describing why he would rather be a bulldog than a mouse, but he was shown as a bulldog with dark glasses and a white cane outside a casino and brothel in the Valley that had a flashing neon light, saying he did not know there were any there." Although the charges against Hinze were never proven in court, in 1990 another court case arising from the Fitzgerald enquiry convicted businessman George Herscu of paying Hinze $100,000 to enable a shopping centre development to go ahead. Herscu claimed. Hinze Dam was named in honour of local pioneers Carl and Johanna Hinze who lived in the valley, flooded by the dam, his granddaughter, Kristy Hinze, is a model. Queensland Legislative Assembly. "Queensland Legislative Assembly Hansard". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2006.

"ABC Radio National". Queensland: Ten Years After Fitzgerald. Retrieved 17 January 2006

McKennon-Shea House

The McKennon-Shea House is a historic house at 206 Waterman Street in Dumas, Arkansas. The 1.5 story wood frame house was built c. 1910, bought in 1913 by Claude McKennon, a local entrepreneur who established a farm supply business in Dumas at about the same time, built a real estate empire of farmland operated by tenant farmers. Mckennon's daughter Sarah married Thomas Shea, their son inherited the property; the house is a vernacular rendering of Folk Victorian and Colonial Revival styling, with gingerbread decoration and four Tuscan columns supporting a central projecting gable. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. National Register of Historic Places listings in Desha County, Arkansas

Operation Tidal Wave

Operation Tidal Wave was an air attack by bombers of the United States Army Air Forces based in Libya and Southern Italy on nine oil refineries around Ploiești, Romania on 1 August 1943, during World War II. It was a strategic bombing mission and part of the "oil campaign" to deny petroleum-based fuel to the Axis; the mission resulted in "no curtailment of overall product output."This mission was one of the costliest for the USAAF in the European Theater, with 53 aircraft and 660 air crewmen lost. It was proportionally the most costly major Allied air raid of the war and its date was referred to as "Black Sunday". Five Medals of Honor and 56 Distinguished Service Crosses along with numerous others awards were awarded to Operation Tidal Wave crew members. Romania had been a major power in the oil industry since the 1800s, it was one of the largest producers in Europe and Ploiesti was a major part of that production. The Ploiești oil refineries provided about 30% of all Axis oil production. In June 1942, 13 B-24 Liberators of the "Halverson project" attacked Ploiești.

Though damage was small and Romania responded by putting strong anti-aircraft defenses around Ploiești. Luftwaffe General Alfred Gerstenberg built one of the heaviest and best-integrated air defense networks in Europe; the defenses included several hundred large-caliber 88mm guns and 10.5 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft guns, many more small-caliber guns. The latter were concealed in haystacks, railroad cars, mock buildings. German and Romanian AA artillery at Ploiești consisted in 52 heavy 9 medium and 17 light anti-aircraft batteries; these were divided between the Romanian 4th AA Brigade. Half of the manpower of the German 5th Flak Division was Romanian; the Axis had 52 fighters within flight range of Ploiești. For the defense of Ploiești, the Royal Romanian Air Force had aircraft from 5 Escadrile: 61, 62, 45, 53 and 68; these defenses made Ploiești the 3rd or 4th most defended target in Axis Europe, after Berlin and Vienna or the Ruhr, thus the most defended Axis target outside the Third Reich. The Ninth Air Force was responsible for the overall conduct of the raid, the formed Eighth Air Force provided three additional bomb groups.

All the bombers employed were B-24 Liberators. Colonel Jacob E. Smart planned the operation, based on HALPRO's experiences. HALPRO had encountered minimal air defenses in its raid, so the planners decided Tidal Wave would be executed by day, that the attacking bombers would approach at low altitude to avoid detection by German radar. Training included extensive review of detailed sand table models, practice raids over a mock-up of the target in the Libyan desert and practical exercises over a number of secondary targets in July to prove the viability of such a low-level strike; the bombers to be used were re-equipped with bomb-bay fuel tanks to increase their fuel capacity to 3,100 gallons. The operation was to consist of 178 bombers with a total of 1,751 aircrew, one of the largest commitments of American heavy bombers and crewmen up to that time; the planes were to fly from airfields near Libya. They were to cross the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea, pass near the island of Corfu, cross over the Pindus Mountains in Albania, cross southern Yugoslavia, enter southwestern Romania, turn east toward Ploiești.

Reaching Ploiești, they were to locate pre-determined checkpoints, approach their targets from the north, strike all targets simultaneously. For political reasons, the Allied planners decided to avoid the city of Ploiești, so that it would not be bombed by accident. Early on the morning of 1 August 1943, the five groups comprising the strike force began lifting off from their home air fields around Benghazi. Large amounts of dust kicked up during take-off caused limited visibility and strained engines carrying the burden of large bomb loads and additional fuel; these conditions contributed to the loss of one aircraft during take-off, but 177 of the planned 178 aircraft departed safely. The formation reached the Adriatic Sea without further incident. Lt. Guy Iovine — a personal friend of Flavelle and piloting aircraft #23 Desert Lilly — descended from the formation in order to look for survivors, narrowly missing aircraft Brewery Wagon piloted by Lt. John Palm. No survivors were seen, due to the additional weight of fuel, Iovine was unable to regain altitude to rejoin the formation and resume course to Ploiești.

The resulting confusion was compounded by the inability to regain cohesion due to orders to maintain strict radio silence. Ten other aircrews returned to friendly air fields after the incident, the remaining aircraft faced the 9,000 ft climb over the Pindus mountains, which were shrouded in cloud cover. Although all five groups made the climb around 11,000 ft, the 376th and 93rd, using high power settings, pulled ahead the trailing formations, causing variations in speed and time which disrupted the careful synchronization of the group attacks deemed so important by Smart. Mission leaders deemed these concerns to be less important than maintaining security through radio silence; the American leaders were unaware that the Germans knew of their presence, though not of their target. Although the Americans' orders wo

East African montane forests

The East African montane forests is a montane tropical moist forest ecoregion of eastern Africa. The ecoregion comprises several separate areas above 2000 meters in the mountains of South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania; the East African montane forests extend across a total of 65,500 square kilometers, in 25 separate enclaves, which range in size from 23,700 to 113 square kilometers. The northernmost enclave is on Mount Kinyeti in the Imatong Mountains of Southern Sudan, extending south through Mount Moroto in eastern Uganda and Mount Elgon on the Kenya-Uganda border. In Kenya and Tanzania, the ecoregion follows the mountains east and west of the Eastern Rift and associated volcanoes, including the Aberdare Range, Mount Kenya, Mount Kulal, Mount Nyiru and the Nguruman Escarpment in Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and the Marang forests in northern Tanzania; the ecoregion consists of montane forests and savannas, transitioning to the East African montane moorlands on the highest peaks. The ecoregion is home to the Afromontane flora, which occurs in the mountains of eastern Africa, is distinct from the lowland flora.

World Wildlife Fund, ed.. "East African montane forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08

Andrew E. Masich

Andrew Edward Masich is the President and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, Pittsburgh's oldest cultural institution, Pennsylvania's largest history museum. The Heinz History Center includes the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. Masich was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. A leader in the field of public history, he is known internationally for his lively history presentations. Masich oversees the operation of the 350,000-square-foot Senator John Heinz History Center, located in the 1898 Chautauqua Lake Ice Company warehouse in downtown Pittsburgh. In 1999, he forged a strategic partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small declared the Heinz History Center “the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh,” and Smithsonian collections are now on exhibit at all times. Masich has forged strategic partnerships with organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Allegheny Conference for Community Development, Boy Scouts of America, VisitPittsburgh, the American Association for State and Local History.

Under Masich's leadership, the History Center merged with other regional museums and historical organizations, including the Meadowcroft Museum, The Westinghouse Museum, the Pittsburgh Police Historical Association. The Fort Pitt Museum is operated according to a long-term agreement with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Through its affiliates Program, the History Center partners with and offers assistance to 125 additional museums and historical societies in Western Pennsylvania. Masich is an adjunct history faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University teaching American History and Public History courses, his lively lectures on subjects ranging from American Indians to American innovation have entertained and educated audiences from coast to coast. A recognized authority on the preservation and creative interpretation of history, he has been a faculty member of the prestigious Seminar for Historical Administration, an American Association for State and Local History Council member, an American Alliance of Museums Accreditation Commissioner, serves on the National Council for Public History's Editorial Board for The Public Historian.

His popular presentations include “Unknown Stories of the Civil War,” “History of Innovation,” “Young George Washington,” and, for professional museum audiences, “Lighten Up!” and “History Museum Vampires: How to Suck the Life Out of Your Museum.” Masich makes regular television appearances on KDKA, offering bi-weekly “Pittsburgh History Today” segments and co-hosting the popular “Pittsburgh's Hidden Treasures” antiques appraisal program. Working with producer David Solomon at WQED, he has won Emmys for historical documentaries. Masich is a regular contributor to Pittsburgh Public Radio, WESA, his History Minute programs can be heard daily on Pittsburgh's KQV radio, he serves as expert historian and story teller for a variety of national media outlets and programs hosted by the History Channel, Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Channel. He is featured in videos. Born February 7, 1955 in Yonkers, New York, Masich's family moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1971, he graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in 1973 and went on to earn a BA as a double major in History and Anthropology in 1977 and an MA in History from the University of Arizona in 1984.

He served as director of the Arizona Historical Society's Rio Colorado Division in Yuma from 1978 to 1985 as the director of the Central Arizona Division in Phoenix from 1985 to 1990. From 1990 to 1998 he served as vice president of the Colorado Historical Society, the state's official history agency. Masich holds a PhD in history from Carnegie Mellon University. Cheyenne Dog Soldiers: A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat, with David F. Halaas, et al. University Press of Colorado. Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent: Caught Between the Worlds of the Indian and the White Man, with David F. Halaas, DaCapo Press. Civil War in Arizona: The Story of the California Volunteers, 1861-65, University of Oklahoma Press. Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL, with David F. Halaas and Dan Rooney, DaCapo Press. Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867, University of Oklahoma Press