At the turn of the 20th century, it was a frontier town, surrounded by desert, in the middle of nowhere. In the early 1930s, it was a place where construction workers building Boulder Dam came to have a good time.
Anyone who has delved into the works of the great English Romantic poet John Keats knows that his intense letters packed with his philosophical and aesthetic credo come a close second in importance to his marvelous poems.
It might be said that the seeds of Jack Nelson's legendary career as an investigative reporter were planted at the age of 15 when he was mercilessly bullied by a burly Biloxi, Miss. detective who accused him of a theft he hadn't committed.
The German capital, center of Nazi power, represented the big prize at the end of World War II. The victorious Allies -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France -- occupied and divided the city into four zones. The arrangement was meant to guarantee access to all.
Since the Eisenhower administration, every president with the exception of Jimmy Carter has made varying use of an outside advisory panel that authors Kenneth Michael Absher, Michael C. Desch and Roman Popadiuk term "one of the smallest, most secretive, least well-known, but potentially influential parts of the U.S. intelligence community."
The French people sloughed off years of national shame in one glorious summer month in 1944 when, with only minimal assistance from Allied armies, they evicted German troops from Paris. Albert Camus, writing in the clandestine newspaper Combat, spoke of Paris returning to its historic role of purging tyranny with the "blood of free men."
Almost every candidate who is behind in the polls invokes President Harry S. Truman's come-from-behind victory over New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 to boost the spirits of their supporters.
Even the most sanguine American cannot say that the first decade of the 21st century was one of overall positive developments for the country. The decade's lasting successes -- meager accomplishments such as technological improvements and affordable prescription drugs for seniors -- were bookended by terrorist attacks and a financial crisis, with two wars and growing political discordance in between.
Tom Mankiewicz (1942-2010) had a long and varied career as a scriptwriter and director in film — the James Bond movies and "Superman" I & II — and television — "Hart to Hart." And there are stories aplenty here about his professional life and the many famous names he came into contact with. Long before he got his first lowly job as a glorified gofer, though, his family name and its attendant connections made him a true insider.