Archive for March, 2009



28
Mar
09

A-17/8A Light Attack Bomber

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Developed by Northrop the A-17/8A served primarily in foreign air services.  The United States Army Air Corps, being influenced by events in Europe and Asia, wanted long range heavy bombers capable of attacking European and Asian targets.  The A-17 had several unique and innovative features, such as the split perforated flaps seen extending down from the wings.  The enclosed canopy added protection for the pilot and the navigator/bombardier/radioman in the backseat.  This particular A-17 is the only known plane of its type known to exist and can be found at National Museum of the US Air Force  in Dayton, Ohio

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For more information on this airplane see: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=343

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28
Mar
09

On This Day, March 28: The Coercive Acts

March 28, 1774

British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts

Upset by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property by American colonists, the British Parliament enacts the Coercive Acts, to the outrage of American Patriots, on this day in 1774.

The Coercive Acts were a series of four acts established by the British government. The aim of the legislation was to restore order in Massachusetts and punish Bostonians for their “Tea Party,” in which members of the revolutionary-minded Sons of Liberty boarded three British tea ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea—nearly $1 million worth in today’s money—into the water to protest the Tea Act.

Passed in response to the Americans’ disobedience, the Coercive Acts included:

“The Boston Port Act,” which closed the port of Boston until damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid.

“The Massachusetts Government Act,” which restricted Massachusetts; democratic town meetings and turned the governor’s council into an appointed body.

“The Administration of Justice Act,” which made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in Massachusetts.

“The Quartering Act,” which required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in their private homes as a last resort.

A fifth act, the Quebec Act, which extended freedom of worship to Catholics in Canada, as well as granting Canadians the continuation of their judicial system, was joined with the Coercive Acts in colonial parlance as one of the “Intolerable Acts,” as the mainly Protestant colonists did not look kindly on the ability of Catholics to worship freely on their borders.

More important than the acts themselves was the colonists’ response to the legislation. Parliament hoped that the acts would cut Boston and New England off from the rest of the colonies and prevent unified resistance to British rule. They expected the rest of the colonies to abandon Bostonians to British martial law. Instead, other colonies rushed to the city’s defense, sending supplies and forming their own Provincial Congresses to discuss British misrule and mobilize resistance to the crown. In September 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and began orchestrating a united resistance to British rule in America.

“British Parliament adopts the Coercive Acts.” 2009. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2009, 05:56 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=324.

 

On This Day

1834 – The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.

1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks and trees.”

1898 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.

1921 – U.S. President Warren Harding named William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.

1938 – In Italy, psychiatrists demonstrated the use of electric-shock therapy for treatment of certain mental illnesses.

1939 – The Spanish Civil War ended as Madrid fell to Francisco Franco.

1941 – The Italian fleet was defeated by the British at the Battle of Matapan.

1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.

1968 – The U.S. lost its first F-111 aircraft in Vietnam when it vanished while on a combat mission. North Vietnam claimed that they had shot it down.

1979 – A major accident occurred at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. A nuclear power reactor overheated and suffered a partial meltdown.

1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George Bush.

 

March 28, 1776

De Anza founds San Francisco

Juan Bautista de Anza, one of the great western pathfinders of the 18th century, arrives at the future site of San Francisco with 247 colonists.

Though little known among Americans because of his Spanish origins, Anza’s accomplishments as a western trailblazer merit comparison with those of Lewis and Clark, John Fremont, and Kit Carson. Born and raised in Mexico, Anza joined the army when he was 17 and became a captain seven years later. He excelled as a military leader, displaying tactical genius in numerous battles with the Apache Indians.

In 1772, Anza made his first major exploratory mission, leading an arduous but successful expedition northwest to the Pacific Coast. Anza’s expedition established the first successful overland connections between the Mexican State of Sonora and northern California. Impressed by this accomplishment, the Mexican viceroy commissioned Anza to return to California and establish a permanent settlement along the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay.

Although seagoing Spanish explorers had sailed along the northern California coast during the 16th and 17th centuries, the amazing natural harbor of San Francisco Bay was only discovered in 1769. The Spanish immediately recognized the strategic importance of the bay, though it would be seven years before they finally dispatched Anza to establish a claim there.

Anza and 247 colonists arrived at the future site of San Francisco on this day in 1776. Anza established a presidio, or military fort, on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Six months later, a Spanish Franciscan priest founded a mission near the presidio that he named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi-in Spanish, San Francisco de Asiacutes.

The most northerly outpost of the Spanish Empire in America, San Francisco remained an isolated and quiet settlement for more than half a century after Anza founded the first settlement. It was not until the 1830s that an expansionist United States began to realize the commercial potential of the magnificent natural harbor. In the wake of the Mexican War, the U.S. took possession of California in 1848, though San Francisco was still only a small town of 900 at that time. With the discovery of gold that year at Sutter’s Fort, however, San Francisco boomed. By 1852, San Francisco was home to more than 36,000 people.

The founder of San Francisco did not live to see it flourish. After establishing the San Francisco presidio, Anza returned to Mexico. In 1777, he was appointed governor of New Mexico, where he eventually negotiated a critical peace treaty with Commanche Indians, who agreed to join the Spanish in making war on the Apache. In declining health, Anza retired as governor in 1786 and returned to Sonora. He died two years later, still only in his early 50s and remembered as one of greatest trailblazers and soldiers in Spain’s northern borderlands.

“De Anza founds San Francisco.” 2009. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2009, 05:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4472.

27
Mar
09

Deer Runs

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White-tailed deer will travel the same trails over and over, creating deer runs or deer trails whichever you prefer.

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My dad tells several hunting stories that involve him sitting on a deer run and watching as a doe or young buck will pass through without noticing him.

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I took these pictures yesterday while hiking, anticipating that sooner or later I would get some shots of some deer and then I could write this article.  Then I took some background shots of the type of dense cover that these trails pass through, so I could explain how difficult spotting a deer can be.

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Now understand, I was just shooting shots of the woods so I could explain how difficult finding deer can be.

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Look very closely in the center of the picture.  I tell you in all honesty, I didn’t even see it standing there.  I was just pointing the camera into the woods and shooting.

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Including this shot of a squirrel at the base of the tree in the center of the picture, not even realizing what stood right in front of it at the top of the picture.  When I realized a white-tail stood there watching me, I took a couple steps forward to change my perspective and got this shot.

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I got these shots because I was following a deer run, an important and easy way to find deer.

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Have a good day.

27
Mar
09

On This Day, March 27: Alaskan Earthquake

March 27, 1964

Earthquake rocks Alaska

The strongest earthquake in American history, measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale, slams southern Alaska, creating a deadly tsunami. Some 125 people were killed and thousands injured.

The massive earthquake had its epicenter in the Prince William Sound, about eight miles northeast of Anchorage, but approximately 300,000 square miles of U.S., Canadian, and international territory were affected. Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, sustained the most property damage, with about 30 blocks of dwellings and commercial buildings damaged or destroyed in the downtown area. Fifteen people were killed or fatally injured as a direct result of the three-minute quake, and then the ensuing tsunami killed another 110 people. The tidal wave, which measured over 100 feet at points, devastated towns along the Gulf of Alaska and caused carnage in British Columbia, Canada; Hawaii; and the West Coast of the United States, where 15 people died. Total property damage was estimated in excess of $400 million. The day after the quake, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Alaska an official disaster area.

“Earthquake rocks Alaska.” 2009. The History Channel website. 27 Mar 2009, 04:34 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4868.

On This Day

1794 – The U.S. Congress and President Washington authorized the creation of the U.S. Navy.

1814 – U.S. troops under Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians at Horshoe Bend in Northern Alabama.

1836 – The Mexican army massacred about 400 Texan rebels at Goliad, TX, under the order of Santa Anna.

1866 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson vetoed the civil rights bill, which later became the 14th amendment.

1901 – Filipino rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by the U.S.

1904 – Mary Jarris “Mother” Jones was ordered by Colorado state authorities to leave the state. She was accused of stirring up striking coal miners.

1941 – Tokeo Yoshikawa arrived in Oahu, HI, and began spying for Japan on the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

1958 – Nikita Khrushchev became the chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.

1958 – The U.S. announced a plan to explore space near the moon.

1968 – Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the earth, died in a plane crash.

2004 – NASA successfully launched an unpiloted X-43A jet that hit Mach 7 (about 5,000 mph).

March 27, 1865

Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant meet

President Lincoln meets with Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman at City Point, Virginia, to plot the last stages of the war.

Lincoln came to Virginia just as Grant was preparing to attack Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s lines around Petersburg and Richmond, an assault that promised to end the siege that had dragged on for 10 months. Meanwhile, Sherman’s force was steamrolling northward through the Carolinas. The three architects of Union victory met for the first time as a group–Sherman and Lincoln had never met–to plot the final destruction of the Confederacy.

Lincoln came to Grant’s headquarters at City Point at the general-in-chief’s request. Lincoln boarded the River Queen with his wife Mary and son Tad on March 23, and the first family had a hectic visit. Lincoln went to the Petersburg lines and witnessed a Union bombardment and a small skirmish. He also reviewed troops, visited wounded soldiers, and then met with Grant and Sherman. Sherman had traveled from Goldsboro, North Carolina, to the coast before catching a steamer to Virginia. During the meeting, Lincoln expressed his concern that that Confederate armies might slip away. He was worried that Lee might escape Petersburg and flee to North Carolina, where he could join forces with Joseph Johnston to forge a new Confederate army that could continue the war for months. Grant and Sherman confidently assured the president that the end was in sight. Lincoln emphasized to his generals that any surrender terms must preserve the Union war aims of emancipation and a pledge of equality for the freed slaves.

After meeting the next day with Admiral David Dixon Porter, the three went their separate ways. In less than four weeks, Grant and Sherman had secured the surrender of the Confederacy.

“Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant meet.” 2009. The History Channel website. 27 Mar 2009, 04:37 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2148.

26
Mar
09

White-tailed Deer at Sunset

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26
Mar
09

On This Day, March 26: Camp David

March 26, 1979

Israel-Egyptian peace agreement signed

In a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties.

Less than two years earlier, in an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to seek a permanent peace settlement with Egypt’s Jewish neighbor after decades of conflict. Sadat’s visit, in which he met with Begin and spoke before Israel’s parliament, was met with outrage in most of the Arab world. Despite criticism from Egypt’s regional allies, Sadat continued to pursue peace with Begin, and in September 1978 the two leaders met again in the United States, where they negotiated an agreement with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland. The Camp David Accords, the first peace agreement between the state of Israel and one of its Arab neighbors, laid the groundwork for diplomatic and commercial relations. Seven months later, a formal peace treaty was signed.

For their achievement, Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Peace. Sadat’s peace efforts were not so highly acclaimed in the Arab world–Egypt was suspended from the Arab League, and on October 6, 1981, Muslim extremists assassinated Sadat in Cairo. Nevertheless, the peace process continued without Sadat, and in 1982 Egypt formally established diplomatic relations with Israel.

“Israel-Egyptian peace agreement signed.” 2009. The History Channel website. 26 Mar 2009, 11:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4865.

 

On This Day

1793 – The Holy Roman Emperor formally declared war on France.

1804 – The U.S. Congress ordered the removal of Indians east of the Mississippi to Louisiana.

1804 – The Louisiana Purchase was divided into the District of Louisiana and the Territory of Orleans.

1885 – Eastman Kodak (Eastman Dry Plate and Film Co.) produced the first commercial motion picture film in Rochester, NY.

1910 – The U.S. Congress passed an amendment to the 1907 Immigration Act that barred criminals, paupers, anarchists and carriers of disease from settling in the U.S.

1937 – Spinach growers in Crystal City, TX, erected a statue of Popeye.

1938 – Herman Goering warned all Jews to leave Austria.

1942 – The Germans began sending Jews to Auschwitz in Poland.

1945 – The battle of Iwo Jima ended.

1951 – The U.S. Air Force flag was approved. The flag included the coat of arms, 13 white stars and the Air Force seal on a blue background.

1958 – The U.S. Army launched America’s third successful satellite, Explorer III.

1973 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat took over the premiership and said “the stage of total confrontation (with Israel) has become inevitable.”

1973 – Women were allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange for the first time.

1982 – Ground breaking ceremonies were held in Washington, DC, for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

1989 – The first free elections took place in the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin was elected.

 

March 26, 1953

Salk announces polio vaccine

On March 26, 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. In 1952–an epidemic year for polio–there were 58,000 new cases reported in the United States, and more than 3,000 died from the disease. For promising eventually to eradicate the disease, which is known as “infant paralysis” because it mainly affects children, Dr. Salk was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time.

Polio, a disease that has affected humanity throughout recorded history, attacks the nervous system and can cause varying degrees of paralysis. Since the virus is easily transmitted, epidemics were commonplace in the first decades of the 20th century. The first major polio epidemic in the United States occurred in Vermont in the summer of 1894, and by the 20th century thousands were affected every year. In the first decades of the 20th century, treatments were limited to quarantines and the infamous “iron lung,” a metal coffin-like contraption that aided respiration. Although children, and especially infants, were among the worst affected, adults were also often afflicted, including future president Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1921 was stricken with polio at the age of 39 and was left partially paralyzed. Roosevelt later transformed his estate in Warm Springs, Georgia, into a recovery retreat for polio victims and was instrumental in raising funds for polio-related research and the treatment of polio patients.

Salk, born in New York City in 1914, first conducted research on viruses in the 1930s when he was a medical student at New York University, and during World War II helped develop flu vaccines. In 1947, he became head of a research laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh and in 1948 was awarded a grant to study the polio virus and develop a possible vaccine. By 1950, he had an early version of his polio vaccine.

Salk’s procedure, first attempted unsuccessfully by American Maurice Brodie in the 1930s, was to kill several strains of the virus and then inject the benign viruses into a healthy person’s bloodstream. The person’s immune system would then create antibodies designed to resist future exposure to poliomyelitis. Salk conducted the first human trials on former polio patients and on himself and his family, and by 1953 was ready to announce his findings. This occurred on the CBS national radio network on the evening of March 25 and two days later in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Salk became an immediate celebrity.

In 1954, clinical trials using the Salk vaccine and a placebo began on nearly two million American schoolchildren. In April 1955, it was announced that the vaccine was effective and safe, and a nationwide inoculation campaign began. New polio cases dropped to under 6,000 in 1957, the first year after the vaccine was widely available. In 1962, an oral vaccine developed by Polish-American researcher Albert Sabin became available, greatly facilitating distribution of the polio vaccine. Today, there are just a handful of polio cases in the United States every year, and most of these are “imported” by Americans from developing nations where polio is still a problem. Among other honors, Jonas Salk was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He died in La Jolla, California, in 1995.

“Salk announces polio vaccine.” 2009. The History Channel website. 26 Mar 2009, 11:16 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6848.

25
Mar
09

Ice Free

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