A cemetery isn’t usually a tourist attraction, but during my recent visit to Metropolis, Illinois, I had two reasons to visit the Masonic Cemetery. The first is John Steele, who had served as a paratrooper in World War II. This hometown hero would eventually be portrayed by Red Buttons in 20th Century Fox’s World War II epic The Longest Day, which was released in 1962. For more on Steele, check here.
The second reason is Robert Stroud, the famous Birdman of Leavenworth Penitentiary. He would eventually be portrayed by Burt Lancaster in John Frankenheimer’s Birdman of Alcatraz (also released in 1962, coincidentally). For more on Stroud, check here. Finding the graves wasn’t easy but after a longer-than-expected search period, I eventually found both graves and paid my respects to each. It was an unusual place (the cemetery, that is) for me to visit, but it was worth the effort.