First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Morning Lineup – December 28

Friday Morning – What's In a Name?

By now I am thoroughly confused as to what day of the week it is.  With the two holidays falling on Tuesdays, we are ending up with four "weekends" in an 11-day span.  For me, it's not too serious a problem because I don't have to be at work on specific days.  One of the major perks of being retired, I might add.  But down on the lower-right corner of my computer screen is a little reminder of what the day and date are, so I'm able to keep up with it.

We learned yesterday that General Norman Schwarzkopf passed away.  He was the charismatic leader of the armed forces during Operation Desert Storm that drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, freeing that country, and sent them back to Baghdad, then set up the no-fly zones to contain the dictator Saddam Hussein.  There are plenty of obituaries online this morning that include his own biography and summaries of his career in the Army.  But I would like to tell you a little bit about Gen. Schwarzkopf's father, a man who achieved some fame and notoriety of his own.

Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr., like his son, also graduated from the West Point Military Academy and became an officer in the U. S. Army.  He served in World War I and rose to the rank of Colonel before leaving the Army in 1921.  He had been asked by the Governor of New Jersey, his home state, to head up the newly-formed New Jersey State Police.  Schwarzkopf personally trained the first 25 troopers and organized them into two troops.  The northern troop was equipped with motorcycles and assigned to combat the Mafia-controlled gangs in the New York City area that were running whiskey and gambling rings.  The southern troop was mounted on horseback and went after the moonshine stills that were flourishing in the southern half of the state.

N. J. State Police Superintendent Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. (Badge #1)
(Official State Police photo)

He continued to expertly grow and organize the state police and was thrust into the national spotlight when in March 1932 he was the first police officer notified and brought into the Lindbergh kidnapping incident.  The crime itself was the hottest news world-wide and Schwarzkopf led the investigation.  Charles Lindbergh himself was adamant about exerting some control over the contacts and hunt for the kidnappers, but when the infant's body was discovered on May 12, it became a murder investigation and Schwarzkopf took total control over the case.

At the time, he was widely criticized by outsiders for his failure to find the kidnappers and presumably prevent the child's death, it turned out that he was killed within hours following the abduction.  Schwartzkopf personally developed the sequence of events of the kidnapping and collected the clues that eventually led to the arrests of the kidnapper, Bruno Hauptmann.

A few years later he had some personality clashes with the then-governor of the state who ousted him from the state police.  Not long after that, and with the growing war in Europe, he re-enlisted in the Army and fought in his second world war.  When he retired from the Army in 1953 with the rank of Major General.

The elder Norman has quite a story of his own, doesn't he?  I would recommend that you read his fascinating biography in the Wikipedia HERE and review his state police career in the New Jersey State Police website's history page HERE.

Now we have to return to our own history and get this equipment checked out for today.  I'm already aimed toward the Bunn-O-Matic, so I'll catch you later in the day room.

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