Little Bits of History

June 1

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2017

1999: American Airlines Flight 1420 makes a terrible landing. The flight originated from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas on its way to Little Rock, Arkansas (LIT). The aircraft was a McDonnell Douglas MD-82. It was delivered to American Airlines in 1983 and had been in continuous use accumulating 49,136 flight hours. The pilot was Captain Richard Buschmann (48) who was a US Air Force Academy graduate (1972) who had reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before hiring on with American Airlines in 1979. While with the airline, he had accumulated 10,234 flight hours with about half of them flying the MD-80 series of McDonnell planes and the other half flying Boeing 727s. The First Officer was Michael Origel (35) who was with the airline for less than a year. While he had only 182 hours of flying time with the airline, he had been a pilot for the United States Navy with a total of over 4,000 hours of flying time.

Flight 1420 was scheduled to leave Texas at 8.28 PM and arrive in Arkansas at 9.41 PM. The National Weather Service’s notice of a line of thunderstorms altered those plans. At the time, policy mandated pilots to limit their duty time to 14 hours and if the plane were delayed for too long a time, a new crew would have to be found. The plane originally scheduled for the flight had not arrived in time and so this plane (N215AA) was substituted. This allowed the plane to depart DFW at 10.40 PM. At 11.04 PM, a weather advisory was updated with thunderstorms at the LIT area and Nashville International Airport was an alternate landing site. The flight crew discussed options and decided to land at LIT. They approached landing strip 22L but at 22.39 PM traffic control advised of heavy windshear and change of wind direction. A new landing strip was given.

In order to properly approach runway 4R, the plane had to circle around to line up correctly for the landing. The plane had to turn away from the airport and their weather radar only looked ahead, they lost track of the storm. They were to make a visual landing, but as they turned back, they lost sight of the runway. They were then instructed to make an instrument landing. In their rush to land as quickly as possible, they neglected to complete their airline’s pre-landing checklist. And this led to a cascade of errors.

At 11.49.32 they got their last controller message before landing. Because they had failed to set the automated systems, spoilers did not automatically deploy and the crew did not manually deploy them. The plane did not slow appropriately. They also did not have the brakes automatically controlled and the plane hurtled down the runway at too great a speed. They overshot the runway by 800 feet, collided with a structure there and crushed the nose of the plane and the left side of the fuselage. Captain Buschmann was killed in the accident as well eight passengers. Two more died in the days that followed. There were 41 passengers who were seriously injured with a total of 110 people injured out of the 145 people aboard.

I constantly make lists and itineraries and then can’t stick to any of them. – Freema Agyeman

Checklists remind us of the minimum necessary steps and make them explicit. They not only offer the possibility of verification but also instill a kind of discipline of higher performance. – Atul Gawande

Do not think because an accident hasn’t happened to you that it can’t happen. – Safety saying

Accidents are some one’s fault. Don’t let them be yours. – Gary Works Circle by Illinois Steel Company

Lost at River

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2015
PS Washington Irving

PS Washington Irving

June 1, 1926: PS Washington Irving sinks. The paddle steamer was a 3,600 ton sidewheel day boat and the flagship of the Hudson River Day Line – a luxury passenger line which operated on the Hudson River from 1913 to 1926. The route the ship followed was between New York City and Albany, New York. At a cost of about $1 million, the New York Shipbuilding Company laid down the 416.5 foot long, four storied ship on May 23, 1912. She was completed later that year and had her maiden voyage on May 17, 1913. On that day, she left from the Desbrosses Street Pier in New York City and headed for Albany with fifty oil paintings by artists which illustrated her namesakes period in history. Tickets were $1.00 each. The Washington Irving replaced the Robert Fulton on the run and remained in service until this date.

Again, she was leaving from the Desbrosses Street Pier but on this June morning, there was very heavy fog. Shortly after 9 AM, Washington Irving was struck by one of two oil barges being pushed by the tugboat Thomas E. Moran. The paddle steamer was struck on the starboard (right) side below the water line. The gash made by the collision was 21 feet long and 3 feet wide. Water poured into the engine rooms. Captain David H Deming ordered all passengers to don life vests. He signaled via ships whistle “Ships afire” – two long and three short blasts. Pandemonium ensued as frantic parents struggled to find their children in the foggy conditions. Adding to the fear was the inability to see any land, again due to the fog.

In order to help keep the panic to a minimum, the captain ordered the jazz band to resume playing and maintain their posts until rescue was effected. Without power, Washington Irving needed help from tugboats to reach Pier 12, Jersey City. After reaching the pier, it took only five minutes for the ship to sink. Amazingly a woman, her three year old daughter, and a steward who was trapped in a cabin far below deck were the only fatalities. The rest of the 200 passengers and 105 crew members were safe. A hearing determined the disaster to be an unavoidable accident citing not only the fog, but an unusual tidal current running below the surface of the water.

The ship sank in a most unfortunate position right on top of the New York-New Jersey vehicular tube (the Holland Tunnel) being constructed. The wrecked ship became a menace and was struck on June 16 at 3 AM by a railroad car float. The ship was finally raised on February 13, 1927 and towed to dry dock. At that point she was declared a total loss. While insured, it was not for the value of the ship and so a bond was issued to refinance the company’s debt and provide financing for building her replacement, the Peter Stuyvesant. The new ship was supposed to be built for $700,000 but cost overruns brought the price closer to $1 million, too.

We poison our lives with fear of burglary and shipwreck, and, ask anyone, the house is never burgled, and the ship never goes down. – Jean Anouilh

He who is shipwrecked the second time cannot lay the blame on Neptune. – English proverb

The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea. – Ovid

The best way to meet a woman is in an emergency situation – if you’re in a shipwreck, or you find yourself behind enemy lines, or in a flood. – Mark Helprin

Also on this day: And Now – The News – In 1980, Ted Turner began broadcasting with CNN.
Breathing – In 1974, the Heimlich Maneuver was published.
Not Hops Scotch – In 1495, Friar John Cor was listed as possessing ingredients to make Scotch.
Unlucky Ship – In 1813, James Lawrence took command of the USS Chesapeake.
Boston Martyr – In 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged.

Boston Martyr

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2014
Mary Dyer hanging - painting By Howard Pyle

Mary Dyer hanging – painting By Howard Pyle

June 1, 1660: Mary Dyer is hanged. Mary was born in England of unknown parentage, although it is assumed she was of noble birth since she was an occasional guest of the royal court of King Charles I. The ballgown worn at court was one of the possessions she brought with her when she moved to the colonies. She married William Dyer, a fishmonger and milliner as well as a fellow Puritan in London on October 27, 1633. The couple had eight children, two of whom died in infancy. In 1634 or 35 the Dyers came to Massachusetts where William Dyer took the Oath of a Freeman at the General Court in Boston on March 3, 1635 (possibly 1636). They were admitted to the Boston Church on December 13, 1635.

In 1637, the Dyers openly supported Anne Hutchinson who heretically preached that God spoke directly to individuals rather than only through clergy. Both women joined Rev. John Wheelwright in organizing Bible study groups even though it was forbidden by the theocratic law of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Mary gave birth to a deformed stillborn baby on October 11, 1637 and buried it privately. When Governor John Winthrop learned of this event, he had the corpse exhumed and outlandishly described the infant in horrific manner and sent the descriptions to numerous correspondents. Accounts of the birth were even published in England as a warning against heresy.

In 1638, the Dyers were banished from the colony and moved to Rhode Island, following Hutchinson. Roger Williams suggested they move to Portsmouth where William signed the Portsmouth Compact in March 1638 along with 18 other men. The Dyers settled in Newport where they successfully farmed and William served as Secretary for the towns of Portsmouth and Newport and ultimately became Attorney General from 1650 to 1653. Mary grew dissatisfied and went to England alone where she joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and eventually became a preacher in her own right. William briefly joined her in England but returned to Rhode Island in 1652 while Mary stayed in England for five more years.

By the time she returned to the colonies, John Endicott was Governor and far less lenient with religious dissention. When Mary’s ship landed in Boston, she was immediately arrested. Three months later William got Mary released as long as she promised to never return to Massachusetts. Mary preached throughout New England and was arrested in 1658 and expelled from Connecticut. She continued to preach and returned to Massachusetts to spread her teachings. She was arrested in April 1660 and refused to recant. She was convicted and hanged on this day, one of four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs.

Nay, I came to keep bloodguiltiness from you, desireing you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust law made against the innocent servants of the Lord. Nay, man, I am not now to repent. – Mary Dyer’s last words

Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest. – Voltaire

Yes, one can repent of moral transgression. The miracle of forgiveness is real, and true repentance is accepted of the Lord. – Ezra Taft Benson

Only through repentance and faith in Christ can anyone be saved. No religious activity will be sufficient, only true faith in Jesus Christ alone. – Ravi Zacharias

Also on this day: And Now – The News – In 1980 Ted Turner begins broadcasting with CNN.
Breathing – In 1974, the Heimlich Maneuver was published.
Not Hops Scotch – In 1495, Friar John Cor was listed as possessing ingredients to make Scotch.
Unlucky Ship – In 1813, James Lawrence took command of the USS Chesapeake.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2013
Heimlich maneuver illustration

Heimlich maneuver illustration

June 1, 1974: Anson (Potsy from Happy Days) Williams’ second cousin publishes an article in Emergency Medicine. At least 50,000 people in the US alone have been saved by using the information from that piece. Dr. Henry received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1943. He married June (dancer Arthur Murray’s daughter) in 1951 after serving with the Navy in China during WWII. He advocates for alternative and homeopathic medicine as well as simple solutions to problems. The ease of learning his special technique for saving choking victims is what has made the Heimlich Maneuver® so successful.

If a person can speak and breathe, do not interfere. If a person is coughing, they are taking in air and should be left alone. If things deteriorate and help is needed, then performing Dr. Heimlich’s maneuver can save a life. It can even be done on oneself, once the underlying principle is understood. As early as the 15th century, drowning victims were rolled over a barrel to expel water from their lungs, an early version of the technique.

From the Heimlich Institute – “How to perform the Heimlich Maneuver®”: 1. From behind, wrap your arms around the victim’s waist; 2. Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel; 3. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands; and 4. Repeat until object is expelled.

Dr. Heimlich saved hundreds of Asians from blindness during the 1940s. He then trained in general and chest surgery and replaced a diseased esophagus, the first total organ replacement in history. He developed a chest drain valve that saved hundreds of wounded soldiers in Vietnam by allowing for the chest cavity to be properly drained. He is a proponent of malariotherapy, a controversial treatment for cancer, Lyme disease, and HIV. This questionable and unproven therapy has been rejected by the FDA and CDC.

“Big mouthfuls often choke.” – Italian Proverb

“I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.” – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“More ways of killing a cat than choking her with cream.” – Charles Kingsley

“We are not hungry. . . . Why foist this food upon us? We don’t want to be choked. We have enough.” – Robert Mugabe

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Choking as a medical term does not simply mean coughing. Instead, it is a mechanical obstruction that prevents air from entering the lungs. It can be partial or complete with the latter being much more serious. Partial obstruction permits some air to enter the lungs, although the amount is inadequate. With no air coming into the lungs, a condition called asphyxia occurs. Asphyxiation is the feeling of smothering when the oxygen content is insufficient to supply the body. This lack of oxygen is called hypoxia and if untreated long enough and the obstruction becomes complete, the condition is called anoxia. Thus, the low (hypo) situation of oxygen devolves into no (an) oxygen moving and it is fatal if not treated. 

Also on this day: And Now – The News – In 1980 Ted Turner begins broadcasting with CNN.
Not Hops Scotch – In 1495, Friar John Cor was listed as possessing ingredients to make Scotch.
Unlucky Ship – In 1813, James Lawrence took command of the USS Chesapeake.

Unlucky Ship

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2012

USS Chesapeake

June 1, 1813: James Lawrence takes command of the USS Chesapeake during the War of 1812. Lawrence was born in 1781 and his mother died soon after. His father abandoned the family and as a Loyalist, fled to Canada. Lawrence studied law and then joined the US Navy as a midshipman in 1798. He served on two ships before being promoted to lieutenant in 1802. His ship sailed to the Mediterranean where he was part of a successful attack on June 2, 1803. He was eventually given command of his own warship and excelled at the task. After capturing HMS Peacock in February 1813, he returned to the States. He was given his new command on this day.

The USS Chesapeake was one of the original six frigates of the US Navy. The ships were authorized by the Naval Act of 1794 and were designed by Joshua Humphreys. Chesapeake was a 44-gun frigate but was originally built by Josiah Fox as a 38-gun ship. She was launched December 2, 1799 having cost $220,677 to build ($7.35 million today). Her maiden voyage took place on May 22, 1800. She was in bad shape when Lawrence came aboard on May 20 and some of the crew deserting daily while others stayed aboard, drunk. Chesapeake had just returned from a successful raid and the prize money to the crew was held up in court, so Lawrence himself paid the monies to appease the crew.

Finally ready to sail from Boston Harbor with a crew thrown together from many nations, Chesapeake under command of now-Captain Lawrence set sail on this day and immediately met with a blockade. British Captain Broke of HMS Shannon had a crack crew who held daily gun and weapon drills. The two ships met and fired on each other. In six minutes, each ship successfully fired two broadsides. Chesapeake was hit by 362 shots and Shannon was hit by 258. Chesapeake’s helm was lost early in the conflict and she lost maneuverability. Captain Lawrence was also mortally wounded.

Lawrence’s last act of command was to issue one of the most famous orders of the Navy, “Don’t give up the ship.” He issued his command as he was carried below decks. Captain Broke ordered a boarding party and the crew of the Chesapeake was soon overwhelmed. Captain Broke was also severely injured. Of the Chesapeake crew, 61 were killed and another 85 were injured during the battle. Lawrence died of his wounds on June 4. Broke managed to recover and was later made a Baronet. The ship was taken into British waters and brought to Nova Scotia. She was commissioned into the British Navy later that year and was sold in 1820 and broken up.

Don’t give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks. – James Lawrence

A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. – Grace Hopper

Anybody can pilot a ship when the sea is calm. – Navjot Singh Sidhu

If I had been censured every time I have run my ship, or fleets under my command, into great danger, I should have long ago been out of the Service and never in the House of Peers. – Horatio Nelson

Also on this day:

And Now – The News – In 1980 Ted Turner begins broadcasting with CNN.
Breathing – In 1974, the Heimlich Maneuver was published.
Not Hops Scotch – In 1495, Friar John Cor was listed as possessing ingredients to make Scotch.

Not Hops Scotch

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2011

A selection of Scotch whisky brands. (photo by Chris huh)

June 1, 1495: Friar John Cor makes this listing in the Exchequer Rolls: “Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae” (water of life). This amount of malt is enough to make 1,500 of Scotch whisky.

Alcoholic beverages have many uses: dietary, hygienic, medical, and even religious. Pottery dating from 9,000 years ago found inNorthern Chinacontain residual bits of the first known alcoholic beverages made from fermented rice, honey, and fruit. At about the same time, barley beer and grape wine were available in theMiddle East. Early recipes can be found saved on clay tablets inMesopotamia.

The distilling of alcohol began in Europe in the mid-12th century with some archeological evidence showing that it may actually have been first discovered in China around 5000 BC. In Europe, it took about 150 years to travel across the continent, and then it moved eastward and was reintroduced to China. We don’t know where or when the actual discovery took place or the “chefs” responsible for it. Ancient Celts called the beverage uisge beatha or the water of life.

Scotch whisky can be made, by definition, only in Scotland. Early whisky was made with uneven results due to non-consistent methods of production. The drink could be very potent, sometimes even harmful. With the closing of monasteries during a time of religious upheaval, monks and friars were put out on the street and needed to make a living. They knew how to make Scotch and did so. The drink became an integral part of life and soon was making a profit, so it was taxed. Like Prohibition in theUnited States, this led to underground manufacture of the drink. All early Scotch was malt whisky. In 1831 grain whisky was patented and could be blended with the fiery Scotch to give a more mellow taste. Today, Scotch is exported to over 200 countries around the world with the commodity earning £2,000 million yearly.

“When a good bottle of Scotch cost more than a barrel of oil, you’re in trouble.” – proverb

“Spirits are perceived as affordable luxury. People are more careful with their spending today. Maybe they can’t buy a $40,000 BMW but they’re willing to buy a good $60 to $70 bottle of Scotch. You don’t get that kind of trading-up feeling with beer.” – David Ozgo

“For her fifth wedding, the bride wore black and carried a scotch and soda.” – Phyllis Batelle

“My God, so much I like to drink Scotch that sometimes I think my name is Igor Stra-whiskey.” – Igor Stravinsky

Also on this day:
And Now – The News – In 1980 Ted Turner begins broadcasting with CNN.
Breathing – In 1974, the Heimlich Maneuver was published.

Tagged with: ,

And Now – The News

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 1, 2010

Ted Turner

June 1, 1980: CNN – Cable News Network – begins broadcasting as the first all news channel on television. CNN eventually achieves a #1 in Nielsen ratings, while Fox News is #1 in long-term viewers. Ted Turner’s news station didn’t always enjoy those types of numbers.

Turner was an advertising executive from Atlanta, Georgia where his father ran a million-dollar billboard business. At age 24, Ted took over the business after his father committed suicide. He bought his first radio station in 1970. He was 32 years old at the time. He parlayed this first station into a broadcasting conglomerate called Turner Broadcasting System [TBS] and by the end of the decade was interested in televising 24 hours of news a day on his new network.

The station was not immediately successful. It took until 1985 for CNN to actually show a profit. They gained a greater audience share in 1986 with their coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. During the 1991 Gulf War, CNN was the place to turn to “be the first to know” of breaking news. They were the first to broadcast the disasters striking New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

CNN has branched out and now has specialized with spin offs of the news channel. They have bureaus worldwide and began their web presence in 1995 with They reach an estimated 1 ½ billion people in 212 countries and territories. CNN is available in over 88 million American households and in nearly 1 million hotel rooms. CNN is the only TV channel that can be received worldwide.

Turner himself is sometimes brash and makes controversial public statements, earning him the nickname “The Mouth of the South.” In 1976 he purchased a baseball team in order to help his WTBS television station. The team was one of his programming staples. The Atlanta Braves have remained in Georgia and now play at Turner Field. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts, having donated $1 billion to UN projects. He is a staunch supporter of both environmentalism and capitalism. He has been married three times but has remained single since his last divorce in 2001, from Jane Fonda.

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.”

“Life is a game. Money is how we keep score.”

“The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. I want you to know that we know that.”

“My son is now an ‘entrepreneur.’ That’s what you’re called when you don’t have a job.”

“If I only had a little humility I would be perfect.” – all from Ted Turner

Also on this day:
In 1974,
choking became less lethal.
In 1495, an entry into records for the first time concerning the making of
Scotch whisky.

Tagged with: , ,