Skip to content
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 handbook presents "Before This Decade Is Out..." Personal Reflections on the Appolo Program. The accounts included in this book are a small sampling of the large number o more...
Amazon Says: This handbook presents "Before This Decade Is Out..." Personal Reflections on the Appolo Program. The accounts included in this book are a small sampling of the large number of oral histories that have been conducted under the auspices of the NASA history program, since near the beginning of the Agency. They also represent the many personal contributions made during Project Apollo, the single largest peacetime endeavor in American history. These recollections span the origins, management, and completion of that enormous effort and measurably enhance our appreciation of its difficulty. The comments of some of the key individuals involved in Project Apollo are being preserved by NASA and made available through this book. The people who are quoted in this book were among the top leaders of NASA. All of them played a prominent part in the conduct and accomplishments of Appolo. less...
Amazon


Nurse by Rae Simons

Amazon Says: In How the Laser Happened, Nobel laureate Charles Townes provides a highly personal look at some of the leading events in twentieth-century physics. Townes was inventor of the more...
Amazon Says: In How the Laser Happened, Nobel laureate Charles Townes provides a highly personal look at some of the leading events in twentieth-century physics. Townes was inventor of the maser, of which the laser is one example; an originator of spectroscopy using microwaves; and a pioneer in the study of gas clouds in galaxies and around stars. Throughout his career he has also been deeply engaged with issues outside of academic research. He worked on applied research projects for Bell Labs; served on the board of directors for General Motors; and devoted extensive effort to advising the government on science, policy, and defense. This memoir traces his multifaceted career from its beginnings on the family farm in South Carolina. Spanning decades of ground-breaking research, the book provides a hands-on description of how working scientists and inventors get their ideas. It also gives a behind-the-scenes look at the scientific community, showing how scientists respond to new ideas and how they approach a variety of issues, from priority and patents to the social and political implications of their work. In addition, Townes touches on the sociology of science, uncovering some of the traditions and values that are invisible to an outsider. A towering and energetic figure, Townes has explored or pioneered most of the roles available to the modern scientist. In addition to fundamental research, he was actively involved in the practical uses of the laser and in the court cases to defend the patent rights. He was a founding member of the Jasons, an influential group of scientists that independently advises the government on defense policy, and he played an active part in scientific decisions and policies from the Truman through the Reagan administration. This lively memoir, packed with first-hand accounts and historical anecdotes, is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history of science and an inspiring example for students considering scientific careers. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: Operating from seaborne bases and able to function in most weather, aircraft carriers enabled planes to attack with a freedom that changed the conduct of battle at sea forever more...
Amazon Says: Operating from seaborne bases and able to function in most weather, aircraft carriers enabled planes to attack with a freedom that changed the conduct of battle at sea forever. A valuable history recounts their rough beginnings in the First World War; the developments made by Britain, the US, and Japan in technology and strategy; and how carriers supplanted traditional capital ships as the core of naval warfare. Includes superb photographs and reports of their wartime engagements-successful and not. less...
Amazon


The Somme by Robin Prior
Amazon Says: In the long history of the British Army, the Battle of the Somme was its bloodiest encounter. Between July 1 and mid-November 1916, 432,000 of its soldiers became casualties-- more...
Amazon Says: In the long history of the British Army, the Battle of the Somme was its bloodiest encounter. Between July 1 and mid-November 1916, 432,000 of its soldiers became casualties--about 3,600 for every day of battle. German casualties were far fewer despite British superiority in the air and in lethal artillery.What went wrong for the British, and who was responsible? Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have examined the entire public archive on the Battle of the Somme to reconstruct the day-by-day course of the war. The result is the most precise and authentic account of the campaign on record and a book that challenges almost every received view of the battle. The colossal rate of infantry casualties in fact resulted from inadequate fire support; responsibility for tactical mistakes actually belonged to the High Command and the civilian War Committee. Field-Marshall Haig, the records show, was repeatedly deficient in strategy, tactics, command, and organization. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died for a cause that lacked both a coherent military plan and responsible political leadership. Prior and Wilson decisively change our understanding of the history of the Western Front. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: A #1 New York Times Bestseller In 1965, 450 were dropped into the Ia Drang Valley. Immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, they faced nearly certain more...
Amazon Says: A #1 New York Times Bestseller In 1965, 450 were dropped into the Ia Drang Valley. Immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, they faced nearly certain destruction. How these men survived is a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Included in Core 6 only. 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


Amazon Says: William Steig, the godfather of New Yorker cartoonists, began his career at the magazine in 1930. After achieving acclaim with his gang of street urchins, affectionately nickn more...
Amazon Says: William Steig, the godfather of New Yorker cartoonists, began his career at the magazine in 1930. After achieving acclaim with his gang of street urchins, affectionately nicknamed the "Small Fry," he branched out, exploring through his drawings the psychological undercurrents in relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, self and society. In such groundbreaking collections as About People (1939), Persistent Faces (1945), and The Agony in the Kindergarten (1950), Steig laid bare the raw insecurities of childhood. In the process, he introduced symbolic art to mainstream audiences and permanently elevated the place of the cartoon in American culture. Beginning in the 1960s, Steig demonstrated his understanding and awe of children in numerous award-winning picture books, including such classics as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1970 Caldecott Medal), Dominic (1972), Gorky Rises (1980), Doctor De Soto (1982 Newberry Award), and Shrek! (1990)—now a major motion picture. His thirteenth book for children, Pete’s a Pizza, was published in 1998. less...
Amazon

Print

Comment about this page...