Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

I'm writing this note from my living room in the moments before the kids wake up and come downstairs.  The last couple days we were up in the mountains taking the kids to the snow and what a time we had.  We came right at the end of a good storm, making it to the cabin just in time before the roads became impassable and awoke to a spectacular scene of white!  We came home late last night and although it is Christmas, the kids are too tired to be up yet.

Since I am usually the first to awake, I turned on the computer this morning to get a few things done.  My Internet browser has a homepage set to a news site.  I need to change this.  In my stupidity, I browsed the recent headlines.  The news is just awful.  For example, in a town in New York where a friend of mine was a pastor, a man set fire to his house and then ambushed and killed two firemen coming to put out the blaze.  I was going to give a few more examples, but they're mostly depressing and terrible too and it seems as though the reaction by pundits and governments is to call for the removal of liberty in the name of "safety" and create some kind of Orwellian police state.  So I checked my e-mail box and it was stuffed with e-mails (sent today) from merchants telling me how I can spend my money.  They wanted to make sure that they sent it Christmas Day because the stores open tomorrow.  How very nice of them (sarcasm, of course).

So the the world is messed up!  Filled with selfish and wicked people.  But not entirely.  I recently read about a couple of English scientists that designed a gravity powered light in hopes of trying to reduce the reliance on dangerous kerosene in African villages.  There is both good and bad in humanity and there resides in the heart a longing for a better world that should be.

This is why I love Christmas.  It is a time of pause when people remember that there was a moment when God became man and physically entered our world.  The Powerful One who created everything beautiful and ideal (who wept over our sinful choices that have ruined everything) who left the splendor of Heaven, came down and chose to be born in a poor forgotten corner of our planet, revealing himself first to lowly shepherds, carpenters, and fishermen.

And it astounds me that His purpose in coming was to ultimately sacrifice Himself for us that he might provide a way of salvation to those who repent of their sins and follow Him.  Yes, the good news is our Redeemer has come, making a way to escape the righteous judgement to come on this world.

Thanks be to God for sending His Son!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Francis Galton and Nature vs Nurture

Yesterday's Person-of-Mystery was Sir Francis Galton, the man who first coined the term "nature versus nurture."

Francis Galton might best be described as a Renaissance Man.  He had a penchant for observing, counting and measuring and over his life, made significant contributions to a number of disparate fields.  Although while in college, Galton had prepared for a career in the medical profession, after leaving Cambridge, he traveled extensively first through Eastern Europe and then up the Nile to the Sudan.  He then journeyed through the Middle East and in 1850 he embarked on a groundbreaking expedition through what is now Namibia in southwestern Africa.

Through his travels, he developed an interest in geography, anthropology and meteorology (Galton would be the first to discover anticyclones and publish the first popular weather map based on charted data of air pressure).  His penchant for data collection would lead him to introduce the concepts of regression, correlation, and standard deviation to statistical study.

Unknown to me before reading more on Galton, Charles Darwin was a first cousin of his.  After the publication of Origin of Species, Galton became increasingly interested variations of human populations and their behaviors.  He studied the possibility of inherited ability or behaviors among humans and created the study of differential psychology.  His studies dabbled in eugenics and inheritance of behaviors including criminal behavior – Galton also invented a system for classifying fingerprints.  He was the first to pose the question of "nature versus nurture," and was one of the first to gather information on twin studies.

Francis Galton "mug shot" taken when visiting Alphonse Bertillon in 1893

It seems as though the "nature versus nurture" debate always seems to raise its head whenever some evil individual commits some horrid act.  Anyone care to share their thoughts in this matter?

Friday, December 21, 2012


You've found the home of everyone's favorite weekend pastime, where a stylized photo of a somewhat famous person from history is provided here for you to identify.

I'm finally on break from school, so hopefully there will be more frequent posts over the vacation.  Thanks for your patience!

The theme for today is:  The Great Debate

So, who could he be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post to be right on the money will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter his name into Google Images and this photo will be found on the first pages of the image results.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Please Pray

Dear Reader,

In light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, there will be no contest today.  Instead, please take a few minutes and pray for the families of those who lost loved ones.

It breaks my heart to think of their loss and what they must be going through.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Women's Suffrage - More Recent Than You Think

Being a history teacher, my head is filled with all kinds of useless knowledge.  A couple days ago, my fellow teachers and I were having a talk after school, when the subject of suffrage came up.  I mentioned that Switzerland was one of the last countries to grant women the vote and said that I thought it was 1976.  Samantha said it was 1971 and looked it up.  She was right and I was wrong.

Even though I already had this fuzzy fact in my head (picturing suffragettes as older ladies with large hats and ankle length dresses in our country), I knew Switzerland was late to the game.  After reading a little bit last night, I was even more surprised to uncover a few additional facts.

Two Swiss Anti-Suffrage Posters from the late 1950s
(left translation, "The mother works in politics! NO women's suffrage & voting)
(right translation, "Do you want those women? No women voting")

Although Switzerland held several national votes to grant women's suffrage, each was denied until 1971, but Switzerland is a confederation so each canton could grant suffrage and the first women voted at the local level in 1959.  At the time of the 1971 vote, the majority of cantons still denied votes to women.  Since that time, all but one had approved votes for women until 1990.  Appenzell Innerrhoden was the lone holdout, rejecting it in 1973, 1982, and 1990.  Following the 1990 vote, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court forced the canton to allow it, thereby making Switzerland the last country in Europe to allow full suffrage at all levels for women (the last to allow it nationally was tiny Lichtenstein in 1984).

So how could this small Swiss canton continue to reject votes for women despite overwhelming external pressure to adopt universal suffrage?  My guess is that it was the massive internal pressure to keep things the way they were.

Most of the worst case scenarios presented by the anti-sufferage movement had typically centered around the notion that if women were to get involved in politics, they would abandon domestic life or somehow reverse the social order and fall under the rule of domineering Amazonians.

Poor chap, he had it so good until his wife was able to cast a ballot!

Can't blame them, politics takes so much time, I'd abandon my children too!

Just like women, let them vote and then they want to put out fires!

Getting back to Appenzell Innerrhoden, the curious thing I discovered was that many Swiss cantons practice a rather unique forms of direct democracy – particularly so in Appenzell Innerrhoden, where they still hold something called Landsgemeinde, an open-air election assembly.  Each year on the last Sunday in April, all eligible voters gather in the village square for a cantonal assembly.

Landsgemeinde in Appenzell Innerrhoden

The Sunday morning begins with a church service followed by a parade at noontime to the village square.

Landsgemeinde Parade

Elected officials and members of the court wear their black robes and take their places on the platform in front of the assembly.  To gain admittance to the assembly, in the roped off center of the square, citizens must present their voters card (until 1991, when women first voted a family sword or bayonet was used as identification and men are still allowed to use this in place of a voting card).  After electing cantonal officials, anyone in the assembly is allowed to discuss any bill or make proposals and votes are conducted with a raising of the hand.

I think more than anything else, this public display of your voting was what kept women's suffrage from passing earlier.  With only men voting and looking around to see who would grant women the right to join them was probably too much pressure for some of these traditional men.

There may have also been a bit of the natural tendency for some of them to think about women who they didn't believe were thoughtful enough to vote.  I was surprised to learn, while listening to a radio show, that the early female British archaeologist and explorer, Gertrude Bell, was an anti-suffragist.  She believed that while she may have been intelligent enough to vote, the majority of her gender were not yet ready.  I must admit, sometimes I feel that way today, but about both genders.

Well, thanks for reading.  If you ask me, I believe that women in Switzerland would have gotten the vote far earlier if they had campaigned more like this:

Friday, December 07, 2012

Irene Woodward (AKA "La Belle Irene")

Well, I'm out on the trail again this weekend with a Boy Scout outing, so I didn't have time to prepare a Person-of-Mystery Contest for this weekend, but I did want to share with you what I was thinking about.  If we had done the contest, it would have been Irene Woodward (also known by her stage name "La Belle Irene."

Why would I have chosen her - and who was she?

Well, I was sitting at the dinner table with the family when the name Lydia came up.  Of course I immediately started singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," from the Marx Brothers movie At the Circus.

My boys were amused by the whimsical nature of the song and I was actually a little surprised they hadn't heard it before (growing up in our house).  After telling them about it, I was going to show them the YouTube clip of the original song from the movie, but I saw that there was a Muppet Show version where Kermit the Frog sings the song too, so I played that one for them instead.

I remember seeing this Muppets sketch when I was younger, but I didn't realize that Jim Henson was a big Marx Brothers fan.  This sketch ran on the first show and Henson drew all the illustrations on Lydia (the pig).  Of course, both are illusions to women with tattoos, a staple of sideshow performances at early circuses.  Two of the most famous were Irene Woodward and Nora Hildenbrandt.  Although, Irene was billed as the "Original Tattooed Lady."  Tattoos of the day were often patriotic in nature and this is revealed in the lyrics in the song.  Like any good sideshow, barkers would speak of Irene being captured by Indians and Chief Sitting Bull himself only releasing her after her father had tattooed her from head to toe - obvious lies, but adding to the overall mystique.

Irene is long gone, but I figured I'd save you the dime and reveal her in all her tattooed glory [warning NSF (circa 1900) W]:

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Emotions All Over the Map

The other day, I noticed an article on the Washington Post website about Gallup creating an emotional map of the world based on their polling data.

You can check out the article yourself, but I always have a hard time with maps like this.  I start thinking of people I know from different countries to see if they fit the map.  Of course, this is nonsense as there are more and less emotional people in every country, but in general I still enjoy thinking about these things (and an excuse to look at a map in a new way is always fun).

According to Gallup, Singapore is the least emotional country whereas nearby Philippines is the most emotional.  There are other trends that can be witnessed here.  Russia and the old Soviet Bloc nations tend to be less emotional.  The Americas tend to be more emotional.

One thing I wish was that the map for the United States was broken down by state.  As I've traveled around our country, I've noticed that the upper Midwest in particular tends to be rather stoic.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


You've found the home of everyone's favorite weekend pastime, where a stylized photo of a somewhat famous person from history is provided here for you to identify.

The theme for today is:  Highly Paid Persons

So, who could he be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post to be right on the money will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter his name into Google Images and this photo will be found on the first pages of the image results.

And thanks today to my awesome readers who submitted ideas for allowing me to keep posting pictures like these!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dapper Days of Yore

Looks like we're back in business and I'm able to post photos once again (for free)!  Thanks everyone.

Today I'm featuring a photo of my great-grandfather, E.S. Goodner.  He is always well dressed in every photo I have of him, but particularly so in this one.  I can't tell what I enjoy more, the straw hat or the prices in the grocery store!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thank You Everyone!

A hearty thank you to everyone for all the helpful advice.  There are lots of good ideas out there and I think I may try a few before paying (if need be).

First up will be to try Ellena's suggestion and give myself extra mail accounts and make them "administrators" of this blog to see if I can get more space that way.

I appreciate you all and humbled by the kind responses.  I appreciated the very nice e-mail notes as well and in particular the touching offer from Virgil who offered to contribute to keep the blog going.

You guys are the best and the reason I keep writing!

Thanks everyone.


Here's an interesting problem, this morning, when I went to upload a blog post, I was told by Blogger, the hosting site, that I had now exceeded my 1GB photo limit for this blog.  This was news to me as I was unaware that there were limits.  I'll be looking for a solution soon, but if there is a reader out there who has already encountered a similar issue and has figured out a good work around for this problem, let me know.  I could just pay the money that Google wants me to upgrade my storage size on Picasa, but I'd rather do it for free as this blog is still somewhat of a hobby.

So I'm open to suggestions and thanks for your help.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I've been busier than I imagined I would over the holiday break.  Earlier in the month, we had a small amount of weekend rain, so the younger boys soccer games have been pushed back, so we're attending a number of their playoff games.  Jonathan's team pulled off a last minute win last night and Andrew's team tied, so they're both still in the running.

I spent yesterday putting together a new grill for the family we purchased in the shopping sales and Tim set up the Christmas lights.  It all seems a bit early looking at the calendar, but  Thanksgiving fell early this year.

Out here in California there are only mild changes to the weather, so unless businesses started putting up decorations, you'd never know what season it was.  Yesterday it was in the mid 80s.  It's always odd to be thinking about grilling and setting up Christmas lights in shorts even if that's what I grew up with.

Enough about that though, now on to the game!

Below you will find an image of a place somewhere in the world.  The winner will be the first one who can tell me where it is located.

Good luck!

So, where could this be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter this place name into Google Images and photos like these will be found on the first pages of the image results.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers!  I wish you and your family an enjoyable and restful day.

And here's a bit of interesting trivia for you, whether they realize it or not, about one in ten Americans are descendants of Pilgrims who came to the New World on the Mayflower.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


You've found the home of everyone's favorite weekend pastime, where a stylized photo of a somewhat famous person from history is provided here for you to identify.

The theme for today is:  Thanksgiving

So, who could he be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post to be right on the money will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter his name into Google Images and this photo will be found on the first pages of the image results.

Monday, November 12, 2012


One of the most enjoyable and unintentional things about blogging is all the interesting new knowledge I happen across as a result of meeting blog friends (there should be a more appropriate word for this) and exchanging knowledge.  Today, I would like to highlight a wonderful and unintentional find I made while perusing Rob from Amersfoort's delightful website, Robs Webstek.

Rob had written about an early North American map (shown below) by Dutch cartographer, Cornelius van Wytfliet.

Like Rob, I enjoy maps.  I love looking at every little detail and I enjoyed this one too.  One detail that caught my eye this time however, was the compass rose.  Van Wytfliet had labeled the map in the Latin language including the cardinal points:  Oriens, Occidens, Septentrio, and Meridies.  Most people are familiar with the English words Oriental and Occidental as somewhat archaic terms for Eastern and Western, but I became curious if these other Latin words had spawned equivalent terms for Northern and Southern.  As a matter of fact, the answer is yes, although the terms really never caught on.

It would seem as though all the terms are archaic, but some more so than others.  Orient is used most frequently and some people will still talk about the Orient in reference to China, but the term is dying out.  Most likely this is due to the slightly derisive connotation of using the term Oriental to describe people from East Asia.  Curiously enough, to orient a map comes from the time of the Middle Ages when most maps put east at the top of the map, so to orient a map would be to arrange it towards the east.

Pietro Visconte's map of the world from 1321

The term Occident is used significantly less frequently to describe the Western World.  Oftentimes this would be in reference to Europe instead of Asia.  Although this is a rarely heard term, it still comes up from time to time.  For example, President Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Until I had seen Van Wyfliet's map, I had only been familiar with Orient and Occident and I hadn't put much thought into why there were no comparable terms for Northern and Southern lands.  Checking the dictionary, I did see that there is a term for Northern lands, it's Septentrion.  What a wonderful word!

You might have noticed the Latin sept- prefix.  Septem is Latin for the number seven, just like September.  I can already hear some of you saying, "But September is the ninth month, not the seventh!"  Well, actually in the original Roman calendar September was the seventh month, followed by the rest of the numbered months up to the tenth month, December (e.g., septem, seven; octo, eight; novem, nine; decem, ten).  July and August were originally Quintilis and Sextilis (fifth and sixth respectively) until they were changed to honor Julius Caesar (July) and Augustus Caesar (August).  The Romans later added Ianuarius and Februarius to account for the previously unaccounted winter time period.

So how is something to do with seven related to the north?  Septentrion is a combination of the Latin septem (seven) and trion (plow oxen).  The group of stars that most of us recognize as the Big Dipper is a collection of seven stars in the northern sky.  These stars are today part of the Ursa Major constellation and the ladle of the dipper forms the bears tail.  However, in ancient times, this dipper was sometimes depicted as an ox plough.

The accompanying Latin term for things southern, "meridional," never really caught on and appears to have been eclipsed by its association with the sun's meridian or noontime.  Although I suppose for Europeans the sun was always a tad southernly.

So, thank you to Rob from Amersfoort!  But now that I'm thinking about words, shouldn't that be Rob van Amersfoort or Rob uit Amersfoort?  Either way, I always appreciate a good think.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


You've found the home of everyone's favorite weekend pastime, where a stylized photo of a somewhat famous person from history is provided here for you to identify.

The theme for today is:  Deranged Texas Villain (with or without black hat).

So, who could he be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter his name into Google Images and this photo will be found on the first pages of the image results.

Friday, November 09, 2012

What Was There

It looks like the feud is cooling down for the moment as PJM appears to be promising the moon to his readers over on the Old Picture of the Day blog.  In response to reader requests for a domestic update (launched by DADD), he's now saying maybe he'll do something about it next week.  People are so eager to believe the best – they're now content with a maybe.  I swear that rascal nemesis of mine should run for political office.  With his silver tongue, I'm sure he'd win!

Well, some good did come from this latest cyber spat.  I did find a wonderful new (or new-to-me) website that I'm enjoying.  Yesterday, in response to the photo of oxen lined up along Main Street in Sturgis, Dakota Territory, Dave 107 wrote in that he wished he knew what it looked like today, so I went about seeing if I could locate it for him.  This was when I stumbled upon a great website called, What Was There.  Basically, they take old photos from the past and with a nifty map interface, place them over Google Street View maps from today.  By happy chance, they even had the exact photo of old Sturgis.

Although, the site isn't yet extensively well developed, their interface is amazing.  The best feature is the ability to fade the photo over the street view and see what it looks like today.

And for those with an iPhone/iPad, there is even a free What Was There app you can use when when you're on the go.  It is a little different than the online version in that it shows you the original picture with GPS navigation and then when you get there, it uses your camera to allow you to fade the old photo into the modern scene with your camera phone.  I think I may try and partner with our local historical society and see if I can get them to release some old photos of our town and have my high school students find the modern locations for those images.

Thanks to my long time readers who have written and expressed their support for me in this latest tussle with PJM.  I hope my more recent readers have picked up on the notion that it's all in fun.  The feud has a long history and it really started when PJM ran a Mystery Person contest every Saturday morning.  Ah, good times.  You relive one of my more favorite mornings HERE, but here were so many.

And just to end on a note that ties it all together, if I were to run the "What Was There" way back machine on our Super Villain, of course he'd be out in the West Texas countryside wearing the black hat and looking a lot like this:

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Dakota Territory Photos for Everyone!

I'm sad to report that Super Villain PJM of West Texas is continuing his campaign of cyberbullying on his propaganda blog, Old Photo of the Day.  While I did not choose to start this feud, I am man enough to take the constant barrage of vitriol he throws my way.  Unfortunately, PJM has taken kindly Nate's Nonsense reader, DADD, into his diabolical crosshairs today and is currently withholding photos of Dakota Territory unless DADD abandons his noble crusade against Super Villainy on OPOD.  In an attempt to provide relief to DADD while he is currently under assault, today I am posting not one, but two photos of Dakota Territory.

The above photo is labeled, but this is Sturgis, Dakota Territory, streets packed with oxen teams.  I found it interesting as Sturgis still packs its streets with vehicles even to today.

Adept readers of OPOD will also note that the Super Villain posted what he said was a photo of ordinary Indians in a Montanan teepee.  For DADD, I'll post famous Indians and Dakota Territory teepees!

So, DADD, here's to you!  Hope you remain resolute in your righteous Comment Embargo!  May PJM soon relent and provide you the Domestic Updates you desire – and may peace prevail in Chickie Town.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Domestic Update - Feud is Back!

For those who have been long-time readers to this blog, you may realize that this site arose from a feud started by Super Villain Paul McWhorter (alias, PJM) of West Texas over on his propaganda blog, Old Photo of the Day.  I'm sorry to inform you that after a period of uneasy peace, my nemesis has decided to heat things up again by insinuating that I'm starting some kind of rebellion among his readers as he refuses to update anyone with the goings on at his Texas compound.  While we've known for some time that he's been less than stable, I'm afraid that PJM's likely coming unhinged.  I didn't want to have to share this publicly, but perhaps there is someone out there with a degree in Abnormal Psychology who can help with what we're up against here:

Above was PJM's Christmas card this year.  On the surface it seems very mild mannered and tame (if perhaps a tad early) – that is until you dig a little deeper.  Please set aside the far-away crazed look on PJM's face and the dungeon like appearance of the stone walls and iron lamps of his compound.  Perhaps his daughter Elizabeth who had previously been so fearful of his attempts to run her over with his z-boom has reconciled (you'll recall she was so fearful, she fled to Africa where she was placed in an undisclosed orphanage for safety).  Has she come to terms with her super villain father?  No!  If you look closely, this is not even her, but a clever substitute (or hostage) that PJM is using to hide the fact that his daughter fled his clutches at her first opportunity.

Elizabeth (note the differences between her and PJM's fake Christmas daughter) in a safe location on the opposite side of the planet

Perhaps you say, PJM is suffering some kind of trauma (like one of those poor creatures who loses their young and adopts a surrogate in its place.  Though Elizabeth has physically escaped PJM, this staged photo became the subject of chatter, when he tried to psychologically abuse his daughter from the other side of the planet.

Apart from the curious question of who sends out a Christmas card in September, a few other questions arise.  What is Mrs. PJM doing joining this villain in his evil schemes?  Is she a willing collaborator or is this a sorry case of Stockholm Syndrome?  Why do they feel the need to physically restrain Ms. Dees with their hands?  Was she about to run?  But more importantly, what is going on with Chickie Town?  Beyond these obvious unsettling issues, what sick individual feels so comfortable in this his nefarious schemes that he would pose for his Christmas card in his stocking feet?  Full photo below:

For those recently joining the history of this feud late, you may view earlier feud posts HERE.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


Sorry for the delay today - too many kid activities all at the same time this morning, but we're up and running now!

Below you will find an image of a place some place in the world.  The winner will be the first one who can tell me where it is located.

Good luck!

So, where could this be?  That's the mystery!  Go ahead and take a guess and then go enjoy your day.  Check back tomorrow and I'll reveal the answer.  The first correct post will be declared the winner.

If you'd like to make sure that your guess is correct, enter this place name into Google Images and photos like these will be found on the first pages of the image results.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Befreiungshalle (Liberation Hall) in Kelheim, Germany

A few weeks ago, I talked about the V√∂lkerschlachtdenkmal, a grand monument in Leipzig, commemorating victory over Napoleon at the Battle of the Nations.  At the time of the Napoleonic wars, today's Germany was not yet unified and Leipzig was in Saxony.  Like Saxony, the Kingdom of Bavaria also sought to commemorate victory over France, and built the Befreiungshalle (or Liberation Hall) in Kelheim, Bavaria (about halfway between Nuremberg and Munich).

Befreiungshalle was built by decree of King Ludwig I on a picturesque hilltop above the Danube River.  Construction began in 1842, but it was not complete until it's opening on October 18, 1863 (the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations).  

The area hasn't really changed that much since it was built.

Post Card from 1900

After Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Russia, his humbled military faced the newly united armies of the Sixth Coalition at the Battle of Leipzig (or the Battle of the Nations).  As the Sixth Coalition seized the initiative on the battlefields of Central Europe, French forces were successively driven back towards France.  This series of setbacks for Napoleon would eventually culminate in the liberation of German states and the eventual French defeat at Waterloo.  So while the English speaking world saw this as the gradual undoing of Napoleon, those in Germany saw these series of battles from 1812 to 1814 as their liberation from France.  It's only fitting then that so many locales chose to commemorate their freedom.

The approximately 150 foot tall memorial is heavy with symbolism related to the number eighteen.  This is because the Battle of the Nations occurred on October 18, 1813, and the Battle of Waterloo was fought on June 18, 1815.  On the outside of Befreiungshalle, there are eighteen statues holding placards for each of the historic Germanic tribes:  Franconians, Bohemians, Tyroleans, Bavarians, Austrians, Prussians, Hanoverians, Moravians, Saxons, Silesians, Brandenburgers, Pomeranians, Mecklenburgers, Westphalians, Hessians, Thueringians, Rheinlaenders, and Swabians.

Exterior Balcony

Inside, the large domed hall is supported by 54 columns (3 times 18) and an equal number of pillars, and 36 columns (2 times 18) in the upper gallery.  Around the edge of first floor are eleven-foot tall winged Victories in a ringed circle representing the members of the German Confederation, alternatively holding hands and shields.  On the shields are displayed the battles in the liberation of Germany and above the upper gallery are inscriptions for key generals and recaptured strongholds.

In the center of the hall on the floor is inlaid the following:

Translated into English, it reads:

the Germans
never forget what
made necessary
the struggle for freedom
and by what means they

Of course the Nazis were always up for a good monument to honor German struggle and unity and the site wasn't overlooked for their exploitive purposes.

But I have to wonder what Hitler thought of the gold six-pointed stars surrounding Ludwig's words in the center of the hall.