How Major General Maurice Rose Became Known As The ‘Immaculate Killer Of Nazis’ And Redefined WWII Tank Warfare

Most Denverites are familiar with Rose Medical Center, but they probably don’t know the hospital was named after the highest ranking Jewish officer who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, Major General Maurice Rose. Denver author Marshall Fogel has written a new book, “Major General Maurice Rose: The Most Decorated Battle Tank Commander In US Military History.”

Fogel spoke with Colorado Matters about Rose’s life. After dropping out of East High School at age 16, Rose joined the Army. Through several enlistments, he moved up the ranks despite anti-Semitism from the community and from his military peers. During the war he became known as the “Immaculate Killer of Nazis.”

Rose innovated the strategy of using a line of tanks to form a moving front, and led the Third Armored Division known as “Spearhead.” He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and liberated many European towns and cities, including Cologne, before being killed in combat on March 29, 1945

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Happy Colorado Day! Here Are The Stories Behind Our State Bird, Folk Dance And Fossil

Some state symbols for Colorado are obvious—the native bighorn sheep as the state animal, or the columbine as the state flower, for example. Others take a bit more background. Take the Centennial State bird (the lark bunting), folk dance (square dancing) and fossil (Stegosaurus).

Colorado Life Magazine editor Matt Masich talked to Colorado Matters about the three-way battle for the state bird title, how a Colorado native helped pull square dancing back from the brink of extinction and why the Stegosaurus fossil found in Morrison was housed at an out-of-state museum for a 100 years before finally making it back to Colorado.

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That Time We Met A Mermaid From Pueblo. No, Really. True Story

Pixy Wright is founder of Pueblo’s Mermaid Lagoon. And, because the tail prevents her from walking, she was carried into the CPR News studios by her husband, Bill Wright. And he is dressed as a pirate.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

A story now about swimming. With a tail. It’s something mermaids do — including in landlocked Pueblo, where there’s a small but dedicated mermaid subculture whose members meet at the CSU-Pueblo pool. Pixy Wright is founder of Pueblo’s Mermaids Lagoon. And because the tail prevents her from walking she was carried into our studios by her husband, Bill Wright. And he is dressed as a pirate.

Pixy’s mermaid name is Queen Ary. She wears a sequined tail with two different reds, undertones of pink and pearl white and it refracts light and shimmers. Her fluke — fins by the feet — are decorated too. It took her eight months to make this tail, layering the sequins on by hand. And when she puts it on, and slips into the water she leaves the human mess of a world behind and floats beyond what she thinks of as normal boundaries

Hear the conversation Queen Ary, the mermaid at cpr.org

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The Holy Grail Of Baseball Cards Will Be At History Colorado For Just Three Days

Next week, an armored truck will transport a small piece of cardboard worth millions of dollars from a secret vault to the History Colorado museum. That slice of cardboard is the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards. It’s from 1952, featuring legendary Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle. It’ll be on display for three days at the “Play Ball” exhibit alongside other items from baseball history, such as Joe DiMaggio’s uniform and a baseball used during the first Rockies game.

The Mantle card and other items come from the prodigious collection of private collector and Denverite Marshall Fogel. He talked to Colorado Matters about what makes the card so valuable. It’s in mint condition and has a perfect PSA 10 rating. I’ll only be shown for three days, July 16-18, because of concerns about UV damage.

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Colorado Forensic Anthropologist Helps Solve Murders and Missing Person Mysteries

A couple of years ago, hikers in Chaffee County spotted human bones in a rocky ravine. Investigators recovered the remains and combed the area for clues. Was it a homicide? They weren’t sure. So they sent the remains — and some artifacts — to an expert:  forensic anthropologist Diane France with the Human Identification Lab of Colorado.

France spoke with Colorado Matters about how she studies bones and other evidence to help solve murders and locate missing people. She’s worked on all sorts of cases involving human remains including after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and even evaluating the authenticity of skeletons said to belong to a royal family murdered in tsarist Russia. In the Chaffee county case she used a belt buckle and scraps of leather found near the bones to determine that the death occurred in the mid- to late-1800s. The remains belonged to a teenage male who died from a head injury, possibly after falling from his horse.

Listen to France speak with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner at cpr.org

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From Raspberry Problems To Battling Beetles, Answers To Your Most Pressing Gardening Questions

Colorado Master Gardener Loni Gaudet of Berthoud gives the dirt on dirt, Japanese Beetles and more on Colorado Matters. Listen to the conversation on cpr.org

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What You’ll Find At Colorado’s Corners – All Four Of Them

Journalist Matt Masich of Denver travelled to the furthest reaches of Colorado – he literally visited every corner of the state. His quest took him from the remote eastern plains to the rugged country of the west. He wrote about his adventures in the May/June issue of Colorado Life.

Listen to Masich’s conversation with Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis.

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Colorado Author Nick Arvin’s “Mad Boy” Goes On A Strange And Fascinating Journey through the War of 1812

When you think of the War of 1812 , what comes to mind? Perhaps you know it as the time the British burned the White House. You might also remember that the Star Spangled Banner was written during the war. But did you know the New England states almost seceded from the Union? Or that looting was rampant in and around the battlefield? Denver author Nick Arvin weaves the complex history of the War of 1812 into his latest novel, “Mad Boy.” Just a few pages into the book, a cow falls through a roof, killing the mother of ten-year-old Henry Phipps and launching him on an apparently insane quest.

Arvin spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel about choosing this little-known period in American history as a setting for the story.  Listen to their conversation at cpr.org

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Double Amputee Aims To Summit Pikes Peak, Without Prosthetics

Climbing the Manitou Incline’s infamous 2,744 steps is hard. Scaling the 2,000-foot elevation gain using only your arms and backside? That’s even harder. Double amputee Mandy Horvath did just that on April 23. The Colorado Springs woman’s legs were crushed by a train four years ago. She talked to Colorado Matters about her plans to tackle the Incline again on June 10, and continue to the top of Pikes Peak.

After spending months in recovery and falling into depression following her double amputation, Horvath decided to change her attitude and her life. She even got a tattoo on her upper chest saying, “Tell me that I can’t, and I’ll show you that I can.” She anticipates climbing her first 14er to take several days. Someone will carry her prosthetic legs up so Horvath can “stand on the top of Pikes Peak” when she summits. She is also crowdfunding donations to nonprofits the Battle Buddy Foundation and Operation Ward 57.

Listen to Mandy Horvath tell her story on Colorado Matters

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Mike The Headless Chicken Lives On, And On, And On, At Festival In Fruita, Colorado

It’s a story even Barnum, Bailey and Ripley would be impressed by: A rooster living in 1945 in Fruita, Colorado loses his head to farmer Lloyd Olsen’s ax. But to the man’s surprise, the animal was still alive, and would continue to live for 18 more months without the crucial appendage. Now the legacy of the decapitated chicken, later christened Mike, lives on in Fruita’s annual celebration of Mike’s will to live, the Mike The Headless Chicken Festival.

Self-described “weird historian” Marc Hartzman spoke to Colorado Matters about the origins of the bizarre festival. Back in the day, Mike’s owners took him on tour and people lined up to pay 25 cents to see Mike. While you can’t meet Mike at the Fruita festival, you can enter a peeps and wings eating contests and even play chicken poop bingo.

Listen to the Weird Historian on Colorado Matters at cpr.org

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