Gone, Gay and Forgotten -- The Fate of Richard Halliburton

Gone, Gay and Forgotten -- The Fate of Richard Halliburton
Richard Halliburton

It takes awhile for the history books to be written, and when you review them some characters are pushed to the front of the memory of culture, and some are forgotten.

Richard Halliburton, adventurer, lecturer and writer,  is one of those forgotten men, though in his heyday –the 1920’s and 1930’s– he was at least as popular as a first tier rock star.  Think of eighty years from now and somebody mentions Bruce Springsteen, “the Boss”, and there are blank stares, even though he sold millions of songs and hobnobbed with presidents; yet in 2102, nobody knows his name.

Such is  the fate of Halliburton, as you can read here.

There are suggestions as to why: that he was gay, and, despite his popular successes, his name was allowed to slip from history because of intolerance.  Some say because he was politically incorrect, though his terminology was popular in the day.   Others just shrug their shoulders; they do not know why.

Halliburton disappeared under strange circumstances on the eve of World War II.  Some say it was because he was recruited by President Franklin Roosevelt to spy on the Japanese, and others say it was because of his trusting faulty workman to construct a boat which he planned to sail across the Pacific.

Hallibuton survives only as a footnote in the history of Panama.  There he swam the length of the Panama Canal and has been labeled as the smallest “vessel” to cross the canal.

History smiles on some and not on others.

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