Archive for June, 2009

24
Jun
09

Bryan/Harris H-18-LK-G Sailplane

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If powered flight doesn’t seem dangerous enough, you could always try gliding.

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Built for one, this engineless plane would be the closest thing to soaring like a bird.

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Constructed from metal and foam, the light-weight design attempts to bring safety to powerless flight.

24
Jun
09

Human Sling Shot

23
Jun
09

White-tailed Deer: Resting Doe

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I also hiked through Lake Kegonsa during the weekend and got some nice close in shots of a doe.

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She walked across the trail in front of me and then laid down.

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The flies pestered both her and I, but she stayed and let me photograph.

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23
Jun
09

On This Day, June 23: Hitler Tours Paris

June 23, 1940

Hitler takes a tour of Paris

On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler surveys notable sites in the French capital, now German-occupied territory.

In his first and only visit to Paris, Hitler made Napoleon’s tomb among the sites to see. “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life,” he said upon leaving. Comparisons between the Fuhrer and Napoleon have been made many times: They were both foreigners to the countries they ruled (Napoleon was Italian, Hitler was Austrian); both planned invasions of Russia while preparing invasions of England; both captured the Russian city of Vilna on June 24; both had photographic memories; both were under 5 feet 9 inches tall, among other coincidences.

As a tribute to the French emperor, Hitler ordered that the remains of Napoleon’s son be moved from Vienna to lie beside his father.

But Hitler being Hitler, he came to do more than gawk at the tourist attractions. He ordered the destruction of two World War I monuments: one to General Charles Mangin, a French war hero, and one to Edith Cavell, a British nurse who was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Brussels. The last thing Hitler wanted were such visible reminders of past German defeat.

Hitler would gush about Paris for months afterward. He was so impressed, he ordered architect and friend Albert Speer to revive plans for a massive construction program of new public buildings in Berlin, an attempt to destroy Paris, not with bombs, but with superior architecture. “Wasn’t Paris beautiful?” Hitler asked Speer. “But Berlin must be far more beautiful. [W]hen we are finished in Berlin, Paris will only be a shadow.”

“Hitler takes a tour of Paris,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6465 [accessed Jun 23, 2009]

22
Jun
09

Circling Eagle

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22
Jun
09

On This Day, June 22: FDR Signs the G.I. Bill

June 22, 1944

FDR signs GI bill

On this day in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II. Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt voiced his belief that ensuring veterans’ employability was critical to “a sound postwar economy.”

The “GI” bill, named after the slang term for soldiers whose wartime goods and services were “government issued,” provided funding for education, home loans, unemployment insurance, job counseling and the construction of veterans’ hospital facilities. It also greatly strengthened the authority of and scope of services provided by the Veterans Administration. Tuition for advanced education or technical training was covered up to $500 per school year, along with a monthly living allowance while the veteran was in school. GIs could also apply for guaranteed home and business loans.

In his speech at the signing of the bill, Roosevelt acknowledged the sacrifices of America’s men and women in uniform and emphasized the moral responsibility of the American people not to let their veterans down once they returned to civilian life. He and his economic advisors foresaw potential problems as the then-robust wartime economy transitioned to peacetime. He hoped that the GI bill would help prevent a situation in which the return of 2.2 million servicemen from war created massive unemployment, economic depression or social unrest. Also in his speech, Roosevelt appealed to Congress to enact some sort of future legislation that would reassure current civilian workers that their services would still be needed in a post-war economy.

Roosevelt urged that “the goal after the war should be the maximum utilization of our human and material resources.” After his death and the end of the Second World War, veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and U.N.-led coalition conflicts continued to benefit from an evolving GI bill.

“FDR signs GI bill,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=665 [accessed Jun 22, 2009]

 

1807 – British seamen board the USS Chesapeake, a provocation leading to the War of 1812.

1933 – Germany became a one political party country when Hitler banned parties other than the Nazis.

1940 – France and Germany signed an armistice at Compiegne, on terms dictated by the Nazis.

1942 – A Japanese submarine shelled Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.

1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court voted that Henry Miller’s book, “Tropic of Cancer”, could not be banned.

1969 – Judy Garland died from an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping aids. She was 47.

1977 – John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. He served 19 months.

 

June 22, 1941

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa–the invasion of Russia

On this day in 1941, over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

Despite the fact that Germany and Russia had signed a “pact” in 1939, each guaranteeing the other a specific region of influence without interference from the other, suspicion remained high. When the Soviet Union invaded Rumania in 1940, Hitler saw a threat to his Balkan oil supply. He immediately responded by moving two armored and 10 infantry divisions into Poland, posing a counterthreat to Russia. But what began as a defensive move turned into a plan for a German first-strike. Despite warnings from his advisers that Germany could not fight the war on two fronts (as Germany’s experience in World War I proved), Hitler became convinced that England was holding out against German assaults, refusing to surrender, because it had struck a secret deal with Russia. Fearing he would be “strangled” from the East and the West, he created, in December 1940, “Directive No. 21: Case Barbarossa”–the plan to invade and occupy the very nation he had actually asked to join the Axis only a!

month before!

On June 22, 1941, having postponed the invasion of Russia after Italy’s attack on Greece forced Hitler to bail out his struggling ally in order to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, three German army groups struck Russia hard by surprise. The Russian army was larger than German intelligence had anticipated, but they were demobilized. Stalin had shrugged off warnings from his own advisers, even Winston Churchill himself, that a German attack was imminent. (Although Hitler had telegraphed his territorial designs on Russia as early as 1925–in his autobiography, Mein Kampf.) By the end of the first day of the invasion, the German air force had destroyed more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft. And despite the toughness of the Russian troops, and the number of tanks and other armaments at their disposal, the Red Army was disorganized, enabling the Germans to penetrate up to 300 miles into Russian territory within the next few days.

“Germany launches Operation Barbarossa–the invasion of Russia,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6494 [accessed Jun 22, 2009]

21
Jun
09

Mississippi River From Wyalusing State Park

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The bluffs along the Mississippi River in southern Wisconsin offer some incredible views.

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Located on the bluffs above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, Wyalusing State Park offers spectacular views right from the doorway of your tent or camper with camping allowed right on the edge of the bluffs.

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I’ve seen people with motorboats, kayaks, and fishing boats, so no matter which recreational use of the river you prefer, it has plenty of room for all.

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But don’t forget to look up and to scan the trees, because the Mississippi River is home to many species of birds, including Turkey Vultures…

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and American Bald Eagles.

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