Monday, April 28, 2014

Showing the Flag

U.S.S. Wilmington
1906-1918


Caught in rough seas off the coast of Luzon in the Philippines on a stormy night in December 1915, the U.S.S. Wilmington rolled 61 degrees, dangerously close to the point where she might capsize. Having survived the worst of the many dramatic rolls it would experience over the course of its forty-eight years in service, the naval vessel safely arrived in Manila the next day, completing its three-day passage from Hong Kong. The Wilmington was part of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron, charged with defending the Philippines and with upholding the American Open Door Policy in China. While there were many hazards in this mission, typhoons posed one of the greatest threats to the Navy’s light-draft gunboats as they steamed from port to port establishing an authoritative presence in Asia by “showing the flag.” 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Life & Times of Antonio Sivori (Part IV)

New York City, 
1869-1881 


Antonio Savori achieved some degree of notoriety during his lifetime. He was perhaps best known for the charity balls he catered at the Academy of Music. Located on East 14th Street at Irving Place, this theater was was situated only one block off Union Square, the center of New Yorks social life until the early 1880s. Featuring a lavish white and gold interior illuminated by thousands of gaslights, the venue was used for operas, concerts, and even high society balls by removing the 4,000 crimson-velvet seats to create a large dance floor.