The Lombards or Longobards (Latin: Langobardi, Italian Longobardi [loŋɡoˈbardi]) were a Germanic people who ruled large parts of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.
The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia (Scadanan) before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in northwestern Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area roughly coinciding with modern Austria north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and later fought frequent wars with the Gepids. The Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552; his successor Alboin eventually destroyed the Gepids at the Battle of Asfeld in 567.
Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become severely depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War (535–554) between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Heruls, Gepids, Bulgars, Thuringians, and Ostrogoths, and their invasion of Italy was almost unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all north of Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in central Italy and southern Italy. They established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy, later named Regnum Italicum ("Kingdom of Italy"), which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was conquered by the Frankish King Charlemagne and integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula, well into the 11th century when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known by the name Langbarðaland (Land of the Lombards) in the Norse runestones. Their legacy is also apparent in the regional name Lombardy (in the north of Italy)....LESS
After Betty Grable, but before there was Marilyn, America's penchant for popcorn blondes focused on LANA, the "ultimate movie star." She had it all: Looks to die for, money to burn, the romantic adulation of the world, and lovers who included the world's most desirable men. In her 1937 film, They Won't Forget, a 16-year-old Lana, without wearing a brassiere, walked down the street with her boobs bouncing. Censors protested, but when it was shown, America cheered and nicknamed her "The Sweater Girl." From there, Lana competed with Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth as the pre-eminent pinup girl ("so many men, so little time") of World War II. Horny GIs referred to her as "the Girl We'd Like to Find in Every Port." From the start, her private life was marked with scandal: She aborted Mickey Rooney's baby; seduced a young John F. Kennedy; and fell for Frank Sinatra, who later caught her in bed with another love goddess, Ava Gardner. In the early 1940s, after a nationwide campaign promoting the sale of War Bonds, Carole Lombard frantically boarded a small plane headed back to Hollywood, suffering a fiery death when it crashed within 13 minutes of takeoff. The risk she took during that thunderstorm was motivated, it was said, by her obsession with rescuing her husband, Clark Gable, from the amorous clutches of Lana Turner. Tyrone Power--tall, dark, photogenic, and famous--eventually evolved into the greatest love of her life until the Aviator, Howard Hughes, arguably the most psychotic billionaire in the history of Hollywood, flew in to seduce both of them. Lana (aka "The Ziegfeld Girl") didn't hear The Postman Always Rings Twice because she was in bed with John Garfield. Later, in search of love, she spent a Weekend at the Waldorf before moving to Green Dolphin Street and later to the notorious Peyton Place, she found it during an experiment with an Imitation of Life. Gable took her to a Honky Tonk and vowed, "Somewhere I'll Find You," before their Homecoming reunion. With Ray Milland, she found A Life of Her Own before dancing to The Merry Widow waltz with sexy Fernando Lamas. Many notoriously hot men--many of them her filmmaking co-stars--lay in her future: Richard Burton, Sean Connery, and Errol "in like Flynn." Samson (Victor Mature) was said to be "Lana's Biggest Thrill." Lana rescued Peter Lawford from Elizabeth Taylor; Ricky Ricardo from Lucy; and, when not singing amore with Dean Martin, Kirk Douglas learned that she was Bad and Beautiful both on and off the screen. "The bombshell" once said, "I wanted one husband and seven babies, but I got the reverse--seven husbands and an only child " She married Tarzan (Lex Barker) after his designation as "The Sexiest Man in the World," but the union ended when she caught him seducing her teenaged daughter. Opinions about Lana were as varied as her changing looks. "She was amoral," said MGM's CEO, Louis B. Mayer. Robert Taylor commented: "She was the type of woman a guy would risk five years in jail for rape." Gloria Swanson sniffed, "She wasn't even an actress...only a trollop." And Ronald Reagan--a man who later became U.S. president--asked, "In what cathouse did she learn those tricks?" And then there was that embarrassing murder: Did Lana fatally stab her gangster lover, Johnny Stompanato, known for his links to the Mob? Or was the heinous act committed by her daughter, a traumatized teenager who, after time in reform school, officially outed herself as a lesbian? How did these whirlwinds of scandal affect the gal who had it all? According to Lana, "I'd like to think that in some small way, I've helped to preserve the glamour and beauty and mystery of the movie industry."Never before has there been, until now, a definitive, uncensored, and comprehensive biography of "the Ultimate Movie Star," LANA TURNER. Until now.