“John Has A Long Mustache”

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UPDATE: The reason I prepared this LRC blog in the way I did was to pique the curiosity of a particular class of readers. Today is the 70th anniversary of the multilateral amphibious landing of the Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, commonly referred to as D-Day. This was the largest such invasion in world history. It was the turning point on the Western Front in the European Theater of the Second World War.

Author Cornelius Ryan wrote a best-selling 1959 book about this D-Day invasion of France. It was entitled The Longest Day. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck of Twentieth Century Fox purchased the film rights to this book, and under his supervision Fox made the most expensive black and white epic film (to that point in time) premiering in 1962. It remains the definitive film on this subject. It had the largest ensemble cast of major stars of any movie in history, and a cast of thousands.

The YouTube video above is the instantly recognizable theme from the movie. Anyone who has seen the film will recognize it from the opening notes of the composition.

In both the book and the film the Allies alerted the French underground that the cross-channel invasion was finally taking place through a series of coded messages broadcast on the BBC. One of those coded phrases was “John Has A Large Mustache.” 

On June 6, 1963, my father, who was an American ex-POW who was shot down over France aiding the French resistance, took me to see the movie. It was on my 11th birthday. Anyone who has seen the movie and knows what happened on this important day seven decades ago will make these various connections and realize the significance of why I posted this blog today on LRC. If you have not seen the film or read the book I urge you to do so.

1:37 am on June 6, 2014