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June 7, 2022 3:05 am
On this episode of Our American Stories, Paul Kengor, PoliSci professor at Grove City College, brings us the details of the devastating nature of an attack the U.S. government chose to keep details hidden about. Mike Leven tells the story about how he—a Jewish person—started the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, tells the story of how Jackie Robinson got his start in Kansas City, broke the MLB's color barrier in Brooklyn, and began a movement nationwide. Sofia and Deshawn tells us how they went from being a childless married couple of 13 years to a family of 9, literally, overnight.
Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)
00:00 - The WWII Tragedy America Chose to Forget
12:30 - Indians, a Jew, and a Hotel Partnership
25:00 - "The First Guy Cannot Fail": The Jackie Robinson Story
37:00 - Couple Adopts 7 Siblings Separated Throughout 4 Foster Homes
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Let's ride Mrs. Lee Habib Mrs. L American stories we tell stories about everything here on the shelf in the arts to sports and from business to history and everything in between including your story. Send them our American stories.com. Some of our favorites. This next story also story of Frank Breuer in the tragedy of the British transport ship, Rona 1943 despite being the largest loss of US troops at sea due to enemy action in a single incident. The full details of the attack were released until 1967 dear is Prof. of political science at Grove city College Paul Kilgore to tell the rest of the store. Any veteran of World War II can tell you stories but for Frank Briar's story, one can never forget was a terrible began the moment ship called the Rona was sunk when that ship went down on November 26, 1943 Frank's life changed forever. And very few people beyond the man tossed into the sea ever knew what the HMT. Rona was an 8600 ton British troop ship carrying mostly in American route to the far east theater.
It went down the day after Thanksgiving in the Mediterranean off the coast of North Africa, the victim of a German missile is not just any German missile. This was seems the first known successful head of the vessel by a German rocket listed radio remote control glider bomb one of the first true missiles used in combat. It was in effect a guided missile and the Nazis had achieved first results were immediately destructive. According to the website that today serves as the official online gathering spot for the Rona survivors Association more lives were lost on the Rona than on the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor over 1000 boys to be exact lost their lives in their government kept the entire episode a secret out of fear of information being leaked about the power of the German guided missile. The government fear the effect on the morale of the US military and the wider population was so devastating states, the Rona survivors Association that the US government placed the veil of secrecy upon the government. It said, still does not acknowledge this tragedy and, thus, most families of the casualties still do not know the fate of their loved one.
It's very sad and only now, long after the few survivors are even fewer, the Rona survivors are attempting to hold reunions over 70 years after the secrecy was so tight that Frank Briar's daughter Mary Joe spent painstaking years with her dad trying to talk out details and piece together what occurred was haunted frequently by this Mary Jo told but it was not so much the sinking of the ship, but his personal inability to save many men those awful moments of fire remain secret in Frank's brain is the ship burst into a giant fireball, Frank Mann, the ropes of the lifeboat packed with injured soldiers.
He was ordered to hold the ropes tight over the boat with the soldiers into the water below. This was no simple task, especially in a chaotic panic situation. Lifeboat filled with man is light that was proven quickly as the ropes broken Frank watch the men below and is careful to their death. The image of those men slipping from his hands into the abyss, but the nightmares they become later. In the meantime Frank two was forced to abandon ship which submerged within nearly an hour for his own crowded lifeboat. He and five other men sees the floating would as the darkness slowly enveloped them with night setting in Europe still more German missiles. Frank led the group in reciting the prayer. They say there are no atheists in foxholes. Well there were none on that wooden bench in the water that night either Frank and his group with her floating wooden bench took turns for them would float on the bench and to would hang on the ropes. They fear not only Germans but sharks and for good reason. Anyone familiar with the horror story that was the USS Indianapolis knows how the sharks slowly but steadily devour the boys floating in the water over several long days troop six tried to get some sleep while floating in the cold water but couldn't they needed to stay focused on holding onto the floating device the bench to their great fortune. They were in the water only for about six hours, just as the sun started to rise.
The spider rescue boat on the horizon. It was a mine swing. They were taken to a facility in Algeria to recover but for Frank there was little emotional comfort. All he could think about was the wounded soldiers that he couldn't say the worst of all Frank could not share what he was going through.
They were ordered not to write or talk about the Rona with her family, or even among themselves the military censorship was so strict that they were threatened with court-martial if he ever disobey. And so Frank kept it secret all the way to the grave, tormenting him yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, night after night throughout the rest of his life. Frank Briar died on January 4, 2016 at age 92, seven decades after the sinking of the Rona he now at long last rest in peace let us along. Last remember him and the entire crew of the Rona and thanks again to Paul Kenmore and that was his story and his contribution. Paul is a professor of political science at Grove city College and there are so many untold stories of World War II and so many of our nations battles we tell them you're in our American stories and if you have one yourself family members something from your family history care for goes as far back as a Civil War we have one great lady from Memphis would send some Civil War letters to us.
We recorded one, it was just extraordinary and should kept it as a namesake as a keepsake for her family heritage in her family lineage.
So send them to us will have them recorded by you and that was Paul Kenmore, and that is Frank Briar's story and the story of the Rona and all those forgotten men and unknown men died, and perished on that tragic day there stories all here on our American story.
If you love the story, especially America's rich past. Know that all of our stories about American history toward innovation culture and faith brought to us by the great folks, a place where students study all the things that are beautiful like all the things in life. If you can't get to Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses go to Hillsdale.ED you learn more millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7.
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State Farm is in your corner and on their call your local State Farm agent for quote today doing household chores can Artie be time-consuming and tedious.
There's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done can be overwhelming for anyone. If you want to get those larger laundry loads down right and get back here. Life try all three clear maggot packs all three clear mega packs are bigger packs two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all three clear maggot packs are also 100% free perfumes and dyes and time scan, which is great for any family sensitive skin needs my family. We definitely have sentence again the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation as that's cause this big pile of dirty clothes. All three clear maggot packs purchase all three clear maggot packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types and we continue with our American stories and up next you heard from him before. By the way, go to our American stories.com and you can hear Mike Levin tell all kinds of stories not just about his life stories you can apply to yours.
That's why we have him tell him Mike was the president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Google's Singapore casino look at what he built and look at what he did in Las Vegas.
The number of jobs created the options for Americans and people around the world to go to a great resort and enjoy some gambling and some entertainment and have a safe and clean up next. Mike tells a story about the Jewish man helped start the Asian American Hotel owners Association is a heck of a story. Let's fast-forward to 1985.
I get the station job getting the Days Inn job was that I was referred to Henry so by a guy that I hadn't I fired. There was a guy named Dick B was a sales director of the Americana Hotel, New York. He is not doing a very good job and let him go, and a few years later, I'm sitting in my office in Chicago and I'm on my way to the airport. I had a trip and I have the message things on the telephone call to cell phones and got a pay phone to call the guy back Pacific how we have this moment given three or four years. What live on the sales director for the Tolman Hunley company and then looking for to recommend somebody to be the present chief operating officer of Days Inn, and I recommended you said you would you be interested should sure because were selling was selling the assets of America tells now have a job in a few months so anyway I get the job and I wanted to get a job. I never been in the economy lodging business and I never really got some franchises of country we had some Sheridan franchises Dunphy but I never had one. Franchises Americana, but I was never really in the franchise and was very life-changing experience to so I decided I would go and sit with a consultant who was said to consultant company in New York on indent and Ellie, who was supposed to be the guru of economy lodging what was like, budget hotels, euphemisms, economy lodging, so I go see him and he said only I said you know you have all these commie palaces. There was that so little by Indians. Sue Cherokee, no Indians from India went over so Indians so so what does well apparently heavy some assault on robot Days Inn in September and it's now February and March the following year, and I sold off half of these hotels, many of them to these Indian hotel owners guys named Patel shopping for people like that is franchise. I said so what if Tony is well a very difficult why well you know they can't carry palaces because they live in they cook so the play smells of curry and the stuff in and once again the same establishments.
As you know, he's a good rule of the consulting guide to once again this is the way people would label things so I get the Days Inn start meeting with these people but six or eight months later, I hear the same thing inside the company. Well the quality scores are down without pay their bills so I have a guy calls comes in my office guy because they lead to show who you as I do projects for people I should come and see me just really nice guy come to see me and insist look like they just want to tell us if you got a project that you can't do call me I'll do what you mean civil lots of times I find that people like to do new things in companies when they try to do it with the same people they can get it done. I will not make sense. So he goes away. Couple months later guy shows up my office, MHP, is a very very serious Hindu come to see Mason like their problems.
We had billboards up to say American American which is really derogatory to us because people saying don't stay in the telephone hotel in the hotel where problems getting loans from traditional publishers and we can get franchises from anybody else other than the lowest end of the pole and I think he had a Days Inn franchise to the sky looking to so I talked to show thanks and come see me.
But before he did that I had my people study the hundred or so Asian American own hotels. We had give me the total amount quality scores give me the receivables give me all the information on Allison on these hotels turns out there exactly the same as anybody else in the chain. There was absolutely anything they pay better. I can't bring Emily to have a meeting I said let's form Association is called the Asian American Hotel Association HP you get me another strong Asian guy like yourself and garlic yourself how to set up a board of people with some quote white people, Asian people mixed and the start of trade Association with the mission being to take your rightful place in the American hotel lodging industry. I went to so my saying 100,000 bucks budget to run a little conference, convention, some speakers do some things like an illegal shop shop was to not only organize it and also help position the company and me in the industry, with the agents so I marched in the India Independence Day Parade in New York City. I did various things.
He got me education.
I started reading Bhagavad-Gita and other stuff and more about Hinduism than the average person would ever know. We set the membership fee of $25 to join Association. We had a convention and the other industry people didn't show up to exhibit I was accused of doing it for business papers and he fast-forward now 20,000 members.
The biggest tradeshow in the hospitality industry.
HP became the president of ancient LA the American auto lodging Association is the first one they own over 50% of select service business country cluster while all the sons of the next generation will massively successful. As I sit on the board of Asian American company with over billion-dollar company that built one like what the Holiday Inn hot in knowing him franchises I get once I started to what they all started jumped on the and I give a lot of speeches to Indian groups and whatever and best thing about it is to never forget. Never again.as father was a name for Gandhi never forgot they never forgot Baku. That's Mike's nickname any Indian hotel your that's what they call him we can all bebop we can all help the other. And here's the irony. Mike understood the stinging discrimination remembering the sign at the Breakers hotel that said no Jews allowed. By the way, the Jews were the richest per capita income group in this country despite discrimination only to be overcome.
10 years ago by Indian Americans who now number one. 50% of all hotel franchises owned by this small group of Americans the wealth they've amassed. Understanding capitalism, understanding, free enterprise, working hard, risking and sacrificing the American dream wide open for every religion and skin color and minority religions like shoes and hinders a beautiful American story Michael Evans story. Baku scored on our American story millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7. If you're working past age 65.
You might be able to delay Medicare enrollment. Depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be this UHC Medicare health plans.com to learn more United healthcare helping people live healthier lives. I know everything about running a coffee shop for small business insurance. I need my State Farm agent and company business owners to help you pass. State Farm is in your corner and on neighbor call your local State Farm agent for quote today doing household chores can Artie be time-consuming and tedious. There's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done can be overwhelming for anyone.
If you want to get those larger laundry loads down right and get back to your life.
Try all three clear maggot packs all three clear mega packs are bigger packs two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all three clear maggot packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and timestamp which is great for any family sensitive skin needs my family. We definitely have sentence again the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation as that's cause this big pile of dirty clothes. All three clear maggot packs purchased all three clear maggot packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types and we continue with our American stories next story from Bob Pres. of the Negro leagues baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri today.
Bob shares with us a story that started in Kansas City made its way to Brooklyn and then became a phenomenon nationwide ticket away. Bob, the great changes that occurred in our society occurred as a result of Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseballs, there will Jackie Robinson's illustrious professional baseball career right here in Kansas City 1945. I think people think that Jackie just walked out of nowhere started playing for the Brooklyn season was here in Kansas in 1945 and three months late here in Kansas City about everything that Kansas City is famous for barbecue and he liked to set a place called Kentucky public old Kentucky barbecue will become before run of the great gates barbecue chain restaurants that the world renowned day, and while New Orleans may lay claim to Kansas City that gave so and by the end of that 45 season.
Jackie had literally disappeared. His teammates had no idea where he will, as we know he had been summoned away branch Rickey and Whitney there in Brooklyn and make the decision that Jackie Robinson become baseballs chosen band that would break major league baseball six decade long self-imposed. Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color was not only a part of the civil beginning of the civil rights movement in this country. This is 1947. This is before Brown versus the board of education.
This is before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of my dear friend Allegre buckle builder so eloquently saved Dr. Martin Junior was merely a sophomore at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia. When Jackie signed his contract to play in the dodges they should our very own presidential would not integrate the Armed Forces until he dear after Jackie. So for all intensive purposes. This is what started the ball of social progress rolling in our country and so it was the great city of Kansas City and that gave America his greatest Jackie and baseball Jackie Robinson basketball, football, track athlete, baseball player, and some say that and so people will say will was one baseball week in school so the other Negro leaders who follow superior baseball and that's not to disparage because Jackie is one of the greatest athletes in American history was nothing that could this is simply to be missed. That was their veteran ballplayers who have been playing the game of baseball much longer. Jackie Jackie was relatively new to the game of baseball played at UCLA and continued to play while he was serving in the U.S. Army, Fort Riley, Kansas. He was stationed there was with them heavyweight boxing champion of the world. So Lewis and it would be Joe Lewis who would help get Jackie Robinson into office of school, Fort Riley wasn't admitting Blacks into his office school program at that time and Joe Lewis, who had been doing exhibition prize fights to help raise money for the Armed Forces called in some favors and that's how Jackie gets in the offices. Jackie moves over to Fort Hood in Texas where he was court for refusing to give up his seat to my office on the bus and so for Jackie Robinson to take the abuse that he took this was out of character. Jackie Robinson was as fiery and feisty visual as you will ever meet. I think there's this belief that Ricky wanted somebody who would fight back you absolutely need someone who would fight back but the fact that Jackie would fight back has nothing to do with the fact that that was enough for us competitive and very finally personality, he humbled himself for the greater good is this is totally safe. Jackie Robinson could and would not be all but himself for the greater good and so Jackie story is so prolific so late so you know he wasn't the best player in but he was understand that and so there was this amount of pressure on getting this right so branch Rickey had what I call double difficult task of identifying because Jackie Robinson cannot take the abuse experiment is if he can't play the experiment is that another 1015 24, another black man would've gotten opportunity to play delete if his 20 years like think about great stars. We would miss missed early boy's. Can you imagine great sport" stuff and if you can imagine what it was like for 19 points because they did learn how to play baseball after 1947 and so had the doors open soon. There is no question that the record books will be in time but even more so cost that much because we saw what happened after 19 when all of a sudden this black and brown talent now go into the major leagues.
What happens how Dave got in a special thanks to Monty Montgomery for the production and Katrina Hein for sending this story to us.
Also a very special thanks to Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro leagues baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. What a story Jackie's career started in 1945 in Kansas City. He falls in love with jazz and barbecue like anyone would spend some time there time.
It wasn't until 47 though that well history changes in America and Bob was right, it wasn't a part of the civil rights movement.
What happened in Brooklyn, Pittsfield.
It was the beginning of the civil rights movement and imagine that this was his weakest sport Jackie Robinson. We all laughed when we heard that he was the first guy so he had to be the right guy because of the first guy fell. There's no second. It was a double whammy on Jackie.
He had to be able to take the abuse at the same time, he had to be able to play.
My goodness he met both of those standards exceeded the and changed American history around the board would come after integration of the Army would come after.
This was the beginning of the civil rights movement.
The story of Jackie Robinson as told by Bob Kendrick here on our American stores. Millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7.
If you're working past age 65. You might be able to delay Medicare enrollment.
Depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be email@example.com to learn more United healthcare helping people live healthier lives.
I know everything about running a coffee shop for small business insurance.
I need my State Farm agent and company business owners to help you pass. State Farm is in your corner and on neighbor call your local State Farm agent for quote today doing household chores can Artie be time-consuming and tedious. There's nothing more daunting and facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done can be overwhelming for anyone. If you want to get those larger laundry loads down right and get back to your life.
Try all three clear maggot packs all three clear mega packs are bigger packs two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry all three clear maggot packs are also 100% free perfumes and dyes and time stamp which is great for any family sensitive skin needs my family. We definitely have sentence again the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation as that's cause this big pile of dirty clothes. All three clear maggot packs purchase all three clear maggot packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. This is our American stories and this is the story of how Florida couple Seven siblings or brothers three sisters, ages 12 to 4 together that were separated throughout four different foster homes. Sophia and DeShawn Olds both 33 got married in 2004. Admit that as newlyweds they were too busy with schooling and serving in the military.
Both veterans who served overseas in a rack to think about starting a family. This is the story of how one child was married couple of 13 years became a family of nine literally overnight. I never got to see some hello. Based on those yellows and we would like to tell you about process story.13 years now and always getting plans to adopt and to have dialogical children. We actually took the classes in 2016 were preparing to adopt a child. However, we can agree upon an age so we postponed it got busy with life enjoying life continuing in our careers in college, military us traveling we just were enjoying life.
We were having a wonderful time together with family with friends. I know a lot of people probably wondering question why they don't have children ages never happen for us in 2013 pregnancy test test came back positive and it was the scariest thing to me. Cry cry cry became wasn't ready to. I know that being a mother is the most important jobs in this world and I guess I felt like I wasn't ready to do that and I couldn't be that and a couple days later I missed Carrie.
It was confirmed by the doctors and I had missed Carrie and felt another form of sadness because you know a child that we would have no longer with no we were early on pregnancy. It was it was still devastating for me. Now I had felt the baby kick. I had felt the baby move but it was devastating, but again we can see life also active in local church so we were active mean my husband is the youth pastor children's church ages went 4 to 12 always been part of my life about which chores is one thing that gave off road on the back of it on top child on the and then there exists no surprise that the story came the day after Thanksgiving. Most of the door saw how we are something we saw the story on Facebook. The seven children who needed a home was home for the holidays and one screws this came to my mind is that my father's house as many rows go for a prissy and those prayer things on earth as it is in heaven. So we had a space to be Oklahoma for seven children and we knew that we had everything these children need.
They needed a mother, father, they needed stability structure, discipline without having military unit. They need care.
Being a teacher in social work have no skills to spiritual background.
Everything was just putting our whole trust in all of my dreams and ambitions in our life we were surrendering all we decided to adopt our seven children and was worse is a high school.
The press can guess what do we do what can we do, they did bring furniture to bill Bombay is to sports equipment to donate groceries 1 ^ former entries slaughter pay for.
So we have sausage and bacon.
Everything else so families are giving to us, whether it be snacks for the children to take to school, whether it be cooking up a big pot of beans helping out cooking food getting the children off the bus were speaking on just whenever any extra that they have had anything they could give, whether it be five dollars. We have had outpouring from our families from both sides from complete strangers lived thousands and thousands of mouse away has been no stress, no struggle at all and I do believe that it goes back to doing the will of God to help build his kingdom to provide a home for the novel because you know that is something that states we should do this in James 127 true religion is to take of though, and we now know that is more blessed to give than to receive. We were allowed to adopt the seven children we would do it. We will work every day of our lives to make sure that they are cared for and was most important to his finances, seeking to have an example of what it's like to have a father household had a strong faith and belief in God can teach family and I know they may enjoy dance in a field privileged and proud to know that their dad is up there teaching.
You can see this mouse on your face into a talking about it afterwards day. Lots of questions so that whole aspect has been wonderful to have him up.
Frank teaching our children about God the things that they should do in life to be saints to be good children to grow up to be successful and I think for my father's because I do not have a biological father of my life.
But, pastors and ministers to show me the way just use it to impart knowledge much all to minister to on a weekly basis. So I think it's important to know that in the story of Dotson I minister to preach at a church to be a pastor. I know this is not, God has placed in my life and I am embracing the I am enjoying it. I can say that I am not stress because it is something that we are doing that we are supposed to do. So it makes it so much easier does it require a lot from us time. A lot of correction that we have to do, but it is also birthday every part of the this is what were supposed to do in life.
These seven children are our calling to be their mother and father and we take it to Stacy. It was a pastoral church.
Our CEO or a business. This is manager overseeing this is us. This is what we are called to do. Give him all the praise and glory and honor for it because without him we would not be able to do this and we are doing and what a story was. Thanks Greg for doing that. Sean holds for recording that are doing what you did.
It's an inspiration and it was the faith of course the fruits of their faith and by the way, NBC's today show ABC News inside edition, Miami Herald, parents.com and people. They all did the story, but they somehow managed to leave the faith walk of this couple out of the story and just a few things they said it was Sophia who said this once you put your faith out there. It's amazing how God works it out and came the food and then came the help from the family members came all that love true religion is to take care of the orphans and if more Christians in this great country did what this young couple did I do this we could solve a lot of problems in our country. This is our American story. Sophia Sean holds his story and those seven kids, they adopted their stories to