Browsing: December 17

A Brief History On December 17, 2003, the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight of a human piloted aircraft flown by Orville Wright was marked by another aviation first, that being the first supersonic flight by a human piloted aircraft that was built by a private company when SpaceShipOne, piloted by Brian Binnie achieved Mach 1.2 in a rocket powered test flight to a lofty altitude of 20,67 kilometers (almost 68,000 feet).  SpaceShipOne is a privately developed space plane designed to take passengers into suborbital space flight, space being defined as at an altitude of at least 100 kilometers. …

A Brief History On December 17, 2017, Orthodox Christians celebrate the Feast of Daniel, a recognized prophet in Christianity, a recognized nabi in Islam (saintly or righteous man), and although Judaism does not consider Daniel a prophet, it does accord him status as a legendary example of a pious and good man.  (Roman Catholic Feast of Daniel is July 21st.) Digging Deeper The story of Daniel is told in the Bible, appropriately in The Book of Daniel.  The Bible relates that Daniel was a noble Jew from Jerusalem that was captured as a youth by the Babylonians and taken to…

A Brief History On December 17, 2009, a large but largely rusted tub of a ship, the MV Danny F II, sunk off the coast of Lebanon taking with her 44 humans (accounts vary with numbers of people from 39 to 47 rescued) and (as far as we can determine) a record amount of domestic animals. Digging Deeper The doomed ship was built in 1976 as a car ferry, but had been converted to carrying bulk live animals for slaughter, a practice long opposed by animal rights activists.  A tad over 664 feet long and over 92 feet wide, the…

A Brief History On December 17, 497 BCE, the Romans celebrated their Pagan holiday, Saturnalia, a celebration honoring their god of agriculture (and a bunch of other things) with partying and sacrifice.  Gift giving, feasts, partying and a carnival atmosphere surrounded Saturnalia. Digging Deeper Celebrations and holidays around the time of the Winter Solstice (December 21 on our calendar) are common throughout the ancient and modern world.  Nowadays we have Christmas for Christians, a date that really has nothing to do with the birth of Christ but is believed by many to be chosen to compete with pagan and Jewish…

History: January 7, 1959: The U.S. Recognizes Fidel Castro’s Government of Cuba On January 7, 1959, the United States officially recognized the new government of Cuba that was headed by Fidel Castro who, together with his revolutionaries, had overthrown the corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista. Batista had originally seized power in a coup after having lost a presidential election in 1952, so the U.S., expecting return to democracy, actually welcomed Castro and his revolution.  Alas, it was not to be as Castro declared himself a communist in 1961, and it quickly became evident that he was just another dictator. Worse yet for the U.S., this placed a communist ally of the…

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