Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 19, 2014
Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan

February 19, 1963: The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is published. The book is often cited as a spark for the beginning of the second-wave of feminism in the US. In 1957, Friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates in order to present it for their 15th class reunion. While speaking with many of the women, she was interested to learn that many were dissatisfied with their role as housewife. She went on to conduct interviews with other suburban housewives as well as research of the media and advertising and the current findings among psychologists. She intended to write a magazine article but couldn’t find anyone to publish it. So instead, she wrote a book.

The 239 page book has fourteen chapters discussing various aspects of “the problem that has no name” or the widespread unhappiness of women in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The role of housewife was not fulfilling the promise of women even as the culture insisted that the road to happiness was marriage and children. Women’s magazines (created mostly by men) showed women as happy housewives or unhappy and neurotic careerists. These messages created a “feminine mystique” based on what women wanted and needed for their happiness. Unfortunately, it didn’t hold true. Women were not fitting the mold created by a variety of men including Sigmund Freud. As women gained more education, they were less satisfied with their lot.

Friedan was born in 1921 in Illinois. When her father fell ill, her mother began working outside the home and seemed to find satisfaction in the role. Friedan was active in both Marxist and Jewish circles even as a teenager. When she wanted to write for the school newspaper, she was turned down and she got six friends together and they began their own paper. She went on to the all-girls Smith College where she became editor-in-chief of the newspaper there. In 1943, she spent a year at the University of California, Berkeley working with Erik Erikson. She claimed that her boyfriend of the time pressured her to turn down working on a Ph.D and abandoning her academic career.

After leaving school, she began writing in earnest. She married Carl Friedan in 1947 and continued to work. She claimed to have been let go when she was pregnant with her second child and so began working freelance. She and her husband divorced in 1969. Friedan is credited with changing the world single handedly. She shaped our definition of what a happy woman is. She strongly defended the equality of women. She was known for her aggressive attitude and never forgot that women are adult humans and have the right to living their lives in the way they see fit. She died in 2006 at the age of 85.

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.

The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.

A woman is handicapped by her sex, and handicaps society, either by slavishly copying the pattern of man’s advance in the professions, or by refusing to compete with man at all. – all from Betty Friedan

Also on this day: Cracker Jack – In 1912, Cracker Jack began to include prizes in every box.
Bollingen Prize – In 1949, the prizes were first given out.
Rockin’ the World – In 1600,  the most powerful volcano in South America erupted.
Soaps – In 1985, the EastEnders was first broadcast.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 18, 2014
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

February 18, 1885:  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published in the US. Mark Twain’s book was first published in Canada and the United Kingdom the year before but didn’t reach his homeland until this date. It is commonly called one of the Great American Novels and is the first major work of American literature written in vernacular English. The book is full of wonderful descriptions of people and places along the Mississippi River and set in Southern antebellum society which had disappeared about twenty years before the book came out. It is often satirical in nature when poking fun at entrenched attitudes, especially concerning racism. Even at the time, the book received criticism due to the coarse language. Today, there is much concern over racial slurs included in the text.

The book is set in 1835 when steamboats first began sailing the Mississippi. It is narrated by Huck Finn himself. The book explores themes of race and identity.  While anti-slavery in tone, there is considerable debate today about the use of racial slurs and stereotypical treatment of Jim, a runaway slave. Huck is faced with the demands of a society that embraces slavery and his own moral compass in regards to this person who has become his friend and accomplice. The story continues through several states and 366 pages. Originally appearing with cover art by Taylor, it was illustrated by E. W. Kemble.

Mark Twain was the pen name for Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He was the sixth of seven children, only three of whom survived childhood. The family moved to Hannibal, Missouri when Sam was four. This port town on the Mississippi River served as a locale for his two most famous stories, albeit under an assumed name. Missouri was a slave state at the time of his birth and he was familiar with the institution. Clemens senior was a judge and lawyer, but he died when his son was eleven. Young Clemens became a printer’s apprentice in 1851 and soon was working both as a typesetter and a contributor of articles. He left the area at age 18.

Eventually he was encouraged to become a riverboat pilot which was a higher status (and pay) job than that of captain. He encouraged his brother to join him on the river and saw in a dream the dreadful explosion of the boat that took his brother’s life. He carried the guilt with him for the rest of his life. He continued to pilot ships until 1861 when the Civil War broke out. Twain briefly joined the Confederate Army but soon took off for Nevada where he joined another brother. His first real success with writing came in 1865 with his humorous tall tales. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.

Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?

You can’t pray a lie — I found that out.

All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out. – all from Mark Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Also on this day: Michelangelo – In 1564, the great Renaissance man died.
#3 – In 2001, Dale Earnhardt died in a NASCAR crash.
Talking and Talking – In 1841, the first filibuster was used in the US Senate.
Mass Murder – In 1983, the Wah Mee Massacre took place.

Giordano Bruno

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 17, 2014
Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno

February 17, 1600: Giordano Bruno dies. He was born Filippo Bruno in Nola, Kingdom of Naples in what is now Italy in 1548. His father was a soldier and he was educated in Naples. He was tutored privately in an Augustinian monastery and at the age of 17 entered the Dominican Order where he took the name of Giordano, his metaphysics tutor. He continued his studies at the monastery until he was 24 when he became a Roman Catholic priest. He was noted for his memory and twice went to Rome to meet with the Pope and demonstrate his mnemonic system. However, he was soon in trouble because his taste in books were not always those approved by the church.

His free thinking and immodest reading material brought him into conflict with the Church. A banned book by Erasmus was found in his possession and as charges were being prepared Bruno fled the monastery and Naples and took to wandering (dressed as a civilian). He traveled around present day Italy, wrote On The Sign of the Times, and eventually was talked back into wearing the habit in Padua. He did not give up travel and went to what is now France. There is some question as to whether or not he left the Catholic Church, but it seemed unlikely.

His works were not only Copernican in nature, but went far beyond into the realm of what could only, during that time, be called heresy. He subscribed to the heliocentric solar system but went farther and claimed that the Sun was just another star moving through space. He claimed the universe held infinite worlds inhabited by other intelligent beings. While in France, he was protected by powerful French patrons and under their auspices was able to publish some more. On The Shadows of Ideas, The Art of Memory, and Circe’s Song were all written in 1582 and were about his mnemonic models which were far different than the popular models of the time. He moved on to England and visited Oxford. His time there was also fruitful.

He left England in 1585 and wandered through mainland Europe, taking teaching posts where he could find them. He finally took a post as an in-house tutor to Mocenigo. When Bruno announced he was leaving, Mocenigo (who was unhappy with his curriculum) denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition and charged him with blasphemy and heresy. During his trial, Bruno’s skill with philosophical methods allowed him to defend himself brilliantly. However, that was no match for the Inquisition. Although the trial lasted for seven years, Bruno was sentenced to death and was burned at the stake on this day.

If it is not true it is very well invented.

Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.

Divinity reveals herself in all things… everything has Divinity latent within itself.

All things are in the Universe, and the universe is in all things: we in it, and it in us; in this way everything concurs in a perfect unity. – all from Giordano Bruno

Also on this day: H L Hunley – In 1864, the first successful sinking of a ship by a submarine.
Newsweek – In 1933, Newsweek was first published.
Miles Standish – In 1621, Miles Standish was appointed first commander of Plymouth colony.
Butterfly – In 1904, Madame Butterfly opened in Milan.

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Icelandic Football

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 16, 2014
Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur

February 16, 1899: Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur is founded. They are the oldest football club in Iceland. The name began as Fótboltafélag Reykjavíkur which means Reykjavik Football Club and changed to Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur which also means the same – except a literal translation for Knattspyrna is ballkicking rather than football and to the Icelandic ear, it is more elegant. The name is often shortened to KR. Since this is European football, it isn’t what Americans call football, but rather it is what we call soccer. KR is based in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital where they play home games at KR-völlur which has a seating capacity of almost 2,800.

KR is the nation’s most successful football club. They won the Úrvalsdeild championship 26 times. The championship would be akin to the US Super Bowl where the 12 Icelandic teams vie for the title. Since Iceland has such hard winters, this game is usually played in the spring or summer. The championship began in 1912, with KR winning and they are also the current holder of the title. A more international trophy is the Icelandic Cup where 72 teams compete with the mid-August game being held at Laugardalsvöllur, another stadium in Reykjavik – but this one seating 15,000 people. KR is the most successful club here, too, with 13 wins. They are not the current title holder as that honor goes to Fram, another Icelandic team which was founded in 1908.

When the team was first founded, they modeled their uniforms on those worn by Newcastle United, the British football club founded in 1892. Like their British counterparts, the home uniform is black shorts and socks with a black and white vertically striped shirt. Unlike Newcastle, KR’s away game colors are white shorts with an orange shirt and orange socks. For nearly a decade, there were no other clubs in Reykjavik, but as soon as Fram was founded, competitions with championships were mentioned. The first time they played, KR won. Because there are only 12 teams in the top division of Iceland football, they each play the other 11 teams twice, once at home and once away.

The Icelandic league was divided into two divisions in 1955 and once again KR took the winners spot. KR was the first Iceland team to play in the European Cup and did so with the 1964-65 season. They lost in a preliminary round to Liverpool with a score of 11-1. KR won their 20th title in 1968. They were demoted to the Second Division in 1977 and had narrow losses in 1990, 1996, and 1998. As they turned 100 years old in 1999 they had not won a league title for 31 years. On this milestone year, they won against Vikingur with a score 4-0 to make it to the top spot where they beat IA with a 3-1 score. They were back on a winning streak.

Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple. – Johan Cruijff

I’m a rock star because I couldn’t be a soccer star. – Rod Stewart

When I was ten, I wrote an essay on what I would be when I grew up and said I would be a professional soccer player and a comedian in off season. – Will Ferrell

I never felt the same passion for the game in the States and there were a lot of headaches, a lot of obstacles to overcome – it didn’t just run itself for the love of the game because soccer is not the No. 1 sport as it is in Europe. – Hope Solo

Also on this day: King Tut – In 1923, Howard Carter opened the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
Nylon – In 1937. Nylon was patented.
Altmark Incident – In 1940, the German ship, Altmark, was boarded by cutlass wielding soldiers.
What Is our Emergency? – In 1968, 9-1-1 service began.

DEWy Eyes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 15, 2014
DEW Line

DEW Line and strategic defense

February 15, 1954: The US and Canada agree to build the Distant Early Warning Line. The DEW Line was a series of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada and along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Also included were the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. Constructed during the Cold War, it was hoped this line of radar stations would give early warning if the Soviets sent up bombers to attack the West. It was hoped that the line of stations could give an early enough warning in the event of any sea-and-land invasion for defensive action.

This was one of three lines with the Pinetree Line and the Mid-Canada Line being the other two. Pinetree planning began in 1946 and the line ran from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. The Mid-Canada Line was begun soon after the Pinetree Line’s construction and cut across the middle of Canada. The DEW line was both the most northern and the most capable. The earlier stations were better suited to detect incoming bomber planes and the impetus of the Cold War shifted from plane delivery system to ICBMs.

The DEW Line initiative stemmed from a detailed study made by some of the leading scientists of 1952. The Summer Study Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found the US and Canada were vulnerable to aerial bombing attacks and concluded the best defense against this was an early warning system. The system’s timeliness would depend on the location of the radar tracking stations as well as more local ability to track the gathered data. SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment) computer system allowed for this to take place. It operated from the Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado command hub of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).

The first two lines to be built had served their purpose but as Russian technology advanced, a newer and more precise detection system was needed. The line would run along the 69th parallel north or about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Initially, the US Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force provided the design and built an experimental system. Improvements were made which allowed state-of-the-art systems to withstand weather conditions up north and much of the actual construction was subcontracted out to others with military supervision on the project. About 25,000 skilled laborers were hired to complete the project. Getting the supplies up to the construction zone was also a problem as it was hampered by the climate, too. The Line stood active until the 1990s. Today, the sites are still undergoing clean up from toxic materials, mostly PCBs, which were used during construction.

History is a vast early warning system. – Norman Cousins

I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. – Marshall McLuhan

A man’s conscience, like a warning line on the highway, tells him what he shouldn’t do – but it does not keep him from doing it. – Frank A. Clark

The warning message we sent the Russians was a calculated ambiguity that would be clearly understood. – Alexander Haig

Also on this day: Teddy Bear – In 1903, the first official teddy bear was introduced.
Oh, Canada! – In 1965, Canada adopted a new flag.
Hemlock – In 399 BC, Socrates drank hemlock.
Video – In 2005, You Tube went online.

Women Can Vote

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 14, 2014
League of Women Voters

League of Women Voters

February 14, 1920: The League of Women Voters is founded. The National American Woman Suffrage Association was founded in May 1890 as the merging of previous smaller suffrage groups. It was at the last meeting of this group that the League was formed. Women were close to getting the vote in the US. The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920. This amendment had been drafted by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cody Stanton and was first considered by the Senate in 1878. There it sat in committee until a vote could be taken and it was rejected 16 to 34.

It wasn’t until 1914 that the amendment was again given consideration but the Senate once again rejected the idea. In 1915, the proposal for women’s suffrage was brought before the House and they, too, voted it down. On January 10, 1918 the proposal was once again before the House, the day after President Wilson made a widely publicized appeal. It needed a two-thirds vote to pass and made it with one extra vote. However, the Senate was also required to vote on it and they did not pass it, being two votes short. A second vote was held in February 1919 and it failed, this time by one vote. President Wilson worked tirelessly and on May 21, 1919 the proposal passed the House with 42 more votes than needed and on June 4, 1919, the Senate finally passed with a vote of 56 to 42.

Wisconsin was the first to ratify the Amendment on June 10, 1919. Tennessee was the last needed to ratify the Amendment for it to pass and they did so on August 18, 1920. Mississippi finally ratified the Amendment, the last and 48th state to do so, on March 22, 1984 (Alaska and Hawaii were not states at the time of the proposal). Women were poised and ready to begin casting their votes. The League of Women Voters and all the predecessor associations had finally persuaded the men in power to allow all adult citizens affected by the outcomes of elections to actually cast votes. The League still exists today as a nonpartisan group of about 150,000 members working to get voters to the polls. Today, Elisabeth MacNamara is the President.

The League was founded by Cassie Chapman Catt who had served as the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association as well. Her efforts to persuade Congress helped bring Amendment XIX into being. Catt also ran as a US Presidential candidate in 1920. She did not just believe that women in America should be given a voice in their government, but thought women around the world should be granted the same right. She helped to found the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1902 and served it its president from 1904 to 1923. It, too, remains active to this day.

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. – Winston Churchill

The vote is a trust more delicate than any other, for it involves not just the interests of the voter, but his life, honor and future as well. – Jose Marti

Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, exercises a public trust. – Grover Cleveland

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Also on this day: Opening Night – In 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest opened in London.
Smooch – In 270, St. Valentine was executed.
Scarface vs. Bugs – In 1929, the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in Chicago.
Apostles – In 1835, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were first named.

Edison Effect

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 13, 2014
Thermionic Emissions or the Edison effect

Thermionic Emissions or the Edison effect

February 13, 1880: Thomas Edison makes another discovery. Thermionic emission is the name for heat-induced flow of charge carriers (in physics, this is a particle that is free to move and carry an electric charge with it) from a surface or over a potential-energy barrier. Today, we know that the charge carriers can be electrons or ions but in older literature they are sometimes called thermions. The classic example of this is the emission of electrons from a hot cathode into a vacuum and it is also known as the Edison effect. The hot cathode can be a metal filament, as in a light bulb.

JJ Thomas identified the electron as a separate physical particle in 1897 so before that time, different words were used to describe the effect seen. In 1873, Frederick Guthrie in Britain initially reported on the phenomenon. It was rediscovered on this day by Edison while he was looking for the reason that a lamp element’s broke with uneven blackening. While working with incandescent lamps, Edison built several bulb with different configurations manipulating the wire or adding a metal plate or foil inside the bulb. He measured the current through various configurations using a galvanometer.

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. His work with electricity and the light bulb are the most famous of his many inventions. He also worked on the phonograph and motion picture cameras. He used principles of mass production in his Menlo Park laboratory – what we might call a Think Tank today. He owned 1,093 US patents as well as patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. While that is impressive in its own right, the impact of many of his patents are even more so. He not only invented things, he created entire new systems such as power utilities and early mass communication modes.

He was the seventh and youngest child in his family. He was not a stellar student and did not pay close attention to the teacher who called him “addled”. He survived just three months of classroom instruction after which time his mother took over his education. He was an avid reader and left to his own devices, could learn much from what he read. He suffered hearing loss as a child, perhaps from scarlet fever or recurrent middle-ear infections. Or else he lost his hearing when he was thumped on the side of the head by an irate railroad worker after one of Edison’s experiments blew up on the train. He sold fruits and vegetables on trains to supplement his income. Finally, Edison obtained exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, his first of many entrepreneurial ventures which continued throughout his life. He died at the age of 82 in West Orange, New Jersey.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something. – all from Thomas A. Edison

Also on this day: The Center of the Universe – In 1633, Galileo was brought before the Inquisition.
Charlie Brown and the Gang – In 2000, the last original Peanuts cartoon was run.
That’s Debatable – In 1815, The Cambridge Union Society is founded.
Old MacDonald – In 1692, the Glencoe Massacre took place.

Avoiding a Stall Unsuccessfully

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 12, 2014
Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash site

Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash site

February 12, 2009: Colgan Air Flight 3407 ends in a fiery crash. The flight was part of a Continental Connection under a codeshare agreement with the larger airline. The plane in use was a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 flying from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York. There were 45 passengers on the plane served by four crew members. This remains the most recent fatal crash in the US involving American-based commercial airlines. The accident was thoroughly investigated and the cause was said to be pilot error exacerbated by pilot fatigue.

It was a cold day and the flight was delayed, leaving New Jersey at 9:18 PM. On this winter Thursday, there were a total of seven Continental flights heading to Buffalo out of the 110 incoming flights. The plane had 110 seats and was a two-engine turboprop. This was the first Q400 event resulting in fatalities and was also the first Colgan flight with passenger fatalities since the company was founded in 1991. Captain Marvin Renslow, 47, had flown over 3,000 hours with 110 of them on a Q400. First Officer Rebecca Shaw, 24, had flown over 2,000 hours with 772 of them “time in type” meaning on this sort of plane. One of the passengers that night was a second Captain who was off-duty and flying to Buffalo.

The plane was approaching the Buffalo airport and cleared for runway 23 when it disappeared from radar. The weather was light snow and fog with a wind at 17 mph. The de-icing system had been turned on 11 minutes into the flight but the crew had discussed some ice buildup on the wings. Two other aircraft that night had also complained of this. The last radio transmission came when the plane was 3.0 miles northeast of the radio beacon called KLUMP. The flight ended in a fiery crash 41 seconds later as it crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York killing one of the occupants. The housing development had many houses close together and the plane crashed directly into the home of Douglas and Karen Wielinski, killing Douglas. The death toll was 50 people. Fire fighters in the area were able to keep the blaze from spreading to other houses.

Investigation showed the plane going into a stall. There are several different safety measures to avert this and all were successfully ignored by either an ill-trained or tired pilot. The pilot and co-pilot had been at the airport overnight and all day prior to the 9:18 PM departure. Training in stall avoidance stressed loss of altitude as criteria for failing (this has been rectified). Both of these played a part in the crash. The plane’s stall-protection system had activated, but the pilot disregarded them. To avoid a stall, the wings need an angle to support lift and therefore the plane should be forced down, resulting in loss of altitude, but gaining speed. Instead, as the stick shook and vibrated (physical indicators for the pilot) he tried to pull back and raise the plane to gain altitude. This caused the plane to pitch and roll, losing even more speed until it went into a complete stall and crashed.

How strange is this combination of proximity and separation.  That ground – seconds away – thousands of miles away. – Charles A. Lindbergh

There are only two emotions in a plane:  boredom and terror. – Orson Welles

More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination. – Wilbur Wright

Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death. – Alexander Chase

Also on this day: Nine Days of Rule – In 1554, Lady Jane Grey was executed.
NAACP – In 1909, the NAACP was formed.
Going Metric – In 1973, the first metric road sign in the US was erected.
Honor – In 1914, groundbreaking for the Lincoln Memorial took place.

The King Duke

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 11, 2014
King Amadeo I of Spain

King Amadeo I of Spain

February 11, 1873: King Amadeo I of Spain abdicates. Amadeo was the only Spanish king from the House of Savoy. He was the second son of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy and was always known as the Duke of Aosta. He was born in Turin, Italy in 1845 and in 1867 married Donna Mario Vittoria dal Pozza at the request of parliamentary deputy Francisco Cassins. The king was opposed to his son’s marriage because the lady in question was not of noble enough birth. She did however, have lots of money which supplied the Dukedom with freedom from the throne heretofore unseen. The king was hoping his son would marry a German princess.

Donna Maria Vittoria’s pedigree was from one of Belgium’s premier noble houses and her aunt was married to Charles III, reigning Prince of Monaco. Prince Amedeo and  Donna Maria Vittoria’s wedding had to be one of the worst in history. The best man shot himself. The palace gatekeeper slit his own throat. One of the King’s aides fell from his horse and died. The bride’s wardrobe mistress hung herself. Leading the wedding procession was a colonel who collapsed and died of sunstroke. And the stationmaster was killed when the wheels of the honeymoon train crushed him. Just three years after the wedding, Donna Maria Vittoria was complaining to her father-in-law and asking for his help in curbing his son’s extracurricular activities. The King was appalled that she would speak to him about his son’s infidelity and her own embarrassment, saying that she had no right to dictate her husband’s behavior and her own jealousy was unbecoming.

A Spanish revolution deposed Isabella II and the Duke of Aosta was elected King of Spain by the new Cortes. His election to the monarchy came on November 16, 1870 and he swore to uphold the constitution in Madrid on January 2, 1871. As the election was held, Amadeo’s main backer, General Marques de los Castillejos was assassinated. The politics in Spain were at best unstable and there were conspiracies and uprisings as well as problems in Cuba. The situation went from bad to worse and on this day, in disgust, the King abdicated and headed back to Italy. There he was once again Duke of Aosta.

His first wife died in 1876 and Amadeo married his French niece, Princess Maria Letizia Bonaparte, who was the daughter of his sister and a nephew of Napoleon I. The engagement caused a scandal in Italian courts for two reasons: the 22 year age difference and the close family ties between the two. They wed on September 11, 1888 at the Royal Palace of Turin. Less than two years later, the Duke died and left his young wife with an infant son (and three adult step-sons).

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. – Denis Diderot

One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion. – Thomas Paine

Little by little, the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him. – Jennifer Donnelly

One man to live in pleasure and wealth, whiles all other weap and smart for it, that is the part not of a king, but of a jailor. – Thomas More

Also on this day: Pennsylvania Hospital – In 1752, the first hospital in the colonies opened.
Coal – In 1808, anthracite coal was first used to heat a home.
Jack Paar; Tonight Show – In 1960, Jack Paar walked off a live telecast of the Tonight Show.
Science Fiction – In 1938, television first showed a sci-fi film.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 10, 2014
Collision of Iridium 33  and

Collision of Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251

February 10, 2009: The first major collision of two manmade satellites in Earth orbit takes place. Iridium 33 was a US communications satellite launched on September 14, 1997. It was manufactured by Lockheed Martin which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. They are a global technology company formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. L-3 Communications formed in 1997 from portions of the two larger companies that were spun off. Today, they are headquartered in New York City and remain active in the communication sector. L-3 refers to the three founders, Frank Lanza, Robert LaPenta, and Lehman Brothers.

Kosmos 2251 was a Russian Strela-2M communication satellite. It was launched on June 16, 1993. It was launched into a Low Earth orbit from Site 312/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The first three Kosmos satellites were launched on August 18, 1964 and they all reentered the atmosphere in November of that year. There were five different types of satellites used over the years. The last of these, Strela-3, is still used today and is also sometimes called Rodnik.

At the time of the collision, Iridium 33 was owned by Iridium Communications, Inc. and Kosmos 2251 was owned by the Russian Space Forces. The Iridium satellite was still operational at the time of the impact but the Russian satellite had been out of service since at least 1995 and was not being actively controlled. There had been several smaller collisions out in space prior to this, all of them low-velocity collisions. In 1996, the Cerise satellite collided with space debris. There have been eight total high-velocity collisions and they were usually noted after the fact.

The Russian satellite was larger and weighed 2,094 pounds while the American one weighed in at 1,235 pounds. It was part of a constellation of 66 communication satellites. When the two collided, they were destroyed. The impact caused at about 1,000 pieces of debris measuring more 4 inches or more and many smaller pieces. The debris was a risk to other satellites and the International Space Station (although it is a low risk) as well as a threat to shuttle launches. There is more risk to Chinese Sun-synchronous orbits. As time went on, the pieces of debris continued to decay toward Earth and as they entered the atmosphere, they were destroyed. Satellites in space come within several miles of each other many times a day. Precise location of all satellites is difficult to maintain and avoidance maneuvers are not always possible. Because of the amount of old, out of date satellites in orbit, there is concern that out of use satellites should be taken out of orbit. There is no international law making this mandatory.

Man is flying too fast for a world that is round. Soon he will catch up with himself in a great rear end collision. – James Thurber

If you wish to avoid foreign collision, you had better abandon the ocean. – Henry Clay

For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions. – Lao Tzu

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space. – Douglas Adams

Also on this day: American Mensa – In 1971, American Mensa was formed.
Boxing and Brains – In 1933, Ernie Schaaf was injured during a boxing match and died three days later.
St. Scholastica Riots – In 1355, The St. Scholastica’s Day riot began.
Arsonist – In 2008, the Namdaemun gate was set afire.