The t-shirt project – Day 74 (Jericho TV series)

What a special t-shirt.  I was involved in helping bring back the CBS television series Jericho for a second season in 2008 by sending peanuts to CBS.  Jericho was about a small American Midwest town named Jericho and the struggle it’s citizens had in surviving a nuclear war.  The series ended with the lead actor saying “Nuts” when the bad guys from a neighboring town demanded that they surrender.

The ‘nuts’ response came from Lt. Gen. Harry W.O. to a German surrender ultimatum during the Battle of the Bulge in WW II.  On Dec. 22, 1944, two German officers approached the American lines in Bastogne carrying a demand that the American commander surrender his troops within two hours or face annihilation from an artillery barrage.

The message was passed on to Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, acting as division commander while Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor was in Washington.

Kinnard, a lieutenant colonel at the time and the division’s operations officer, would recall that McAuliffe “laughed and said: ‘Us surrender?  Aw, nuts.'”

He then wrote down a response: “To the German Commander, Nuts!  The American Commander.”

The note was carried back to the German officers by Col. Joseph Harper, a regimental commander.  The officers did not seem to understand it, so Harper told them, “If you don’t know what ‘nuts’ means, in plain English, it is the same as ‘go to hell.'”

The 101st held out, and four days later an American column broke through the German lines, lifting the siege.  That response of “nuts” came to epitomize the grit of American soldiers in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

Jericho got it’s second season even after CBS officially cancelled the show.  Unheard of really.  So many peanuts were sent to CBS that the head if programming had to send out an official response to please stop sending us nuts.  CBS donated the packages of peanuts to the troops overseas.

The website that actually spearheaded the effort in saving Jericho still supports the show with a Jericho Party Mix inspired by the television series!

Now there is word that Netflix is in talks with CBS to revive Jericho!


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