Audioburst Search

That Time Ernest Hemingway's Younger Brother Started His Own Country


Here's the thing saving money with. GEICO is almost better than playing pickup basketball. Because there's always that guy who joins your game. He never passes the rock. He constantly bricks threes. And who completely hack you. And then put his hands up and say no foul no foul with GEICO. It's easy to switch switch and save on car insurance no need to fake. An ankle sprain. Because you're absolutely exhausted. So switch and save with GYCO. It's almost better than sports. Ridiculous Histories of production of I. Heart Radio Ah Welcome to the show ridiculous. Historians thank you so much for tuning in today's episode concerns tangentially one of the most famous writers in the American cannon. Is that right. Ben Yeah tangentially eventually it does By the way it's a bit we do we see each other's names Own Names or sometimes i. It goes both ways but the cannon I what does this term come. I'm from this. This Canon people speak of I always confused me has always been flummoxed me well it's you know it refers to a general rule law. Aw Principal Right. That's the first meaning but the second meaning is a collection or list of things that are accepted as genuine are as legit Jytte. We usually hear about it with books. But as Super Producer Casey peg room can tell us. There's a bit of a film Canon to write Casey. Yeah that's that's right. The American critic Andrew Sarah's kind of Created his own. Canon of filmmakers piggybacking off of the French Auteur Tour Theory Casey on the case indeed. But the cannon the shoot stuff out of that they took that name from the The other Canon like We're the unrelated entirely I'll map it's interesting. Yeah well the ETYMOLOGY FOR CANNON WITH A C A N O n goes back to Greek for cannon for rule now no as far as Canon Canon I. I don't know what that would be I think it's really just a just a homophones at the end of the day. That's disappointing. I've always liked to think of them being completely related. But that's how I feel about words that sound the same You know I'm an etymological junkie But this one I think is going to end up being a let down so I'm just GonNa couldn't suspend my disbelief and choose to believe that they're related But yeah can Nanakuli speaking This author That is part of today's story. Korea is definitely up there Is One of the greats one of the giants and also an intensely problematic figure as a human person as great artists and writers. Riders often are. Yes that man is ernest. Hemingway you may recognize him as the author of numerous books. You were forced to read in high school such chas the old man and the Sea of farewelled arms the sun also rises. I am and was for a long time a fan of the collected poetry of Ernest. Hemingway which is it's very different from his novels and his short stories But I'll always recall one of my favorite poems. He wrote if you have younger people listening with you in the audience. This might be time to fast forward a little bit this is not this. PG Thirteen Ish. Maybe but here's the poem I know monks masturbated night and pet cat. Screw and some girls bite and yet what can I do to set things right Ernest Hemingway Ernest. Hemingway indeed Also really quotable gentlemen A lot of quotes involving An abbreviation because he was also famous drunk Really like always do sober. What you said You'd do drunk that will teach you to keep your mouth shut And one along the lines of I'm remembering this went off. The top of my head is a man is not truly a man and until he's drunk or something like that. Wow Yeah so you had one. Today's episode occurs in the shadow of Ernest Hemingway because Ernest. Hemingway just like George Washington is one of those semi-mythical figures and we always think about them at a remove as a single entity in the world or the universe reverse but like George Washington Ernest. Hemingway had siblings. And today's story is about Ernest Hemingway's younger brother. Leicester her hemingway Who who you may not have heard of before? His name is pretty cool. But it's spelled in a confusing way. Right Oh I love this And it actually. It's it's funny. I I learned the pronunciation of this along time ago because of a website. UK Music website called Lester bangs As as in Lester Mr Bangs. The famous Rolling Stone Writer Famously dramatized in almost famous but it was spelled Like the name of the town in an England Leicester which looks like it should be pronounced light Chester That's Elliott is C. E. S. T. E. R. and such is the spelling of Ernest Hemingway. Anyway baby brother Lester. WHO's the subject of today's episode? Yep that's true so he is known historically for for three three three things I. He's known for being the younger and only brother of the novelist. Ernest Hemingway Check Yup and He also looks a lot like Achim. So that's double double shadowy right you know. so He's living in. He's he's he feels like he's always coming in second check. Secondly a he one of his most well-received books was a biography about his brother and then came out eight months after Ernest. Hemingway passed away serious shadow living the sky. Double check and I don't know you know knoll. Should we go ahead and spoil it the third thing. He's very well known for and this is by far my favorite should we maybe soft spoil it. Yeah let's spoil This is a new thing. We're trying to It involves a raft and it involves declaring sovereignty of one type or another Declaring one's own nation As it were. Which is the thing people do every nation that's around now at some point somebody just declared a nation so it's not as crazy as it sounds? Let's say I think that was a good soft spoil Let's let's get to know Lester A little more and find out what led him to this. This crazy ambitious scheme. He was born in Nineteen fifteen right. Yep Sixteen years younger then his a super famous older brother Ernest So they wouldn't have been buddies exactly growing up. I mean you know he would have probably Lebron living in his shadow four from as long as early as he can remember with an older brother who I mean I. I know a bit about the history of Ernest Hemingway way in his life. He was always sort of a brash. incorrigible youth you know and prone to adventure And Misadventure Right It's true and and he definitely had wanderlust before Lester was even walking around on his little baby legs. Ernest was away in Europe. And No. Don't I think that the hemingway kids had it hard in terms of Material needs they. They actually grew up in a pretty fancy suburb of Chicago at the time place called Oak Park when Ernest returns from the Great War nineteen eighteen. He's recovering from these. Grievous grievous wounds that. He's received like a mortar mortar. Shell incidents and I think even caught a little little machine gunfire Around around northern Italy yeah and when he came back he was the town veteran he was a hero in his neighborhood and nineteen at nineteen wild wild and his little brother. Lester absolutely adored him. A you know the the sun rose and set on Ernest Hemingway Way Ernest was a little more casual about this lester called Ernest the barren but ernest had a nickname for Leicester. Yeah Yeah it was clear that the love was is not a mutually exchanged there. Ernest called his little brother. Lester disaster and then Eventually shortened it to the name of my favorite John. Samoa moving the past and it makes sense because you know we do the math. He's three years old when his brother comes back at the age of nineteen right so of course he has this three year old following him around. Leicester at least creatively followed in earnest footsteps He wanted on into travel the world he wanted to write he wanted to be that rugged. Teddy Roosevelt esque outdoorsman and like like his older brother he had a ton none of different jobs and different gigs and he also wrote a few books to boot One of the I guess popular is maybe not maybe a little bit strong because it's certainly certainly not something that has been included in in the aforementioned cannon but his book called the sound of the trumpet which was published in Nineteen fifty three but he was a published author in. You know he wrote for men's magazines and like you said he was sort of a newspaper. Man I mean really was sort of jack-of-all-trades Much like his brother so he very much took a lot accused from the story and legacy of his older brother which again was something that would have been fully formed kind of by the time he came of age right and think about this Just to get a taste of Zeitgeist at the time. A review of his Novel the sound of the trumpet. Nineteen fifty three. In The New York Times declared the following they said Leicester Hemingway was part of the first younger generation shaped aped by the writings of his brother. Ernest Hemingway so they're they're not calling him an impersonator or an imitator. But they're saying he's very very influenced by his brother. But can you imagine how that would feel like to get that review. Where you're just lumped in with all the other WANNA be Ernest Hemingway anyway like no damnit? He's mired stemming way you know I'm the first to be influenced by my brother Ernest Hemingway. You know what I mean not just one of flock of Of impersonators. I I would I would think that would maybe have stung a little pin. And why can't he be the first Leicester Hemingway you know. That's that's the question on the table able it makes you wonder how all those off brands Sudas feel. If off. Brand Sodas have feelings when they see like the the mainstream toy story holds true Shirley. There's Soda Story and they have a secret life of our our our waking hours. Yeah I'm now I'm just I'm I'm lost thinking of those those soda. The Soda Dynamics right so like is is fan like the orange. Sodas Fanta slice right. Those are two weren't sodas we are. What's the other sunkist sunkist? There's there's also squirt squirt okay. squirt feels like it's it's the lesser. Anyway yeah well I don't know to me. squirt is almost the more risque of the orange. Sodas that's just me the the sound of that word in the way it feels may conjure imagery In my personal despicable gutter remind But that's just me. How do you feel Lacroix? Plays into this whole thing. Do you think Lacroix's even considered a soda they even let Lacroix into the room You know look kind kind of like nobody. Nobody shoot me for saying this but look where he's kind of like one at paltrow sodas you know what I mean. It says it's good or the sorry. The Goup of Sodas for you and it's better than drinking battery asses better than drinking you know Dr Pepper or something. But it's still. It's not amazing. You know it's still kind of fills the soda roll well but it doesn't have any sugar and it's refreshing and delicious. I thought the carbonation was still bad for your teeth. They say that they do say that. Can Be bad for your bone density as well But I'm a carbonation junkie. So if I'm GonNa that's what I derived pleasure from rather than sugar so we gresh though true The moral of this digression is drink which wants And also no. No offense is to Gwyneth Paltrow Gook and tell me what you think about it That's her company. It's true that Lester was however Always referred are too in addition to his brother whenever somebody mentioned him or his work they also mentioned that he was ernest. Hemingway's brother Yeah. I mean it's certainly a phenomenon you see often with siblings flings of luminaries than any field you know. I mean it's really really hard to set yourself apart. When you have a sibling? That's already he kinda got a head. Start first of all and already just mega famous and associated with kind of an entire movement. You know Really interesting example is Billy eyeless shoes a singer My kid likes her brother who is older than she is. Names Finian's he does all the production work for her records and plays in her live band. Please race ace replays base. He Plays Guitar Really Really Great Really talented guy But it's GonNa be tough for him to be mentioned without his younger sister. Sister being mentioned in the same sentence and as the older brother That's gotta be tough for him to but You know money can make those winds go. Imagine right and you know as an only child I think I am probably. You don't have a very good comparison to how sibling relationships work in that regard. Now we just have to get jealous of our colleagues and peers that's how it is So we're speculating a little bit. When we guess about How how Lester interact with world and how he received or navigated this relationship with his sibling? Do WanNA point out again. His most famous by by forest. Most well received work was a biography that was actually about his brother and it was called my brother Ernest Hemingway so he leaves leaned into it right. He kinda the new what happened he had been dealt he knew okay. Maybe I'm not going to be a singular voice of a generation so I might as well any obviously revered his brother. There's nothing indicating eating in his story that he was somehow bitter or disliked his brother he was inspired by his brother and influenced by his brother And he wanted to honor his brother other and apparently wrote quite a bang up BIOGRAPHY ABOUT HIM He was aware of the public perception because he was In an interview with the Los Angeles Times he said it's a tough act to follow and we can already see kind of the head. Start Pattern that you mentioned earlier We can see that very early. On in Leicester's life. He was writing for his high school newspaper. Which is great and shout out anyone in Highschool working on your literary magazine Or newspaper or Your Yearbook? But while he was doing that his brother had already published farewell to arms and it was already optioned For Film and it was being made into a movie starring Gary Cooper Massive Star Gary Cooper at the time and a huge head. Start for For a Ernest Hemingway then when Ernest had a stint in Spain as a correspondence During the third words siege of Madrid he was getting five hundred bucks for four hundred word. news reports And that was in today's dollars dollars about seven grand which is a big deal We had our boy lester Kind of kick starting his early Newspaperman career as a junior reporter for the Chicago. Daily News And again ernest. was there living the highlife. The it wasn't the highlight. I mean exactly xactly. Though he was used in in harm's way on the front lines during the third siege of Madrid and so for anyone interested in the math seven thousand dollars as we said adjusted for inflation and for a four hundred word dispatch works out to seventeen dollars and fifty cents per word. That's amazing that's good work. If you can get it. Leicester also published a novel. We mentioned his. His initial novel was published in Nineteen Fifty three. You know what happened the year before in nineteen one thousand nine hundred fifty to the old man and the sea came out and and the year after that one thousand nine hundred fifty four the Swedish Academy when they were awarding Ernest Hemingway the Nobel Prize in literature cited the old man and the sea in Leicester's over here like hey I love my brother but I also have a novel. I'm speculating on that part. But it is a tough act. It's a tough act to follow. Did you read the old man and the Sea Ben Several Times. Did you like it I. It's a tough one for some folks. I know they get sort of like like I. It's considered this massive work but it's also Quite often said to be a little dull. It's one long metaphor for you. Know and I I enjoyed it. I enjoyed I enjoyed this sort of abbreviated blunt. Writing style all of hemingway especially in comparison to longer more elaborate writers. God Save me from Henry James The the turn of the screw Guy Guy Engaged in something called phenomenology. which is this experiential process says of a of a character interacting with the world learning great truths in the audience or readership going along with them? I Henry James also had an interesting in story with his siblings. But that's a story for another day I did like old men. This seat And you said for some people it felt like a slog right right well. That's just a thing that people often say about that book. I mean sort of gets a bit of a bad rap for almost being Over hyped PERHAP- Oh yeah sure. Yeah like a catcher in the Rye which I love Catcher in the Rye. I think that's an interesting story. And I like the internal monologue of the character or whatever but I also read that as where maybe Connected with my rebellious spirit. I need to give a man and the sea another shot. I was one of the ones that found that a little sluggish but that was when it was assigned to me as a as a student. So maybe maybe as I. I've gotten a little older and hopefully wiser. Maybe it'll resonate with me a little more You know nothing. Kills a great piece of art more quickly even hype. A you've got to think about it right like if you go if you go in. Just find a book in the wild and it's amazing that you know that you have been amazed by it personally but if everybody tells you to like it often the contrary us will say. I don't see what all the fuss about you know. But be that as may the the Nobel Prize in literature is a huge deal. Everybody but Bob Dylan is historically very excited about this kind of thing and Lester. Leicester soldiers on and here we get to our soft spoiler We'll just maybe just set this up with a quote From Leicester Mr in the Washington Post in nineteen sixty four. There's no law. That says you can't start your own country. Okay in the style of his brother very very blunt and direct and to the point. I can appreciate that about the man And it's interesting Ben You'll recall we actually did a previous episode on on something called the US Guano Islands Act of eighteen. Fifty six. Where you'll recall? It was a precedent allowing US citizens to quote take possession on behalf of the US government of any unoccupied island. Rock or key on which deposit of Guano was found and You remember that kind of created a bit of a of a Guano boom And Guano of course as you know is is poop Bird poop in particular particular This was would have been seagulls or what was the was the offending pooper Let's see in our earlier episode when US farmers farmers went mad for bird. POOP I I WANNA say seabirds of some sort if you WANNA call it had to be if it was an island or a king or rock I also think of Guano the bat that's who specifically but that's what it was much more of a catchall term in those days. But yes that was the president and Hemingway decided to really take this and run with it or shall we say row with it paddle with it with it. Whatever you got He figured that he could apply this to A A mobile island rock or key. Right this this is interesting and listeners. You'll see why this is a little bit of a reach the US Quavo Islands Act already is egregious geopolitical reach Check out that episode. You haven't heard yet. This episode of ridiculous history is brought to you by office. Depot Office depot has supplies services for businesses of any size. I speak to this personally as a college student when I was a business. The size of one office office depot provides twenty four seven tech support. It lets you print your own marketing materials and can help you design your office with a bunch of furniture features solutions. They also have exactly the supplies. Your office needs from Your Home Office to a commercial setup. They've got the ink. They've got the paper they've got the cleaning. They've got the break room supplies. So when I was setting up my Home Office I went street to office depot because I had a ton of stuff I needed to get and I wanted to get it all in one place but don't take my word for it see for yourself. Office depot is ready to help your business with knowledgeable associates in over one thousand three hundred stores or online at Office Depot Dot Com. Here's what he did. Lester Ester took an eight by thirty foot. Bamboo raft He he anchored it to an old Ford engine block. Rock in fifty feet of water about eight miles south west of Jamaica. This was a shallow Ocean Bank but technically it's an international national waters. It's beyond the three mile limit of Jamaica's Ocean possessions right and it's anomalous because once you're that that far out the sea floor is usually going to be hundreds or even a thousand feet deep the country the raft the country by the way got the rafters the country. It's called the Republic of new Atlantis and he On top of this Rafferty as iron pipes stones. Bamboo stainless steel is the structure and he made this raft. This artificial island. This would be country using all of the funds from from his biography. My brother Ernest Hemingway and he also he said you know. We're starting this country small but we're going to expand it in the future. We'll build a bigger raft. who had we'll stick together right This is interesting to me so like I mean did. He have some kind of dinghy that he would use to get to dry land. You know I mean look. What's the logistics of this whole setup? Right you would think he needs a an away boat of some sort. That's right so he got this setup. It's clearly not super sustainable stain. -Able right meaning your source of fresh water and so on but he had the money to play with If we look at the how successful his biography of his brother was he made a ton of scratch. We don't have a exact figure but He definitely that would have been a the equivalent of a bestselling in you know New York Times bestseller back in those days for sure. Yeah we knew. A Playboy magazine paid him. Twenty five grand to serialize it to publish it in the magazine over subsequent issues and that works out to what a hundred and sixty thousand dollars today. Yikes no not yet. Wow that's great good for Leicester and honestly what a bold move. What an odd an interesting thing to do? And and We talked about what his his aim aim. Was Ben not yet yeah. He had a very specific goal in mind which was to start eight marine research society. Heidi that would be funded with the money that he made from up selling stamps. New Atlantis. Stamps I'm GonNa need a little bit a little bit of help with this when Ben Stamps like shares like what are we talking here. Yeah for the Breath markets The stamp collectors. So was it really that big of a deal back in those days that you could hope to make that kind of money. Enough to finance a whole whole aquatic research institution just from selling postage stamps. This I think that was more visibility thing. If I'm being honest the Marine Marine Research Society is probably mostly my brother Ernest. Hemingway money going into there I just I don't how many stamps would you have to sell. It's strange because it seems more more like a publicity stunt right the further we get into this but yeah he was trying to make a go of it selling selling stamps. He also was on good terms. With the closest acknowledged government the Jamaican government. They actually really liked the dude A spokesperson for the Jamaican embassy said in nineteen sixty four said Yo. Lester is a decent well meaning soul and this project is it's it's good you know it's also an international waters and historians argue. That one of the reasons Jamaica was okay with this with this new country popping up To their southwest was entirely because they felt like he was he really was building. This as a stunt for environmentalism he wanted to protect marine wildlife. And he also weirdly enough. Did you see this. He outlawed gambling in his new nation. And that that made Jamaica really happy interesting so maybe it was. Maybe they were worried. It would be like a gambling haven. Maybe they were a gambling problems you know. We know gambling can be a really toxic situation. Especially Ashley in Potentially poverty stricken places that are kind of commodified by tourism and casinos sneaking in and folks that grew up there and live there developing gambling problems. That actually happens in a lot of those Native American Casino Situation Lincoln. Be a real real problem so I can see how that could be the the case The speculating here. But here's the thing he again used that very obscure At the time because again this is from eighteen fifty six. US S. Guano Islands Act Allowing to take control of any island rock or key on behalf of the US government if it's unoccupied and contains contains Guano deposits. So where's the POOP Ben. Where's the Guano deposits? So this is interesting because everybody remembers the previous episode. You'll recall the the language in the Guano Act is tricky something is you can lay claim to something on it and you can Then legally consider consider that land as quote appertaining to the United States I yes that was a term that we had to kind of really unpack was. Yeah so what's interesting. There is that if Lester claimed the whole islander the whole raft Guano Act then it would not be its own country it would be in this realm of quasi belonging to the United States. Therefore he couldn't make it his own country so what he did was. He divided the island in half. He claimed named the quote unquote unoccupied half of his island on behalf of the US. And he said that's the Guido Act. We're just going to. I guess we're just GonNa let Birds Birds poop on this part of the raft and boom. We've got one. Oh and he said the other half is new Atlanta So so really half. US half half its own country. Half Bird toilet half bird toilet. But that's the thing though I mean like how did he attract had any attract the bird bombs like I don because it seems like the language of the law law it really does require that that be the what constitutes a deposit. I mean they were getting silly here but like you know if a bird poops on your raft. It's it's technically depositing Guana Ontai raft so all it all it takes is one errant. You know maybe I mean He. He wasn't he clearly wasn't in the Guano business right. The population of new Atlantis started at six it was Leicester Doris. His his spouse bows their daughters And Hillary who are seven three years old at the time respectively Pr Guy Named Edward Moss and his assistant Julia so in February of sixty five. There's a vote in the Republic of new Atlantis The seven voters make lester the first president to have another PR blitz. Now that you know the republic has its first election and end Kingston. Jamaica's papers cover it. Lester tells the paper that his new republic will be a peaceful power and not threaten. Its Caribbean Caribbean neighbors. Thanks Bro fraiche appreciate it. They also did I. I don't know about you but I'm fascinated by what are called micro nations and this. This is a Micronesian is micro nation. No no no. It's it's the micro come from sorry. I'm getting back into silly. Semantic at another doesn't exist but it is is Micronesia smaller than Indonesia it's made up of smaller islets. Yes right got it. The micro is further away a descriptive term. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah I believe so now I am. I am an armchair at a Malla gised very interested in it but I am not an entomologist by a trade so it is quite possible that there is a homonym play and that Micronesia actually translates to something that neither of us know it could be you know the the shining scales of the pufferfish indeed micro nations though to your point then don't have legal recognition in terms of you know the UN win or any kind of bodies that do stuff like that right right and the rule of nations is It's kind of fake it till you make it approach. We see this even even today with a different Different countries regions that are jockeying for you in recognition. The way you become a nation is by having other nations say. Hey that's a nation. It's very ad hoc I. I mean I hate to say it that way it feels arbitrary. There is a process if you get enough nations together together to say hey Peg Romania is indeed a real nation. Then then boom you're in it's also a phenomenon wherein people absolutely lose their minds over Super Producer Casey peg rim. He's a peg maniac. Yeah this and so. When you won a nation to appear legitimate you start preemptively creating the trappings of legitimacy even if you are not recognized by The powers that be so you want stuff like flags to satisfy the VEX largest you want stuff like stamps to your point right for the Fila logistics for the Phyllis Dang it as close. It's a tricky word. I don't know why that's another. There's so many beautiful mostly useless this words in English like the people who collect matchbooks flu. Minist- really yeah. It's a cool word. Rose the flag one again Vex Logistics Logistics. Yeah really learning a lot today. About what would you call that enthusiasts. Yeah they're not really experts. Exactly right Oh not really yeah eveque. Salala gist is just a flag flag. Enthusiast not necessarily A flag expert with some sort of pedigree right. Yeah or there's someone who just studies flags you know like. Hey Hey are you a are you a vex Lalla just doing well not by trade but I'm interested with what kind of flags do you have. I don't know now my head there's a guy with a trenchcoat who's walking up to people in the the street and he opens a trenchcoat and he just has a bunch of flags they would have to be those tiny flags tiny flags. Yeah which is still a flag. Right I mean you know. Flag is a flag is a flag. There's no size designation Zig nation for what makes a flag quote unquote proper right right although there are standard rectangular dimensions not every country practices. Those dimensions you. You know what fell it. Takes is a flag. Let's get ridiculous. History of flag moving for we should make the shipping container a sovereign nation. Yeah Casey you're UN. Let's do it. Okay good 'cause we we need. We need an odd number of votes else. Will descend into chaos and gridlock and Casey can be the the the the king. The governor Prime and Prime Minister Administer Prime Minister. I don't want to set them up to be a dictator case. You're you're cool with that we just elected you I- i- rule at the pleasure of the people know. Let us that's great. I love your energy man so so our nascent nation here ridiculous history aside New Atlantis does get a flag flag. Lester spouse does it and then they also create a national currency. I love this name who I can see why Ben Because you have have no scruples. My friend the scruple. That's what it's called the scruple. It's like a ruble. A scruple scruple is also like the thing. What does a scruple if you have no scruples? That means you are A moral in some way. Right yeah scruple is a reservation Right yeah yeah yeah. It's it's what stops you from doing something morally morally sketchy or reprehensible. And he must have had that in mind. Because it's almost like saying this is our currency is the very nature of goodness if you have scruples than that means you are a thoughtful person if you have have no scruples than you are a bad person. So he's really drawing a line in the water the banning the wrath in the wrath. It's such a writer joke because Lester oster later said I believe the rich should have many scruples boom exactly love. Here's my question. The team did you have all this stuff set up before. He went out on the raft did did he ever leave the raft. What if he left it on occupied could it have been you know Invaded so many questions here. Who designed the flag did he do it himself? It seems like it was him and his wife designing physically. Yeah okay as to how much they had worked out in. Advance We we can say that. There is a draft of the new Atlantis Constitution so they did write stuff down it was typed on a manual manual typewriter. And it's more or less An exact copy of the articles that form the main body of the US Constitution and they just sort of mad lived new Atlantis in wherever would say United States. So I mean let's let's be real here. The whole thing was sort of a a protest. St Kind of symbolic acts. You know there were. There was a lot of satire built-in with the whole scruples. And you know. I don't think he was necessarily intended. I mean you know He. He says he was trying to raise money for preservation and for this Research Center I think he was hoping that the stunt would catch enough Publicity Eh that he would create a groundswell of support and revenue and then he could. Actually you know funnel some money into these causes that he believed right. Yeah but the whole thing was a bit of a satire kind of jokey thing. It's a merry prankster vibe. I love it is the mid sixties twos. Who so we're at the we're at the peak of this sort of performance? Do you think there would have been LSD on the stamps that he was distributing interesting question. You know he probably could have sold some more Now that you mentioned this episode of ridiculous history is brought to you by office. Depot Office depot has supplies applies and services for businesses of any size. I speak to this personally. As a college student I was a business the size of one. office depot provides twenty four seven tech support. It lets you print your own marketing materials and can help you design your office with a bunch of furniture solutions. They also have exactly the supplies. Your office needs from Your Home Office to a commercial setup. They've got the ink. They've got the paper they've got the cleaning. They've got the break room supplies. So when I was setting up my Home Office I went straight to office depot because I had a ton of Stuff I needed to get and I wanted to get it all in one place but don't take my word for it see for yourself. Office depot is ready to help your business with knowledgeable associates associates in over one thousand three hundred stores or online at Office Depot Dot Com. It's funny we should spend spend some time on the stamps because he printed stamps in five different denominations and as you said Noel. He told reporters that he was going to finance the International National Marine Research Society with the with the stamps right butts fatal flaw fatal flaw because the Universal Missile Postal Union which is based in. Switzerland refused to recognize the stamps. They said look. These stamps are not legit because the the country of new Atlantis is also illegitimate so they said to us. You're just some guy on a raft. Cutting paper into little squares wears well. That's totally what he was. I mean you know my question is you know we. You don't just print your own stamps in the same way. You don't just print your own money or or do you. I mean you know if you're a sovereign nation you've got your own mints you recognize your own currency that makes it. Legitimate is the fact that you're sovereign the nation but what makes it legitimate in nationally. Is that recognition. You know from outside of your bounds in this case the very very small bounce. It's of this raft. So yeah I that's interesting. I guess you you know we do print our own stamps. The Post Office doesn't print stamps for you does it. How're stamps produced? I believe I WANNA see. It's the bureau of engraving imprinting right. You're absolutely right Ben. That's totally true that that sort of they pulled some of that legitimacy in the first place right amuse literally saying I printed my own stamps nomination. there was no recognition of that. You would need the recognition I think before you could print the stamps and expect them to be considered legitimate right right. We sort of put the raft before the seahorse. There we go in in this situation. I think they got close to recognition though and then you ought to play the game so they one of their stamps that came out in nineteen sixty four. You're honored President Lyndon Johnson. US President Lyndon Johnson Bay jumbo. Yeah the guy who nicknamed his Genitalia Jumbo and they called him the protector hector of the free world in this stamp. They got a note from the White House. That was very nice. Thank you note but they did not get diplomatic recognition supposedly the thank you addresses Lester. As the acting president of new Atlanta's so this is the closest he's come to being recognized iced as the as the leader of this developing nation. But still it wasn't it wasn't quite there the US the office of the geographer in nineteen eighty eight. One of the spokespeople said this. Thank you note from. The White House was quote. The closest the dreamer has come to official recognition. Yeah and you know Lester really was kind of a dreamer and if you ask me did set himself apart from his older brother I mean this is some pretty bold stuff that he was doing and he quoted as saying he really only did it to have a little little fun like you said that. Mary prankster vibe into make some dough Didn't really make any dough definitely seemed to have some fun and and left pretty interesting legacy that actually did Did did endure a bit. Though his tiny wrath nation was eventually eventually destroyed by a storm. And we could have seen that coming. It was You know held together by twine and and scraps and lead pipe type in bamboo and all of that stuff so but it did stick around for a few years but it actually caught the attention of one. Mary M Hirth who was a librarian for the University of Texas Humanities Research Center And in October we're of nineteen sixty five She and the center created an exhibition To Memorialize Leicester's Matt Experiments. That's right the exhibit includes a letter from nineteen sixty five from Leicester to earth He addresses her as lady. Mary Mary so you can travel today to the spots. Where the nation of new Atlantis once existed? But you will not see the actual raft. What happened to Lester? It's a bit of a tragic tale of for the last five years of his life life. He was primarily focused on the Bikini Out Island News. I'm pronouncing it carefully. Because for years we've been saying Bernini Lake Bikini but it's Benny Right Gemini. Yeah Yeah Yeah like Gemini. So this this Bikini Island News news was of a little monthly newsletter on fishing so he returns to writing primarily about fishing he also gets diagnosed with type two two diabetes and he suffered through multiple operations for like five over the course of only six months he may end up up losing his legs and Tragically Leicester Hemingway decides to end his life in one thousand nine hundred eighty two at the age of sixty seven but he did did leave behind a very interesting legacy That generated A lot of of you know publicity And created did Well I don't know if you could argue this maybe isn't an amazing Resolved it did create a lot of right wing interest in the idea of You know setting up one's own nation artificial nation islands And Peter Thiel of pay pal Had this Use Use this concept. For his AC- standing institute concepts the idea of reimagining civilization with floating being cities that is directly from the standing dot org website that reads the seized. The Institute is a nonprofit thing. Take promoting the creation of floating ocean Asian cities as a revolutionary solution to some of the world's most pressing problems rising sea levels overpopulation poor governance and more I could get behind that I. I think that's a I think it's at the very least inspired by new Atlantis. And of course shoutout to one of the wolves famous micro nations the principality of sealants. which is have you heard of this one? No service pretty much. The same I it's a very similar thing Former British army major ager a guy named Patty Bates occupies this one hundred and twenty by fifty foot platform. It's just literally an anti aircraft gun platform he takes over it and it's declares that his own nation and no one really stressed out about it ceilings. A great story stuff you should know has a good episode on it. As well so check them out. Leicester overall seems to be a pretty swell guy. He doesn't resents his brother's talent. He seems to love him and he seems like he's having fun. You know weirdly enough. The Connecticut Review going back to our statements about masculinity the Connecticut Review said the following about Lester. They say he's articulate vibrant definitely his own man and he had managed somehow to accommodate himself manfully to living in earnest shadow. How does one accommodate oneself manfully and in earnest and Ernest? There we go like that manfully manfully. We're GONNA I'm Bob GonNa do things manfully now. I guess so One note before we go. It's just important thing We did mention that Lester took his own life and whereas you no Ernest Hemingway also took his own life. depression is real. And sometimes these things do run in families but if you or for anyone you know has ever ever feels like you're getting in these dire straits or you're having a tough time. There are people you can reach out too so the national suicide. Prevention Lifeline is one eight hundred two seven three eight two five five or reach out to someone close to you. Never feel like you're burdening anybody I think. That's the biggest barrier to people just having conversations that could really make a world of difference is people don't want to impose and you're never imposing I can say that I'm speaking as someone who's never even met you out there. I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who's ever feeling any of these These feelings as I know Ben and would as well So please reach out to someone close to you or to a stranger Just reach out to somebody absolutely and well said thank you know speaking of reach now you can find us all over the Internet. We're on facebook. We're on twitter. We're on instagram. Meet one of our favorite parts of the show. Your fellow listeners on our facebook page ridiculous story. It's all you gotTa do is namedrop Myself Bimbo and producer Casey peg. Any of the myriad names that we drop in the credits it's or you know just Aref to one of the episodes or just something pithy Let's not your human person with actual interest in joining the group and not some sort of Russian bought and you know if you're a rushing you're in the audience and you you're pun game is strong. I might still let it go bring it on and you can follow us as individuals. I'm at Been Bowling Colin on Instagram at Bimbola W on twitter. You can find me exclusively on instagram. At how now Brown big. Thanks to Super Producer Casey peg grim as always Christopher Hussy Yoda's here in spirit Alex Williams who composed our theme our research associate Slash mastermind Gabe Thanks also to Eve's Jeffcoat and thanks to the Leicester Hemingway one of building nation. Now too. I WANNA find out more about this guy. Sounds like the kind of guy you'd WanNa have a beer with and they go rafting scenic ten bucks for more podcast. iheartradio visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite it shows this episode of ridiculous history is brought to you by office. Depot Office depot has supplies and services for businesses of any size and they have a wide wide range of services they can provide twenty four seven tech support. Print your marketing materials and even help you design your office with a variety of furniture solutions. They also have all the supplies applies. Your office needs from ink and paper to cleaning and break room supplies. I'll tell you one thing that I never want to have to mess with again figuring out what kind of toner cartridges my. My particular brand of printer needs office. Depot has you covered. Whether you're running a Home Office like I do or work in larger corporate setting they have you covered office. Office depot is ready to help your business with knowledgeable associates and over thirteen hundred stores or online at Office Depot Dot Com.

Coming up next