Information

Casablanca - History


Eventually we turned and were instructed to go into Gibraltar. We made it in and this was a new experience. At night you figured you'd have some peace and quiet and rest, but not so. The I Ties, the Italians, would come in by submarine with their frogmen and plant mines on our ships. We'd have ships being bombed with land mines. The British fought the shallow water divers by dropping depth charges periodically with no pattern. The explosion from the depth charge would rupture the abdominal veins and arteries, and the divers would usually die from hemorrhage. This was going on constantly all night long. Another thing we experienced there was all of our vegetables were coming from Spain. They used human fertilizer and so consequently every vegetable had to be soaked in potassium magnate permanganate solution. This was a cumbersome thing to do. The bread was coming from Spain as well, and it was round and about the size of a basketball. You couldn't cut it with a knife. I never went ashore, but several did and said all they did was run into monkeys.

There was a lot of shipping in the harbor and our main job then was to work on the USS Almac AK-10. The Almac was a 10,000 ton supply vessel that had been torpedoed by the Germans just off the Northern coast of Mrica during the invasion. It had made its way to Casablanca and we were given duty to try to get it back to the US.

French Lesson

We went to Casablanca and were there about three weeks. We had deep sea divers, damage control, and fire control people aboard our ship, and the Almac got minor repairs during this time. Usually when we were in a port we never stopped. We worked night and day. I remember Casablanca as being a little different. I'd had two years of French in high school and everyon~ said they were going ashore with me because I could speak French. When I did get ashore and used my French, the French would all start laughing. I could read their newspapers, but they all laughed when I spoke French. Finally I got one of them to tell me what was so funny and he said, "You're speaking high Parisian French, and we don't hear it." 'Course I was taught by Mrs. Weaver in Buchanan, and of course she was taught what she was taught. I rode my first horse in Casablanca with a yeoman named Jerry Wheeler. Another thing that happened was that we had the American Red Cross Office in Casablanca. Everything that they had was donated by the union. They had cigarettes, toothpaste, shaving cream, and toiletries, but we had to pay for these donated items. I think all the people in the states thought this was being given to service personnel. I got to have a great dislike for the American Red Cross and so did everyone else. Later on I found out that the War Department said that there was pressure from Britain that nothing be given as the British Red Cross had to pay for it. For the American Red Cross to give things away would be unfair, and so the US agreed.

Locusts

Also in the harbor at Casablanca was a huge French battleship that had been sunk, the Jean Bart. It was resting on the bottom but all the turrets and everything were high and dry. They had maybe six or seven feet clearance of the deck. It was a remnant of showing there was an opposition. I also remember being in Casablanca when you couldn't see the sun, when the locusts came in. The locusts were so thick you couldn't see the sun and all the natives were in glee because they started fires and were barbecuing the locusts. Tihis was a delicacy to them. It was slippery mess on board our ships. They also destroyed crops.

Back to the States

We left Casablanca with the Almac and we had one destroyer to escort us. This was a 10,000 ton ship that we could tow at about 10 knots in good seas. We left for the long trip home of about 18 days. I didn't realize it, but someone found a little German Shepherd puppy and they called it Arapaho. That became our pet. One Seaman had the mumps. He hid the mumps because he didn't want to stay in Casablanca, he wanted to come home. After we got to sea, he checked in with me. His parotid glands were swollen and I said, "You knew you had the mumps. This wasn't something that just popped up today." He said, "Yeah, but I wanted to go home." I said, "You're also one that's susceptible to sea sickness and when you start throwing up with your parotid glands the way they are, you're apt to end up with calcified parotid glands. Then you're gonna have a lot of surgery. You don't realize what you've done to yourself." Basically, this is what happened. He had extensive surgery after arriving in the U.S.


The trip back I had this old lucky pair of dungarees, and I never took them off from Casablanca to the US. We were constantly under sub attack and when our escort vessel would use up all it's depth charges, we'd have another destroyer or something come in and take over patrolling and protecting us as we were very vulnerable. It was a long and scary trip, but we finally made it back into Norfolk. We had a lot of engine work and had
different weapons put on like 20mm guns for anti-aircraft. We had a lot of things done to the ship.


The Casablanca Conference, 1943

The Casablanca Conference was a meeting between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the city of Casablanca, Morocco that took place from January 14–24, 1943. While Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin received an invitation, he was unable to attend because the Red Army was engaged in a major offensive against the German Army at the time. The most notable developments at the Conference were the finalization of Allied strategic plans against the Axis powers in 1943, and the promulgation of the policy of “unconditional surrender.”

The Casablanca Conference took place just two months after the Anglo-American landings in French North Africa in November 1942. At this meeting, Roosevelt and Churchill focused on coordinating Allied military strategy against the Axis powers over the course of the coming year. They resolved to concentrate their efforts against Germany in the hopes of drawing German forces away from the Eastern Front, and to increase shipments of supplies to the Soviet Union. While they would begin concentrating forces in England in preparation for an eventual landing in northern France, they decided that first they would concentrate their efforts in the Mediterranean by launching an invasion of Sicily and the Italian mainland designed to knock Italy out of the war. They also agreed to strengthen their strategic bombing campaign against Germany. Finally, the leaders agreed on a military effort to eject Japan from Papua New Guinea and to open up new supply lines to China through Japanese-occupied Burma.

On the final day of the Conference, President Roosevelt announced that he and Churchill had decided that the only way to ensure postwar peace was to adopt a policy of unconditional surrender. The President clearly stated, however, that the policy of unconditional surrender did not entail the destruction of the populations of the Axis powers but rather, “the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest and the subjugation of other people.”

The policy of demanding unconditional surrender was an outgrowth of Allied war aims, most notably the Atlantic Charter of August 1941, which called for an end to wars of aggression and the promotion of disarmament and collective security. Roosevelt wanted to avoid the situation that had followed the First World War, when large segments of German society supported the position, so deftly exploited by the Nazi party, that Germany had not been defeated militarily, but rather, had been “stabbed in the back” by liberals, pacifists, socialists, communists, and Jews. Roosevelt also wished to make it clear that neither the United States nor Great Britain would seek a separate peace with the Axis powers.


Jova House, now home of Casablanca Café, was built in 1927 for its original owner, Mrs. J. J. Jova. The two-story masonry dwelling, commissioned by Juan Jacinto Jova, was designed by architect Francis L. Abreu, Jova’s grandson. It was the first home constructed on Fort Lauderdale Beach and is the oldest remaining structure.

Abreu, the son of Spanish and American parents, grew up in Cuba and graduated from Cornell University. He set up his architectural practice in Fort Lauderdale in 1924. Like Addison Mizner who popularized the use of Spanish themes, Abreu’s work reflected the influence of Mediterranean culture.

During the late 1920’s, Abreu became one of the most sought-after architects in Fort Lauderdale. He designed numerous commercial and public structures in both Florida and Sea Island, Georgia. Jova House, his first assignment, is one of only a few remaining example of his work in Fort Lauderdale.

Jova House is designed in Mediterranean Revival architecture, an eclectic blend of architectural elements of Spanish or Middle Eastern origins. It is found almost solely in those states that have a Spanish Colonial heritage and is a descendent of the Spanish Mission style which was popular during the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. Architectural details would often include flat roofs, entrance porches with arched openings supported by square columns, stucco exterior walls, massive offset chimney stacks, double-hung windows, ceramic tile decorations and round towers with conical roofs.

The renovation of the 1926 home started in July of 1993 and has taken almost two years to complete. The owner’s desire was to preserve the beautiful old structure in its original architectural style. Casablanca Café has kept the feel of the original house by incorporating the original working fireplace, wooden ceiling beams, spiral staircase and terrazzo floors. The wall crests and the roof tiles have been replicated and the new tiles were imported from Guatemala.

With its gourmet menu, friendly staff and rich history, Casablanca Café has become a premier waterfront dining location that has been voted Fort Lauderdale’s most romantic restaurant. Known to the locals as a favorite and to the tourists as a must see destination!

954.764.3500
At the Corner of Alhambra Street between Las Olas Blvd. and Sunrise Blvd. on A1A.


Casablanca: History

Topics include Dining Scene, Morocco: For Foreign Visitors & more!

The history of Casablanca dates back to the 10th century BCE, when the first human settlement was believed to be established by Berber fishermen.

The next to come through the area were the Romans late in the 1st century BCE, who used Casablanca as a strategic port.

Again in the 7th century the Berbers came to Casablanca, which they inhabited and named, The Kingdom of Anfa. This independent kingdom was surrounded by Moslem ruled areas, which they were able to fend off until 1068, when the Almoravids conquered Anfa.

During the next 400 years, the area of former Anfa developed as an important port town for the ruling Merenid people. Exports from the area traveled as far as mid Italy.

In the 15th century, the Merenids were rejected from the area, and Anfa again became an independent Kingdom. Unfortunately, Anfa began giving refuge to pirates who would attack Portuguese towns, and eventually the Portuguese destroyed Anfa.

In the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese took control of Anfa and rebuilt what they had destroyed, renaming it Casa Branca.

An earthquake destroyed the city in 1755, after which a Moroccan sultan rebuilt it and took control of the town.

After years of Spanish and French occupation, Morocco gained its independence in 1956 and also regained control of Casablanca.


Casablanca

Today's Casablanca was settled by Berbers in the 7th century BC. As a port city, it became important to the Phoenicians, and later, the Romans. Known as "Anfa", it was developed as an independent country of emerging importance. The port became a haven for pirates, leading to it being targeted by the Portuguese. They attacked the growing town and destroyed it in 1468. Upon these ruins, the Portuguese built a military fortress in 1515. They named the town Casa Branca, meaning "white house".

The region was incorporated into Spain between 1580 and 1640. Eventually, it again fell into Portuguese ownership. A 1755 earthquake changed this as the European nations abandoned the area. An estimated 10,000 people in the Morocco area lost their lives.

The abandoned city was taken over by sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah in 1756 and reconstructed. He held the city until 1790 and gave the city an Arabic translation of the Spanish "Casa Blanca" to ad-Dar al-Bayda.

The 19th century brought greater growth and a boom in population as the city became a major supplier of wool to the textile industry in Britain. The British formed a close relationship with the area and began importing Morocco's now famous national drink, gunpowder tea. By the 1860s, there were around 5,000 residents. By the 1880s, there were 10,000.

In 1906 the French arrived, conquering the area. They colonized the region - not entirely peacefully. Residents attacked the French, and riots ensued. French troops were brought in to restore order, but the town was damaged in the process. By 1910 French colonization was formalized and by 1921 there were 110,000 people in the city. This time is depicted in the legendary 1942 film of the same name, "Casablanca". The film highlights the city's colonial status and the power struggle between competing European powers. At this time, Europeans formed almost half the population.

French rule continued to be rocky. During the 1940s and 1950s there were multiple anti-French uprisings, notably a bomb attack on Christmas Day in 1953.

The city was an important strategic port during World War II. The Casablanca Conference in 1943 is where Churchill and Roosevelt discussed the progress of the war. Moroccan hoped that support of the allies would pave the way for their own independence. They opened their borders to US forces and an American air base was created. Unfortunately, their participation in WWII did little to gain allied support for Moroccan independence. The people continued to petition for their freedom and on March 2, 1956 Morocco gained independence from France.

Terrorist activity has been an issue in the city. On May 16, 2003, 33 civilians were killed and more than 100 people were injured when Casablanca was hit by a multiple suicide bomb attacks, accredited to al-Qaeda. Suicide bombings occurred again in early 2007 at an internet cafe, during a police raid, and in the downtown area. More recently, the effects of the reform in the Arab world in 2011 has been felt in Morocco. Protests took place in December 2011 as thousands of people demonstrated in Hay Mohammadi, a low-income suburb of Casablanca, desiring more significant political reforms.

The city has continued to be an important port and entry point into the country. Though not valued for it's tourism trade as Marrakesh, the city is trying to unite it's industrial power with it's historic past to bring in visitors. As the largest city and economic capital of Morocco, the city is preparing for the future.


A simple misunderstanding

Michael Curtiz was one of the more prominent directors during the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, but that didn’t mean he was always easy to work with. It wasn’t that he was necessarily unpleasant to the cast and crew, but the man’s strong accent meant people couldn’t always understand what he was saying. There was one misunderstanding between Curtiz and a prop man after the director asked for a “poodle.” It was only once the man had tracked down a dog that he discovered that Curtiz actually wanted a “puddle.”


A place of inspiration

St. Augustine Florida is the Nation&rsquos oldest continually inhabited European founded city, originally established in 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles. Under the command of King Phillip II of Spain, Menendez was driven to reach Florida before additional French fleets, and to overturn any already established settlements the French had made in Northeast Florida. He served as Florida&rsquos first Governor from 1565 to 1574 before he was appointed as governor of Cuba. The city of Saint Augustine, founded as San Agustin, was the first successful Spanish settlement and became the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years. As Spain fought to expand their colonies in Florida, St. Augustine became the setting for many battles between the French and existing groups of Native Americans. Florida was handed over to the United States by Spain in 1819, and it officially gained its statehood in 1845.

In the 1880&rsquos Standard Oil&rsquos co-founder Henry M. Flagler traveled to St. Augustine and realized the potential the town had to attract tourists. Flagler knew with an established transportation system and uniquely designed hotels, this small town could become a resort to upper class northerners. St. Augustine became the headquarters for the Florida East Coast Railway. With the transportation the railway provided paired with the breathtaking Spanish Revival style hotels, the city soon became the destination that Flagler envisioned it to be. One of the most well-known of Flagler&rsquos hotels, the Ponce De Leon Hotel, was one of the only hotels in the area to survive the Great Depression. It is now used as a part of Flagler College&rsquos campus. Flagler&rsquos Alcazar Hotel also opened to the public in 1888, gained popularity due to its casino and having the largest indoor pool of its time. The Alcazar has since been converted into the Lightner Museum, known as &ldquoa collection of collections&rdquo.

The Casablanca Inn, originally named The Matanzas Hotel, was constructed in 1914 by the architect known as Mr. Butler. The 2-story Mediterranean Revival style building and its carriage house are located on the Matanzas Bay the same bay Pedro Menendez had traveled through to found the city of St. Augustine centuries prior. The Casablanca Inn played a major role during the prohibition era of the 1920&rsquos. The Inn&rsquos original operator Ms. Bradshaw helped bootleggers smuggle alcohol into the bay. On nights when ships were scheduled to bring in their illegal cargo, Ms. Bradshaw would take a lantern up to the second story window and wave it back and forth to notify the bootlegger&rsquos ships that no government officials or law enforcement were in the area. It is said that she was greatly compensated for helping facilitate these imports.

Just a few years later, the Inn changed hands and officially became The Casablanca Inn. Today the Inn offers 22 luxurious rooms and suites which have all been updated with modern amenities without compromising its original charm and history. It has since been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Its close proximity to the bay and historic St. George Street makes it the ideal location for visitors. St. Augustine&rsquos rich history is still very alive today in the cobblestone streets, beautifully preserved Victorian era style homes, and 18th and 19th century Spanish architecture. The old city continues to attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each year.


Casablanca, Morocco Metro Area Population 1950-2021

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Five Classic Casablanca Albums That Aren’t By Kiss

T.Rex &ndash Light Of Love (1974)

Glam imp Marc Bolan’s US-only release was actually his UK album Zinc Alloy… with extra tracks. America wasn’t interested.

Fanny &ndash Rock And Roll Survivors (1974)

Bowie loved this Californian all-girl band, featuring Suzi Quatro’s sister Patti, and whose doo-wop-meets-pop single Butter Boy became a big US hit.

Parliament &ndash Mothership Connection (1975)

George Clinton’s mind-boggling funk-rock concept album about a pimp in outer space was the spur for their $100,000 Mothership stage set.

Paul Stanley &ndash Paul Stanley (1978)

Still the cream of the Kiss solo albums, Stanley’s set is full of power-pop rockers and splendidly camp ballads. Hold Me, Touch Me… indeed.

Angel &ndash Sinful (1979)

Angel never stood a chance on the same label as Kiss. Still, their pouty soft rock peaked here with the killer glam-pop of Wild And Hot.


Casablanca at 70: A Film That Is More Relevant Than Ever

Casablanca, a film regularly cited as one of the greatest movies of all time, was released 70 years ago. It gave us phrases that have passed into the English language, ("Here's looking at you, kid," "Round up the usual suspects", "We'll always have Paris," and "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship", to name but a few). And it cemented Humphrey Bogart's reputation as the most irresistible anti-hero to cast his weary gaze on the silver screen.

But Casablanca also set a noble and inspiring standard at a time of moral equivalence, prodding the United States to enter the war raging in Europe. Its message is as important today as it was in 1942.

Casablanca was set in contemporary North Africa, during the Second World War, and it involved a love triangle. Humphrey Bogart's character had a choice: to keep Ingrid Bergman, the love of his life, with him in Casablanca, or to send her away with her Czech resistance leader husband. In the end, Bogart sacrificed his own happiness, knowing his rival, fighting against fascism, needed the support of Bergman. As Bogart says at the end of the film, "The problems of three little people in a big world don't add up to much."

Compare it to a more recent hit, The English Patient with which it shares both time and place. Set in North Africa during World War Two, The English Patient also involved a love triangle, and a character, played by Willem Defoe, who risked his life to fight fascism. But unlike Bogart, Ralph Fiennes' protagonist was uninterested by the political context or the effect his actions would have on the bigger picture, the struggle against the Nazis. Fiennes gave up everything for the lovely, but married, Kristin Scott-Thomas. The problems of three little people were all that occupied him. For the 'hero' in The English Patient, there was no self-denial for a higher cause, and postponing gratification wasn't an option. Hence, The English Patient is a thoroughly modern film, despite its setting. What does that say about our era?

For a brief moment, it seemed that 9/11 might shake the West out of its self-indulgent myopia, heralding a less materialistic and self-absorbed time. Then we were exhorted to go shopping, and to worry about the existential threat posed by gay marriage rather than our greedy, entitled, wasteful, pampered and over-protected lifestyles.

Although Bogart spends most of the film protesting, "I stick my neck out for nobody," at the end of Casablanca he gives up everything to go off to fight the Nazis. How disappointing that unlike Bogart, we have thousands of sources of easily-accessible information, yet most of us seem more provincial and uninformed about the world than ever.

On those occasions when a small and organized group of Western citizens force our governments to take notice of gross human rights violations, our rulers usually salve their consciences, and ours, by sending aid, instead of searching for political solutions to political problems. Hence ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, Rwanda and Sudan are framed as humanitarian challenges, as if they were natural disasters rather than the result of a hideous, racist ideology.

This is not a plea for military intervention or for Bogart-style self-sacrifice. Yet we can all "stick our necks out" with minimum effort using the Internet, the phone and good old-fashioned letter writing to remind our leaders to use the diplomatic and economic leverage at their disposal. Instead of standing in front of a tank we can click an icon on websites that allow us to push worthy human rights causes up the agendas of those wielding power.

Our leaders need to apply diplomatic and economic pressure before volatile situations become unmanageable. Mass murder in Bosnia, Darfur and Rwanda did not come out of the blue. We had plenty of warning in each case, but we ignored the inconvenient underlying causes, hoping they would go away. The same is happening right now in Nigeria and on the Sudan-South Sudan, where extremists threaten to plunge their nations into Biafra-style misery. A concerted effort by the international community in search of political solutions today could save lives and money tomorrow.

So, where are today's Casablanca -style heroes? Fittingly, they are in the streets of North Africa (and Syria), facing down well-armed, brutal, corrupt regimes, most of which were propped up by the West for its own short-sighted interests.

Those who fear where the Arab Spring may lead should consider the words of the Tunisian founder of the Islam Channel, Mohamed Ali Harrayh: "If the Arab Spring is allowed to evolve without Western interference, there will be no reason for Al Qaeda to exist as its ideology is based on combating Western support for Arab dictators."

Let's hope that the spirit that guided Casablanca 70 years ago prevails today.


Watch the video: Jessica Jay - Casablanca Lyrics (January 2022).