Archive for May 29th, 2009

29
May
09

American Bald Eagle

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29
May
09

World War II Fighters: North American P-51D

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Considered the best fighter plane of World War II, the P-51 Mustang, born of a British desire for a fighter to fend off the Luftwaffe and North American incorporating lessons learned from the P-40 Warhawk and the latest developments in aerodynamics, didn’t really excel as a fighter until the British Rolls-Merlin engine was added.

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Innovative wing design, featuring laminar flow technology, helped the P-51 decrease drag which added speed, agility, and with less drag comes better fuel mileage.

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The importance of the P-51 Mustang can be noted from an infamous quote by Herman Goering commander of the German Luftwaffe which concerned the appearance of P-51s escorting B-17s over Berlin.  Goering said, “When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up.”

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The United States built nearly fifteen thousand P-51 Mustangs and this design served in world air forces into the 1980s.

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This P-51 Mustang can be found at the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

For more information please see: P-51D Mustang

29
May
09

On This Day, May 29: Wisconsin Statehood

May 29, 1848

Wisconsin enters the Union

Following approval of statehood by the territory’s citizens, Wisconsin enters the Union as the 30th state.

In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet landed at Green Bay, becoming the first European to visit the lake-heavy northern region that would later become Wisconsin. In 1763, at the conclusion of the French and Indian Wars, the region, a major center of the American fur trade, passed into British control. Two decades later, at the end of the American Revolution, the region came under U.S. rule and was governed as part of the Northwest Territory. However, British fur traders continued to dominate Wisconsin from across the Canadian border, and it was not until the end of the War of 1812 that the region fell firmly under American control.

In the first decades of the 19th century, settlers began arriving via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to exploit Wisconsin’s agricultural potential, and in 1832 the Black Hawk War ended Native American resistance to white settlement. In 1836, after several decades of governance as part of other territories, Wisconsin was made a separate entity, with Madison, located midway between Milwaukee and the western centers of population, marked as the territorial capital. By 1840, population in Wisconsin had risen above 130,000, but the people voted against statehood four times, fearing the higher taxes that would come with a stronger central government. Finally, in 1848, Wisconsin citizens, envious of the prosperity that federal programs brought to neighboring Midwestern states, voted to approve statehood. Wisconsin entered the Union the next May.

“Wisconsin enters the Union,” The History Channel website, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5044 (accessed May 29, 2009).

On This Day

1453 – Constantinople fell to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, ending the Byzantine Empire.

1765 – Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia‘s House of Burgesses.

1790 – Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1910 – An airplane raced a train from Albany, NY, to New York City. The airplane pilot Glenn Curtiss won the $10,000 prize.

1911 – The first running of the Indianapolis 500 took place.

1912 – Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA, for dancing the Turkey Trot while on the job.

1922 – Ecuador became independent.

1951 – C.F. Blair became the first man to fly over the North Pole in single engine plane.

1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.

1962 – Buck (John) O’Neil became the first black coach in major league baseball when he accepted the job with the Chicago Cubs.

1973 – Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

1985 – 39 people were killed and 400 were injured in a riot at a European Cup soccer match in Brussels, Belgium.

1999 – Space shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.

2001 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in tournaments.

May 29, 1932

Bonus Marchers arrive in Washington

At the height of the Great Depression, the so-called “Bonus Expeditionary Force,” a group of 1,000 World War I veterans seeking cash payments for their veterans’ bonus certificates, arrive in Washington, D.C. One month later, other veteran groups spontaneously made their way to the nation’s capital, swelling the Bonus Marchers to nearly 20,000 strong, most of them unemployed veterans in desperate financial straits. Camping in vacant government buildings and in open fields made available by District of Columbia Police Chief Pelham D. Glassford, they demanded passage of the veterans’ payment bill introduced by Representative Wright Patman.

While awaiting a vote on the issue, the veterans conducted themselves in an orderly and peaceful fashion, and on June 15 the Patman bill passed in the House of Representatives. However, two days later, its defeat in the Senate infuriated the marchers, who refused to return home. In an increasingly tense situation, the federal government provided money for the protesters’ trip home, but 2,000 refused the offer and continued to protest. On July 28, President Herbert Hoover ordered the army, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, to evict them forcibly. MacArthur’s men set their camps on fire, and the veterans were driven from the city. Hoover, increasingly regarded as insensitive to the needs of the nation’s many poor, was much criticized by the public and press for the severity of his response.

“Bonus Marchers arrive in Washington,” The History Channel website, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5046 (accessed May 29, 2009).




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