Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis is the oldest independent science fiction bookstore in America, founded in 1974. It shares (shared?) space with its next-door neighbor, Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Books, founded in 1980.
Over the weekend, the store was lost to fire, a victim of the riots in the Twin Cities.
Store dog Echo is doing fine but, as noted by owner Don Blyly, who responded to the burglary and smoke alarms in the predawn hours of 30 May to find dancing rioters and no police for blocks in any direction, “I’m pretty sure the insurance policy excludes damage from a civil insurrection, so I suspect I won’t get a cent for either the building or the contents.”
Sci-Fi writer Larry Correia, the Monster Hunter Intl guy, noted, “Uncle Hugo’s never hurt anyone,” while fellow sci-fi writer and Army CWO Brad Torgersen opined, “The Mecca of independent SF/F bookstores fell to a mindless siege. As if Covid-19 panic shutdowns and scare-offs were not bad enough, the Minneapolis riots torched Uncle Hugo’s to the bare walls. A mighty pillar of the SF/F literature world has been burned down!”
Can we just leave the bookstores out of this?
The John Jovino Co. gun shop opened in 1911 in Manhattan in the middle ground between Little Italy and Chinatown, just a block over from NYPD Headquarters.
Purchased in the 1920s by the Imperato family– who ran the shop and their Henry Firearms Company from its location until they pulled stumps for New Jersey in the 1990s– the store was iconic.
Crime scene photographer Weegee even lived in a studio apartment directly over the shop in the 1930s and 40s and captured the storefront, with its distinctive revolver sign, in at least one gritty nighttime image of Gotham.
Now, the shop has gone, killed by a combination of rising rents, ever-tougher NYC regs on gun sales, and the COVID-19 lockdown.
More in my column at Guns.com.
It’s a small plot of land that’s never left unguarded. The Sentinels who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are a small and exclusive group. They stand their post 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather. Hear the Sentinel’s Creed and you’ll know why. DOD video edited by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jared Bunn
USS Nevada (BB-36) survived the hell of Pearl Harbor and was famously the only battleship able to get underway that day. Repaired and returned to service, she earned seven battlestars from France to Okinawa and, in the end, was subjected to far more damage post-war.
Nevada arrived at Bikini atoll on 31 May 1946 and was one of 84 targets used in Crossroads. The tests consisted of two detonations, the first Test Able, an airburst, on 1 July, and the second, Test Baker, an underwater explosion, on 25 July. Despite extensive damage and contamination, the ship survived the blasts and returned to Pearl Harbor to be decommissioned on 29 August. She was sunk by the cumulative damage of surface gunfire, aerial bombs and torpedoes, and rocket fire off Hawaii on 31 July 1948. Nevada was stricken from the Navy Register on 12 August 1948.
Now, over 71 years since she took her plunge to the ocean floor over 15,000 feet down, she has been discovered and documented.
“SEARCH, Inc. and Ocean Infinity are pleased to announce the discovery of USS Nevada, one of the U.S. Navy‘s longest-serving battleships. The wreck was located 3 miles deep in the Pacific during a joint expedition that combined SEARCH, Inc.‘s maritime archaeologists and Ocean Infinity‘s robotic technology and deep-water search capability. The veteran battleship, which survived Pearl Harbor, German artillery, a kamikaze attack, and two atomic blasts, is a reminder of American perseverance and resilience.”
29 April 1975: As NVA tanks were moving into the city, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Vietnam, Graham Martin, sent the below telegram to National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, at the White House, during the evacuation of Saigon during the Vietnam War.
Martin states that he is, “well aware of the danger here tomorrow and I want to get out tonight.” He asks that the President send an order to finish the job quickly, evacuating the rest of the Americans and their children.
The American Ambassador to Vietnam resisted limiting the evacuation to Americans, as 10,000 locals were crowding the compound’s gates. In this cable he asks repeatedly for 30 CH-53 Sea Stallions:
“Perhaps you can tell me how to make some of these Americans abandon their half Vietnamese children?”
The helicopters did come, shuttling away the non-combatants all night. In all, some 7,000 people, mostly newly homeless refugees of the now-former South Vietnam, were airlifted from the Embassy complex by the Marines and from a series of other sites around Siagon by CIA-front company Air America.
A CH-46D, Swift 2-2, of HMM-164 lifted off with Marine detachment commander Major James Kean and the 10 remaining Marine Security Guards, leaving at 07:53 on 30 April. Just 37 minutes later Swift 2-2 landed on USS Okinawa (LPH-3) just offshore.
By noon, NVA regulars were in possession of the abandoned former U.S. Embassy. A mix of about 350 loyal Vietnamese employees and South Korean citizens still awaited a rescue that would not come.
The remains of MSG detachment 21-year-old Corporal Charles MCMAHON, Jr, 023 42 16 37, USMC; and 19-year-old Lance Corporal Darwin L. JUDGE, 479 70 89 99, USMC; killed on 29 April by an NVA rocket attack at the Tan Son Nut Airport, were, unfortunately, left behind during the withdrawal. They were later recovered via diplomatic means in 1976 and buried with full military honors.
Maj. Kean’s after-action report is available, here.
On 25 April 1915, the Gallipoli landings to open up the Dardanelles and force the Ottoman Empire out of the Great War began in earnest with the landings at what became known as ANZAC cove.
The campaign was to showcase the Royal Navy and “the colonials” with the bulk of the British force drawn from the Australian and New Zealand Corps (ANZAC) along with several regiments of Gurkhas and Sikhs, the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, two divisions of Scots, one of Irish, some Canadian units, and the newly formed Royal Naval Division.
The French likewise contributed a mixed division composed of a Foreign Legion battalion, North African Zouaves, and Senegalese infantry.
Major Sherman Miles, in his work on amphibious operations in the 1920s, later concluded that, while the mighty battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth, Cornwallis, Albion, and other ships battered the Ottoman defenses for a full 24 hours before the landings– “still the Turkish rifle and machine-gun fire broke out whenever the big guns laid off,” and the Entente forces remained pinned to the ground by what were deemed to be greatly inferior Turkish forces.
“One can only conclude,” Major Miles continues, “that there are few organisms in the world weaker than an army when its feet are still wet with saltwater.”
A lesson still likely very applicable today.