30 July 2010


First came the 50 State Quarters - one coin for each state, issued five per year from 1999 through 2008, in the order in which the states were admitted to the Union. Then, as something of an afterthought, came six more quarters in 2009, one for Washington DC and one for each of the five current US territories, issued in order of acquisition (DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas).

Now there's another set of quarters - the America the Beautiful set: 56 coins, again one for each state or territory (plus DC), this time each featuring a National Park, National Historic Park or other site. Five will be issued each year from 2010 through 2020, with the 56th to be issued on its own in 2021. The order will be based on the date the site was established, this year's five being Hot Springs National Park (AR, 1832), Yellowstone National Park (WY, 1872), Yosemite National Park (CA, 1890), Grand Canyon National Park (AZ, 1893) and Mount Hood National Forest (OR, 1893).

All of these quarters have George Washington on the obverse. The Washington quarter was first issued in 1932, the 200th anniversary of his birth, replacing the old Standing Liberty quarter; originally the coins were minted in silver, but since 1965 they've been made of nickel-plated copper ("Johnson slugs," as we used to call them when vending machines wouldn't accept them because of their lighter weight). Prior to 1999, the reverse design (except for the Bicentennial quarters of 1975 and 1976) was an eagle.

Other coins have gone through various special designs recently, too. In fact, the Roosevelt dime and the Kennedy half dollar are the only ones which haven't. Two different designs appeared on the reverse of the nickel* in 2004, and two more in 2005, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. (The nickel was chosen for these special designs because Thomas Jefferson has appeared on the obverse since 1938, and it was he who sent Lewis and Clark out on their mission.)

In 2009, the penny - officially the one-cent piece - appeared with four different reverse designs showing stages in the life of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln cent had a reverse design featuring wheat ears from its appearance in 1909 through 1958; from 1959 through 2008 it showed the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC. This year it has a new design, with a Union shield; I really like the shield, but it doesn't alter my opinion that the government just needs to do away with pennies altogether.

The 'gold' dollar coins have also been going through various designs. The Presidential series began in 2007; four coins each year, each with the portrait of a different president, from Washington through whomever. (There are certain rules regarding which of the most recent presidents can appear on coins.) Paralleling these are the First Spouse gold $10 coins (real gold, this time), also at a rate of four per year beginning in 2007. This year's coins honour Millard and Abigail Fillmore, Franklin and Jane Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Since Buchanan was not married,** the $10 coin issued alongside his dollar will show a replica of the Liberty Head quarter-eagle ($5 gold coin) issued during his presidency.

There's another one-dollar coin, as well - the Native American (or Sacagawea) 'gold' dollar, which first appeared in 2000. Up through 2008 the reverse showed an eagle, but beginning last year it carries a new design each year, showing high points in American Indian history. The coins are being released in chronological order of the events depicted; the 2009 design showed an Indian woman planting the "three sisters" (corn, beans and squash), and this year's design shows a belt of wampum and five arrows commemorating the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy in the early 1400s. (The five arrows represent the five original Iroquois tribes, the Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga.)

* When I was a kid, I was taught that "nickel" was the metal, while the coin was a "nickle," but no one seems to make that distinction any more.

** His niece, Harriet
Lane, fulfilled the social duties of the First Lady.

25 July 2010

Victoria Cross: W. A. Bloomfield


Captain, Scouts Corps, South African Mounted Brigade

Born: 30 January 1873, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 12 May 1954, Ermelo, South Africa

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery. Finding that, after being heavily attacked in an advanced and isolated position [at Mlali, German East Africa, on 24 August 1916], the enemy were working round his flanks, Captain Bloomfield evacuated his wounded, and subsequently withdrew his command to a new position, he himself being amongst the last to retire.
On arrival at the new position he found that one of the wounded - No. 2475 Corporal D. M. P. Bowker - had been left behind. Owing to very heavy fire he experienced difficulties in having the wounded Corporal brought in.
Rescue meant passing over some 400 yards of open ground, swept by heavy fire, in full view of the enemy.
This task Captain Bloomfield determined to face himself, and, unmindful of personal danger, he succeeded in reaching Corporal Bowker and carrying him back, subjected throughout the double journey to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire.
This act showed the highest degree of valour and endurance.

[London Gazette issue 29885 dtd 30 Dec 1916, published 29 Dec 1916.]

Note: Mlali is located in the central portion of what is now Tanzania.

Medal of Honor: A. Miller


First Lieutenant, 6th US Cavalry

Born: 1878, Fort Sheridan, Illinois
Died: 28 May 1921, near Indian Head, Maryland

Citation: While in action against hostile Moros [at Patian Island, Philippine Islands, on 2 July 1909], when the machinegun detachment, having been driven from its position by a heavy fire, 1 member being killed, did, with the assistance of an enlisted man, place the machinegun in advance of its former position at a distance of about 20 yards from the enemy, in accomplishing which he was obliged to splice a piece of timber to one leg of the gun tripod, all the while being under a heavy fire, and the gun tripod being several times struck by bullets.

22 July 2010

Pi Approximation Day


Happy Day!

22/7 = 3.14286
π = 3.14159

19 July 2010

RIP: Nick Bacon

Nicky D Bacon
25 Nov 1945 - 17 Jul 2010

ZUI this article from todaysthv.com:
Nick Bacon, U.S. Army First Sergeant Retired, and Arkansas' last living recipient of the Medal of Honor died Saturday morning, at the age of 64 after a long fought battle with cancer.


He served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1984 and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Nixon for his heroic efforts west of Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam on August 26, 1968 while serving as Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army's 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. ... Nick also received the Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and Purple Heart.


Nicky Daniel Bacon was born November 25, 1945 in Caraway, Arkansas to a farm family of six children. His family moved to Arizona when he was a child. There, at the age of 17, he joined the Army. After retiring from the military, he returned to Arizona and worked for the VA Regional Office in Phoenix. Following a stint working for John McCain's U.S. Senate campaign, he became City Manager of Surprise, Arizona. He moved back to Arkansas in 1990. He most recently lived in Rose Bud. Nick leaves behind his wife Tamera Ann, several children and grandchildren.

************* *** *************


Staff Sergeant, US Army; Company B, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division

Born: 25 November 1945, Caraway, Arkansas
Died: 17 Jul 2010, Rose Bud, Arkansas

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Bacon distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with the 1st Platoon, Company B, during an operation west of Tam Ky [on 26 August 1968]. When Company B came under fire from an enemy bunker line to the front, S/Sgt. Bacon quickly organized his men and led them forward in an assault. He advanced on a hostile bunker and destroyed it with grenades. As he did so, several fellow soldiers including the 1st Platoon leader, were struck by machine gun fire and fell wounded in an exposed position forward of the rest of the platoon. S/Sgt. Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. When the 3d Platoon moved to S/Sgt. Bacon's location, its leader was also wounded. Without hesitation S/Sgt. Bacon took charge of the additional platoon and continued the fight. In the ensuing action he personally killed 4 more enemy soldiers and silenced an antitank weapon. Under his leadership and example, the members of both platoons accepted his authority without question. Continuing to ignore the intense hostile fire, he climbed up on the exposed deck of a tank and directed fire into the enemy position while several wounded men were evacuated. As a result of S/Sgt. Bacon's extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front. S/Sgt. Bacon's bravery at the risk of his life was in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

RIP: Vernon Baker

Vernon J Baker
17 Dec 1919 - 13 Jul 2010

ZUI this article from the Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review:
Vernon Baker, the only living black World War II veteran to receive the Medal of Honor – the nation’s highest commendation for battlefield valor – died at his home south of St. Maries, Idaho, Tuesday. He was 90.

Baker died after a long battle with cancer, family members said.


Baker captured that nation’s heart in 1997 when President Bill Clinton draped the Medal of Honor around the tearful soldier’s neck. This recognition finally came 52 years after Baker led a suicidal assault that helped the Allies breach the Gothic Line and drive the German Army out of northern Italy. His white commander deserted him and his men during that battle.


Vernon Joseph Baker was born in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Dec. 17, 1919. His parents were killed in a car accident when he was four. He and his two older sisters were raised by his grandparents. His grandfather, Joseph S. Baker, was chief brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne and the most influential figure in Vernon’s life. He taught his grandson to shoot a rifle and tasked the young Baker to help feed the family with rabbit and other wild game.

Those hunting skills served Baker in battle and saved him at home. While elk hunting in Idaho in the mid-1990s, he turned to find a mountain lion stalking him. In the receiving line after the Medal of Honor ceremony, President Clinton asked Baker about the fate of the cougar. “Why, it’s in my freezer,” Baker replied. “I’m going to eat him.”


Baker’s fellow soldiers nominated him for the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest honor for battlefield valor, well aware that the white Southerners the Army purposefully put in charge of black troops would not approve the more justly deserved Medal of Honor. White officers, meanwhile, nominated the captain who deserted Baker’s platoon for the Medal of Honor. That captain ultimately didn’t receive it.

Gen. Ned Almond, commander of the 92nd Division, summoned Baker to headquarters after the Distinguished Service Cross nomination reached his desk. Almond ordered Baker to write a detailed report about the battle with the intent of discrediting him. Baker, by then a 1st lieutenant, still received the honor and at the end of World War II was the most highly decorated black soldier in the Mediterranean Theatre with the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Italian Cross of Valor of War and the Polish Cross of Valor.


The Army commissioned a study to learn why no black soldiers received the Medal of Honor in the early 1990s. Baker was skeptical when researchers from Shaw University called. “I just figured it was one of those things somebody dreamed up that would go away,” Baker said, recalling earlier promises to recognize the heroism of black soldiers in World War II.

The deeds of a dozen black World War II veterans were forwarded to an independent Army review board after the study was completed. The panel affirmed the Medal of Honor for seven black soldiers in 1996. By then, Baker was the only survivor.

He was invited to return to Italy in April 1997 by the Italian government on the 52nd anniversary of the battle for Castle Aghinolfi. In village after village, people turned out to honor Baker and celebrate the black soldiers who freed them from the brutal Nazi occupation.

Baker was also reunited with Emelio Bertilini, a teenage partisan who had been wounded while on a mission with Baker in early 1945. The two men embraced in the town square in Monticello. “This is my man,” a joyful Baker said.

************* *** *************


Second Lieutenant, US Army; 370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division

Born: 17 December 1919, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Died: 13 Jul 2010, St Maries, Idaho

Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked and enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

Note: Medal awarded 13 Jan 1997.

18 July 2010

Victoria Cross: P. S. Marling


Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps (late Mounted Infantry)

Born: 6 March 1861, King's Stanley, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Died: 29 May 1936, Stanley Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Citation: For his conspicuous bravery at the battle of Tamai, on 13th March last [1884], in risking his life to save that of Private Morley, Royal Sussex Regiment, who, having been shot, was lifted and placed in front of Lieutenant Marling on his horse. He fell off almost immediately, when Lieutenant Marling dismounted, and gave up his horse for the purpose of carrying off Private Morley, the enemy pressing close on to them until they succeeded in carrying him about 80 yards to a place of comparative safety.

[London Gazette issue 25356 dated 21 May 1884, published 21 May 1884.]

Medal of Honor: A. J. Dyess


Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps Reserve; commanding 1st Battalion, 24th Marines (Rein), 4th Marine Division

Born: 11 January 1909, Augusta, Georgia
Died: 2 February 1944, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines (Rein), 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 and 2 February 1944. Undaunted by severe fire from automatic Japanese weapons, Lt. Col. Dyess launched a powerful final attack on the second day of the assault, unhesitatingly posting himself between the opposing lines to point out objectives and avenues of approach and personally leading the advancing troops. Alert, and determined to quicken the pace of the offensive against increased enemy fire, he was constantly at the head of advance units, inspiring his men to push forward until the Japanese had been driven back to a small center of resistance and victory assured. While standing on the parapet of an antitank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last enemy position, Lt. Col. Dyess was killed by a burst of enemy machinegun fire. His daring and forceful leadership and his valiant fighting spirit in the face of terrific opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Note: Dyess is one of seven Eagle Scouts who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. USS Dyess (DD 880) was named in his honour.

11 July 2010

Victoria Cross: W. G. Cubitt and L. P. Evans


Lieutenant, 13th Bengal Native Infantry

Born: 19 October 1835, Calcutta, India
Died: 25 January 1903, Camberley, Surrey

Citation: For having on the retreat from Chinhut [India], on the 30th of June, 1857, saved the lives of three men of the 32nd Regiment, at the risk of his own.

(London Gazette issue 22278 dated 21 Jun 1859, published 21 Jun 1859.)


Major (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel), The Black Watch; commanding 1st Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment

Born: 3 January 1881, Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales
Died: 30 November 1962

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and leadership. Lt.-Col. Evans took his battalion in perfect order through a terrific enemy barrage [on the 4th October, 1917, near Zonnebeke, Belgium], personally formed up all units, and led them to the assault. While a strong machine gun emplacement was causing casualties, and the troops were working round the flank, Lt.-Col. Evans rushed at it himself and by firing his revolver through the loophole forced the garrison to capitulate.
After capturing the first objective he was severely wounded in the shoulder, but refused to be bandaged, and re-formed the troops, pointed out all future objectives, and again led his battalion forward. Again badly wounded, he nevertheless continued to command until the second objective was won, and, after consolidation, collapsed from loss of blood. As there were numerous casualties, he refused assistance, and by his own efforts ultimately reached the Dressing Station.
His example of cool bravery stimulated in all ranks the highest valour and determination to win.

(London Gazette issue 30400 dated 26 Nov 1917, published 23 Nov 1917.)

Note: Cubitt (Col W G Cubitt VC DSO) was the uncle of Evans (Brig Gen L P Evans VC CB CMG DSO*), and also the brother-in-law of Lt Gen Sir James Hills-Johnes VC GCB.

Medal of Honor: T. J. Hudner, Jr.


Lieutenant (Junior Grade), US Navy; Fighter Squadron 32, aboard USS Leyte (CV 32)

Born: 31 August 1924, Fall River, Massachusetts
Died: TBD

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines [near the Chosin Reservoir, Korea, on 4 December 1950]. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (J.G.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this, he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (J.G.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

04 July 2010

Victoria Cross: N. C. Jackson


Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; 106 Squadron

Born: 8 April 1919, Ealing, London
Died: 26 March 1994, Hampton Hill, London

Citation: This airman was the flight engineer in a Lancaster bomber detailed to attack Schweinfurt on the night of 26th April, 1944. Bombs were dropped successfully and the aircraft was climbing out of the target area. Suddenly it was attacked by a fighter at about 20,000 feet. The captain took evading action at once, but the enemy secured many hits. A fire started near a petrol tank on the upper surface of the starboard wing, between the fuselage and the inner engine.
Sergeant Jackson was thrown to the floor during the engagement. Wounds which he received from shell splinters in the right leg and shoulder were probably sustained at that time. Recovering himself, he remarked that he could deal with the fire on the wing and obtained his captain's permission to try to put out the flames.
Pushing a hand fire-extinguisher into the top of his life-saving jacket and slipping on his parachute pack, Sergeant Jackson jettisoned the escape hatch above the pilot's head. He then started to climb out of the cockpit and back along the top of the fuselage to the starboard wing. Before he could leave the fuselage his parachute pack opened and the whole canopy and rigging lines spilled into the cockpit. Undeterred, Sergeant Jackson continued. The pilot, bomb aimer and navigator gathered the parachute together and held on to the rigging lines, paying them out as the airman crawled aft. Eventually he slipped and, falling from the fuselage to the starboard wing, grasped an air intake on the leading edge of the wing. He succeeded in clinging on but lost the extinguisher, which was blown away.
By this time, the fire had spread rapidly and Sergeant Jackson was involved. His face, hands and clothing were severely burnt. Unable to retain his hold, he was swept through the flames and over the trailing edge of the wing, dragging his parachute behind. When last seen it was only partly inflated and was burning in a number of places.
Realising that the fire could not be controlled, the captain gave the order to abandon aircraft. Four of the remaining members of the crew landed safely. The captain and rear gunner have not been accounted for.
Sergeant Jackson was unable to control his descent and landed heavily. He sustained a broken ankle, his right eye was closed through burns and his hands were useless. These injuries, together with the wounds received earlier, reduced him to a pitiable state. At daybreak he crawled to the nearest village, where he was taken prisoner. He bore the intense pain and discomfort of the journey to Dulag Luft with magnificent fortitude. After 10 months in hospital he made a good recovery, though his hands require further treatment and are only of limited use.
This airman's attempt to extinguish the fire and save the aircraft and crew from falling into enemy hands was an act of outstanding gallantry. To venture outside, when travelling at 200 miles an hour, at a great height and in intense cold, was an almost incredible feat. Had he succeeded in subduing the flames, there was little or no prospect of his regaining the cockpit. The spilling of his parachute and the risk of grave damage to its canopy reduced his chances of survival to a minimum. By his ready willingness to face these dangers he set an example of self-sacrifice which will ever be remembered.

(London Gazette Issue 37324 dated 26 Oct 1945, published 23 Oct 1945.)

Medal of Honor: R. N. Antrim


Commander (then Lieutenant), US Navy; USS Pope (DD 225) (prisoner of war)

Born: 17 December 1907, Peru, Indiana
Died: 7 March 1969, Mountain Home, Arkansas

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while interned as a prisoner of war of the enemy Japanese in the city of Makassar, Celebes, Netherlands East Indies, in April 1942. Acting instantly on behalf of a naval officer who was subjected to a vicious clubbing by a frenzied Japanese guard venting his insane wrath upon the helpless prisoner, Comdr. (then Lt.) Antrim boldly intervened, attempting to quiet the guard and finally persuading him to discuss the charges against the officer. With the entire Japanese force assembled and making extraordinary preparations for the threatened beating, and with the tension heightened by 2,700 Allied prisoners rapidly closing in, Comdr. Antrim courageously appealed to the fanatic enemy, risking his own life in a desperate effort to mitigate the punishment. When the other had been beaten unconscious by 15 blows of a hawser and was repeatedly kicked by 3 soldiers to a point beyond which he could not survive, Comdr. Antrim gallantly stepped forward and indicated to the perplexed guards that he would take the remainder of the punishment, throwing the Japanese completely off balance in their amazement and eliciting a roar of acclaim from the suddenly inspired Allied prisoners. By his fearless leadership and valiant concern for the welfare of another, he not only saved the life of a fellow officer and stunned the Japanese into sparing his own life but also brought about a new respect for American officers and men and a great improvement in camp living conditions. His heroic conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon Comdr. Antrim and the U.S. Naval Service.

02 July 2010

"Camouflage People"

Sweet thoughts from a child.

H/T to Tam.

Medals of Honor recommended for Afghanistan

ZUI this article from the Washington Post:
The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.

The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men.

It is possible that the White House could honor the soldier's heroism with a decoration other than the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor.


The nomination comes after several years of complaints from lawmakers, military officers and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that the Pentagon had become so cautious that only troops whose bravery resulted in death were being considered for the Medal of Honor. Gates "finds it impossible to believe that there is no one who has performed a valorous act deserving of the Medal of Honor who has lived to tell about it," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell, who declined to comment on specific nominations.

George W. Bush similarly lamented during the latter days of his second term as president that he had never had an opportunity to present the award to a living recipient.


There are at least three Medal of Honor nominations, including the one at the White House, working through the system. The three nominees served in sparsely populated valleys in eastern Afghanistan that U.S. troops have abandoned in recent years.

The valleys, which are within 30 miles of each other, are dominated by treacherous, mountainous terrain that frequently allowed enemy fighters to move within close range of U.S. forces before launching their attack. The remote nature of the valleys meant that troops often had to fight for an hour before attack helicopters arrived on the scene to drive back the enemy.

It is perhaps worth noting that of the four Victoria Crosses (including one Victoria Cross for New Zealand and on Victoria Cross for Australia) awarded for Iraq and Afghanistan, three went to living recipients.

01 July 2010

Carnegie Medal books

Having finished reading the Newbery Medal winners, I'm continuing with the books which have been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal - the British equivalent of the Newbery Medal, now awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

The medal was first awarded in 1937, for the best children's book of 1936, but there have been three years when no book was considered suitable, so there are only 71 winners thus far. In addition to the gold medal, the winner receives £500 worth of books to donate to a library of his/her/their choice.

Here's the list. (Dates marked in red indicate the six books I had already read before last year; dates in purple indicate the ones I've read since.)

1936: Pigeon Post, by Arthur Ransome
1937: The Family from One End Street, by Eve Garnett
1938: The Circus is Coming (aka Circus Shoes), by Noel Streatfield
1939: Radium Woman, by Eleanor Doorly
1940: Visitors from London, by Kitty Barne
1941: We Couldn't Leave Dinah, by Mary Treadgold
1942: The Little Grey Men, by 'BB' (D J Watkins-Pitchford)
1943: Prize withheld as no book was considered suitable
1944: The Wind on the Moon, by Eric Linklater
1945: Prize withheld as no book was considered suitable
1946: The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge
1947: Collected Stories for Children, Walter De La Mare
1948: Sea Change, by Richard Armstrong
1949: The Story of Your Home, by Agnes Allen
1950: The Lark on the Wing, by Elfrida Vipont Foulds
1951: The Woolpack, by Cynthia Harnett
1952: The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
1953: A Valley Grows Up, by Edward Osmond
1954: Knight Crusader, by Ronald Welch (Felton Ronald Oliver)
1955: The Little Bookroom, by Eleanor Farjeon
1956: The Last Battle, by C S Lewis
1957: A Grass Rope, by William Mayne
1958: Tom's Midnight Garden, by Philipa Pearce
1959: The Lantern Bearers, by Rosemary Sutcliff
1960: The Making of Man, by Dr I W Cornwall
1961: A Stranger at Green Knowe, by Lucy M Boston
1962: The Twelve and the Genii, by Pauline Clarke
1963: Time of Trial, by Hester Burton
1964: Nordy Bank, by Sheena Porter
1965: The Grange at High Force, by Philip Turner
1966: Prize withheld as no book was considered suitable
1967: The Owl Service, by Alan Garner
1968: The Moon in the Cloud, by Rosemary Harris
1969: The Edge of the Cloud, by Kathleen Peyton
1970: The God Beneath the Sea, by Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen
1971: Josh, by Ivan Southall
1972: Watership Down, by Richard Adams
1973: The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, by Penelope Lively
1974: The Stronghold, by Mollie Hunter
1975: The Machine Gunners, by Robert Westall
1976: Thunder and Lightnings, by Jan Mark
1977: The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, by Gene Kemp
1978: The Exeter Blitz, by David Rees
1979: Tulku, by Peter Dickinson
1980: City of Gold, by Peter Dickinson
1981: The Scarecrows, by Robert Westall
1982: The Haunting, by Margaret Mahy
1983: Handles, by Jan Mark
1984: The Changeover, by Margaret Mahy
1985: Storm, by Kevin Crossley-Holland
1986: Granny was a Buffer Girl, by Berlie Doherty
1987: The Ghost Drum, by Susan Price
1988: A Pack of Lies, by Geraldine McCaughrean
1989: Goggle-eyes, by Anne Fine
1990: Wolf, by Gillian Cross
1991: Dear Nobody, by Berlie Doherty
1992: Flour Babies, by Anne Fine
1993: Stone Cold, by Robert Swindells
1994: Whispers in the Graveyard, by Theresa Breslin
1995: Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman*
1996: Junk, by Melvin Burgess
1997: River Boy, by Tim Bowler
1998: Skellig, by David Almond
1999: Postcards From No Man's Land, by Aidan Chambers
2000: The Other Side of Truth, by Beverley Naidoo
2001: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett
2002: Ruby Holler, by Sharon Creech
2003: A Gathering Light, by Jennifer Donnelly**
2004: Millions, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
2005: Tamar, by Mal Peet
2006: ***
2007: Just in Case, by Meg Rosoff
2008: Here Lies Arthur, by Philip Reeve
2009: Bog Child, by Siobhan Dowd
2010: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

So the count now, with this year's winner added to the list, is 39 down, 32 to go. I thought I'd read all of the ones that our local library system (Groton, Waterford and Mystic/Noank) had, but it turned out that they hold one other, under its US title, so I've now read that one. And my thanks again to the Wamogo Library, Litchfield CT; the San Jose College Library, San Jose CA; the Licia and Mason Beekley Community Library, New Hartford CT; the Penfield Libary, SUNY Oswego; the Mark Twain Library, Redding CT; the Boston Athenaeum; the John P Webster Library, West Hartford CT; the Woodbridge Town Library, Woodbridge CT; and the Connecticut State Library Service Centre, Willimantic CT, for the ILLS.

* His Dark Materials, Book 1. Published in the US as The Golden Compass.

** Published in the US as A Northern Light.

*** Up through the award for 2005, the winners were referred to by the year of publication. Beginning in 2007, the winners were referred to by the year the award was given, as with the American Newbery Medal. Thus there is no "2006 winner" of the Carnegie Medal. Tamar, the 2005 winner, was published in '05, and received the medal in '06. Just in Case, the 2007 winner, was published in '06 and received the award in '07.

Book list - Jun 10

Changes - modern fantasy, by Jim Butcher
In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battlefields with Sergeant Forrest Guth - WW II/travel, by Larry Alexander
Course 095 to Eternity - naval history, by Elwyn P Overshiner
Rivers of Time - time travel (short stories), by L Sprague de Camp
Belly Up - children's mystery, by Stuart Gibbs
A Wizard of Mars - YA modern fantasy, by Diane Duane
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris - children's historical fantasy, by R L La Fevers
Major Ingredients: The Selected Stories of Eric Frank Russell - SF (short stories), edited by Rick Katze
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus - children's historical fantasy, by R L La Fevers
No Blade of Grass (aka The Death of Grass) - SF, by John Christopher
Anne of Avonlea - children's, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Only 11 books last month, with no rereads. To reach my goal of 210 books this year, I have to average 17.5 per month, so I've currently fallen a bit behind - mainly because of reading a 700-page book (Major Ingredients).

No Carnegie Medal winners read this month, but this year's book was announced and it turned out to be one I've already read, so I'm now at 39 of 71.