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time basis Treaty of Versailles

The end of World War I was finalized by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.  It was signed by Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan but not the United States, as the U.S. drafted its own treaty with Germany in 1921.  Many historians argue that the Treaty of Versailles was the major cause of World War II which occurred twenty years later.  On the Treatys most superficial level, the extreme punishment and fines that were levied by the Allied Powers on the Germans were causes enough for war.  Historians argue that this and the international fallout that resulted most notably with the United States were simply too powerful to avoid war at all.  The ramification of the Treaty sent the German economy into a severe depression and planted the seeds needed to sprout revenge and uprising such as the world had never seen before.
 Estimates for the costs of the war for the Allied Powers fluctuated between ten billion and one hundred billion dollars.  Ultimately, the Allied Powers settled on the astronomical sum of thirty-three billion dollars which the German government was mandated to pay but simply did not have the funds to do so.  In addition to paying reparations, Germany had to severely limit military spending and personnel, relinquish land previously gained in the World War, and was barred from having any air force at all.  The lack of American involvement, which was sorely needed at this time, had significant impacts on the actions of other key states.  Sudden American withdrawal from the Treaty of Versailles sent France into a panic and their subsequent occupation of the Ruhr Valley in Germany.  This action dealt a harsh blow to the Germany and British-French relations.  The former came into economic conflict with France, creating hyper-inflation, and throwing Germany into a severe depression.  Wheelbarrows of money were necessary to buy loaves of bread until the Deutsche Mark became so devalued that the bills were burned to provide heat to those living in poverty.  
Following this collapse in German currency, a desperate and vulnerable Germany capitalized on the breakdown of relations between Britain and France and United States isolationism to begin rebuilding.  This included rearmament that was in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles.  The dictator behind this proposed revitalization in economic and military strength was Adolf Hitler.  Current economic hardship made Germany ripe for the rise of a dictator.  Hitlers timing was impeccable and he perhaps never would have gained such prominence in the German government if it was not for his propaganda that the weary and desperate German people needed so badly to recover from their depression.  The depression however, was not contained within German borders.  The politics of the era, most notably Americas isolationist policy contributed to world wide economic collapse.  This was the result of then President Woodrow Wilsons inability to persuade Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and become a co-signer with the other Allied Powers.  The major failure in Wilsons pitch came in his proposal of the Fourteen Point Plan.
The Fourteen Point Plan outlined Wilsons view of what the post-WWI world should look like, providing for the liberation of certain peoples and territories.  Presented to Congress on January 8, 1918, strong debate ensued over the proposal of the fourteenth and final provision; a general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.  Congress voted against what Wilson dubbed the League of Nations, the failed basis of todays United Nations.  Although the U.S. proposed the League, they were the most notable nation that failed to join.  The U.S. subsequently retreated to a policy of isolationism and combined with a rebuilding and weakened Europe, there was little opposition to Hitlers rise to power and continued violation of the Treaty of Versailles.  
The rest of the world exercised a policy of appeasement, allowing Hitler to make small advances in Europe hoping that he would be satisfied with what he was given.  He became emboldened as each of his new advances into Europe met little to no opposition in the international community.  He ... more

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Lum and Abner

Hendricks 1

Lum and Abner

What is the first thing you think of when you here of the 1930s, Amos and Andy or how about Lum and Abner?  Lum and Abner werent really expected to do anything with their lives; they were just having fun trying to make something of them selves.  They became two of the most famous people from Polk and Montgomery counties: Chet Lauck- Lum, Norris Goff- Abner, and the history of Lum and Abner.  
Chester Lauck was born in Alleene, Arkansas, February 2, 1902. (Alleene, Arkansas)(www.mu.net/stemple/page1.htm)  His parents were W.J. and Cora Lauck. (Cate, Micheal, 190)  Chet moved to Mena in 1911, where he met Norris Goff.  They became very good friends.  Chet lived on Port Arthur Avenue in Mena.  His father owned the sawmill and was the Union Bank president.  Chet went to Mena high school.  He played baseball, basketball, football, and track.  He had two older brothers and one younger sister.  He graduated from high school in 1920.  After high school, Chet went to the University of Arkansas and got a degree in advertising.  He was the co-editor of the Universitys humor magazine and was a Razorback cheerleader.  After the University of Arkansas, he went to study at Chicago Institute of Fine Arts. (Stucker, Kathryn Moore)  In 1926, Chet married Harriet Wood.  He had three children: Shirley, Nancy, and Chet Jr.
Norris Goff was born in Cove, Arkansas, May 30, 1906. (www.me.net/stemple/ page1.htm)  His parents were Rome and Dora Goff. (Cate, Micheal, 190)  He lived on Reine Street.  His father worked as a wholesale grocer. (Williams, Troy, 70)  When Norris was in high school, he was quarterback for the football team.  He graduated in 1924.  He then went to the University of Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma.  
Hendricks 2
After college he worked at his fathers company.  In 1929, Norris married Elizabeth Bullion.  They had a boy, Gary, and a girl, Gretchen. (Stucker, Kathryn Moore)
Waters was the name of the town Chet and Norris got started in.  Waters sounded like a swamp so they changed the name of the town to Pine Ridge, because of the woods and valleys of the Ouachitas.  In Pine Ridge there was a sawmill, post office, blacksmith shop, gristmill, and other necessary services to the farm community.  The community started in the early 1900s.  Lauck and Goff lived close to each other.  
By 1931, they became Amos and Andy imitators.  Chet and Norris liked clowning around at the Elks Lodge and Possum Club Banquets.  On July 27, 1931, they made their national radio debut on NBC radio network from Chicago.  The program Lum and Abner aired from 1931 to 1953.  The programs were fifteen to thirty minutes long.  The first sponsor was the Quakers Oats Company.  Other sponsors were Ford Motors Company, Horlicks Malted Milk, Alka Seltzer (the longest lasting association), and General Motors.
Their philosophy was simply best summed up in one piece of advice: Never put your faith in seed catalogues.  That thing with the double barreled name always turns out to be radishes. (Williams, Troy, 71)  
Chet Lauck once said during the 1930s, Were sort of like Mussolini.  Weve created Pine Ridge and people in it, the mayor, the justice of the peace, the fire chief, the
grocer.  Were dictators by remote control.  Its our town and we run it to suit ourselves. (Williams, Troy, 71)  

Hendricks 3
The personalities of the people they swapped stories with, while stopped at rural stores, were to become the characters they created for their radio programs.  Grandpappy Spears was based of Cling Wilhite, from one of the earliest Waters families both wore floppy hats and rode a white mule.  Cedric Wehunt was based on Lester Goble, slow of speech but humorous.  The real Ola Hooper became Elizabeth Peabody, large of heart and stature but stern of voice in hand.  Eva May ONeal became Little Pearl, each planned on becoming a nurse but Miss ONeal died at age 18 from injuries received in a fall from a horse.  Margaret Wilhite became Sister Simpson, Anna Risenhoover became Aunt Charity Spears and Aunt Chat Lawrence was Widder Abernathy. (Williams, Troy, 70)  Lauck and Goff carried the show mostly by themselves, doing different characters.  Occasionally there ... more

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