Posts Tagged ‘Columbia


On This Day, 7-20-08: One Small Step

At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal.

“Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

“Armstrong walks on moon.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Jul 2008, 11:14


On This Day

1810 – Colombia declared independence from Spain.

1861 – The Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, VA.

1868 – Legislation that ordered U.S. tax stamps to be placed on all cigarette packs was passed.

1917 – The draft lottery in World War I went into operation.

1942 – The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, (WACS) began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

1944 – An attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed. The bomb exploded at Hitler’s Rastenburg headquarters. Hitler was only wounded.

1944 – U.S. President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1951 – Jordan’s King Abdullah Ibn Hussein was assassinated in Jerusalem.

1974 – Turkish forces invaded Cyprus.

1976 – America’s Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful landing on Mars.

1977 – A flash flood hit Johnstown, PA, killing 80 people and causing $350 million worth of damage.


Battle of Peachtree Creek

On this day, General John Bell Hood’s Confederate force attack William T. Sherman’s troops outside of Atlanta, Georgia, but are repulsed with heavy losses.

“Battle of Peachtree Creek.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Jul 2008, 11:17

Sitting Bull surrenders

Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.

“Sitting Bull surrenders.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Jul 2008, 11:15

Truman issues peacetime draft

President Harry S. Truman institutes a military draft with a proclamation calling for nearly 10 million men to register for military service within the next two months. Truman’s action came during increasing Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union.

Truman’s decision underlined the urgency of his administration’s concern about a possible military confrontation with the Soviet Union. It also brought home to the American people in concrete terms the possibility that the Cold War could, at any moment, become an actual war. In 1950, possibility turned to reality when the United States entered the Korean War, and the size of America’s armed forces once again increased dramatically.


On This Day 2-1-08: F. W. Woolworth; Greensboro, North Carolina

1790 – The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.

1793 – France declared war on Britain and Holland.

1861 – Texas voted to secede from the Union.

1893 – Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.

1900 – Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1913 – Grand Central Station opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.

1946 – Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

1951 – The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.

1958 – The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria. It was broken 1961.

1960 – Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.

1968 – During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.

1979 – Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.

1994 – Jeff Gillooly plead guilty in Portland, OR, for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.

2003 – NASA’s space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

Greensboro Lunch Counter

Greensboro Lunch Counter in the Separate Is Not Equal exhibition

In 1960, if you were African American, you were not allowed to sit here—the lunch counter at the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Racial inequality pervaded American life. Throughout the South, a racist system known as “Jim Crow” segregated people in restaurants, restrooms and most other accommodations. When African Americans tried to find a house or apartment, register to vote, or even order lunch, they were denied equal rights. The Woolworth’s in the Greensboro, like other stores in the community, refused to seat and serve African Americans at the luncheonette.

On Feb. 1, 1960, four African American students sat down at this counter and asked for service. Their request was refused.

When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Ezell A. Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil and David L. Richmond were all enrolled at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College. Their “passive sit-down demand” began the first sustained sit-in and ignited a youth-led movement to challenge injustice and inequality throughout the South.

In Greensboro, hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches and members of the community joined in a six-month-long protest. They challenged the company’s policy of racial discrimination by sitting at the counter, and, later, organizing an economic boycott of the store. Their defiance heightened many Americans’ awareness of racial injustice and ultimately led to the desegregation of F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.


Snowshoeing in Southern Wisconsin

Snowshoeing 013

Last year I bought a pair of snowshoes along with some other Winter gear.  Parka, insulated gloves, insulated under-armor, snow pants, insulated boots, and this totally bad-ass fur cap.  Most of the gear is from North Face or Columbia and the snowshoes are from Tubbs.  I never got a chance to use any of it.  I wore the fur cap and the parka when I shoveled the driveway, but other than that, we didn’t get enough snow.

Not this year.

We have about double the amount of snow we usually get in December, and it doesn’t seem to want to let up.  A day or two without snowing, followed by a day or two of snowing.  It’s great!

Today, I finally got to use the snowshoes.  Snowshoeing is much more work than cross-country skiing, but I’m not limited to the trails.  As a matter of fact when I went out to the local state park, I asked the ranger if I could go snowshoeing.  He said I could as long as I stayed off the cross-country ski trails.

“Does that mean I can go anywhere else in the park?” I asked.

“Yep,” he answered.  Adding, “Go for it.”

I went anywhere there weren’t ski trails and when I had to cross the ski trails I made sure not to mess up their ski runs.  I’m a good guy like that.  I believe in sharing the park.

It was a nice day in the park.  The temps stayed around twenty-five degrees and it turned out, with all the extra work of snowshoeing, I was overdressed.  I prefer my mom’s philosophy when I go into the woods in Winter.  If you’re overdressed you can always take it off, but you can’t put it on if you haven’t brought it with you.  Snowshoeing 019 I ended up sweating and because I carried my camera around my neck and kept it inside my jacket, toward the end of my hike the lens fogged up from being too warm.  I got some nice photos though and thought I’d share a few.  I didn’t see any wildlife, but I did see a couple of people ice fishing, about a half a dozen cross-country skiers, and some people sledding with their children on one of the hills.

This park is Lake Kegonsa in southern Wisconsin and can be found through the link for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in my Favorite Websites links on the left side of the page.

February 2020
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