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Photo courtesy NASA, Alan L. Bean

Today in History with a Twist: November 14, 2013

We're Back!

     1969 - NASA launches Apollo 12, the second crewed mission to the surface of the Moon.  The crew consisted of Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad, Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean and Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon. - Just because they were second we shouldn't forget that they are still heroes.

     Today we recognize another group of heroes that are often over looked.  Today is Operating Room Nurse Day.  Operating Room Nurse Day honors those important nurses, who care for patients before, during and immediately after surgery.  It's a very important role, during a period where a patients comfort and life is in another person's hands.  Show your thanks and appreciation to Operating nurse that you know.  The roots of this special day trace back to Iowa.  On November 14, 1989, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad established Operating Room Nurse Day. (Holidayinsights.com)

     1967 - American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world's first laser. - He built it in 1960, guess it took a while to process the paperwork.

     1910 - Eugene Burton Ely performs the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  He took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher. - Must be a guy who just doesn't like land.

     1916 - The World War I Battle of the Somme comes to an end.  The battle that began on July 1, 1916 would end with an Allied 'victory' in which they pushed the German line back 6 miles.  The total dead and wounded from the battle for both sides totaled over 1,000,000 men. - Costly ground.

     1965 - The Battle of Ia Drang begins.  It is the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War.  It was also the first test of the air mobile combat tactics, the use of helicopters to move and support the troops during a battle. - It also made for a good book and movie.

Interesting factoid:  The soldier pictured on the original cover of the book was Rick Rescorla.  He would survive the war, come home, and earn his law degree.  Rescorla moved to Columbia, SC where he taught Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina.  He eventually ended up heading security for Dean Witter Reynolds at the twin towers in New York.  He would become a hero one more time helping people escape after the 911 attack, but unfortunately lost his life when the towers came down.

     1889 - Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days, trying to emulate Jules Verne's book.  She completes the trip in seventy-two days.  She also met Verne when her trip took her through France.  Bly first became famous for a series of articles about the mistreatment of mental patients; she actually got herself committed to get the story. - She really threw herself into her stories.

Today's birthdays:

     1765 - Robert Fulton - Engineer and inventor, invented the steamboat (d. 1815) - We all know him for building the first steamboat, but did you know that he also developed the first operational submarine, the Nautilus, for the French and the first modern torpedo for the British?  - Probably don't teach that in the schools since he did it for other countries.

     1907 - William Steig - Cartoonist and children's author (d. 2003) - Among many successful books he was the creator of Shrek. - In Library School everyone asked if I was related to him, but he spells his name wrong.

To learn more about the above topics check out the following books from the Library's collection:


Amazon Says: This collection of oral histories of the Saturn/Apollo program recounts the unique adventure of the lunar landing programme as witnessed by some of the political leaders, engi more...
Amazon Says: This collection of oral histories of the Saturn/Apollo program recounts the unique adventure of the lunar landing programme as witnessed by some of the political leaders, engineers, scientists and astronauts who made it such a success. It includes recollections from James Webb, the NASA administrator whose political connections to Washington extended back to the New Deal of the 1930s; rocket pioneer and architect of the Saturn V rocket Wernher von Braun; the resolute Robert Gilruth, director of the Houston centre; the engineering iconoclast Maxime Faget, whose designs of spacecraft made flights to the moon possible; and astronauts such as Harrison Schmitt and Charles Duke. less...
Amazon
Amazon Says: Now in paperback--the acclaimed biography of Nellie Bly, the "thrilling account of a trailblazer" (Pat Morrison, Los Angeles Times Book Review). "Kroeger's biography of Nellie more...
Amazon Says: Now in paperback--the acclaimed biography of Nellie Bly, the "thrilling account of a trailblazer" (Pat Morrison, Los Angeles Times Book Review). "Kroeger's biography of Nellie Bly moves at almost as fast a pace as did Bly's remarkable life."--Mindy Spatt, San Francisco Chronicle. Photos & illustrations. From the Trade Paperback edition. less...
Amazon

Robert Fulton: A Biography by Cynthia Owen Philip
Amazon Says: Robert Fulton was a renaissance man. Starting out as a fine arts painter, he produced the world's first steamboat empire, thrusting America to the forefront of the Industrial more...
Amazon Says: Robert Fulton was a renaissance man. Starting out as a fine arts painter, he produced the world's first steamboat empire, thrusting America to the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. At the same time, he invented a means of raising boats on canals and a system of submarine warfare. Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvainia, he flourished in Philadelphia, London, Paris and New York City. less...
Amazon
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