Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lost and Found – June 21st Edition

What to remember about June 21st…

  • 1788  U.S. Constitution ratified by New Hampshire meaning that enough states had done so for it to go into effect (see article VII); New Hampshire admitted to the Union as 9th State
  • 1810  Future 12th President of the United States Zachary Taylor marries Margaret Smith in Kentucky
  • 1913  Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick becomes 1st woman to parachute from an airplane; later became 1st ever free-fall parachutist
  • 1939  Lou Gehrig retires from New York Yankees because of illness
  • 1940  Future 37th President of the United States Richard Nixon marries Pat Ryan in Riverside, California
  • 1942  Allied forces surrender at Tobruk, Libya
  • 1942  Japanese submarine I-25 shells Ft. Stevens in Oregon
  • 1965  Ku Klux Klan lynch mob kills 3 civil rights workers registering black voters in Meridian, Mississippi; Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman
  • 1982 John Hinckley, Jr. found not guilty by reason of insanity in trial for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan
  • 1989  SCOTUS rules that burning the American flag is protected by the First amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • 2004  SpaceShipOne makes 1st privately funded human spaceflight and wins the Ansari X Prize; Pilot Mike Melvill becomes 1st non-government astronaut in history
  • 2005 Edgar Ray Killen convicted of the 1965 murders of  Schwermer, Goodman, and Chaney

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Lost and Found – June 20th Edition

What to remember about June 20th…

  • 1782  After six years of debate Congress approves Great Seal of the United States of America
  • 1837  Queen Victoria ascends to British throne at age 18
  • 1863  West Virginia admitted to the Union as 35th state
  • 1892  Lizzie Borden acquitted of multiple murders
  • 1898  U.S. Navy seizes Guam during Spanish-American War
  • 1967  Muhammad Ali convicted for refusing the draft
  • 1980  Movie “The Blues Brothers” opens in the U.S.
  • 1994  O.J. Simpson pleads not guilty to murder of ex-wife and friend
  • 2001  Andrea Yates drowns her 5 children in a bathtub in Houston, Texas; found not guilty by reason of insanity July 26, 2006

Original Design of the Great Seal of the United States

Lost and Found – June 19th Edition

What to remember about June 19th…

  • 1846  New York Base Ball Club defeats Knickerbockers 23-1 in 1st recorded official game of baseball; played on Elysian Field in Hoboken
  • 1864  CSS Alabama, the most successful Confederate commerce raider of the war, sunk off the coast of France by USS Kearsarge
  • 1886  Future 27th President William Howard Taft marries Hellen “Nellie” Herron in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1910  Father’s Day is celebrated for the 1st time
  • 1917  King George V changes royal family name to Windsor from the Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; all German titles eliminated as well
  • 1933  Exiled Communist leader Leon Trotsky given asylum in France
  • 1944  Battle of Philippine Sea begins; largest aircraft carrier battle in history; Japanese fleet irreparably damaged
  • 1953  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison for conspiracy to commit espionage
  • 1977  Guardian Angels leader Curtis Sliwa shot twice in Manhattan
  • 1978  Garfield comic strip first published in U.S.

Warbirds – F-117A Night Hawk

Today’s Warbirds article is on a decidedly ugly aircraft – the Lockheed Martin F-117A Night Hawk.  Pilots and aviation enthusiasts know the aircraft as “Nighthawk”, “woblin’ goblin”, or just plain “goblin”.  Arab troops nicknamed the aircraft “Shabah” (ghost) during the Gulf War.

Developed at the infamous Skunk Works, the F-117 ushered in a new era in “stealth” aviation with her first flight on June 18, 1981.  The goal was to create a single-seat, ground-attack aircraft with the ability to evade radar through use of innovative shapes and materials versus active jamming.  Rapid delivery beginning in 1982 led to operational capability by October 1983.  The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until a grainy photo surfaced in 1988.  The public debut finally occurred in 1990 when 2 were flown to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and placed on display for a crowd of tens of thousands.

The combat history of the F-117A begins in December 1989 with strikes by two Nighthawks against targets in Panama during Operation Just Cause.  The true test of its capabilities really began during Desert Storm.  Comprising only 2% of the aircraft deployed for operations against Iraqi forces, the F-117A accounted for more than a third of all bombing runs on the first day.  And though they were the only aircraft allowed to strike inside the limits of Baghdad, none of the 36 deployed for the conflict were touched by hostile fire.  After the end of the Gulf War, the Nighthawk continued to operate in the region to enforce compliance with U.N. programs designed to deny weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Only one F-117A has been lost to enemy action.  On March 27, 1999 during Operation Allied Force, an Army of Yugoslavia SA-3 detonated near an F-117A piloted by Lt. Col. Dale Zelko.  The aircraft had been targeted using ground observation beginning from take-off in Italy and long-wave radar that detected the plane when the bomb bay doors were open.  The pilot ejected safely and was quickly recovered by Marine Corps combat search and rescue.  the wreckage was not bombed because of the proximity of civilians.  This allowed  Russian personnel to inspect and examine the remains.  Technology from this wreck has proved useful to both China and Russia in the development of their own stealth aircraft.

Though they were supposed to remain operational through 2011, early deployment of the F-22 Raptor led to early retirement of the F-117A in 2008.  Because of the sensitivity of the technology, Nighthawks were deemed inappropriate for export sales.  However, the fleet of F-117A’s has not been scrapped.  Instead, they remain in climate controlled hangars at the Tenopah Test Range in “mothballed” condition – possibly awaiting later reactivation or sale.  F-117A’s have been sighted in flight as recently as 2010.

If you want to see more great photos of the Nighthawk, check out the archives at AviationSpectator.com .  Details on specifications and capabilities can be found on the Federation of American Scientists website.

Lost and Found – June 18th Edition

What to remember about June 18th…

  • 1778  British troops abandon their almost nine month occupation of Philadelphia after French entry into war made city indefensible
  • 1798  President John Adams signs Naturalization act – part of the Alien and Sedition Acts; so controversial that Adams never enforces
  • 1812  President James Madison signs Declaration of War passed by Congress, War of 1812 with Britain begins
  • 1815  Wellington defeats Napoleon at Waterloo; forces his final abdication
  • 1873  Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for voting in 1872 Presidential election; she vows to and never does pay the fine
  • 1940  Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich to discuss plans and the late entry of Italy into the war; Mussolini leaves berated and dissatisfied
  • 1953  8 day struggle to hold Outpost Harry ends; 4 American and 1 Greek infantry companies hold off over 13,000 Chinese troops
  • 1965  Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 bombers are used in Vietnam for 1st time; Operation Arc Light is under way
  • 1981  1st flight of Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter
  • 1983  1st female American Astronaut – Dr. Sally K. Ride – is launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-7)
  • 2009  NASA launches Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create 3D map of the lunar surface, identify potential resources and landing sites

Lost and Found – June 17th Edition

What to remember about June 17th…

  • 1579  Sir Frances Drake claims Nova Albion (California) for Britain
  • 1775  Battle of Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill); Patriot General William Prescott reportedly tells his men, “Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”
  • 1885  Statue of Liberty arrives in America aboard French ship Isere;  hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers line shore to welcome it
  • 1930  Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill signed into law By President Hoover
  • 1940  French announce plans to surrender to Germany
  • 1953  Soviet tanks and troops crush pro-democracy protests in East Berlin; exposes communism as a violent and oppressive fraud
  • 1963  SCOTUS decides Abington Township School district v. Schempp; required reading of Bible in schools unconstitutional
  • 1972  5 men arrested breaking into DNC offices at Watergate Hotel; ensuing cover-up leads to resignation of President Richard Nixon
  • 1994  O.J. Simpson arrested for murder after low-speed chase
  • UPDATE:  2015  White supremacist Dylan Roof kills 9 and wounds 1 at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.  He is arrested in North Carolina.

Lost and Found – June 16th Edition

What to remember about June 16th…

  • 1755  British defeat French at Fort Beausejour during French and indian War; renamed Fort Cumberland
  • 1775  Continental forces begin fortifying Bunker Hill outside Boston
  • 1858  Abraham Lincoln gives “House Divided” speech
  • 1884  1st roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island
  • 1903  Ford Motor Company incorporates
  • 1961  Soviet ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev defects to the West
  • 1963  1st woman in space, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova
  • 1979  Muslim Brotherhood murders 32 students and wounds 54 others at military school in Aleppo, Syria
  • 1987  Bernard Goetz acquitted of all but gun possession charges after shooting 4 black youths attempt to rob him in New York subway
  • 2011  Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) announces that he will resign over scandal created by his tweeting sexually suggestive messages explicit photos to numerous women

Lost and Found – June 15th Edition

What to remember about June 15th…

  • 1775  Assembly of Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declares independence from Britain forming state of Delaware
  • 1775  George Washington accepts command of Continental Army
  • 1836  Arkansas admitted to the Union as its 25th state
  • 1863  As General Lee’s Confederates move towards Washington, D.C., President Lincoln calls for 100,000 volunteers to defend the city
  • 1864  Union Army bypasses Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to attack Petersburg; leads to the eventual fall of Richmond
  • 1877  Former slave Henry Ossian Flipper becomes 1st African-American graduate from the United States Military Academy
  • 1916  National charter signed establishing Boy Scouts of America
  • 1917  Congress passes the Espionage Act
  • 1942  Deportation of Jews from Netherlands begins; approximately 101,000 sent to death camps;  Anne Frank will be among them
  • 1944  U.S. forces begin landings for the invasion of Saipan
  • 1994  Ruth Bader Ginsburg sworn in as Supreme Court Justice

Lost and Found – June 14th Edition

What to remember about June 14th…

Flag Day (USA) 2015

  • 1775  Continental Army created by act of the Continental Congress
  • 1777  Stars and Stripes adopted as the official flag of the United States by resolution of the Continental Congress
  • 1846  California Republic declares its independence from Mexico
  • 1864  Congress grants equal pay to colored troops; is retroactive
  • 1877  1st Fag Day holiday observed on 100th anniversary of flag
  • 1940  French government flees; German troops occupy Paris
  • 1947  Suspected UFO crashes near Roswell, New Mexico; theories persist about spaceship wreckage, alien corpses, and government cover ups
  • 1954  President Eisenhower signs bill into law adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance
  • 1982 Great Britain accepts Argentinian surrender in Falklands War
  • 1985  Islamic terrorist members of Hamas hijack TWA Flight 847 after take off from Cairo; U.S. Navy diver executed; hostages kept for 2 weeks
  • 1995  American fiction author Roger Zelazny dies in Santa Fe, NM (b. 1937)
  • 2004  SCOTUS in 8-0 decision refuses to strike words “under God” from Pledge of Allegiance in Nedow v. United States Congress

Lost and Found – June 13th Edition

What to remember about June 13th…

  • 1777  19-year old Marquis de Lafayette arrives in South Carolina to join General George Washington and the Continental Army
  • 1798  Mission San Luis Rey founded in what will become California
  • 1807  President Thomas Jefferson subpoenaed in treason trial of Aaron Burr;  Jefferson refuses citing executive privilege
  • 1942  President Roosevelt authorizes the establishment of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – predecessor of the CIA
  • 1944  1st German V-1 rockets launched at London
  • 1966  SCOTUS hands down decision in Miranda v. Arizona; established practice for police to “read you your rights”
  • 1967  Thurgood Marshall appointed to SCOTUS; 1st African-American to be seated on the highest court in the land
  • 1983  World’s 1st outer-planetary probe NASA’s Pioneer 10 leaves the solar system; in roughly 30,000 years it will reach constellation Taurus
  • 1994  Ryne Sandberg (Chicago Cubs 2nd baseman) retires as a player; forfeits 15 million dollar contract
  • 1997   Jury recommends the death penalty for Timothy McVeigh in the 1995  bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City
  • 2005  Pop singer Michael Jackson is acquitted on all 14 counts in case alleging child molestation and conspiracy