In 2005, Lance Cpl. Travis Williams lost his squad to an IED. He was the only survivor.
Credit Courtesy of Travis Williams
Lance Cpl. Travis Williams' squad, front row, from left: Michael Cifuentes, Christopher Dyer, Justin Hoffman, Aaron Reed, Edward August Shroeder, Eric Bernholtz. Back row, from left: Grant Fraser, Nicholas Bloem, Timothy Bell,Brett Wightman, Travis Williams, David Kreuter.
Lance Cpl. Travis Williams, 29, is an Iraq War veteran — and the only post-9/11 Marine to lose every other member of his 12-man squad. It happened in August 2005, when Williams and his teammates were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq.
"That morning, we loaded into the vehicle," Williams recalls. "And I get tapped on the shoulder, and I got told that I need to bounce up to the next vehicle. I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside.' And that was the last thing I ever said to them."
If you think all the twitchy rhythms and random shards of melody flashing through Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring sound complicated, consider the poor musicians who have to learn it. And then there's the conductor, who needs to perfectly place every piccolo tweet and bass drum boom.
"Don't put your daughter on the stage," Noel Coward famously cautioned his imaginary Mrs. Worthington, and no wonder: Stage acting is one of the toughest professions imaginable. For all the potential triumph, there's hardly any job security — and more than a little potential for heartbreak and disappointment.
Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.
With summer travel season just over the horizon, millions of Americans are poised to take off for family vacations. But before they reach their destinations, they'll likely endure security lines, luggage fees, tiny bags of pretzels and unexplained delays.
Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and columnist, has written a new book for curious fliers. It's called Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers and Reflections.
The Gateway Arch "is really a monument to the 20th century and to the height of American power," says historian Tracy Campbell.
The Arch nears completion as the two legs stretch to within 6 feet of their intended 630-foot height on Sept. 25, 1965.
Workmen bring the keystone section into place on Oct. 28, 1965. The crane in the background lifted the 10-ton stainless steel section. The Mississippi River is to the right.
A 60-ton steel strut is lifted into place joining the two towers of the Arch on June 17, 1965.
Credit Fred Waters / AP
Workmen close the gap on Oct. 28, 1965, as they insert a 10-ton keystone, completing three years of construction. A hydraulic jack atop the 630-foot arch forced the structure's legs apart for installation.
The next-to-last 8-foot stainless steel section is fitted into the top of the Arch on Oct. 19, 1965.
Credit Charles W. Harrity / AP
The Gateway Arch was completed on Oct. 28, 1965. It is pictured above in 1976.
Credit Fred Waters / AP
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was conceived in the 1940s and completed in the 1960s. It was designed to symbolize the opening of the West. Here, it is shown under construction on June 17, 1964.
Credit Yale University Press
Tracy Campbell is a history professor at the University of Kentucky and the author of three previous nonfiction books.
The iconic Gateway Arch — overlooking the Mississippi River from the St. Louis side — took almost a generation to build, but the 630-foot monument hasn't transformed the city as hoped in the four decades that have followed.
Conceived in the 1940s and completed in the 1960s, the history of the signature American symbol is described in Tracy Campbell's new book, The Gateway Arch: A Biography. The story has some surprising twists — including, Campbell says, a very early vision of an arch by the Mississippi:
One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps — The Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. As the orchestra played TheRite's swirling introduction, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées began to murmur. Then the curtain opened.
Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes are an Australian band whose sound is a little bit of soul fused with blues, doo-wop, jazz and R&B. That musical diet, rich in harmony, is the same one lead singer Clairy Browne grew up on.
"My dad had a band in South Africa in the '60s called Browne, and so he really brought that into our home," she says. "We were always around the kitchen table with a guitar and four-part harmonies, playing on late into the night.