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Old 01-05-2014, 12:27 AM   #76
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Lightbulb Grand Old Duke

St. Petersburg 14 January 1850 (2 January O.S.) – Paris, 14 November 1908) was the 5th child and the 4th son of Alexander II of Russia and his first wife Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse).. Destined to a naval career, Alexei started his military training at the age of 7.. By the age of 20 he had been appointed lieutenant of the Russian Imperial Navy and had visited all European military ports of Russia. In 1871 he was sent as a goodwill ambassador to the United States and Japan..The big hunt took place on the Grand Duke's 22nd birthday, 14 January 1872. For the hunt the Duke wore a jacket and trousers of heavy gray cloth, trimmed with green, the buttons bearing the Imperial Russian coat-of-arms. He wore his boots outside his trousers in the European way, which was unusual for his American hosts. Alexei carried a Russian hunting knife, and an American revolver, bearing the coats-of-arms of the United States and Russia on the handle, which he had recently received as a present. The hunting party approached buffalo herd several miles up the Red Willow Creek. The Grand Duke rode William Cody's celebrated buffalo horse "Buckskin Joe", which had been trained to ride at full gallop with a target so that the best shot could be made.. The official announcement of the visit was made on 29 June 1871 by Nikolay Karlovich Krabbe, Minister of the Imperial Russian Navy..The squadron set sail out of Kronstadt on 20 August 1871..The squadron first stopped in Copenhagen, where the Grand Duke paid a visit to King Christian IX of Denmark. In the English Channel the Russians were met by a squadron of the Royal Navy and escorted to Plymouth, where the Grand Duke was met by the Duke of Edinburgh Alfred of Saxe-Coburg. A visit to Balmoral Castle had been scheduled, but had to be canceled because the Prince of Wales was very sick and Queen Victoria extremely concerned.. The Russian squadron set sail from Plymouth on 26 September.. and, en route to New York, stopped for a few days in Funchal,(Madeira Islands)..While in St. Louis, the Grand Duke made a short visit to Cincinnati on 26 January On the 28th he left by train for Louisville, Kentucky, where he visited the Mammoth Cave..
He continued his trip by steamer, arriving on 2 February 1872 in Memphis, Tennessee aboard the Great Republic. After visiting the city he left on 8 February aboard the James Howard and after a stop in Vicksburg he finally arrived in New Orleans..It is claimed that hundreds of pounds of iced buffalo meat were carefully stowed aboard..General Custer's wife, believed the grand duke was more interested in "pretty girls and music" than the country he was passing this drink that had been used as a cure for scurvy in the British Navy, In 1747, Lind, an officer and naval surgeon in the British Royal Navy, established the fact that oranges and lemons were effective in curing scurvy.. He divided patients into 6 groups of 2 and gave each group a different remedy..The Duke however attended the Rex parade. According to legend, the song "If Ever I Cease to Love", was chosen as anthem of the Rex parade, because it was claimed to be the Duke's favorite tune..On the palaces lake there were "Indian" pirates.. Men with swords and tomahawks danced with women dressed in long old skirts..The performance was supposed to give the attendance an image of the American Old West..The Grand Duke also attended a music festival where 1,200 school children composed the great choir.. At the festival, a grand march of welcome, specially composed by Julius Eich-berg and dedicated to "His Imperial Highness", was presented..The president and the members of the cabinet received them in the Blue Room where the presentations were made.. The president then escorted the Grand Duke to the Red Room where he was introduced to the ladies. The interview lasted only 15 minutes, after which the Grand Duke left..As a solution of last resort, on 25 March 1875 Alexandra was able to secure the title of baroness Seggiano from the Republic of San Marino, with the right to transmit the title to her son Alexei and his firstborn male descendants. It was only in 1883, that Alexander III, the Grand Duke's elder brother, granted the Baron Seggiano the title of Count Belevsky, and in 1893 approved his coat of arms...

As the Tremont House Hotel had been burnt to the ground, the Grand Duke was accommodated in the New Tremont House which had opened on Michigan Avenue, where he was awarded the "Freedom of the City". On New Year's Day General Philip Sheridan initiated him into the American custom of making "New Year's calls upon the ladies".. From 2 to 4 January Grand Duke Alexei visited Milwaukee and on 5 January he arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, where he stayed for over a week.., on his return trip from Denver through Kansas to St. Louis. However, the horses used to hunt in eastern Colorado were cavalry mounts and unaccustomed to buffalo; several hunters were injured during the resulting confusion. Alexei was unhurt and succeeded in killing as many as 25 buffalo. He even shot a few more from the train on its way across western Kansas toward Topeka, which was reached on 22 January...
On its way home the Russian squadron first stopped in Havana, Cuba, which it reached on 29 February.. At that time, Cuba was still a Spanish colony and in the middle of the 10 Years' War against the insurgents, who had attempted to declare the island’s independence..On 15 October 1872 the Russian squadron cast anchor in Nagasaki harbour, where he was greeted by the governor. The program of the Grand Duke included a ceremonial dinner in his honour, visits to the surrounding countryside and a tournament of 60 best wrestlers of Japan.. On 22 October Alexei and his staff visited a little village Inasa where a Russian colony lived. The Russian delegation visited two hotels named "Kronstadt" and "Moscow" as well as the Russian cemetery..On 26 November the Russian squadron set sail for Vladivostok reaching the base of the Russian Pacific Fleet on 5 December nearly a year and a half after it had left from Kronstadt. He then returned to St. Petersburg across Siberia..When tensions mounted in the Far East, Grand Duke Alexei ordered the transfer of additional ships to Port Arthur, including the battleship Petropavlovsk..Russian academician and naval engineer Alexei Nikolaevich Krylov shows that, despite these achievements, there were severe drawbacks in the Grand Duke's activity. There was no strategic planning and ships were not built based on their intended role within the fleet. There were too many ships of different types. Ships were designed mainly by copying the ones of foreign navies, and were therefore technologically 6–7 year old when they were launched..Their armour and equipment was often inadequate..The Grand Duke seems to have become aware of some the these deficiencies..At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 the Russian First Pacific Squadron was able to resist the Japanese attack during the Battle of the Yellow Sea. However, the squadron was destroyed during the battle for Port Arthur, and the Baltic Fleet, sent for reinforcement was completely defeated in the Battle of Tsushima...

He had always been less interested in the armed services than in art and fashion, and he had long since been recognized as a connoisseur of the social, artistic and literary life of Paris.. His massive frame was a familiar sight at restaurants and theaters..Cody brought his "Wild West" show to an area of Mariners Harbor called Erastina (named for Staten Island promoter Erastus Wiman) for 2 seasons from June to October in 1886 and again in 1887..Cody took the show to Great Britain in celebration of the Jubilee year of Queen Victoria..attended a performance..It played in London before going on to Birmingham and Salford near Manchester, where it stayed for 5 months..In 1889, the show toured Europe, and in 1890 Cody met Pope Leo XIII.. It vexed the promoters of the fair, who had first rejected his request to participate..October 29, 1901 outside Lexington, North Carolina, a freight train crashed into one unit of the train carrying Buffalo Bill's show from Charlotte, North Carolina to Danville, Virginia..not realizing it was 3 units, and returned to the tracks.. 110 horses were killed by the accident or were put down later. These included "Old Pap" and "Old Eagle".. Annie Oakley's injuries were so severe she was told she would never walk again, though she eventually did and continued performing later..In 1908, Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill joined forces and created the "2 Bills" show when it was playing in Denver, Colorado..These royal encounters provided Buffalo Bill’s Wild West an endorsement and publicity that ensured its success. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West closed its successful London run in October 1887 after over 300 performances and more than 2 and a half million tickets sold..The tour made stops in Birmingham and Manchester before returning in May 1888 for a short summer tour.. He was so impressed by the development possibilities from irrigation, rich soil, grand scenery, hunting, and proximity to Yellowstone Park that he returned in the mid-1890s... man amongst you is fit to judge the mighty art that I have wrought. Your rituals are empty oaths You neither understand nor live by. The Great Architect speaks to me.."I must be cruel only to be kind,".. He is the balance, where my deeds are weighed And judged. Not you..No, inspector. Indeed, it's only been 4 hours sin-ce you chased the dragon.. You know, they used to burn men like you A-live...

Last edited by lightgiver; 01-05-2014 at 12:32 AM.
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