Intl. Notebook Mar 21 2012
HOUSE THAT HATE BUILT
Los Angeles bunker intended to house Adolf Hitler set to be demolished for picnic area.

The Pulp Intl. tour across America has left San Francisco for our last stop, Los Angeles, and our timing was good, because this interesting item appeared in the news yesterday. Apparently, a Los Angeles bunker intended to house Adolf Hitler is being razed to make room for a picnic area. Set on several acres in what is now Will Rogers State Park, it was built during the 1930s by a group of fascist adherents who called themselves the Silver Legion of America, or Silvershirts, with the idea of giving Hitler a base of operations in America. Though the land was purchased by Winona and Norman Stephens, the mastermind behind the project was William Dudley Pelley, below, a well-known fascist of the time. The sprawling site was inhabited by his Silvershirts, and besides a large house intended for Hitler, included a diesel plant, a sprawling garden, and a bomb shelter.

Pelley and his Silvershirts numbered about 15,000 official members during the mid-1930s, and certainly there were many more sympathizers. The group was powerful enough that it became a concern for President Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to keep an eye on them. Hoover did so, but left the group more or less in peace until Pearl Harbor was bombed, at which point feds raided the ranch and arrested the occupants. That was 1941, and by then the Silvershirts had already declined in membership and influence. The raid pretty much destroyed what was left of the group, and the base designed and built forAdolf Hitler fell into disrepair. We think the place would serve an important purpose if at least one building could be saved and perhaps adorned with a historical marker. Picnic areas need bathrooms, after all, and what better place to take a piss than in a monument to global fascism. But of course, what else would we think? We’re a history site, and we believe covering up the past serves no one. Some say the Silvershirts were never important enough to be considered a threat to American democracy, and thus should not be remembered, but they only seem hapless in hindsight. It’s precisely when people think their society is immune to malign influences that they always seem to take hold. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 31
1984—Indira Gandhi Assassinated
In India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two of her own Sikh security guards in the garden of the Prime Minister's Residence at No. 1, Safdarjung Road in New Delhi. Gandhi had been walking to meet British actor Peter Ustinov for an interview. Riots soon break out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 Sikhs are killed.
October 30
1945—Robinson Signs with Dodgers
Jackie Robinson, who had been playing with the Negro League team the Kansas City Monarchs, signs a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American major leaguer of the modern baseball era.
1961—Soviets Detonate Super Nuke
The Soviet Union detonates an experimental nuclear weapon called Tsar Bomba over the Arctic Circle, which, with a yield of 100 megatons of TNT, was then and remains today the most powerful weapon ever used by humanity.
October 29
1901—William McKinley's Assassin Executed
Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley, is executed at Auburn State Prison in Auburn, New York by means of the electric chair. Czolgosz had shot McKinley twice with a cheap revolver and the President had lingered for several days before dying. After Czolgosz is executed, he is buried on prison grounds and sulfuric acid is thrown into his coffin to disfigure his body and result in its quick decomposition.
1982—Lindy Chamberlain Convicted of Murder
In Australia, Lindy Chamberlain is found guilty of the murder of her nine-week-old daughter. The baby was killed during a camping trip in the Australian interior. Chamberlain claimed a dingo had taken the baby, but a jury decided Chamberlain cut the infant's throat and buried her. The body was never found, but forensic experts played a large role in the conviction. Four years after the trial the baby's jacket is found inside a dingo lair, backing up Chamberlain's claim, and she is released from prison.
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