Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bernd was killed during a world speed record attempt on the Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, on January 28th 1938.
Competing for the record on the same day against Rudolf Caracciola, the Mercedes driver went first and set a new record of 432 km/h (268 mph) in the early hours of the day. Rosemeyer went out next in his Auto Union Streamliner despite report that the wind was picking up. After two preliminary runs he was on his third and final attempt at 11:47am when the car was probably caught by a gust of wind or an unforeseen aerodynamic effect and skidded to the left and then to the right and off the road. Rosemeyer was thrown out of the car that was somersaulting through the air, and died at the roadside.

Fatal Record Attempt
Today, there is a monument south of the Bundesautobahn 5 exit of Langen/Mörfelden, roughly where his car left the road due to wind gusts. On the south-bound exit of a rest area on the western lane, named Bernd-Rosemeyer-Parkplatz, a sign indicates that the Bernd-Rosemeyer-Denkmal is 70 meters away. It used to be hidden in bushes which are removed now, and is apparently visited frequently as a foot path, or foot prints in snow, lead there.
49°58′25″N, 8°36′11″E
There is also a bronze memorial situated next to the entrance to the Donington Park Museum in Leicestershire.
Bernd Rosemeyer is buried in the Waldfriedhof Dahlem on Hütten Weg in Berlin.

Bernd RosemeyerBernd Rosemeyer Major career victories

Chris Nixon & Elly Beinhorn Rosemeyer: "Rosemeyer!", Transport Bookman Publications 1989, SBN 0851840469

Monday, October 29, 2007

For the city, see Molise (commune).
Molise is a region of Central Italy, the second smallest of the regions. It was formerly (until 1963) part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise (with Abruzzo) and now a separate entity. The region covers 4,438 km² and has a population of about 300,000.

Molise Geography
Molise was populated for thousands of years. It has a proud heritage. For example the arena in Larino predates Rome's Colosseum and the ruins at Sepinum are remarkably well preserved and provide an insight into the sophistication of the Samnite tribes who, along with the Frentani, dominated this region. The Samnites were a hardy race of highlanders who bested the Romans in battle for a long time. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD Molise was invaded by the Goths (535 AD) and then by the Lombards in 572, and annexed to the Duchy of Benevento. A very troubled period began with the invasions of the Saracens, that in 860 AD destroyed Isernia, Telese, Alife, Sepino, Boiano and Venafro. By the 10th century there were 9 countdoms: Venafro, Larino, Trivento, Bojano, Isernia, Campomarino, Termoli, Sangro, Pietrabbondante.
In 1095 the most powerful of them, Bojano, came under the rule of the Norman Hugo I of Molhouse, who most probably gave his name to the region; his successor Ugo II was Count of Molise in 1144.
The province enjoyed a resurgence towards the end of the thirteenth century. The cathedral in Larino was built in 1314. The Franciscan monastery, in the same town, was dedicated, along with its rectangular bell tower, in 1312.
In the 16th century Molise was included to the Province of Capitanata (Apulia) and in 1806 became an autonomous Province, included in the Abruzzi region.
In the 19th century there was a general worsening of the economic conditions of the population, and this gave rise, under the newly established Kingdom of Italy (1861), to brigandage and a massive emigration not only abroad but also to more industrial Italian areas.
The French novelist Alexander Dumas was in Molise at the time of Garibaldi. It was in Molise that he conceived his idea for The Blood Reign, based on a true episode that took place in the town of Larino.
Massive destruction occurred during World War II, until finally the Allied Forces were able to land at Termoli, in September 1943. Huge Allied land forces were based in Campobasso which was called "Maple Leaf City" by the Canadian troops.
Molise is the youngest Italian region, since it was established in 1963, when the region "Abruzzi e Molise" was split into two regions, which, however, retain a common identity both geographically and in their historical and traditional heritage.

Molise Politics
On the whole, Molise is the least populated Italian region after the Val d'Aosta, with also a very low average density of population. Apart from the historical difficulties of settling in a territory which is mainly mountainous, this is due to a flow of emigrants abroad and to other Italian regions, a phenomenon which reached a peak at the beginning of the century and in the post-war period, and started to decline to a certain extent only from the 1970s onwards. The population density is highest in the areas surrounding Campobasso, the regional capital, and along the Adriatic coast, while the mountainous areas (for example in the Province of Isernia) are almost uninhabited. In the region there are two ethnic minorities: the Molisan Croatians (2,500 people who speak an old dialect of the Croatian-Dalmatian language) and the Molisan Albanians (Arbëreshë who speak an old dialect of the Albanian language which is now very different from the Albanian spoken on the other side of the Adriatic Sea). Molisan Albanians are generally of the Orthodox religion.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The "Ø" (minuscule: "ø"), is a vowel and a letter used in the Danish, Faroese and Norwegian alphabets. The vowel is not to be confused with the slashed zero.


The Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Tatar, Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic, German, Estonian, and Hungarian alphabets use the letter "Ö" instead of Ø.
In Danish (and Riksmål Norwegian) spelling, ø is also a word and means "island".
Ø is a place in Denmark.
The symbol "ø" is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet to indicate the sound of the Danish and Norwegian letter, the close-mid front rounded vowel.
Although it never appears elsewhere, the letter Ø-with-umlaut is used by the Danish and Swedish national railways in pictograms marking trains crossing the Øresund (da)/Öresund (sv) Bridge between the nations.
The ø is used in the fictional language Bork Bork Bork.
There are examples in typesetting of ø being confused with the Greek φ.
The Cyrillic alphabet has "Ө" as the equivalent letter, which are used in the Cyrillic alphabets for Kazakh, Mongolian, Azerbaijani etc.
In linguistics, the symbol is used to refer to the linguistic zero. History

For computers, when using the ISO 8859-1 or Unicode sets, the codes for 'Ø' and 'ø' are respectively 216 and 248, or in hexadecimal D8 and F8.
In the TeX typesetting system, the letter is produced by o
On the Apple Macintosh operating system it can by typed by pressing the [Option] key then typing O or o, while using U.S. keyboard.
On Microsoft Windows, using the "United States-International" keyboard setting, it can be typed by holding down the [Alt] key and pressing "L". It can also be typed under any keyboard setting by holding down the [Alt] key while typing 0216 or 0248 on the numeric keypad, provided the system uses code page 1252 as system default.
The Unicode letter name is "Latin capital/small letter O with stroke".
In HTML character entity references, needed in cases where the letter is not available by ordinary coding, the codes are Ø and ø.
In the X Window System environment, one can produce these characters by pressing Alt-Gr and o or O, or by pressing the Multi key followed with a slash and then o or O.
In some systems, such as older versions of MS-DOS, the letter Ø is not part of the default codepage. In Scandinavian codepages, Ø replaces the yen sign (¥) at 165, and ø replaces the ¢ sign at 162. On computers

The symbol "Ø" is also used in mathematics to refer to the empty set, following Bourbaki. Ø Mathematics

ØØ Void is an album by the Seattle-based drone doom metal band Sunn O))).
"Ø" is the name of a Finnish experimental Intelligent Dance Music artist, also known as Mika Vainio.
American post hardcore band Underøath uses the ø on some writings of their name, and as a logo to represent themselves.
Bløf is a Dutch pop band. Other uses

Friday, October 26, 2007

Anglican Communion its 'instruments of unity': Archbishop of Canterbury Lambeth ConferencesAct of Supremacy Primates' Meeting Anglican Consultative Council Christianity Catholicism Apostolic Succession English ReformationAct of Supremacy Henry VIII Thomas Cranmer Thomas Cromwell Elizabeth I Richard Hooker Charles I William Laud Book of Common Prayer High Church · Low Church Broad Church Oxford Movement Thirty-Nine Articles Doctrine · Ministry Sacraments Saints in Anglicanism

Second Act of Supremacy 1559

Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Religion in the United Kingdom
State religion
Separation of church and state

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blenheim Palace is a large and monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the only non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title "palace". The Palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722.
Its construction was originally intended to be a gift to John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French and Bavarians. However, it soon became the subject of political infighting, which led to Marlborough's exile, the fall from power of his Duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh. Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The plaque above the massive East gate gives a sanitised history of the palace's construction, reading:
"Under the auspices of a munificent sovereign this house was built for John Duke of Marlborough and his Duchess Sarah, by Sir J Vanbrugh between the years 1705 and 1722. And the Royal Manor of Woodstock, together with a grant of £240,000 towards the building of Blenheim, was given by Her Majesty Queen Anne and confirmed by act of Parliament."
The truth is that the building of the palace was a minefield of political intrigue, with scheming on a Machiavellian scale by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Following the palace's completion, it has been the home of the Churchill family for the last 300 years, and various members of the family have in that period wrought various changes, in the interiors, park and gardens, some for the better, others for the worse. At the end of the 19th century, the palace and the Churchills were saved from ruin by an American marriage. Thus, the exterior of the palace remains in good repair, exactly as completed.

The Churchills
The estate given by the nation to Marlborough for the new palace was the manor of Woodstock, sometimes called the Palace of Woodstock, which had been a royal demesne, in reality little more than a hunting box. Legend has obscured the manor's origins. King Henry I enclosed the park to contain the deer. Henry II housed his mistress Rosamund Clifford (sometimes known as "Fair Rosamund") there in a "bower and labyrinth"; a spring where she is said to have bathed remains, named after her. It seems the unostentatious hunting lodge was rebuilt many times, and had an uneventful history until Elizabeth I, before her succession, was imprisoned there by her sister between 1554 and 1555. Elizabeth had been implicated in the Wyatt plot. Elizabeth's imprisonment at Woodstock was short, and the manor remained in obscurity until bombarded and ruined by Oliver Cromwell's troops during the Civil War. When the park was being re-landscaped as a setting for the palace the 1st Duchess wanted the historic ruins demolished, while Vanbrugh, an early conservationist, wanted them restored and made into a landscape feature. The Duchess as so often in her disputes with her architect won the day and the remains of the manor were swept away.

The site
The architect selected for the ambitious project was a controversial one. The Duchess was known to favour Sir Christopher Wren, famous for St Paul's Cathedral and many other national buildings. The Duke however, following a chance meeting at a playhouse, is said to have commissioned Sir John Vanbrugh there and then. Vanbrugh, a popular dramatist, was an untrained architect, who usually worked in conjunction with the trained and practical Nicholas Hawksmoor. The duo had recently completed the first stages of the baroque Castle Howard. This huge Yorkshire mansion was one of England's first houses in the flamboyant European baroque style. Marlborough had obviously been impressed by this grandiose pile and wished for something similar at Woodstock.
Blenheim, however, was not to provide Vanbrugh with the architectural plaudits he imagined. The fighting over funding led to accusations of extravagance and impracticality of design, many of these charges levelled by the Whig factions in power. He found no defender in the Duchess of Marlborough. Having been foiled in her wish to employ Wren, she levelled criticism at Vanbrugh on every level, from design to taste. In part their problems arose from what was demanded of the architect. The nation (who it was then assumed, by architect and owners, was paying the bills) wanted a monument, but the Duchess wanted not only a fitting tribute to her husband but also a comfortable home, two requirements which were not compatible in 18th-century architecture. Finally, in the early days of the building the Duke was frequently away on his military campaigns, and it was left to the Duchess to negotiate with Vanbrugh. More aware than her husband of the precarious state of the financial aid they were receiving, she attempted to curb Vanbrugh's grandiose ideas, in an arrogant fashion (as was her wont) rather than explain the true reasons behind her frugality.
Following their final altercation Vanbrugh was banned from the site. In 1719, while the Duchess was away, Vanbrugh viewed the palace in secret. However, when he and his wife, with the Earl of Carlisle, visited the completed Blenheim as members of the viewing public in 1725, they were refused admission to even enter the park. The palace had been completed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, his friend and architectural associate.
Vanbrugh's severe massed baroque used at Blenheim never truly caught the public imagination, and was quickly superseded by the revival of the Palladian style. Vanbrugh's reputation was irreparably damaged, and he received no further truly great public commissions. For his final design, Seaton Delaval Hall, he used a refined version of the baroque employed at Blenheim, which was hailed as his masterpiece. He died shortly before its completion.

The precise responsibility for the funding of the new palace has always been a debatable subject, unresolved to this day. That a grateful nation led by its Queen wished and intended to give their national hero a suitable home is beyond doubt, but the exact size and nature of that house is questionable. A warrant dated 1705, signed by the parliamentary treasurer the Earl of Godolphin, appointed Vanbrugh as architect, and outlined his remit. Unfortunately for the Churchills, nowhere did this warrant mention Queen, or Crown. This error provided the escape clause for the state when the costs and political infighting escalated. It is interesting to note that the palace as a reward was mooted within months of the Battle of Blenheim, at a time when Marlborough was still to further his many victories on behalf of the country.
The Duke of Marlborough contributed £60,000 to the initial cost when work commenced in 1705, which, supplemented by Parliament, should have built a monumental house. Parliament voted funds for the building of Blenheim, but no exact sum was mentioned or provision for inflation or "over budget" expenses. Almost from the outset, funds were spasmodic. Queen Anne paid some of them, but with growing reluctance and lapses, following her frequent altercations with the Duchess. After their final argument in 1712, all state money ceased and work came to a halt. £220,000 had already been spent and £45,000 was owing to workmen. The Marlboroughs were forced into exile on the continent, and did not return until after the Queen's death in 1714.
On their return the Duke and Duchess came back into favour at court. The 64-year-old Duke now decided to complete the project at his own expense. In 1716 work re-started, but the project relied completely upon the limited means of the Duke himself. Harmony on the building site was short lived, as in 1717 the Duke suffered a severe stroke, and the thrifty Duchess took control. The Duchess blamed Vanbrugh entirely for the growing costs and extravagance of the palace, the design of which she had never liked. Following a meeting with the Duchess, Vanbrugh left the building site in a rage, insisting that the new masons, carpenters and craftsmen, brought in by the Duchess, were inferior to those he had employed. The master craftsmen he had patronised, however, such as Grinling Gibbons, refused to work for the lower rates paid by the Marlboroughs. The craftsmen brought in by the Duchess, under the guidance of furniture designer James Moore, and Vanbrugh's assistant architect Hawksmoor, completed the work in perfect imitation of the greater masters, so there was fault and intransigence on both sides in this famed argument.
Following the Duke's death in 1722, completion of the Palace and its park became the Duchess's driving ambition. Vanbrugh's assistant Hawksmoor was recalled and designed in 1723 the "Arch of Triumph", based on the Arch of Titus, at the entrance to the park from Woodstock. Hawksmoor also completed the interior design of the library, the ceilings of many of the state rooms, and other details in numerous other minor rooms, and various outbuildings. Cutting rates of pay to workmen, and using lower quality materials in unobtrusive places, the widowed Duchess completed the great house as a tribute to her late husband. The final date of completion is not known, as late as 1735 the Duchess was haggling with Rysbrack over the cost of Queen Anne's statue placed in the library. In 1732 the Duchess wrote "The Chappel is finish'd and more than half the Tomb there ready to set up".

Funding the construction
Vanbrugh planned Blenheim in perspective, that is to be best viewed from a distance. As the site covers some seven acres (28,000 m²) this is also a necessity. Close to, and square on, the facades can appear daunting, or weighed down by too much stone and ornamentation.
The plan of Blenheim Palace is basically that of a large central rectangular block (see plan), containing behind the southern facade the principal state apartments. On the east side are the suites of private apartments of the Duke and Duchess, on the west along the entire length is the long gallery originally conceived as a picture gallery. The central block is flanked by two further service blocks around square courtyards (not shown in the plan). The east court contains the kitchens, laundry, and other domestic offices, the west court adjacent to the chapel the stables and indoor riding school. The three blocks together form the "Great Court" designed to overpower the visitor arriving at the palace. Pilasters and pillars abound, while from the roofs, themselves resembling those of a small town, great statues in the renaissance manner of St Peter's in Rome gaze down on the visitor below, who is rendered inconsequential. Other assorted statuary in the guise of martial trophies, and the English lion devouring a French cock, also decorate the lower roofs. Many of these are by such masters as Grinling Gibbons.
In the design of great 18th-century houses comfort and convenience were subservient to magnificence, and this is certainly the case at Blenheim. This magnificence over creature comfort is heightened as the architect's brief was to create not only a home but a national monument to reflect the power and civilisation of the nation. In order to create this monumental effect, Vanbrugh chose to design in a severe form of baroque, using great masses of stone to imitate strength and create shadow as decoration. The solid and huge entrance portico on the north front resembles more the entrance to a pantheon than a family home. Vanbrugh also liked to employ what he called his "castle air", which he achieved by placing a low tower at each corner of the central block and crowning the towers with vast belvederes of massed stone, decorated with curious finials (disguising the chimneys). Coincidentally these towers which hint at the pylons of an Egyptian temple further add to the heroic pantheonesque atmosphere of the building.
There are two approaches to the palace's grand entrance, one from the long straight drive through wrought iron gates directly into the Great Court, while the other, equally if not more impressive, betrays Vanbrugh's true vision: the palace as a bastion or strong citadel, the true monument and home to a great warrior. Piercing the windowless, city-like curtain wall of the east court is the great East Gate, a monumental triumphal arch, more Egyptian in design than Roman, an optical illusion was created by tapering its walls to create an impression of even greater height. Confounding those who accuse Vanbrugh of impracticality this gate is also the palace's water tower. Through the arch of the gate one views across the courtyard a second equally massive gate, that beneath the clock tower, through which, rather like the sanctuary of a temple, one glimpses the Great Court. In this way Vanbrugh is giving even greater, almost God-like, importance to the areas of the palace occupied by the great Duke himself.
This view of the Duke as an omnipotent being is also reflected in the interior design of the palace, and indeed its axis to certain features in the park. It was planned that when the Duke dined in state in his place of honour in the great saloon, he would be the climax of a great procession of architectural mass aggrandising him rather like a proscenium. The line of celebration and honour of his victorious life began with the great column of victory surmounted by his statue and detailing his triumphs, and the next point on the great axis, planted with trees in the position of troops, was the epic Roman style bridge. The approach continues through the great portico into the hall, its ceiling painted by James Thornhill with the Duke's apotheosis, then on under a great triumphal arch, through the huge marble door-case with the Duke's marble effigy above it (bearing the ducal plaudit "Nor could Augustus better calm mankind"), and into the painted saloon, the most highly decorated room in the palace, where the Duke was to have sat enthroned.
The Duke was to have sat with his back to the great 30-tonne marble bust of his vanquished foe Louis XIV, positioned high above the south portico. Here the defeated King was humiliatingly forced to look down on the great parterre and spoils of his conqueror (rather in the same way as decapitated heads were displayed generations earlier). The Duke did not live long enough to view this majestic tribute realised, and sit enthroned in this architectural vision. The Duke and Duchess moved into their apartments at the palace, but the entirety was not completed until after the Duke's death.
The palace chapel as a consequence of the Duke's death now obtained even greater importance. The design was altered by the Marlboroughs' friend the Earl of Godolphin, who placed the high altar in defiance of religious convention against the west wall, thus allowing the dominating feature to be the Duke's gargantuan tomb and sarcophagus. Commissioned by the Duchess in 1730, it was designed by William Kent, and statues of the Duke and Duchess depicted as Caesar and Caesarina adorn the great sarcophagus. In bas relief at the base of the tomb, the Duchess ordered to be depicted the surrender of Marshal Tallard. Thus finally the theme throughout the palace of honouring the Duke reached its apotheosis with completion of his tomb. The Duke's coffin was returned to Blenheim from Westminster Abbey. Now Blenheim had indeed become a pantheon and mausoleum. Successive Dukes and their wives are also interred in the vault beneath the chapel.

Design and architecture
The internal layout of the rooms of the central block at Blenheim was defined by the court etiquette of the day. State apartments were designed as an axis of rooms of increasing importance and public use, leading to the chief room. The larger houses, like Blenheim, had two sets of state apartments each mirroring each other. The grandest and most public and important was the central saloon ("B" in the plan) which served as the communal state dining room. Either side of the saloon are suites of state apartments, decreasing in importance but increasing in privacy: the first room ("C") would have been an audience chamber for receiving important guests, the next room ("L") a private withdrawing room, the next room ("M") would have been the bedroom of the occupier of the suite, thus the most private. One of the small rooms between the bedroom and the internal courtyard was intended as a dressing room. This arrangement is reflected on the other side of the saloon. The state apartments were intended only for use by the most important guests such as a visiting sovereign. On the left (east) side of the plan on either side of the bow room (marked "O") can be seen a smaller but near identical layout of rooms, which were the suites of the Duke and Duchess themselves. Thus the bow room corresponds exactly to the saloon in terms of its importance to the two smaller suites.
Blenheim Palace was the birthplace of the 1st Duke's famous descendant, Winston Churchill, whose life and times are commemorated by a permanent exhibition in the suite of rooms in which he was born (marked "K" on the plan). Blenheim Palace was designed with all its principal and secondary rooms on the piano nobile, thus there is no great staircase of state: anyone worthy of such state would have no cause to leave the piano nobile. Insofar as Blenheim does have a grand staircase, then it is the series of steps in the Great Court which lead to the North Portico. There are staircases of various sizes and grandeur in the central block, but none are designed on the same scale of magnificence as the palace. James Thornhill painted the ceiling of the hall in 1716. It depicts Marlborough kneeling to Britannia and proffering a map of the Battle of Blenheim. The hall is 67 ft high, and remarkable chiefly for its size and for its stone carvings by Gibbons, yet in spite of its immense size it is merely a vast ante-room to the saloon.
The saloon was also to have been painted by Thornhill, but the Duchess suspected him of overcharging, so the commission was given to Louis Laguerre. This room is an example of three-dimensional painting, or trompe l'œil, "trick of the eye", a fashionable painting technique at the time. The Peace Treaty of Utrecht was about to be signed, so all the elements in the painting represent the coming of peace. The domed ceiling is an allegorical representation of Peace: John Churchill is in the chariot, he holds a zigzag thunderbolt of war, and the woman who holds back his arm represents Peace. The walls depict all the nations of the world who have come together peacefully. Laguerre also included a self-portrait placing himself next to Dean Jones, chaplain to the 1st Duke, another enemy of the Duchess, although she tolerated him in the household because he could play a good hand at cards. To the right of the doorway leading into the first stateroom, Laguerre included the French spies, said to have big ears and eyes because they may still be spying; behind them the figure of the 5th Earl of Sild appears in silhouette, a tactful reference on the part of the artist as the Earl was disfigured during the Battle of Ramillies. Of the three marble door-cases in the room displaying the Duke's crest as a prince of the Holy Roman Empire, only one is by Gibbons, the other two were copied indistinguishably by the Duchess's cheaper craftsmen.
The third remarkable room is the long library, (H), 180 ft long, which was intended as a picture gallery. The ceiling has saucer domes, which were to have been painted by Thornhill, had the Duchess not upset him. The palace, and in particular this room, was furnished with the many valuable artefacts the Duke had been given, or sequestered as the spoils of war, including a fine art collection. Here in the library, rewriting history in her own indomitable style, the Duchess set up a larger than life statue of Queen Anne, its base recording their friendship.
From the northern end of the library - in which is housed a pipe organ, which was built by England's great Organbuilder Henry Willis - access is obtained to the raised colonnade which leads to the chapel (H2). The chapel is perfectly balanced on the eastern side of the palace by the vaulted kitchen. This symmetrical balancing and equal weight given to both spiritual and physical nourishment would no doubt have appealed to Vanbrugh's renowned sense of humour, if not the Duchess's. The distance of the kitchen from even the private dining room ("O" on the plan) was obviously of no consideration, hot food being of less importance than to avoid having to inhale the odour of cooking and proximity of servants.

Blenheim sits in the centre of a large undulating park. When Vanbrugh first cast his eyes over it in 1704 he immediately conceived a typically grandiose plan: through the park trickled the small River Glyme, and Vanbrugh envisaged this marshy brook traversed by the "finest bridge in Europe". Thus, ignoring the second opinion offered by Sir Christopher Wren, the marsh was channelled into three small canal-like streams and across it rose a bridge of huge proportions, so huge it was reported to contain some 30-odd rooms. While the bridge was indeed an amazing wonder, in this setting it appeared incongruous, causing Alexander Pope to comment:
"the minnows, as under this vast arch they pass,/murmur, how like whales we look, thanks to your Grace"
Another of Vanbrugh's schemes was the great parterre, nearly half a mile long and as wide as the south front. Also in the park, completed after the 1st Duke's death, is the Column of Victory. It is 134 ft high and terminates a great avenue of elms leading to the palace, which were planted in the positions of Marlborough's troops at the Battle of Blenheim. Vanbrugh had wanted an obelisk to mark the site of the former royal manor, and the trysts of Henry II which had taken place there, causing the 1st Duchess to remark, "If there were obelisks to bee made of all what our Kings have done of that sort, the countrey would bee stuffed with very odd things" (sic). The obelisk was never realised.
Following the 1st Duke's death the Duchess concentrated most of her considerable energies on the completion of the palace itself, and the park remained relatively unchanged until the arrival of Capability Brown in 1764. The 4th Duke employed Brown who immediately began a scheme to naturalise and enhance the landscape, with tree planting, and man made undulations. However, the feature with which he is forever associated is the lake, a huge stretch of water created by damming the River Glyme and ornamented by a series of cascades where the river flows in and out. The lake was narrowed at the point of Vanbrugh's grand bridge, but the three small canal-like streams trickling underneath it were completely absorbed by one river-like stretch. Brown's great achievement at this point was to actually flood and submerge beneath the water level the lower stories and rooms of the bridge itself, thus reducing its incongruous height and achieving what is regarded by many as the epitome of an English landscape. Brown also grassed over the great parterre and the Great Court. The latter was re-paved by Duchene in the early 20th century. The 5th Duke was responsible for several other garden follies and novelties such as the swivelling bolder, which would suddenly roll across a path, to supposedly thrill the walker.
Sir William Chambers, assisted by John Yenn, was responsible for the small summerhouse known as "The Temple of Diana" down by the lake, where in 1908 Winston Churchill proposed to his future wife. However, the ornamental gardens seen today close to the palace, the Italian and water gardens, are entirely the design of Duchene and the 9th Duke.

The Park and gardens
On the death of the 1st Duke in 1722, as both his sons were dead, he was succeeded by his daughter Henrietta. This was an unusual succession and required a special Act of Parliament, as only sons can usually succeed to a Dukedom. When Henrietta died, the title passed to Marlborough's grandson Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, whose mother was Marlborough's second daughter Anne.
The 1st Duke as a soldier was not a rich man, and what fortune he possessed was mostly used for finishing the palace. In comparison with other British ducal families the Marlboroughs were not very wealthy. Yet they existed quite comfortably until the time of the Fifth Duke of Marlborough (1766–1840), a spendthrift who considerably depleted the family's remaining fortune. He was eventually forced to sell other family estates, but Blenheim was safe from him as it was entailed. This did not prevent him selling the Marlboroughs' Boccaccio for a mere £875, and his own library in over 4000 lots. On his death in 1840 he left the estate and family with financial problems.
By the 1870s the Marlboroughs were in severe financial trouble, and in 1875 the 7th Duke sold the "Marriage of Cupid and Psyche", together with the famed Marlborough gems, at auction for £10,000. However this was not enough to save the family. In 1880 the 7th Duke was forced to petition Parliament to break the protective entail on the Palace and its contents. This was achieved under the Blenheim Settled Estates Act of 1880, and the door was now open for wholesale dispersal of Blenheim and its contents. The first victim was the great Sunderland Library which was sold in 1882, including such volumes as The Epistles of Horace, printed at Caen in 1480, and the works of Josephus, printed at Verona in 1648. The 18,000 volumes raised almost £60,000. The sales continued to denude the palace: Raphael's "Ansidei Madonna" was sold for £70,000; Van Dyck's equestrian painting of Charles I realised £17,500; and finally the "piece de resistance" of the collection, Peter Paul Rubens "Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Peter Paul", which had been given by the city of Brussels to the 1st Duke in 1704, was also sold, and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
These sums of money, vast by the standards of the day, failed to cover the debts, and the maintenance of the great palace remained beyond the Marlboroughs' resources. These had always been small in relation to their ducal rank and the size of their house. The British agricultural depression which started in the 1870s added to the family's problems. When the 9th Duke inherited in 1892, the Spencer-Churchills were almost bankrupt.

Failing fortunes
Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough (1871–1934) can be credited with saving both the palace and the family. Inheriting the near-bankrupt dukedom in 1892, he was forced to find a quick and drastic solution to the problems. Prevented by the strict social dictates of late 19th-century society from earning money, he was left with one solution, he had to marry it. In November 1896 he coldly and openly without love married the American railroad heiress and renowned beauty Consuelo Vanderbilt. The marriage was celebrated following lengthy negotiations with her divorced parents: her mother was desperate to see her daughter a Duchess, and the bride's father, William Vanderbilt paid for the privilege. The final price was $2,500,000 ( $54 100 436.75 in 2007 ) in 50,000 shares of the capital stock of the Beech Creek Railway Company with a minimum 4% dividend guaranteed by the New York Central Railroad Company. The couple were given a further annual income each of $100,000 for life. The bride later claimed she had been locked in her room until she agreed to the marriage. The contract was actually signed in the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York immediately after the wedding vows had been made. In the carriage leaving the church, Marlborough told Consuelo he loved another woman, and would never return to America, as he "despised anything that was not British".
The replenishing of Blenheim began on the honeymoon itself, with the replacement of the Marlborough gems. Tapestries, paintings and furniture were bought in Europe to fill the depleted palace. On their return the Duke began an exhaustive restoration and redecoration of the palace. The state rooms to the west of the saloon were redecorated with gilt boiseries in imitation of Versailles. Vanbrugh's subtle rivalry to Louis XIV's great palace was now completely undermined, as the interiors became mere pastiches of those of the greater palace. While this redecoration may not have been without fault (and the Duke later regretted it), other improvements were better received. Another problem caused by the redecoration was that the state and principal bedrooms were now moved upstairs, thus rendering the state rooms an enfilade of rather similar and meaningless drawing rooms. On the west terrace the French landscape architect Achille Duchêne was employed to create a water garden. On a second terrace below this were placed two great fountains in the style of Bernini, scaled models of those in the Piazza Navona which had been presented to the 1st Duke.
Inside the palace the staff was enlarged and smartened to suit a fabulously wealthy ducal household. The inside staff was of approximately 40, while the outside staff numbered 50, including the game-keeping staff of 12, electricians for the newly installed wiring, carpenters, flower arrangers, lodge keepers, and a cricket professional to ensure the success and honour of the estate cricket team. The lodge keepers were dressed in black coats with silver buttons, buff breeches, and cockaded top hats. The gamekeepers donned green velvet coats with brass buttons and black billycock hats.
Blenheim was once again a place of wonder and prestige. However, Consuelo was far from happy; she records many of her problems in her cynical and often less than candid biography "The Glitter and the Gold". In 1906 she shocked society and left her husband, finally divorcing in 1921. She subsequently married a Frenchman, Jacques Balsan. She died in 1964 having lived to see her son Duke of Marlborough, and frequently returning to Blenheim, the house she had hated and yet saved, albeit as the unwilling sacrifice.
After his divorce the Duke married again a former friend of Consuelo, Gladys Deacon, another American. This eccentric lady was of an artistic disposition, and a painting of one of her eyes still remains on the ceiling of the great north portico. A lower terrace was decorated with sphinxes modelled on Gladys and executed by W. Ward Willis in 1930. Before her marriage while staying with the Marlboroughs she had caused a diplomatic incident by encouraging the young Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany to form an attachment. The prince had given her an heirloom ring, which the combined diplomatic services of two empires were charged to recover. After her marriage Gladys was in the habit of dining with the Duke with a revolver by the side of her plate. Tiring of her the Duke was temporarily forced to close Blenheim, and turn off the utilities in order to drive her out. They subsequently separated but did not divorce. The Duke died in 1934 and his last Duchess in 1977.
The 9th Duke was succeeded by his and Consuelo Vanderbilt's eldest son: John, 10th Duke of Marlborough (1898-1972) after eleven years as a widower, remarried at the age of 74, to (Frances) Laura Charteris, formerly the wife of the 2nd Viscount Long and the 3rd Earl of Dudley, and grand-daughter of the 11th Earl of Wemyss. The marriage was short-lived however, the Duke died just six weeks later, on 11 March 1972. The bereaved Duchess complained of "the gloom and inhospitality of Blenheim" after his death, and soon moved out. In her autobiography, Laughter from a Cloud (1980) she referred to Blenheim Palace as "The Dump". She died in London in 1990.

Blenheim Palace Blenheim today
The following films have had scenes filmed at Blenheim Palace:

The Avengers
Barry Lyndon
The Four Feathers
Hamlet - Kenneth Branagh's 1996 version. The incumbent Duke has a non-speaking role as a Norwegian general.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
History of the World, Part I
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
King Ralph
The Lost Prince
Orlando Blenheim on film

The setting for T. H. White's novel Mistress Masham's Repose is a huge, ruined estate called Malplaquet, a parody of Blenheim Palace. See also

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

For other meanings, see Burgos (disambiguation)
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, at the edge of the central plateau, with about 173,600 inhabitants in the city proper and another 10,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos. The Burgos Laws or Leyes de Burgos were promulgated there in 1512.

Burgos still possesses more ecclesiastical monuments than any other Spanish city, even Toledo. The three most outstanding are the cathedral, with its chapel of the Condestables de Castilla, the monastery of Las Huelgas and the Carthusian monastery of Miraflores. In addition to the collegiate churches of Lerma, Villadiego, Plampiega, Palenzuela, Covarrubias and others, there are in Burgos alone many magnificent buildings. The cathedral treasury, the monastery of Las Huelgas and the Carthusian monastery of Miraflores, are museums of permanent value.
Minor notable churches are: San Esteban, San Gil (Sancti Aegidii), San Pedro, San Cosme y San Damian, Santiago (Sancti Jacobi), San Lorenzo and San Lesmes (Adelelmi). The Convento de la Merced, occupied by the Jesuits, and the Hospital del Rey are also worthy of mention. In the walls of the city are the famous gateway of Santa María, erected for the first entrance of the Emperor Charles V, and the arch of Fernán González.
The diocese has two fine ecclesiastical seminaries. There are also many institutions for secular education. Schools are maintained in every diocese, the Instituto Provincial, and many colleges are conducted by private individuals, religious orders and nuns both cloistered and uncloistered.

Church of Santa Águeda, commonly called Santa Gadea

Main article: Burgos Cathedral Burgos cathedral

Main article: Las HuelgasBurgos Monasterio de las Huelgas
A very beautiful and life-like statue of St. Bruno carved in wood is one of the treasures of the monastery; the stalls in the church also display exquisite workmanship. The mausoleum of King John II and of his wife Isabel, in this monastery, is constructed of the finest marble and so delicately carved that portions seem to be sculptured in wax rather than stone. Around the top are beautiful statues of angels in miniature, which might be the work of Phidias. The French soldiers in the War of Independence (1814) mutilated this beautiful work, cutting off some of the heads and carrying them away to France.
The Carthusian monastery of Miraflores, noted for its strict observance, is situated about four kilometres from the historic city center. The mausoleum of King John II and of his wife Isabel, in this monastery, is carved of alabaster.

Cartuja de Miraflores
The sister city of Burgos is Bruges, a city on the cost of Flanders. Both cities want to work together especially on culture, tourism and economy.
The mayors of the Flemish Bruges and Burgos signed a treaty on 29 January 2007 in the Bruges' city hall for future cooperation. This engagement could be seen as a prologue on the opening of the exhibition Comeliness and Madness. This exhibition on Philip the Handsome opened recently in the Casa del Cordón in Burgos where the monarch died. On 30 January 2007 the exhibition opened in Bruges, the city where Philip the Handsome was born and where the urn with his hearth is kept in Onthaalkerk O.L.V. (the Church of Our Lady).

See also

Monday, October 22, 2007

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador
Twillingate is a town of about 3,000 inhabitants situated on two neighbouring islands in northern Newfoundland. Its name comes from the French word "Toulinquet" which was given to the islands by French fishermen, who named them after a group of islands off the French coast, near Brest, also called Toulinquet.
Twillingate is at the mouth of the Exploits River where it flows into Notre Dame Bay. The islands provided an excellent sheltered harbour and easy access to the rich fishing grounds nearby. In recent years a causeway has been built connecting it to the mainland via New World Island.
Twillingate was probably used as a seasonal fishing port during the 15th and 16th centuries, but there were no recorded European settlers until the 17th century. The native Beothuk managed to survive until the early 19th century in small numbers near Twillingate and the mouth of the Exploits River. By the winter of 1739, there were 152 people - the "livyers" or permanent settlers - living in Twillingate. They were mostly fishermen and their families from the West Country in England.
As the population grew, Twillingate became an important fishing community - the "Capital of the North." It was a busy trade and service centre for Labrador and the northern shore fisheries for more than two centuries.
One of the most prominent historical events of Twillingate history was its local newspaper - The Twillingate Sun which served the Twillingate district from the 1880's to 1950's.
The Sun was a robust and professional newspaper that covered not just local & provincial but international news as well.
Since the moratorium on fishing northern cod was announced on July 2, 1992, Twillingate has been forced to look to the tourist industry for income and is becoming a popular spot for visitors in the summer. It is now being promoted as the "Iceberg Capital of the World".
Twillingate is home to a popular summer festival, called the "Fish Fun and Folk Festival". Many tourists from around the world come to take part in the events and concerts held annually.
The "Fish Fun and Folk Festival" is usually held in the last part of July and has many fun things to do including booths and games at the stadium, entertainment on Thursday & Friday nights, gospel concerts, the ever-popular Split Peas concert, and many more things that are great for the entire family. The festival invites many tourists to the beautiful town and ends with a massive fireworks display.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Neal Heaton (born March 3, 1960 in South Ozone Park, New York) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Yankees from 1982 to 1993.
Heaton was drafted by the Indians in the 2nd round of the 1981 amateur draft from the University of Miami. He was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1990 with the Pirates. In his 12-season career, he posted a 80-96 record with 699 strikeouts and a 4.37 ERA in 1507.0 innings pitched.

Cleveland Indians (1982-1986)
Minnesota Twins (1986)
Montreal Expos (1987-1988)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1989-1991)
Kansas City Royals (1992)
Milwaukee Brewers (1992)
New York Yankees (1993)
All-Star (NL): 1990 Neal Heaton See also

Montreal Expos all-time roster

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York, New York, U.S.A. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Playing their home games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers are one of the oldest teams in the NHL, and are part of the group of teams referred to as the Original Six. The Rangers have won the Stanley Cup four times.

Franchise history
In 1925, the New York Americans joined the National Hockey League, playing in Madison Square Garden. The Amerks proved to be an even greater success than expected, leading Garden president Tex Rickard to go after a team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they would be the only hockey team to play there.
Rickard was granted a franchise, which he originally planned to name the New York Giants. However, the New York press soon nicknamed his team "Tex's Rangers", and the new name stuck. Rickard managed to get future legendary Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe to assemble the team. However, Smythe had a falling-out with Rickard's hockey man, Col. John S. Hammond, and was fired as manager-coach on the eve of the first season — he was paid a then-hefty $2500 to leave the Big Apple. Smythe was replaced by Pacific Coast Hockey Association co-founder Lester Patrick, but kept all of the players Smythe had assembled. The new team turned out to be a winner. The Rangers won the American Division title their first year but lost to the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. To this day, these Rangers were one of the most successful teams in the history of the NHL. The team's early success led to players becoming minor celebrities and fixtures in New York City's Roaring 20's nightlife.

Early years
In only their second season, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Maroons three games to two. One of the most memorable stories that emerged from the Finals involved Patrick suiting up in goal at the ripe age of 44. At the time, teams were not required to dress a backup goaltender so when the Rangers' regular goaltender, Lorne Chabot, went down with an eye injury, Maroons head coach Eddie Gerard vetoed his original choice for a replacement (who was Alex Connell, another NHL goalie of the old Ottawa Senators, who was in attendance for the game). An angry Patrick lined up between the pipes for two periods in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals, allowing one goal to Maroons' center Nels Stewart. Frank Boucher would score the game-winner in overtime to seal victory for New York. An expansion team would not come this far this fast in North American professional sports until the Philadelphia Atoms won the North American Soccer League title in their first year of existence.

1927-28 Stanley Cup
After a loss to the Bruins in the 1928-29 finals and a few mediocre seasons in the early 1930s, the Rangers, led by brothers Bill and Bun Cook on the right and left wings, respectively, and Frank Boucher at center, would defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1932-33 best-of-five finals, three games to one, to win their second Stanley Cup, exacting revenge on the Leafs' "Kid line" of Busher Jackson, Joe Primeau, and Charlie Conacher. The Rangers would spend the rest of the 1930s playing close to .500 hockey until their next Cup win. Lester Patrick stepped down as Head Coach and handed the reins to Frank Boucher.

1932-33 Stanley Cup
In 1939-40, the Rangers finished the regular season in second place behind the Boston Bruins. The two teams would square off in the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins gained a two-games-to-one series lead from the Rangers until they stormed back winning three straight games to hold off the first-place Bruins. The Rangers eventually won the best-of-seven series, four games to two. Their first-round victory gave the Rangers a bye until the finals. The Detroit Red Wings disposed of the New York Americans in their first round best-of-three series two games to one (even as the Americans had analytical and notorious ex-Bruins star Eddie Shore) and the Toronto Maple Leafs ousted the Chicago Black Hawks two games to none. The Maple Leafs and Red Wings would play a best-of-three series to determine who would go on to play the Rangers in the Cup finals. The Maple Leafs swept the Red Wings and the Finals match-up was determined. The 1939-40 Stanley Cup Finals started in Madison Square Garden in New York. The first two games went to the Rangers. In game one the Rangers needed overtime to gain a 1-0 series lead and won game two quite handily with a 6-2 victory. The series then headed north to Toronto with the Maple Leafs winning the next two games on home ice, thereby tying the series 2-2. In games five and six the Rangers won both contests in overtime and won the series four games to two over the Maple Leafs to earn their third Stanley Cup.
The Rangers would collapse by the mid-1940s, losing games by as much as 15-0 and having one goaltender with a 6.20 goals-against average. They would miss the playoffs for five consecutive seasons before squeaking into the fourth and final playoff spot in 1948. They lost the first round and would miss the playoffs again in 1949. In the 1950 finals the Rangers were forced to play all of their games on the road (home games in Toronto) while the circus was at the Garden. They would end up losing to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime in the seventh game of the finals, despite a stellar first-round performance as underdogs to the Montreal Canadiens.
During this time, Red Wings owner James E. Norris became the largest stockholder in the Garden. However, he did not buy controlling interest in the arena, which would have violated the NHL's rule against one person owning more than one team. Nonetheless, he had enough support on the board to exercise de facto control.

1939-40 Stanley Cup
The Rangers remained a mark of futility in the NHL for several years, missing the playoffs in 12 of the next 16 years. However, the team was rejuvenated in the late 1960s, symbolized by moving into a newly-rebuilt Madison Square Garden in 1968. A year earlier, they made the playoffs for the first time in five years on the strength of rookie goaltender Eddie Giacomin, and acquired 1950s Montreal Canadiens star right wing Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion.
The Blueshirts made the Finals twice in the 1970s, but lost both times to two '70s powerhouses; the Boston Bruins in 1972, in six games, who were led by such stars as Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, Johnny Bucyk, and Wayne Cashman; and in 1979, in five games to the Habs, who had Bob Gainey, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Guy Lapointe, and Serge Savard. This time the Blueshirts had "Espo", but it didn't matter; the Habs looked clearly dominant.
By 1972, the Rangers reached the Stanley Cup finals despite losing high-scoring center Jean Ratelle (who had been on track over Bruin Phil Esposito to become the first Ranger since Bryan Hextall in 1942 to lead the NHL in scoring) to injury during the stretch drive of the regular season. The strength of people like Brad Park, Ratelle, Vic Hadfield, and Rod Gilbert (the last three constructing the famed "GAG line", meaning "goal-a-game") would still carry them through the playoffs. They would defeat the defending champion Canadiens in the first round and the Chicago Blackhawks in the second, but lost to Boston in the finals.
The Rangers played a legendary semifinal series with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1973-74 playoffs. This series was noted for a game seven fight between Dave Schultz of the Flyers and Dale Rolfe of the Rangers. Schultz pummeled Rolfe without anyone on the Rangers lifting a finger to protect him (the GAG line was on the ice at the time). This lead to the belief that the Rangers of that period were soft - especially when taking into account the bullying endured by the Rangers during the 1972 finals. One example is Rod Gilbert's beating at the hands of Derek Sanderson of the Bruins.
Their new rivals, the New York Islanders, who entered the league in 1972 after paying a huge territorial fee — some $4 million — to the Rangers, were their first-round opponent in 1975. After splitting the first two games, the Islanders defeated the more established Rangers, eleven seconds into overtime of the deciding game three, establishing a rivalry that continued to grow for years after.
After some off years in the mid-to-late 1970s, they picked up Esposito and Carol Vadnais from the Bruins for Park, Ratelle and Joe Zanussi in 1975. Swedish stars Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson jumped to the Rangers from the maverick World Hockey Association. And in 1979 they defeated the surging Islanders in the semi-finals and would return to the finals again before bowing out to the Canadiens. The Islanders got their revenge however, eliminating the Rangers in four consecutive playoff series' starting in 1981 en route to their second of four consecutive Stanley Cup titles.
The Rangers stayed competitive through the 1980s and early 1990s, making the playoffs each year except for one but never going very far. An exception was 1985-86, when the Rangers, behind rookie goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, upended the Patrick Division winner Philadelphia Flyers in a decisive fifth game followed by a six-game win over the Washington Capitals in the Patrick Division Finals. Montreal disposed of the Rangers in the Wales Conference Finals behind a rookie goaltender of their own, Patrick Roy. The Blueshirts acquired superstar center Marcel Dionne after almost 12 years as a Los Angeles King the next year. In 1988, Dionne moved into third place in career goals scored (since bettered by Brett Hull). But Dionne's always-churning legs started to slow the next year, thereby ensuring that his goals came further and further apart. "Because you love the game so much, you think it will never end," said Dionne, who spent nine games in the minors before retiring in 1989. He would only played 49 playoff games in 17 seasons with the Rangers, Kings and Detroit Red Wings.
Still, the many playoff failures convinced Rangers fans that this was a manifestation of the Curse of 1940, which is said to either have begun when the Rangers' management burnt the mortgage to Madison Square Garden in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after the 1940 victory, or by Red Dutton following the collapse of the New York Americans franchise. In the early 1980s, Islander fans began chanting "1940! 1940!" to taunt the Rangers. Fans in other cities soon picked up the chant.
Frustration was at its peak when the 1991-92 squad captured the Presidents' Trophy. They took a 2-1 series lead on the defending champ Pittsburgh Penguins and then faltered in three straight (most observers note a Ron Francis slapshot from the blue line that eluded Mike Richter as the series' turning point). The following year a 1-11 finish landed the Rangers in the Patrick Division cellar. Coach Roger Neilson did not finish the season. The off-season hiring of controversial head coach Mike Keenan was criticized by many who pointed out Keenan's 0-3 record in the finals.

The post-Original Six era
The 1993-94 season was a magical one for Rangers fans, as Keenan led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years. Two years prior, they picked up center Mark Messier, who was an integral part of the Edmonton Oilers' Cup-winning teams. Adam Graves, who also defected from the Oilers, joined the Rangers as well. Other ex-Oilers on the Blueshirts included trade deadline acquisitions Craig MacTavish (now Oilers head coach) and Glenn Anderson. Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov were a solid 1-2 punch on defence. In fact, Zubov led the team in scoring that season with 89 points, and continued to be an all-star defenceman throughout his career. Graves would set a team record with 52 goals, breaking the old record of 50 held by Vic Hadfield. This record would later be broken by Jaromir Jagr on April 8, 2006 against the Boston Bruins.
After clinching the Presidents' Trophy by finishing with the best record in the NHL at 52-24-8, setting a franchise record with 112 points, the Rangers were pitted against their division rival, the eighth-seeded Islanders, in the first round of the playoffs. The Islanders proved to be little competition, as they were swept in four games by an aggregate score of 22-3. Rangers goaltender Mike Richter earned a pair of shutouts in the series, while supposed Islander upgrade Ron Hextall had a 5.50 GAA to Richter's 0.75. In the second round, the Washington Capitals were dismissed in five games, which set the stage for a matchup with a third division rival, the New Jersey Devils, in the Conference Finals. Despite a 0-6 regular season record against the Rangers, the Devils took them to a full seven games. The series was highlighted by three dramatic multiple overtime games, in which the Rangers were victorious in two. Stephane Matteau scored both of those overtime goals, the first coming during game three at 6:13 of the second overtime period. However, after the fifth game, the Rangers trailed in the series 3-2, and, facing elimination, captain Mark Messier boldly guaranteed a victory in game six back at the Meadowlands in New Jersey—
The Stanley Cup Finals pitted the Rangers against the upstart Vancouver Canucks who were the seventh seed in the Western Conference. After dropping game one in overtime 3-2, largely due to Canucks' goaltender Kirk McLean's 52-save performance, the Rangers came back to win the next three games to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Rangers lost game five in New York and then Game 6 in Vancouver, forcing another seventh game at Madison Square Garden. There, the Rangers would finally prevail. Goals from Leetch, Graves, and Messier beat Vancouver captain Trevor Linden's pair of markers and sealed the seventh game with a 3-2 victory, clinching the Rangers' first Stanley Cup win in 54 years. Leetch became the first American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, the first non-Canadian to win it, and Messier became the first Ranger captain to hoist the Cup on Garden ice, as well as the first player in NHL history to captain two different teams to a Stanley Cup.

1993-94 Stanley Cup: The Ending of The Curse
Despite having coached the Rangers to a regular season first place finish and the Stanley Cup, head coach Mike Keenan left after a dispute with General Manager Neil Smith. During the 1994-95 lockout shortened season, the Rangers struggled to find their form and lost in the second round of the playofs. They snuck in with the 8th seed and defeated Quebec in the first round, but they were swept by Philadelphia in the 2nd round. Succeeding Rangers coach Colin Campbell orchestrated a deal that sent Sergei Zubov and center Petr Nedved to Pittsburgh in exchange for defenceman Ulf Samuelsson and left winger Luc Robitaille in the summer of 1995.
The Rangers landed an aging Wayne Gretzky in 1996, but even with The Great One, they would fizzle out. Their 1994 stars were aging and many retired or dropped off in performance. Gretzky's greatest accomplishment was leading them to the 1997 Eastern Conference finals, where they lost 4-1 to the Eric Lindros-led Philadelphia Flyers. After General Manager Neil Smith ran Messier, a former Oiler teammate of Gretzky's, out of town in the summer of 1997 and failed in a bid to replace him with Colorado Avalanche superstar Joe Sakic,

1994-2004: expensive acquistions
Towards the end of the 2003-04 season Sather finally gave in to a rebuilding process by trading away Leetch, Kovalev, and eight others for numerous prospects and draft picks. With the retirements of Bure and Messier and Lindros signing with the Maple Leafs, the post-lockout Rangers, under new head coach Tom Renney, moved away from high-priced veterans towards a group of talented young players, such as Petr Prucha, Dominic Moore, and Blair Betts. However, the focus of the team remained on veteran superstar Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers were expected to struggle during the 2005-06 season for their eighth consecutive season out of the postseason. For example, Sports Illustrated declared them the worst team in the league in their season preview,

2005-present: post lockout success
This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Rangers. For the full season-by-season history, see New York Rangers seasons
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes
Records as of May 6, 2007 As of the 2005-06 NHL season, all games will have a winner; the OTL column includes shootout losses.

Season-by-season record

Notable players
As of August 10, 2007. [1]

New York Rangers Current roster


Andy Bathgate, C, 1952-63, inducted 1978
Doug Bentley, LW, 1953-54, inducted 1964
Max Bentley, C, 1953,54, inducted 1966
Frank Boucher, C, 1926-44, inducted 1958
Johnny Bower, G,53-54, inducted 1976
Neil Colville, C, 1936-49, inducted 1967
Bill Cook, RW, 1926-37, inducted 1952
Bun Cook, LW, 1926-36, inducted 1995
Art Coulter, D, 1935-42, inducted 1974
Dick Duff, LW, 1964-65, inducted 2006
Phil Esposito, C, 1975-81, inducted 1984
Marcel Dionne, LW, 1986-89, inducted 1992
Bill Gadsby, D, 1954-61, inducted 1970
Mike Gartner, RW, 1990-94, inducted 2001
Bernie Geoffrion, RW, 1966-68, inducted 1972
Eddie Giacomin, G, 1965-75, inducted 1987
Rod Gilbert, RW, 1960-78, inducted 1982
Wayne Gretzky, C, 1996-99, inducted 1999
Doug Harvey, D, 1961-62, 1963-64, inducted 1973
Bryan Hextall, LW, 1936-48, inducted 1969
Tim Horton, D, 1970-71, inducted 1977
Harry Howell, D, 1952-69, inducted 1979
Bobby Hull, LW, 1981, inducted 1983
Ching Johnson, D, 1926-37, inducted 1958
Jari Kurri, LW, 1996, inducted 2001
Guy Lafleur, RW, 1988-89, inducted 1988
Pat LaFontaine, C, 1997-98, inducted 2003
Edgar Laprade, D, 1945-55, inducted 1993
Harry Lumley, G, 1943, inducted 1980
Mark Messier, C, 1991-1997, 2000-2005, inducted 2007
Howie Morenz, C, 1935-36, inducted 1945
Buddy O'Connor, C, 1947-51, inducted 1988
Brad Park, D, 1968-75, inducted 1988
Lynn Patrick, LW, 1934-43, 1945-46, inducted 1980
Jacques Plante, G, 1963-65, inducted 1978
Babe Pratt, D, 1936-42, inducted 1966
Jean Ratelle, LW, 1960-75, inducted 1985
Chuck Rayner, G, 1945-55, inducted 1973
Glen Sather, LW, 1970-73, inducted 1997
Terry Sawchuk, G, 1969-70, inducted 1971
Babe Siebert, LW, 1932-35, inducted 1964
Earl Siebert, D, 1931-36, inducted 1963
Allan Stanley, D, 1948-54, inducted 1981
Clint Smith, C, 1937-43, inducted 1991
Gump Worsley, G, 1952-63, inducted 1980
Herb Brooks, Coach, 1981-85, inducted 2006
Emile Francis, inducted 1982
William Jennings, inducted 1974
Roger Neilson, Coach, 1989-93, inducted 2002
Craig Patrick, inducted 2001
Lester Patrick, inducted 1945
Lynn Patrick, inducted 1980 Hall-of-Famers

Bill Cook, 1926-37
Art Coulter, 1937-42
Ott Heller, 1942-45
Neil Colville, 1945-49
Buddy O'Connor, 1949-50
Frank Eddolls, 1950-51
Allan Stanley, 1951-53
Don Raleigh, 1953-55
Harry Howell, 1955-57
George Sullivan, 1957-61
Andy Bathgate, 1961-64
Camille Henry, 1964-65
Bob Nevin, 1965-71
Vic Hadfield, 1971-74
Brad Park, 1974-75
Phil Esposito, 1975-78
Dave Maloney, 1978-80
Walt Tkaczuk, 1980-81
Barry Beck, 1981-86
Ron Greschner, 1986-87
Kelly Kisio, 1987-91
Mark Messier, 1991-97
Brian Leetch, 1997-2000
Mark Messier, 2000-05
no captain, 2005-06
Jaromir Jagr, 2006-present New York Rangers Team captains

1963: Al Osborne (4th overall)
1964: Bob Graham (3rd overall)
1965: Andre Veilleux (1st overall)
1966: Brad Park (2nd overall)
1967: Bob Dickson (6th overall)
1968: none
1969: Andre Dupont (8th overall) & Pierre Jarry (12th)
1970: Norm Gratton (11th overall)
1971: Steve Vickers (10th overall) & Steve Durbano (13th)
1972: Al Blanchard (10th overall) & Bob MacMillan (15th)
1973: Rick Middleton (14th overall)
1974: Dave Maloney (14th overall)
1975: Wayne Dillon (12th overall)
1976: Don Murdoch (6th overall)
1977: Lucien DeBlois (8th overall) & Ron Duguay (13th)
1978: none
1979: Doug Sulliman (13th overall)
1980: Jim Malone (14th overall)
1981: James Patrick (9th overall)
1982: Chris Kontos (15th overall)
1983: Dave Gagner (12th overall)
1984: Terry Carkner (14th overall)
1985: Ulf Dahlen (7th overall)
1986: Brian Leetch (9th overall)
1987: Jayson More (10th overall)
1988: none
1989: Steven Rice (20th overall)
1990: Michael Stewart (13th overall)
1991: Alexei Kovalev (15th overall)
1992: Peter Ferraro (24th overall)
1993: Niklas Sundstrom (8th overall)
1994: Dan Cloutier (26th overall)
1995: none
1996: Jeff Brown (22nd overall)
1997: Stefan Cherneski (19th overall)
1998: Manny Malhotra (7th overall)
1999: Pavel Brendl (4th overall) & Jamie Lundmark (9th)
2000: none
2001: Dan Blackburn (10th overall)
2002: none
2003: Hugh Jessiman (12th overall)
2004: Al Montoya (6th overall) & Lauri Korpikoski (19th)
2005: Marc Staal (12th overall)
2006: Bob Sanguinetti (21st overall)
2007: Alexei Cherepanov (17th overall) First-round draft picks

1 Eddie Giacomin, G, 1965-75: Number retired on March 15, 1989
7 Rod Gilbert, RW, 1961-78: Number retired on October 14, 1979
11 Mark Messier, LW/C, 1991-97 & 2000-05: Number retired on January 12, 2006
35 Mike Richter, G, 1989-2003: Number retired on February 4, 2004
99 Wayne Gretzky, C, 1996-99: Number retired league-wide by NHL on February 6, 2000 (No official banner at Madison Square Garden) Retired numbers

Most goals, season - Jaromir Jagr (2005-06) - 54
Most assists, season - Brian Leetch (1991-92) - 80
Most points, season - Jaromir Jagr (2005-06) - 123
Most points (defenseman), season - Brian Leetch (1991-92) - 102
Most points (rookie), season - Mark Pavelich (1981-82) - 76
Most power play goals, season - Jaromir Jagr (2005-06) - 24
Most game-winning goals, season - Jaromir Jagr (2005-06), Mark Messier (1996-1997) and Don Murdoch (1980-1981) - 9
Most shots on goal, season - Jaromir Jagr (2005-06) - 368
Most Penalty Minutes, season - Troy Mallette (1989-90) - 305
Most wins by goaltender, season - Mike Richter (1993-94) - 42
Most wins by rookie goaltender, season - Henrik Lundqvist (2005-06) - 30 Team records

For more details on this topic, see New York Rangers Records. Franchise scoring leaders
The following lists the league awards which have been won by the Rangers team and its players:
John Davidson: 2003-04
Jean Ratelle: 1971-72
Mark Messier: 1991-92
Jaromir Jagr: 2005-06
Michal Rozsival: 2005-06 (shared with Wade Redden of the Ottawa Senators)
Dave Kerr: 1939-40
Eddie Giacomin & Gilles Villemure: 1970-71
John Vanbiesbrouck: 1985-86 See also